Robert B. Parker’s Spenser celebrates 50 years in 2023, with the 50th birthday book being The Godwulf Manuscript. Our book club wanted to read a classic this month, and chose Parker over Tey, Sayers, P.D. James and Ross MacDonald (Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair was a close second). Is Spenser a “classic”? At 50 years on, it’s time to evaluate. The first review from Kirkus in 1973 said “The publishers make the comparison to Philip Marlowe (author-professor Parker did a dissertation on Chandler-Hammett) but it won’t serve him well — there’s some of the toughness and the terseness but the hat’s much too big for him and it hasn’t got the right slouch.” Agree? Disagree? Join us on zoom Sunday, November 13 at 2 p.m. to join the fray. See how Parker laid out his series with this first novel, and how he set a pattern followed by many, many others, from Harlan Coben to Robert Crais to Dennis Lehane…
Join us for our October book club – in person on Sunday, October 23 at 2 p.m., and on zoom on Wednesday, October 26 at 7 p.m. when we’ll discuss Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan is Killing It. Message us at store (at) auntagathas.com for a zoom link or information on the in person gathering, or contact us via facebook or twitter.
Publisher’s description: Finlay Donovan is killing it…except, she’s really not. A stressed-out single mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: The new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written; her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her; and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.
Our September book club will be reading S.A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears. Publisher’s description: Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.
The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.
Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.
Naomi Hirahara will join our book club via zoom on Sunday, August 21 at 2 p.m. when we discuss her award winning book, Clark and Division. Set during WWII, it follows the travails of the Ito family who are placed in a Japanese internment camp in California and then, after two years in the camp, relocated from California to Chicago. The portrait of the family, of the time period, and of the Ito family’s circumstances are beautifully portrayed. All are welcome to join! Come with questions or come to listen. I can’t recommend this book more highly – it was my favorite read of 2021 and am delighted to get it into the hands of as many readers as possible. We do have copies available on the store page of this website, but please check out your local bookstore, your library, and find and read a copy in some form or fashion! Email us as store (at) auntagathas.com for the zoom link.
Join us in May for our book club read of Mick Herron’s Slow Horses, the first in his series about MI5 agents who have made some epic fails. We’ll meet in person on Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. or via zoom on Wednesday. May 25, at 7 p.m. Email us at email@example.com or message us on facebook for details.
Here’s the publisher’s description of Slow Horses (now an excellent TV series): London, England: Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. Maybe they messed up an op badly and can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle—not unusual in this line of work. One thing they all have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there─even if it means having to collaborate with one another.
We’ve moved our discussion of Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala to Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. via zoom. Our February read will be Death on the Boardwalk by Caleb Wygal. We’ll meet on February 13 at 2 p.m. via zoom. The publisher’s description of Death on the Boardwalk:
The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is normally an idyllic place. Until death arrives on recently widowed bookstore owner Clark Thomas’ doorstep.
When the body of a local businesswoman and environmentalist gets dumped by the back door of his shop, Clark finds himself in a unique position to investigate the crime. But should he? When it comes to murder, something else drives him he doesn’t want to admit.
Join our book club discussions via zoom in January and February. All are welcome, email us or message us on facebook for a link.
Sunday, January 16 at 2 p.m. we’ll discuss Val McDermid’s Still Life. Publisher’s description:
DCI Karen Pirie, who finds herself investigating the shadowy world of forgery, where things are never what they seem.
When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, Karen is called into investigate. She quickly discovers that the case will require untangling a complicated web—including a historic disappearance, art forgery, and secret identities—that seems to orbit around a painting copyist who can mimic anyone from Holbein to Hockney. Meanwhile, a traffic crash leads to the discovery of a skeleton in a suburban garage. Needless to say, Karen has her plate full. Meanwhile, the man responsible for the death of the love of her life is being released from prison, reopening old wounds just as she was getting back on her feet.
In November, our book club will meet outside – in person – on Sunday, November 14 at 2 p.m. to discuss David Hewson’s Devil’s Fjord. Our zoom book club will meet on Wednesday, November 17 at 7 p.m. Message us for a zoom link or the book club address. We’ll be taking December off and will reconvene in January.
Here’s a precis from the publisher about Devil’s Fjord:
New District Sheriff Tristan Haraldsen uncovers a series of dark secrets when he investigates the disappearance of two boys in the remote Faroe Islands.
Newly-appointed District Sheriff Tristan Haraldsen and his wife Elsebeth are looking forward to a peaceful semi-retirement in the remote fishing village of Djevulsfjord on the stunningly beautiful island of Vagar. But when two boys go missing during the first whale hunt of the season, the repercussions strike at the heart of the isolated coastal community.
Join us for an in person discussion of Jonathan Santlofer’s The Last Mona Lisa on Sunday, September 19 at 2p.m. or via zoom on Wednesday, September 22, at 7 p.m. Both books are available from our online store. Email us for a zoom link or meeting address: store (at) auntagathas.com or message us on facebook. Here’s a precis of The Last Mona Lisa: August, 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincent Peruggia. Exactly what happens in the two years before its recovery is a mystery. Many replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, and more than one historian has wondered if the painting now in the Louvre is a fake, switched in 1911.
July Book Club will meet in person on Sunday, July 18, 2pm at my home. We’ll also be meeting via zoom on Wednesday, July 21, at 7pm. Please message me if you’d like to attend either iteration and you don’t have the relevant details or zoom link. We’ll be discussing Sarah Stewart Taylor’s wonderful novel, The Mountains Wild.
August book club will meet in person on Sunday, August 22 at 2p.m and via zoom on Wednesday, August 25 at 7pm. We’ll be reading Caroline B. Cooney’s Edgar nominee, Before She Was Helen.