Mystery Lovers’ Book Club April 2018

A RAGE IN HARLEM will be a nice change from raging in Bloomington about snow storms in April, so read up and let’s meet up on the 19th to talk about the gripping introduction to Chester Hime’s groundbreaking series set in Harlem.

Here’s the description:

A Rage in Harlem is a ripping introduction to Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, patrolling New York City’s roughest streets in Chester Himes’s groundbreaking Harlem Detectives series.

For love of fine, wily Imabelle, hapless Jackson surrenders his life savings to a con man who knows the secret of turning ten-dollar bills into hundreds—and then he steals from his boss, only to lose the stolen money at a craps table. Luckily for him, he can turn to his savvy twin brother, Goldy, who earns a living—disguised as a Sister of Mercy—by selling tickets to Heaven in Harlem. With Goldy on his side, Jackson is ready for payback.

Literary Tidbits:

In keeping with April’s Con Man Payback theme, here’s how a group of women got even with a real life charlatan in Rachel Monroe’s “The Perfect Man Who Wasn’t”. His victims banded together to bring him down, keeping up with his actions and newest victims via group text. They must have included some interesting exchanges, especially after the photos of his arrest!

Love a cozy mystery? If you’re a fan of the lighthearted, comedic murder mysteries featuring amateur sleuths, Kensington Publishers has good news for you! They’re expanding their titles in the genre in 2018 and offering mini-conventions across the country, including one at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park, Illinois (9/1/2018)! Every month I attend meetings at this wonderful indie book store, which is located on a fun street with independent shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. I’ll drive. Who’s in?

Gender Differences in Fiction Researchers at the University of Illinois (my alma mater!) have used algorithms to examine gender differences in fiction. What did they find? Here’s a hint: women laugh, men chuckle, and female authors lead the way in reducing gender stereotypes in their stories. Here’s to big data! And here’s the link to Researchers use big data to examine gender in fiction books.

What is Agatha Christie’s greatest mystery? Her life. At least that’s the case that Sarah Weinman makes in “Agatha Christie’s life rivaled the immortal mysteries she created,” her Washington Post book review of Laura Thompson’s Agatha Christie, A Mysterious Life. 

Happy reading! – Jen