The Is That A Gun In Your Pocket? Book Club
Join Books Inc. for what are sure to be some lively discussions on all things thrills and chills from a variety of genres!
Meets the last Thursday of Every Month at 7 PM
Books Inc. in Burlingame
1375 Burlingame Avenue
New mebers are always welcome.
July 2015 Selection: First published in 1930, The Maltese Falcon stands today as one of the classics of both suspense literature and American writing.
June 2015 Selection: Winner of the Nero Wolfe Award
It is 1921 and Mary Russell--Sherlock Holmes's brilliant apprentice, now an Oxford graduate with a degree in theology--is on the verge of acquiring a sizable inheritance. Independent at last, with a passion for divinity and detective work, her most baffling mystery may now involve Holmes and the burgeoning of a deeper affection between herself and the retired detective. Russell's attentions turn to the New Temple of God and its leader, Margery Childe, a charismatic suffragette and a mystic, whose draw on the young theology scholar is irresistible. But when four bluestockings from the Temple turn up dead shortly after changing their wills, could sins of a capital nature be afoot? Holmes and Russell investigate, as their partnership takes a surprising turn.
May 2015 Selection: The corpse had been "scalped," its palms and soles removed after death. Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police knows immediately he will have his hands full with this case, a certainty that is supported by the disturbing occurrences to follow. A mysterious nighttime plane crash, a vanishing shipment of cocaine, and a bizarre attack on a windmill only intensify Chee's fears. A dark and very ill wind is blowing through the Southwestern desert, a gale driven by Navajo sorcery and white man's greed. And it will sweep away everything unless Chee can somehow change the weather.
April 2015 Selection:
The fiance of Lord Peter's sister, Mary, is found dead outside the conservatory of the Wimsey family's shooting lodge in Yorkshire. The evidence points to their older brother, Gerald, the Duke of Denver, who is charged with the murder and put on trial in the House of Lords.
To clear the family name, Lord Peter and his close friend Inspector Charles Parker scour the lodge's grounds, finding several tantalizing clues, including mysterious footprints, a piece of jewelry, and a cat charm. What do these leads mean, and why are Mary and Gerald suddenly acting so mysterious? Unraveling a string of coincidences, Lord Peter is determined to solve this intriguing case. But will the answer save his brother . . . or condemn him?
March 2015 Selection: One summer night in 1930, Judge Joseph Crater steps into a New York City cab and is never heard from again. Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife, the picture of propriety; Maria, their steadfast maid, indebted to the judge; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress, willing to seize any chance to break out of the chorus line.
As the twisted truth emerges, Ariel Lawhon's wickedly entertaining debut mystery transports us into the smoky jazz clubs, the seedy backstage dressing rooms, and the shadowy streets beneath the Art Deco skyline.
February 2015 Selection: He walked away from the job three years ago. But Harry Bosch cannot resist the call to join the elite Open/Unsolved Unit. His mission: solve murders whose investigations were flawed, stalled, or abandoned to L.A.'s tides of crime. With some people openly rooting for his failure, Harry catches the case of a teenager dragged off to her death on Oat Mountain, and traces the DNA on the murder weapon to a small-time criminal. But something bigger and darker beckons, and Harry must battle to fit all the pieces together. Shaking cages and rattling ghosts, he will push the rules to the limit-and expose the kind of truth that shatters lives, ends careers, and keeps the dead whispering in the night....
January 2015 Selection: NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR BY "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL."
The latest Quirke case opens in Dublin at a moment when newspapers are censored, social conventions are strictly defined, and appalling crimes are hushed up. Why? Because in 1950s Ireland, the Catholic Church controls the lives of nearly everyone. But when Quirke's daughter, Phoebe, loses her close friend Jimmy Minor to murder, Quirke can no longer play by the church's rules. Along with Inspector Hackett, his sometime partner, Quirke learns just how far the church and its supporters will go to protect their own interests.
In "Holy Orders," Benjamin Black's inimitable creation, the endlessly curious Quirke brings a pathologist's unique understanding of death to unlock the most dangerous of secrets.
October 2014 Selection: A gripping new translation of the first novel in the famous Inspector Maigret series
"What he sought, what he waited and watched out for was the crack in the wall. In other words, the instant when the human being comes out from behind the opponent . . . "
Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious adversary and a trail of bodies, must bide his time before the answer comes into focus.
The first book in the brand new Penguin Simenon series featuring brilliant renderings by some of today's best translators from French, "Pietr the Latvian "introduces the intrepid Inspector to a new audience.
September 2014 Selection: The bestselling French phenomenon, winner of the Prix Lion Noir, now available in English for the first time...
When Madame Preau returns to her own house outside Paris after several years spent in a convalescent home, she immediately notices that the neighborhood has changed. Now, instead of a beautiful garden next door there is a new house. And she can see directly into her new neighbors' windows.
Madame Preau quickly feels that something isn't right. Her neighbors have two perfectly healthy children who play in the yard after school. But there is also a third child: a young boy who looks malnourished and abused, and tosses small stones at her window in an apparent call for help. The family denies his existence.
But is the little boy real, or merely a hallucination of a lonely, mentally unstable old woman cut off from her own beloved grandson?
When the police refuse to listen to her, Madame Preau decides to take matters into her own hands. She's determined to help the little boy, and she'll do anything to make sure he's safe...
August 2014 Selection: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.
As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.
Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifiying and prescient portrait of innocence at large. This Graham Greene Centennial Edition includes a new introductory essay by Robert Stone.
July 2014 Selection: Germany, 1949: Amid the chaos of defeat, it's a place of dirty deals, rampant greed, fleeing Nazis, and all the intrigue and deceit readers have come to expect from this immensely talented thriller writer. In "The One from the Other," Hitler's legacy lives on. For Bernie Gunther, Berlin has become too dangerous, and he now works as a private detective in Munich. Business is slow and his funds are dwindling when a woman hires him to investigate her husband's disappearance. No, she doesn't want him back-he's a war criminal. She merely wants confirmation that he is dead. It's a simple job, but in postwar Germany, nothing is simple-nothing is what it appears to be. Accepting the case, Bernie takes on far more than he'd bargained for, and before long, he is on the run, facing enemies from every side.
June 2014 Selection: Hailed by NPR's Fresh Air as part Testament of Youth, part Dorothy Sayers, and part Upstairs, Downstairs, this astonishing debut has already won fans from coast to coast and is poised to add Maisie Dobbs to the ranks of literature's favorite sleuths.
Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence--and the patronage of her benevolent employers--she works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.
May 2014 Selection: An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one grisly solution--a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve.
First published in 1934 and banned in Boston for its explosive mixture of violence and eroticism, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic of the "roman noir. It established James M. Cain as a major novelist with an unsparing vision of America's bleak underside, and was acknowledged by Albert Camus as the model for "The Stranger.
April 2014 Selection: Anne Perry's seventeenth William Monk novel, now in paperback, is a mesmerizing masterpiece of innocence and evil on London's docks, a welcome addition to this successful and beloved series.
On a London riverbank, when the body of small-time crook Mickey Parfitt washes up with the tide, no one grieves. But William Monk, commander of the River Police, is puzzled by the murder weapon: an elegant scarf whose original owner was obviously a man of substance. Dockside informers lead Monk to a floating palace of corruption on the Thames managed by Parfitt, where a band of half-starved boys is held captive for men willing to pay a high price for midnight pleasures. Though Monk and his fearless wife, Hester, would gladly reward Parfitt's killer, duty leads them in another direction--to an unresolved crime, to a deadly confrontation with some of the empire's most respected men, and ultimately to a courtroom showdown with Monk's old friend, Oliver Rathbone, in a trial of nearly unbearable tension and suspense.
March 2014 Selection: Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in Texas. The worst thing most people can say against him is that he's a little slow and a little boring. But, then, most people don't know about "the sickness"--the sickness that almost got Lou put away when he was younger. The sickness that is about to surface again.
An underground classic since its publication in 1952, The Killer Inside Me is the book that made Jim Thompson's name synonymous with the "roman noir."
February 2014 Selection: A Haitian woman arrives at the office of Leduc Detective and announces that she is Aimee's sister, her father's illegitimate daughter. Aimee is thrilled. A virtual orphan since her mother's disappearance and her father's death, she has always wanted a sister. Her partner, Rene, is wary of this stranger, but Aimee embraces her and soon finds herself involved in murky Haitian politics, which leads to murder. The setting is the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank of the Seine, the old university district of Paris.
August 2015 Selection:
"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train's arrival in the English village of Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces' crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself. Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office--and making spectacular use of Harriet's beloved Gipsy Moth plane, "Blithe Spirit"--Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.
Praise for "The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches"
"Part Harriet the Spy, part Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events, "Flavia is a pert and macabre pragmatist."--"The New York Times Book Review"
"[Alan] Bradley's award winning Flavia de Luce series . . . has enchanted readers with the outrageous sleuthing career of its precocious leading lady. . . . This latest adventure contains all the winning elements of the previous books."--"Library Journal "(starred review)
"Bradley's latest Flavia de Luce novel reaches a new level of perfection as it shows the emotional turmoil and growth of a girl who has always been older than her years and yet is still a child. The mystery is complex and very personal this time, reaching into the past Flavia never knew about. . . . These are astounding, magical books not to be missed."--"RT Book Reviews "(Top Pick)
"Excellent . . . Flavia retains her droll wit. . . . The solution to a murder is typically neat, and the conclusion sets up future books nicely."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review)
"It's hard to resist either the genre's pre-eminent preteen sleuth or the hushed revelations about her family."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"Flavia . . . is as fetching as ever; her chatty musings and her combination of childish vulnerability and seemingly boundless self-confidence haven't changed a bit."--"Booklist"
Acclaim for Alan Bradley's beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award
"If ever there were a sleuth who's bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it's Flavia de Luce."--"USA Today"
"Irresistibly appealing.""--The New York Times Book Review"," "on" A Red Herring Without Mustard"
"Original, charming, devilishly creative."--Bookreporter, ""on" I Am Half-Sick of Shadows"
"Delightful and entertaining."--"San Jose Mercury News"," "on" Speaking from Among the Bones"
"From the Hardcover edition."