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View Poll Results: Which mystery shall thrill us in May?
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey 14 37.84%
The Dinner by Herman Koch 8 21.62%
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler 16 43.24%
A Suspension of Mercy by Patricia Highsmith 6 16.22%
The Flower Net by Lisa See 8 21.62%
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley 10 27.03%
A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine 5 13.51%
The Redbreast by Jo Nesb° 13 35.14%
In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard 11 29.73%
Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton 3 8.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
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May 2013 Book Club Vote

May 2013 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the May 2013 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is multiple-choice: you may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on May 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

(1) The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Amazon (US)
Spoiler:
Josephine Tey re-creates one of history's most famous -- and vicious -- crimes in her classic bestselling novel, a must read for connoisseurs of fiction, now with a new introduction by Robert Barnard

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world's most heinous villains -- a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother's children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England's throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

The Daughter of Time is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written, and suspenseful tale, a supreme achievement from one of mystery writing's most gifted masters.


(2) The Dinner by Herman Koch
Amazon (US)
Spoiler:
A good unreliable narrator is one of the most satisfying characters a novelist can dream up--and Herman Koch takes us on a hell of a ride through the mind of Paul Lohman, the deliciously sinister host of The Dinner. Paul's 15-year-old son, Michel, has committed an unspeakable crime; his brother, on the cusp of becoming the Netherlands' next prime minister, has a delicate wife and two teenagers who share Michel’s secret; Paul's wife, Claire, will do anything to protect their boy. As the two couples inch through an excruciating meal at a chic restaurant--their children's whereabouts uncertain--Paul peels back the layers of their situation, weaving to and fro through time and truth. Koch's finely structured story gives away just enough on each page to keep us riveted, feeling like private investigators on the verge of discovery, until the shock of an ending. It's no small feat for the author that the less we trust Paul, the more we want to hear what he has to say


(3) The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Patricia Clark Memorial Library
Spoiler:
Private investigator Philip Marlowe is hired by General Sternwood to help resolve the gambling debts of his wild young daughter, Carmen. Sternwood's older daughter, Vivian, provides assistance when she implies that the situation is more complex, and also involves a casino owner and a recently disappeared family friend. As people linked to the Sternwoods start being murdered, Marlowe finds himself getting ever deeper into the case.


(4) A Suspension of Mercy by Patricia Highsmith
Amazon (US)
Spoiler:
Sydney Bartleby has killed his wife, Alicia—at least he has thought about it, compulsively, over and over again, plotting schemes, designing escapes, forging alibis. Of course he has; he's a mystery-script writer. But when Alicia takes a long, unannounced vacation, Sydney seizes the opportunity to perfect his artistic method.

With her characteristic precision and unrivaled sensitivity to the inner tremblings of human character, Patricia Highsmith shockingly portrays Sydney's descent into the treacherous world of his own fictions. Once again Highsmith proves herself to be a master at depicting the unsettling forces that boil beneath the surface of everyday life


(5) The Flower Net by Lisa See
No Links Provided
Spoiler:
“Lisa See begins to do for Beijing what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did for turn-of-the-century London or Dashiell Hammett did for 1920s San Francisco: She discerns the hidden city lurking beneath the public facade.”
(The Washington Post Book World)

The time frame for Flower Net is January 10, 1997-March 14, 1997. The main narrative ends February 13, 1997—just before the death of Deng Xiaoping on February 19. Much of the story involves flashbacks to the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) and its traumatic impact on the lives of a great number of people. The novel's key characters are Liu Hulan, inspector in the Ministry of Public Security and a Red Princess, and David Stark, Assistant U.S. Attorney, who loves her. Gary Krist writes that "Hulan is a provocative mixture of vulnerability, bitterness and hardheaded practicality," a survivor of the Cultural Revolution who has learned that survival means hiding her emotions from the outside world.(from google.books)


(6) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Amazon (UK) \ Amazon (US)
Spoiler:
Originally Posted by from Amazon
A delightfully dark English mystery, featuring precocious young sleuth Flavia de Luce and her eccentric family.

The summer of 1950 hasn’t offered up anything out of the ordinary for eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce: bicycle explorations around the village, keeping tabs on her neighbours, relentless battles with her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and brewing up poisonous concoctions while plotting revenge in their home’s abandoned Victorian chemistry lab, which Flavia has claimed for her own.

But then a series of mysterious events gets Flavia’s attention: A dead bird is found on the doormat, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. A mysterious late-night visitor argues with her aloof father, Colonel de Luce, behind closed doors. And in the early morning Flavia finds a red-headed stranger lying in the cucumber patch and watches him take his dying breath. For Flavia, the summer begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw: “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.” [...]


(7) A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
Amazon (US) / B&N (US)
Spoiler:
In the Edgar Award–winning classic, a niece investigates the shocking secrets that condemned her once proud family

Faith Severn has never understood why the willful matriarch of her high-society family, aunt Vera Hillyard, snapped and murdered her own beloved sister. But long after Vera is condemned to hang, a journalist’s startling discoveries allow Faith to perceive her family’s story in a new light.

Set in post–World War II Britain, A Dark-Adapted Eye is both a gripping mystery and a harrowing psychological portrait of a complex woman at the head of a troubled family.


(8) The Redbreast by Jo Nesb°
No links provided.
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

No disrespect meant to Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, but Jo Nesb°, the New York Times bestselling author of The Snowman, is the most exciting Scandinavian thriller writer in the crime fiction business. The Redbreast is a fabulous introduction to Nesb°’s tough-as-nails series protagonist, Oslo police detective Harry Hole. A brilliant and epic novel, breathtaking in its scope and design—winner of The Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel and selected as the best Norwegian crime novel ever written by members of Norway’s book clubs—The Redbreast is a chilling tale of murder and betrayal that ranges from the battlefields of World War Two to the streets of modern-day Oslo. Follow Hole as he races to stop a killer and disarm a ticking time-bomb from his nation’s shadowy past. Vogue magazine says that “nobody can delve into the dark, twisted mind of a murderer better than a Scandinavian thriller writer”…and nobody does it better than Jo Nesb°! James Patterson fans should also take note.


(9) In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard
Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US) / Overdrive
Spoiler:
Six months after the sudden death of her husband, Leonora Galloway sets out on a trip to France with her daughter Penelope. At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin... Leonora takes her daughter to the battlefields of WW1, where her father is commemorated on the Thiepval Monument. But the date of his death is surprising, and reveals that Captain John Hallows cannot possibly have been Leonora's real father.

This is only the start of a series of revelations that span three generations of a distinguished aristocratic family who are not what they seem. Penelope must piece together a tale of war, of loss, of greed, deception and vice - and the perpetrator of a murder left unsolved for more than half a century...


(10) Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
Amazon (US) / B&N (US) / Sony / Kobo / Overdrive
Spoiler:
A murder mystery set on Earth and the distant, tropical planet of St Libra

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, AD 2142, Detective Sidney Hurst attends a brutal murder scene. The victim is one of the wealthy North family clones–but none have been reported missing. And the crime’s most disturbing aspect is how the victim was killed. Twenty years ago, a North clone billionaire and his household were horrifically murdered in exactly the same manner, on the tropical planet of St Libra. But if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted? Tough and confident, she never waivered under interrogation–claiming she alone survived an alien attack. But there is no animal life on St Libra. Investigating this alien threat becomes the Human Defence Agency’s top priority. The bio-fuel flowing from St Libra is the lifeblood of Earth’s economy and must be secured. So a vast expedition is mounted via the Newcastle gateway, and teams of engineers, support personnel and xenobiologists are dispatched to the planet. Along with their technical advisor, grudgingly released from prison, Angela Tramelo. But the expedition is cut off, deep within St Libra’s rainforests. Then the murders begin. Someone or something is picking off the team one by one. Angela insists it’s the alien, but her new colleagues aren’t so sure. Maybe she did see an alien, or maybe she has other reasons for being on St Libra...

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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For anyone interested here are the two Kindle links I found for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley:

http://www.amazon.com/Sweetness-Bott...tom+of+the+pie

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sweetness-Bo...tom+of+the+pie
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:38 PM   #4
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Looks like The Big Sleep is the early favorite. Of course I realize the poll is just beginning so anything could happen yet.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:51 AM   #5
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Well, voted for 5 books which I would like to read/reread. I don't know whether this is a good strategy. We'll see.
It's a long time ago that I read Daughter of time, and I would like to hear the other's opinions on it.
I started the Flower net and it is very good, but perhaps the fact that I have a bit of a 'bee in my bonnet' about the cultural revolution in China, makes me do this.
Pale battallions I will read next, however the voting goes.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:30 AM   #6
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The Daughter of Time is available for free at Gutenberg Australia: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks09/0900271.txt. In any case, this would absolutely be my first pick.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:39 AM   #7
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There's only really one I wanted to win and that's A Dark-Adapted Eye - but only for the reason of effective time management for my May reading. It didn't stop me from extending my vote to include The Daughter of Time and The Big Sleep - both of which I do want to read at some stage.

Probably shouldn't have - but I couldn't help myself.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:49 AM   #8
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The Daughter of Time is available for free at Gutenberg Australia: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks09/0900271.txt. In any case, this would absolutely be my first pick.
Speaking only for myself, of course; that would never be a criterium. Second-hand books can be dirt-cheap these days. I buy lots of them on the internet from stores but also from individuals. The only thing is sometimes the shipping costs. But there's libraries as well.
And I cut costs on other things I don't need as bad as my books, or my travel.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:43 AM   #9
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I've only voted for my own nomination this time, In Pale Battalions, () because I really would like a Robbert Goddard to win. I genuinely think a lot of MR readers would enjoy his books (at least those that enjoy family murder mysteries, particularly ones that go back generations, as many of his do).

Goddard has a fairly large canon of work, and is the favourite living author of William Haig (ex-leader of the Conservative Party and our current Foreign Secretary).
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:58 AM   #10
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I'd like to vote for a write in candidate: Echo Park by Michael Connelly. I'm about 2/3 through and it is a page turner.

And yes, it is in the middle of a series.


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Old 04-23-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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Don't know about the write-in part, but last year I bought the first three Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly because they were on sale. I have now read all but the last three books of his series characters, most purchased at full price. When Harry retires for good I'll feel bereft. Definitely read them in order.

Had I not recently re-read The Daughter of Time and The Long Goodbye I would have voted for them. Josephine Tey's book changed the way I view and read history. The Long Goodbye is essential for any mystery buff. Farewell My Lovely is my favorite Chandler. Whole paragraphs are poetry.

Orlok, I appreciate learning about Goddard's In Pale Battalions. I plan to read it soon whether it wins or not.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:03 AM   #12
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I voted for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. The reviews make this tongue-in-cheek book sound very enjoyable. Check out this top-heavy spread:

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Couldn't abide The Big Sleep. Tried to read it a few years ago and found it putting me to sleep.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:32 AM   #13
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Couldn't abide The Big Sleep. Tried to read it a few years ago and found it putting me to sleep.
But was it the big sleep?
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:00 AM   #14
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I voted for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. The reviews make this tongue-in-cheek book sound very enjoyable.

Couldn't abide The Big Sleep. Tried to read it a few years ago and found it putting me to sleep.
Flavia de Luce, Bradley's young sleuth, is absolutely charming. I have not yet read Speaking From Among the Bones, the last so far, but will likely eventually read every Flavia book that comes along.

The Big Sleep isn't Chandler's best book. It is choppy since he was a little lazy for my taste in melding together previously published Black Mask short stories. Still, it is complex and introduces Philip Marlowe, a modern incarnation of a knight descended from those found in Sir Walter Scott's novels. (I owe that insight to Robert B. Parker who said that he wrote romance novels. Spenser and Jesse Stone likely would not exist as they are without Marlowe). For Chandler, plot is always secondary to character.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
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Great North Road while in a science fiction setting is a murder mystery. I'm currently reading it and it's going in two directions either could be correct or maybe both. It's so far quite good.
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