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Old 10-02-2020, 02:28 PM   #16
issybird
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I nominate The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith. I’ve not read it, but it was enormously popular when first published, so I thought it may be fun for us.

From Amazon:

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency received two Booker Judges’ Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.

272 pages


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That was the MR Book Club selection in February 2017, just as an FYI.
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Old 10-02-2020, 02:33 PM   #17
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That was the MR Book Club selection in February 2017, just as an FYI.
Which, sadly, makes it ineligible. An interesting book and I quite enjoyed the first few books in the series, though I eventually tired of them. So you have your ticket back, Victoria.
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Old 10-02-2020, 02:59 PM   #18
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Ah, sorry about that!! I forgot to check Darzin’s list. I’ll go back to the drawing board. ( I’m glad to hear it was fun though )
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Old 10-02-2020, 03:14 PM   #19
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Ah, sorry about that!! I forgot to check Darzin’s list. I’ll go back to the drawing board. ( I’m glad to hear it was fun though )
If you read it, you should check out the discussion thread. There were, ah, differing opinions.
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Old 10-02-2020, 04:49 PM   #20
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If you read it, you should check out the discussion thread. There were, ah, differing opinions.
Yes, there, ah, were.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:51 PM   #21
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I'm going to nominate Iona Whishaw's A Killer in King's Cove, the first of her Lane Winslow books set in 1946 in a remote, northern British Columbia hamlet. The books are inexpensive, ranging from $6.29 CAD to £4.03 to $8.35 AUD, and are also available on Overdrive. There are no audio book versions, however.

These are quintessentially Canadian, and quite cozy, and I've come to look forward to the new ones each year.

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It is 1946, and war-weary young ex-intelligence officer Lane Winslow leaves London to look for a fresh start. When she finds herself happily settled into a sleepy hamlet nestled in the idyllic interior of British Columbia surrounded by a suitably eclectic cast of small-town characters she feels like she may finally be able to put her past to rest.

But then a body is discovered, the victim of murder, and although she works alongside the town’s inspectors Darling and Ames to discover who might have possibly have motivation to kill, she unknowingly casts doubt on herself. As the investigation reveals facts that she has desperately tried to keep a secret, it threatens to pull her into a vortex of even greater losses than the ones she has already endured.

A clever postwar mystery that will appeal to fan of historical mysteries with women sleuths like the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear or the Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd.
(Canada, 2015, 432 pp.)

AmazonUS: $6.49
AmazonCA: $6.29 CAD
AmazonUK: £4.03
AmazonAU: $8.35 AUD
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:11 PM   #22
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And, I'm going to break with my usual practice and nominate a second book. Again, a Canadian, but this time far more mainstream, and not from British Columbia, but from Quebec -- Louise Penny's first Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines mystery, Still Life.

This book won just about every award for mystery writers, including New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel, Anthony Award for Best First Novel, Barry Award for Best First Novel, Dilys Award, and Finalist 2010 Barry Award for Best Novel of the Decade. And, personally, I loved it.

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As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one…

To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead?

In a long and distinguished career with the Sûreté du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has learned to look for snakes in Eden. Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets…
(Canada, 2005, 321 pp.)
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:02 PM   #23
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So far, everyone but me has nominated the first book in a series.
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:34 PM   #24
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It's still find to nominate. We don't require that folks nominate the first in a series, even though some people might hesitate to vote for a book that's not the first if they haven't already read that first. (Maybe even more so if they have, of course. )

We've had this discussion before, but it's important to reiterate that we don't restrict the nominations, nor do we denigrate ANY nomination. Full stop. Obviously, when a person nominates a book that is outside of the norm, it's useful for everyone if they add a note of explanation. For example, where a book is not the first, a simple "Yes, I know that [bookname] is the second in a series, but really, it reads fine as a standalone so don't sweat it if you haven't read the first" would be an appropriate explanation to reassure folks that they can jump right in at book #2.

A concrete example of this is a series like the Liaden Universe books where there are multiple entry points into the Universe as well as several that are standalone, and the first two books, chronologically, are not the place you want to start. (They're really, in some ways, prequels, and definitely better when you have already read one or more of the later books.)
But in most cases, books in a series are not standalone except the first one. All it takes is one line to refer back to any earlier book(s), and if anything happens in the book because of what happened before.

The problem I have with this approach of allowing books in a series to be nominated out of order is that we cannot vote given the rules. I will not read book 2 or a series where I have not read book 1. But I cannot vote in case this book 2 wins. It's unfair.
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:40 PM   #25
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And, I'm going to break with my usual practice and nominate a second book. Again, a Canadian, but this time far more mainstream, and not from British Columbia, but from Quebec -- Louise Penny's first Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines mystery, Still Life.
I'll give this a second.
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:03 AM   #26
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But in most cases, books in a series are not standalone except the first one. All it takes is one line to refer back to any earlier book(s), and if anything happens in the book because of what happened before.

The problem I have with this approach of allowing books in a series to be nominated out of order is that we cannot vote given the rules. I will not read book 2 or a series where I have not read book 1. But I cannot vote in case this book 2 wins. It's unfair.
Jon -- We're NOT going to go there. The rule is simple -- If someone nominates it, and it is seconded, and it isn't disallowed because it was nominated too recently or selected too recently, then it goes through to the vote. This is NOT open for discussion, but if you want to argue with me, do it in a PM. Period. Full stop. End!
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:07 AM   #27
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How about something that has some tie in to a book (well a manuscript)..

I'll nominate A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

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Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.
594 pages

Thriller, magic, vampires, romance, nice and long... what more could you want!
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:34 PM   #28
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I nominate Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming. It was published in 1953, and is approximately 220 pages. I was quite intrigued by the reviews; especially the contrast between Fleming’s Bond, based on real life spies he’d known, vs the character portrayed in the movies.

From Wikipedia:


The story concerns the British secret agent James Bond, gambling at the casino in Royale-les-Eaux to bankrupt Le Chiffre, the treasurer of a French union and a member of the Russian secret service. Bond is supported in his endeavours by Vesper Lynd, a member of his own service, as well as Felix Leiter of the CIA and René Mathis of the French Deuxième Bureau. Fleming used his wartime experiences as a member of the Naval Intelligence Division, and the people he met during his work, to provide plot elements; the character of Bond also reflected many of Fleming's personal tastes. Fleming wrote the draft in early 1952 at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica while awaiting his marriage. He was initially unsure whether the work was suitable for publication, but was assured by his friend, the novelist William Plomer, that the novel had promise.

Within the spy storyline, Casino Royale deals with themes of Britain's position in the world, particularly the relationship with the US in light of the defections to the Soviet Union of the British agents Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. The book was given broadly positive reviews by critics at the time and sold out in less than a month after its UK release on 13 April 1953...

The book is available in both Kindle and Kobo versions, in Canada, the US, Australia and Great Britain. The cost ranged between $.74 cents & $.99, and £4.99
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:39 PM   #29
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If you read it, you should check out the discussion thread. There were, ah, differing opinions.
Thanks for the heads up! Now I have to look up the thread whether I read it or not

I second A Killer in King's Cove
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:57 PM   #30
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I nominate Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming. It was published in 1953, and is approximately 220 pages.

The book is available in both Kindle and Kobo versions, in Canada, the US, Australia and Great Britain. The cost ranged between $.74 cents & $.99, and £4.99
And available in the public domain in Canada at FadedPage.

I'm holding off on my last ticket, but if this doesn't get a second, I'll do it. But I'm being parsimonious with having spent two tickets on nominations!
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