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Archive for May, 2013

Edgar Allan Poe Awards for Best Mysteries

Live by Night book cover

You don’t need a tell-tale heart to lead the way to good mysteries. This week the Mystery Writers of America crowned winners of the 2013 Edgar Awards, and the raven’s call includes intrigue in a variety of styles. Check these out:

Best Novel: Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Best First Novel by an American Author: The Expats by Chris Pavone
Best Paperback Original: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
Best Fact Crime: Midnight in Peking by Paul French
Best Critical/Biographical: The Scientific Sherlock Holmes by James O’Brien
Best Short Story: “The Unremarkable Heart” by Karen Slaughter (in Mystery Writers of America presents Vengeance)
Best Juvenile: The Quick Fix by Jack D. Ferraiolo
Best Young Adult: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Best Television Episode Teleplay: “A Scandal in Belgravia,” Sherlock, teleplay by Stephen Moffat
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: “When They Are Done With Us” by Patricia Smith (in Staten Island Noir)
Mary Higgins Clark Award: The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 3, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Movies and TV, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

LISTS: If You Like Lilian Jackson Braun

Double Booked for Death book coverLilian Jackson Braun wrote cozy mysteries with laid-back pacing and a cast of colorful feline and human characters. If you’ve made your way through all of her “Cat Who…” series, how about trying something new?

Click here for authors similar to Lilian Jackson Braun.

By Readers' Advisor on Categories: Books, Lists, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

A Physicist More Disheveled Than Einstein

Erwin Schrodinger and the Quatum Revolution book coverErwin Schrödinger was an Austrian physicist integral to developing the fundamentals of quantum theory. Considered of the “new school” of physics, Schrödinger thought outside the box. His life was no different than his science. Schrödinger once hiked to a science conference. When he and his rucksack got there, he was denied entrance because he was thought to be a tramp. In addition, Schrödinger was known to be rather amorous with ladies of all ages, and his wife took equal liberties to have lovers. Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution is a compelling pop-science biography that gets into the nitty-gritty of Schrödinger’s personal life and how he helped move science into the next century.

By Readers' Advisor on May 2, 2013 Categories: Books, Nonfiction

Book Discussion Questions: The Hard Bounce

The Hard Bounce book cover

 

SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

 

Title: The Hard Bounce
Author: Todd Robinson
Page Count: 301
Genre: Mystery
Tone: Gritty, Darkly Humorous, Violent

 

1.    What did you think of “the Boy” as a character? Who was “the Boy” a part of? When did he appear in the story?

2.    Did this feel different than other mysteries you’ve read? Why or why not?

3.    What books does The Hard Bounce remind you of? Are there any writers that Todd Robinson reminds you of?

4.    Who would you recommend this book to? Why?

5.    What words would you use to describe this book when talking about it to friends?

6.    Would you consider this book too graphic? If yes, why? If not, are there any books you consider too graphic?

7.    Boo is the main character. Did you like him? Why or why not?

8.    What did it say about Boo that he owned only 1 plate and 1 set of cutlery?

9.    What can you tell about Boo as a person that he still has a beeper and doesn’t own a cell phone until Kelly Reese buys him one?

10.    How do Boo and Junior know each other?

11.    Do you think the author is making a statement about juvenile detention facilities?

12.    What is 4DC? Who owns it? Who wants to hire 4DC? Why?

13.    Boo and Junior have a common man’s approach to detective work – given the same task, how would you have accomplished solving this crime? Would you have done anything differently?

14.    Why did Cassie run away from home? Who did she run to?

15.    Did you believe that Cassie was capable of all the things she did at 14-years old? Did she want to be saved?

16.    A main plot point of The Hard Bounce involves a snuff film. How did this make you feel? How do you think the author wanted you to feel?

17.    Boo wants to immediately kill Snake/Derek. Who talks him out of it and why?

18.    Do you believe Snake/Derek when he later tells Boo that he truly loved Cassie and wanted to run away with her?

19.    Why didn’t Boo go to see his sister Emily? Would you have gone to see her?

20.    Why don’t Boo and Junior trust cops?

21.    Do you think multiple points of view about law enforcement (both positive and negative) are given? Do you think it is the author’s responsibility to give multiple points of view on this issue?

22.    Who is Underdog? What went wrong with Underdog’s career? Does he fix it by the end of the book?

23.    Did all of the musical references add to the setting or distract you?

24.    What did you think of the dynamic between Kelly and Boo? Did you think they would fall into a relationship? Why do you think they like each other? Do you think it will last?

25.    When does the break in the case about Cassie come?

26.    Who was Sid and what did you think of her occupation?

27.    How was the mafia involved in the case?

28.    What ultimately happens to Cassie? Who kills her? Why?

29.    Boo goes into a depression by the end of The Hard Bounce. Why? Does he shake out of it?

30.    Does The Hard Bounce have a happy ending? Did it end where and how you wanted it to?

 

Other Resources:

Lit Reactor interview with Todd Robinson
MPPL interview with Todd Robinson
Todd Robinson reading from The Hard Bounce
Crimespree Magazine review of The Hard Bounce
Mystery Scene Magazine review of The Hard Bounce

 

If you liked The Hard Bounce, try…

Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald

Crimes in Southern Indiana book cover     Killer Inside Me book coverDeep Blue Good-by book cover

By Readers' Advisor on May 1, 2013 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense