ABC-CLIO

Read 'Em Their Writes

A Handbook for Mystery and Crime Fiction Book Discussions

by Gary Warren Niebuhr

 

Great guides to 100 of the best mystery titles to discuss.

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September 2006

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 264
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Adult Services and Programs/General

Author Gary Niebuhr proves that mystery book club is no misnomer, and that when it comes to the mystery genre, there is indeed a great deal to talk about. He also reveals how to organize your group, get participants, select book club titles, prepare for the meeting, and conduct discussions.
Everything you need is here—book club themes, inside tips, and background material, as well as provocative questions for 100 of the best mystery titles for discussion. The same questions can also serve as models for discussing countless other mysteries. A list of 50 additional mystery titles to discuss and an index conclude the work.

Who says there's nothing to discuss about mysteries? Mystery readers unite—you can now read mysteries guiltlessly, and extend the pleasure through lively and informed discussions. Here is the guide for mystery book clubs. Award-winning author, librarian, and avid mystery fan Gary Niebuhr proves that mystery book club is no misnomer, and that when it comes to the mystery genre, there is indeed a great deal to talk about. He also reveals how to organize your group, get participants, select book club titles, prepare for the meeting, and conduct discussions.
Book club themes, inside tips, and background material and sample questions for 100 of the best mystery titles for discussion are included—from Margaret Atwood's Blind Assassin, Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, and James Lee Burke's Cimarron Rose to Dashiell Hammet's Maltese Falcon, Tony Hillerman's Dance Hall of the Dead, and Elizabeth Inness-Brown's Burning Marguerite. You'll find a wonderful assortment of classic and contemporary mysteries here; and the questions can easily serve as models for discussing countless other mysteries. A list of 50 additional mystery titles to discuss and an index conclude the work. This is the first book club guide devoted solely to the mystery genre. Given the current popularity of mysteries and book clubs, particularly in libraries, this should be a real hit (pun intended).

Table of Contents

IntroductionMystery Book DiscussionsAn Overview of This BookWhy Talk About Books?General Book Discussion Leader ProceduresGeneral Book Discussion Participant Procedures100 Mystery and Crime Fiction Books to Discuss50 Additional Mystery and Crime Fiction Books to Consider for DiscussionsAppendixIndexes

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"This easy-to-use book will prove immensely useful for book clubs and public libraries, especially where mystery titles are popular."Reference & User Services Quarterly

"In one concise book, groups wishing to specialize in mystery fiction discussions can find detailed step-by-step instructions and a wealth of information about mystery writers and their works. It is a well thought out reference work suitable for any size public library."Colorado Association of Libraries

"In this book club guide for mystery and crime fiction groups, Niebuhr explains, for those in or starting book clubs, how to select books, while recommending which are best. In addition, he suggests ways to conduct a discussion and find a leader and participants. Noting that what works may not fit the typical definition of the genre, he gives a list of 100 titles, with background on the author and book and publishing information, setting, time period, series notes, plot summary, subject headings, appeal points, similar works, and questions. He then gives brief descriptions of 50 additional titles....Five indexes are organized by author, title, subject, location, and time period."Reference & Research Book News

"Given his background, it is obvious that Niebuhr's voice of experience is authoratative and reliable. This title is most appropriate for public libraries. Although it is a handbook, it should be available for circulation and not used solely as a reference guide. The information about organizing discussions for book groups is universal and applies equally to other genres....This title is very useful, and hopefull it will help librarians and readers explore and discuss mystery and crime fiction more knowledgeably."Technicalities

"Niebuhr, library director for Greendale and author of two previous mystery handbooks, has put together a guide for starting a mystery book club (perhaps a perfect post-holidays activity for winter). Along with tips and background information, sample questions are provided for 100 mysteries."Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Niebuhr's selections are restricted to crime fiction and mystery books, mostly by authors from North America, with a few exceptions from the United Kingdom and two or three other countries. For each listed novel he provides various data such as the author's biography, a plot summary, the geographic setting, and time period, but also some notes about the series, readalikes, websites, readers' guides, and subject headings. Good novel-into-film discussion titles are indicated and appeal points are highlighted. All this valuable information makes this book a readers' advisory tool. Of course this work can also be used for reference and fiction collection development."Public Libraries

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