BOOK CLUB: Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye

Book Club LogoWelcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books.  Today we are discussing Seven For A Secret by Lyndsay Faye, the second book in her series about New York “copper stars” Timothy and Valentine Wilde.

 From The Publisher: Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Seven for A Secret by Lyndsay FayWilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices—until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property.

The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh. But in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal—it’s law enforcement.

When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and corpses appear in the most shocking of places. Timothy finds himself caught between power and principles, desperate to protect his only brother and to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.

If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.

  • What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
  • Show of hands, how many of you read The Gods of Gotham? Was the continuation of this story satisfying for you? How did the books compare?
  • If this is your first time reading about the Wilde brothers, what did you think of them? Will you go back to read The Gods of Gotham? Is this a series that interests you?
  • Timothy and Val are involved in Copper Stars and politics to varying degrees. How do their personal ideals and politics affect their choices? Their relationship? Do you think either of them walks an easier path than the other?
  • Early on Jean-Baptiste (the chimney sweep) signals the importance of identity in Seven for a Secret. What are your thoughts on the way it presents itself to different characters throughout the novel? Did anyone’s identity hold surprises for you?
  • Each of Faye’s novels in the Wilde series has approached important issues permeating 19th century  New York City. How familiar were you with “blackbirding” and Vigilance committees before this novel? Why is some history more widely known?

12 copies of Seven for a Secret were provided by Amy Einhorn/Putnam Books in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

BOOK CLUB: Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina

bookclubreads_Alex MorrowWelcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books.  Today we are discussing Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina,  published by Reagan Arthur Books. It’s the final book in our exploration of Alex Morrow and “tartan noir”.

 From The Publisher: It’s the week before Christmas when a lone robber bursts into a busy Glasgow post office carrying an AK-47. An elderly man suddenly hands his young grandson to a stranger and wordlessly helps the gunman fill bags with cash, then carries them to the door. He opens the door and bows his head; the robber fires off the AK-47, tearing the grandfather in two.

DS Alex Morrow arrives on the scene and finds that the alarm system had been disabled before the robbery. Gods and BeastsYet upon investigation, none of the employees can be linked to the gunman. And the grandfather-a life-long campaigner for social justice-is above reproach. As Morrow searches for the killer, she discovers a hidden, sinister political network. Soon it is chillingly clear: no corner of the city is safe, and her involvement will go deeper than she could ever have imagined.

If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.

  • What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
  • We’ve now followed Alex over the course of three novels. How did your thoughts about her change over the course of the series? Were your expectations justified? Were there other things you wanted for this character?
  • After reading these novels over the course of the summer what do you think of Mina’s writing and choice of topics? What kind of picture do you get of Scotland, their police force and women in that industry?I think all of us have been interested in her relationship with Danny. Their background and upbringing have led them down different paths, and their relationship has been tenuous at best. What did you think of the latest developments? Were you surprised?
  • Mina and Morrow explore different types of crimes and family dynamics in each novel, which of the stories resonated the most with you? How would you compare Scottish and
  • What’s next for Alex? Is this a series you will continue to read?

12 copies of Gods and Beasts were provided by Reagan Arthur Books in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

BOOK CLUB Giveaway – The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

bookclubreads_Alex MorrowToday was our first of three discussions on Denise Mina’s Alex Morrow series. We started with the fascinating Still Midnight and we will be continuing with The End of the Wasp Season. Jen and I are super excited about these books, and we both had to restrain ourselves when it came to not going ahead and reading the next book in the series. They are that good!

The End of Wasp SeasonFrom The Publisher: When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death 

attracts no sympathy. But the legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread, and the carnage most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family. 

Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered. The community is stunned by what appears to be a vicious, random attack. When Detective Inspector Alex Morrow, heavily pregnant with twins, is called in to investigate, she soon discovers that a tangled web of lies lurks behind the murder. It’s a web that will spiral through Alex’s own home, the local community, and ultimately right back to a swinging rope, hundreds of miles away.

The End of the Wasp Season is an accomplished, compelling and multi-layered novel about family’s power of damage-and redemption.

The publisher providing these books with the understanding that we (and you!) will have a readerly discussion. There are no further requirements. If you are a blogger and review the book, great! If you are not a blogger, but review the book on LibraryThing or GoodReads, or talk it up on Twitter, and tell all your friends, wonderful! The main thing is for you to have fun and come discuss these books with us over the summer.

If you would like to participate in The End of Wasp Season  BOOK CLUB, please fill out this form by Noon EST on Thursday, June 13. Your mailing address will be discarded if you aren’t selected to participate, and used to mail you the book if you are. I do not share or retain any personal information. Only those selected will be contacted by email with further book club details. No purchase necessary and void where prohibited. Thanks and good luck!

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BOOK CLUB: Still Midnight by Denise Mina

bookclubreads_Alex MorrowWelcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books.  Today we are discussing still Midnight by Denise Mina,  published by Reagan Arthur Books.

 From The Publisher: Life ought to be simple for Detective Inspector Alex Morrow. She’s not new to the police force–or to crime–but none of that matters as she’s assigned to the case that could make her career.

The case involves a seemingly random attack on a family in a quiet suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. Three armed men slipped Still Midnight by Denise Minafrom a van into a house, demanding a man who is not, and has never been, inside the front door. In the confusion that ensues, one family member is shot and another kidnapped, the assailants demanding an impossible ransom. Is this an amateur crime gone horribly wrong, or something much more unexpected?

As Alex falls further into the most challenging case of her career, she must manage the complications of police force politics, and a marriage every bit as tangled as the case she’s trying to solve. Rich with dark humor and powerful storytelling, Still Midnight shows again why Denise Mina’s mysteries have earned praise as among the best in the world,

If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.

  • What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
  • Based on Alex’s first appearance in the novel, what were you expecting from her as a character? How did your thoughts about her change over the course of the novel?
  • Bannerman makes statements about certain people not having that killer instinct, what do you think he means by that? Does it have any bearing on how the police force operates? In how Alex does her job? Does she have a killer instinct? What evidence did you find to support your claim?
  • How do issues of race and ethnicity affect the case? Was the family justified in concealing Bob’s identity? Did who he was surprise you?
  • Mina spends as much time with Eddy and Pat as she does with the detectives. What did you think of that technique? How did it make you feel about them as they were in the midst of carrying out their crime? How did you feel about the circumstances in which they find themselves in the end?
  • What’s next for Alex? I want predictions on her, her family life and career before we jump into the next book!

12 copies of Still Midnight were provided by Reagan Arthur Books in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung