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Mystery

Book Club Recommendations


PBR Review: I didn't read any this author's other works, but this book was a Reese Witherspoon pick and getting good reviews, so I decided to give it a try. I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It's a cleverly plotted combination of myst More


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Talking Points: A story that showcases the cultural traditions of Bombay in the 1920s, especially the impact on women and their rights and role in society. Perveen is headstrong and feisty if you like strong female characters. The laws of the era do not favor women and there is a lot of information on the Muslim religion and the restriction it places on women. Topics such as seclusion of women during menstruation, arranged marriages, the education of women, laws that do not favor women and domestic abuse. Some present day battles are also echoed in this story. Bonus, the story is partially inspired by a real historical figure.

PBR Review: This story has a unique and compelling plot, and amazingly, as soon as you start reading, you are hooked. It's clear that Walker did a massive amount of research on narcissistic personality disorder, which has always piqued my More


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Talking Points: The main talking point of this book will be the many ramifications of narcissism; the damage a narcissist mother can wreak on her children and marriage. The power struggle between the various characters and the lies and secrets held and told are also discussion worthy, as are the actions and decisions of some of the characters.

PBR Review: There are no guarantees in life, or are there? Is there something that can guarantee a long happy marriage? The founder of The Pact, an exclusive, by invite only secret club, thinks there is. Alice and Jake, just before their More


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Talking Points: This book explores love trust and marriage showing the vulnerability and insecurities people suffer and how fear can change a perspective create doubt or be a catalyst for bad decisions. Marriage is hard work and requires commitment. There is some violence and the storyline does require suspension of belief.

PBR Review: I loved this book. Of course, the plot was entertaining; Liane Moriarty knows how to develop complex characters, and she excels at generating real-life drama and dialog that seems like it belongs at your dinner table. She captu More


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Talking Points: The author gives life to a wide range of issues in this book; aging, single parenting, infidelity, bullying, domestic abuse and being judgmental to name a few. The book also contrasts the everyday face people wear for others and what goes on when no one is looking. Excellent Book Club choice.

PBR Review: We all need to bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust, individually as humans and collectively as a society. Reading, pondering and talking about these horrors ensures they will not happen again. This book, although fic More


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Talking Points: A son attempting to decalre his mother incompentant will hit some notes with book clubs. The connection to real life that this story has is also interesting and conversation worthy. The most conversation however will center around the events of Lens's past and her survival of the Nazi concentration camps as well as the choices she made to survive.

PBR Review: One thing is certain – pick up a Chris Bohjalian book and you are in for something original. This time, he brings his unique perspective and style to the condition of sleepwalking. And while the story revolves around a young woma More


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Talking Points: Like any disease, sleepwalking takes its toll on family. The author delves deep into the trauma and denial that happens when someone you love goes missing. After the disappearance of her mother, Lianna leaves school to care for her sister and father. The fairness of this and why her father allowed it will also be a good discussion topic; as will her relationship with the detective. And of course the topic of sleepwalking is well researched in this book and a fascinating topic.

PBR Review: Every so often you come across a book that grabs you, and you can’t stop reading. This is just such a book. Joe is a college student with a biography due for a college paper and he needs someone to write about; anyone will do, he More


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Talking Points: This book has many discussion worthy threads. Joes mother is an alcoholic with bi polar disorder, which makes for dysfunctional family relationships. Joe also carries a lot of guilt about his mother and his autistic brother. He struggles with what loyalty to family means and his role as both brother and son as he moves towards breaking the childhood shackles. Joe also learns to forgive himself.

PBR Review: Don't miss this one! THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, a debut novel by Paula Hawkins, is fascinating. This mystery has three different narrators with distinct and clear voices. The story revolves around secrets, alcohol, cheating and ly More


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Talking Points: This story is a psychological thriller and will get into your head. The flawed characters and the decisions they make will provide endless topics to discuss. Three different voices tell the story leaving plenty of room for interpretation.

PBR Review: “The Lock Artist” is one of the more original mysteries I’ve read recently. I quickly found myself totally immersed in Michael’s life. He may be a criminal, but he is very easy to sympathize with - which I believe is largely due More


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Talking Points: This is a mystery, but more than that it's an incredible story about a young man who survived a terrible tragedy as a child. It opens up discussion on the effects of trauma to a child and the redemptive quality of love. You won't be able to stop thinking about the original voice the author gives to the main character. This is a fun, entertaining read packed with suspense and originality.

PBR Review: This is an excellent mystery that hooks you right away and is hard to put down. The backdrop is a small town in Vermont and the story opens with an apparent murder/suicide. The premise of the husband first killing his wife then t More


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Talking Points: Bohjalian takes the reader right into the heads of his various characters and presents the topic in a way that questions the traditional lines of thought and opens the mind to new and different perspectives. He shows the human side of his characters by giving them depth and believable flaws and challenges you with a great mystery to solve.

PBR Review: This is one of those rare books that synchronizes characters, plot, and pacing to perfection. The story centers on Jody Linder, who at age three tragically loses both her parents in one night. One is murdered, the other goes mi More


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Talking Points: Family drama is nicely done in this story. The strong close knit family at the center of this book has many strengths but also a few weaknesses; the kind that come with power. Nancy Pickard plants many suspicions in your mind about the convicted murderer but additionally touches on morality issues and the justice system. Her beautiful descriptions and deep character development also serve to transport the reader to small town america.

PBR Review: This book is a wonderful blend of mystery, courtroom drama and historical fiction. It’s based on the true story of Dr. Harvey Burdell’s grisly murder in 1857. I enjoyed it immensely from start to finish. Horan takes a very cleve More


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Talking Points: The setting for this book is Manhattan in 1857. There's lots of detail about everyday life and also the legal system of this era. The book highlights the difficulties of being a widow and the limited choices available for women as well as some very interesting social and courting customs. There are threads covering the political corruption present and the slave trade. One particularly interesting point highlighted was the prominent role newspapers played in the legal process. Recommended for book clubs that enjoy mysteries, suspense novels,or historical fiction.
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