Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Book Review Club (September 2011)

Labor Day is firmly behind us. Children are back at school. It's time to find out what everyone's up to reading-wise. Because I have the happy job of collecting the links, I'm the first to notice any little trends. Something must be in the air this month because we're reviewing mostly adult fiction books. Under my review, you'll find the links to several marvelous reviews. I always look forward to our reviews, but this month looks especially interesting!

THE SUSPECT by L.R. Wright

L.R. Wright (stands for Loreli Rose, but everyone called her Bunny) is one of my favorite mystery authors. Apparently, a lot of people feel this way; Chatelaine magazine nicknamed her Canada's Queen of Mystery. LR Wright was born in 1939 in Saskatchewan. In her early 20s, she performed with a Canadian touring company, where she met and married a fellow actor, John Wright. They divorced after 33 years, then remarried five years later. L.R. Wright was a journalist in Calgary for several years. She traveled and taught lots of writing classes. I wish I'd taken one. Sadly, she died of breast cancer in 2001.

THE SUSPECT, L.R. Wright's 4th novel, was published in 1985. It is the first mystery in the Karl Alberg series. The series has 9 books! Staff Sergeant Alberg (of the RCMP) lives in the sleepy town of Sechelt on the quiet coast of British Columbia. He falls in love with the town librarian, a woman he met through the newspaper personal ads. Karl is a great detective--persistent, zealous, intelligent, observant,curious, likeable. He also has this bewildered air about him. For example, he's still puzzling out how he ended up divorced and struggles with his long-distance relationship with his two teenage daughters.

THE SUSPECT is more of a "Why'd He Do It?", than a "Who Dunnit?" You know the identity of the murderer very early on (as in by pg. 2). In fact, the book opens with the murder. Then, over the course of the story, you watch Alberg figure out who the murderer is and why he committed the crime. The author doles out back story in perfect amounts, and this keeps the mystery interesting and fresh.

THE SUSPECT, in fact all of Wright's books that I've read, relies on amazing characterization. Even the setting is pretty much a character. This book won an Edgar. It may be have been the only Canadian mystery ever to win an Edgar. THE SUSPSECT was slated to become a movie starring Donald Sutherland, but I learned recently that this project has been dropped. Hopefully, not forever.

Great book. Great author. If you've never read anything by L.R. Wright, give her a whirl. You'll probably become a fan. Click here for her official website.

And, now, here are the links to reviews of all manner of fascinating books!


Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore


Staci of Life in the Thumb: SO NEAR by Liza Gyllenhaal (Literary)

Kaye of the Road Goes Ever Ever On: PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger (literary)

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: MISERY LOVES CABERNET by Kim Gruenenfelder (women's fiction)

Linda McLaughlin: THE COFFEE TRADER by David Liss (historical)

Sarah Laurence: TIGERLILY'S ORCHIDS by Ruth Rendell (mystery)

Scott Parker: THE GENTLEMEN'S HOUR by Don Winslow (crime)

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: WICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich (comic/supernatural thriller)

Stacy Nyikos: THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova (thriller)

Beth Yarnall: CHARMED AND DANGEROUS by Toni McGee Causey (comic romantic suspense)


Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: LAST ACTS OF KINDNESS by Judith Redwing Keysar (health)

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


  1. I've read other books by L.R. Wright - this one is now on my list.
    Great review.

  2. I like the sound of a detective with a librarian love interest. Interesting choice to reveal the murderer on page 2. A recent scientific study found that readers had as much if not more enjoyment from a mystery story if they were told the ending first. Character and writing mattered more than plot. I agree about that, but I still like to work out a mystery myself. My review of another “whydunit” mystery is up now. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Louise Penny got me addicted to Canadians. I'll remember LR Wright. Thanks for the review!

  4. Oooo, this sounds interesting. Love the idea of "why he did it." I'm in the middle of reading 2 mysteries and a WF, so I hope to have something to report for next month's meeting...

  5. Beth, i think you'll like this book. And because it's the first in the series, it's a good intro to the recurring characters.

  6. Sounds like a good mystery, Barrie. British Columbia is such a beautiful place.

  7. The author sound very familar,my mom may have read something by her.I know she loves mystery books,I'll have to tell her about these.(:

  8. OK, I finally did it....I FORGOT THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB!!! Well, actually, I went all day thinking today was Tuesday. Not sure which is more embarrassing.

    Sorry everybody...I'll post it first thing tomorrow, just to say I did, and will look forward to reading all your great reviews then, too!

  9. I haven't heard of her, but this sounds intriguing.

    Sorry I couldn't participate this month, but I'm looking forward to reading the reviews.

  10. This list of books is awesome, especially now that I am "allowed" the read adult fiction again!

  11. Thanks, Barrie.
    Always like to find a 'new' mystery series. I love strong characters.

  12. So many great books, Barrie! And hola! :)

  13. Green Girl: Have you read anything by Mary Lawson? (I liked Louise Penny too)

    Sarah: I read your review the other day. Very interesting! Good luck with your own mystery writing!!

    Kathy: looking forward to seeing what you choose to review out of those books. ;)

  14. Linda: Can you believe I've never been to BC?

    AbaGayle: I wonder if your mother has read of LR Wright's mysteries. Thanks for dropping by. Always good to see you!

    Ellen: Oh, what's a day between friends? :)

    Stacy: No worries. And thanks for visiting the reviewers!

    Stacy N: Welcome back to the real world!!

    Jenn: I really think you'll LR Wright's writing. And thanks for reviewing, too!

    David: Hola back at you! I need to email you about Ripleys.

  15. What a fun idea! I'm always looking for new books, even if I should probably concentrate on the ones I already have. I'm off to read these other reviews. :-)

  16. im only halfway through this book but i just can't stop reading.

  17. I have not yet read 'The Suspect' but will now add it to my reading wish list. I love mystery, but especially a character-driven one. I like the idea of strong setting - and a BC setting can only be strong -it's that in-your-face kind of place.

  18. Carolyn: my personal theory is you can never have too many books in your TBR pile :)

    Maine: That's great to hear!

    Gabe: Have you read anything by Mary Lawson. Her mysteries are set in Northern Ontario? Fantastic reads! I might do one of her books for my next review. Although one of my sisters has written a review for october for us. :0


Comments are always welcome!