The Devil or Cupid? Which One Will Win You Over?
January 26, 2011
Mystery Book Discussion
Antioch Branch, February 28 at 7:00. During February, we are reading:
The Chocolate Cupid Killings by JoAnna Carl. When Lee McKinney Woodyard finds that her own liqueur bottle was used as a murder weapon, there’s no sugarcoating it. Someone in Warner Pier is not so cordial as Lee would like. TenHuis Chocolate is wall-to-wall hearts – most of them chocolate – for Valentine’s Day, when each treat is meant for someone’s sweetheart. But, Lee is getting no love from private detective Derrick Valentine. He’s looking for one of their new employees – a woman Lee and her Aunt Nettie have been harboring for a secret underground railroad-type organization that aids abused women in escaping their tormentors. Luckily, they manage not to spill the cocoa beans and clue him in. But, the situation becomes a complex confection when Valentine meets his own end. And Aunt Nettie is holding the murder weapon. Nettie doesn’t fit the mold of a murderer, but how can she explain without alerting the authorities to their secret guest? Now, Lee will have to clear Nettie of suspicion without exposing the innocent – and find a killer with a bitter heart that’s definitely not made of chocolate.
Devil’s Garden by Ace Atkins. San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy star Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle is throwing a wild party in his suite at the St. Francis Hotel: girls, jazz, and a dead actress named Virginia Rappe. The D.A. says that it was Arbuckle who killed her, crushing her under his weight, and brings him up on manslaughter charges. William Randolph Hearsts’ newspapers stir up the public, and demand a guilty verdict. But, what really happened? Why do so many people at the party seem to have stories that conflict? Why is the prosecution hiding witnesses? Why are there body parts missing from the autopsied corpse? Why is Hearst so determined to see Fatty Arbuckle convicted? In desperation, Arbuckles’ defense team hires a Pinkerton agent to do an investigation of his own and, they hope, discover the truth. The agent’s name is Dashiell Hammett, and he’s the book’s narrator. What he discovers will change American legal history and his own life forever.
Come join us for a lively discussion. Refreshments are served.