Play Dead Discussion Journal

I opened the meeting a little early, discussing changes in libraries, e-books, and more. Meetings like our book club enable us to get out and socialize, exercise our brains, and are fairly well accepted as a traditional library function. But things change. We have movie showings and discussions, music performances, and pretty soon we will be offering a Brain Power Club and Painting Parties for Adults – activities geared to showcase the resources available at our library. Although I didn’t start this discussion, I was happy to have a chance to emphasize that libraries have changed and will probably keep changing – we hope for the better, but we appreciate and need input from our patrons.

We seemed to agree that Play Dead by David Rosenfelt was light-weight –  easy to read, PlayDeadCoverImagefunny, with an interesting, complex plot. This book is the sixth in a series and one member read books one through five first – in just the last month! She felt that Play Dead was the weakest she had read and that much of the character development came throughout the book series and couldn’t be appreciated in just one book. Another member recommended the audio book because the reader spoke with intonation that brought out the humor more fully. She also felt that the self-deprecating remarks and frivolity served to misdirect the reader and keep the mystery and plot development interesting. The title Play Dead should have been a dead give away to the solution, but most of us were still surprised.

We liked the details of lawyering, even though the author is not a former lawyer, and the idea of going to the shelter to look for clients made us laugh out loud. Could plastic surgery really make a beautiful woman unrecognizable? Who identified the dead body? What about Marcus? It’s really the type of book where you have to suspend your disbelief, or perhaps just go with the flow. We discussed the importance of a distracting, easy read, and even if we started to question some of the details, isn’t that part of the distraction? Nothing too gory, too bleak, or too crude.

Our discussion included mention of a lot of other books. We didn’t have any prepared questions for review. We bantered back and forth, talking about authors we liked and a lot of us seem to like mysteries, especially funny and non-violent ones.

  • Other works discussed:
  • Robert Parker’s Spenser series
  • Janet Evanovich
  • J.A. Jance
  • Spencer Quinn’s Dog Detective stories
  • Harlen Coben
  • Anthony Horowitz
  • Dashiell Hammett (Classic)
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Wilkie Collins
  • Mark Twain