Welcome to your first meeting of Blythe’s Book Group. Every month a group of hardy Martha’s Vineyard year round residents get together to discuss a book. You are invited to join them.
April’s book choice was an easy one: Blythe chose one of her favorite authors, L. L. Bartlett (yes, one of the Storytellers!). She chose Murder on the Mind, the first book of the Jeff Resnick mystery series. Here’s why, in her own words:
I was intrigued by the idea of a detective who is aided by a sudden psychic ability. As I hoped, Jeff’s sudden flashes of real crimes (brought on by a serious head injury) doesn’t always make the crime solving easier. In fact, it makes his detective work more challenging. Best of all, his relationships begin to change as he needs to balance his desire for justice with a very understandable wish not to be labeled crazy by his friends and family.
Have you read Murder on the Mind yet? If so, proceed scrolling for some very real comments by the members of the BBG.
There may be spoilers, otherwise!
Blythe (proprietress of Blythe Cove Manor): Well, I chose this book, so obviously I connected with the psychic element. I know that there is no proof of psychic phenomena, according to scientists, but science doesn’t know everything…yet. They may discover something that allows for people to see into the future. I like to think that something would be quantum particles, or something equally cool. Psychic elements aside, there is a wonderful, elemental struggle in Jeff. He doesn’t want to believe what’s happening to him, never mind tell other people in his life. Just think how hard that must be. Remember when Dillie Bean told us she hated the smell of low tide? Some folks didn’t speak to her for months. Acted like she’d lost her mind.
Helen (director of the local library): I admit, I ordered a copy for our library. My patrons do love a tightly written murder mystery. I am relieved that the author did not let Jeff’s psychic visions do all the heavy detective work. In some ways, the visions actually made his job harder. And I have to agree with Blythe about the elemental human struggle to be who we are without losing a part of ourselves in the process.
Mudge (excursion boat owner/operator): Last year I proclaimed I’d never get used to reading on my phone. Well, I have. Darned useful on the boat. I can take a library with me. I was suspicious of the book, I admit it. I like my murder mystery less cozy and more official, as you all know. But Jeff worked for me. I don’t know about the elemental struggle that Aggie and Blythe talk about, but I like the way he keeps going and doesn’t let anything stop him from solving the crimes that flash into his mind.
Aggie (owner, Sandpiper Restaurant): I read it when the Sandpiper had down time. Do you know, I actually had a customer ask me for a drink three times before I heard them, I got so caught up in the story. This is really fast-paced. On the good side, the customer wanted to know what I was reading, so I recommended the book to her, too. I loved the tv show Medium, so Jeff’s psychic ability was easy for me to believe and I guessed the culprit before he did!
Fred (island taxi driver): I did not guess the culprit. It was a good surprise. I went back over the clues and I’m not sure how I missed it. Guessing who done it is one of my specialities.