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becke_davis
Posts: 35,683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Welcome to the B&N Mystery Forum - Introduce Yourself!

[ Edited ]

Dateline: 2009

 

Once upon a time, there was an introduction "thread" (subject field), but it seems to have vanished. We've had a lot of recent visitors who are new to Mystery, so I thought this would be a good time to bring it back.

 

My name is Becke Davis. I started with Barnes & Noble eight years ago, back in the days of their online university. At that time I wrote and taught gardening classes. I used to moderate the (now defunct) Garden Book Club here, and I currently blog at B&N's Garden Variety.

 

But I've also been a mystery lover since I read a Weekly Reader book called The Secret of the Old Postbox at about age 8. Shortly after that, I discovered Nancy Drew. And when I was 15, Agatha Christie. By 18, I was a member of the Mystery Book Club and the Literary Guild (remember those?) and books were being delivered to my house all the time. I worked to support my reading habit, which by then included Mary Stewart, Dorothy Eden, Anya Seton, Evelyn Anthony, Velda Johnston and Victoria Holt. Also two mystery authors you don't see much now: Charlotte Armstrong and Doris Miles Disney.

 

No doubt about it, I was hooked.

 

I've only become more addicted to mystery as I've gotten older -- and I'm a LOT older now. I'm also a fan of romantic suspense and romance, and we've had an ongoing discussion about the delicate balance between mystery-with-romance and romantic suspense. You'll find a thread for that discussion if you'd like to join in.

 

 

 

 

I also blog about romantic suspense and contemporary romance over at Romance B(u)y the Book. 

 

I am a multi-published non-fiction author, but I'm still struggling as an unpublished fiction writer. I use the pen name Becke Martin, and many of you have friended me at MySpace and Facebook where I'm Becke Martin Davis. I also have a MySpace page under my real name, Becke Davis. You can follow my Barnes & Noble updates at Twitter: Becke_Davis and I also post my writing-related news at Becke_Martin.

 

My website is here (check for contests), and I have a personal blog and another blog where I post B&N news, too.

 

My original plan was to keep my fiction writing career separate from my garden writing and B&N career, but that's becoming harder and harder to do. Sometimes I'm not sure who I am -- Becke Martin or Becke Davis -- and that was never more evident than when I attended the Romance Writers convention in Washington, DC last month.

 

Anyway, I've moderated the Mystery Book Club a long time  -- it feels like home. This isn't quite a chat room, but it's not a traditional book club either. I think of it as a group of mystery-loving friends getting together at my house to sit back and relax and talk about books. And not just books -- mystery movies and TV shows, too.

 

 

 

Readers and authors are welcome here, but if you are a new author I would ask you not to overdo the self-promotion here. You can introduce yourself and post a link so people can order your book from B&N, and you can add a signature that promotes your book, but send me a personal message if you want to do more than that. (You can also go to the READ MY BOOK! thread in the community room and promote to your heart's desire.)  It's a courtesy to our participants, who have had some bad experiences with new author spams.

 

If you're new, you're probably still trying to figure out how this all works. You can read without registering, but you have to sign up in order to comment. We have a lot of people viewing without commenting, and that's okay, too. I've already mentioned that this isn't the place to hawk your book, although I often invite authors to come talk about their books, and we all enjoy that. This is also not the place to slang an author or diss a book you didn't like. Call me Pollyanna, but I don't like name-calling or book-bashing here. That's not to say you aren't allowed to disagree, or say you didn't like a book, but please be courteous about it.

 

This is a great place -- you'll have to use your imagination a bit, but when you come to the Mystery Book Club, you're stepping into the library of my English manor house. The books line the walls, and there are library ladders to help us reach the top shelves. The floors are paneled with the same dark woods as the highly polished floors, but the sounds are muffled by the old Aubusson rugs.

 

 

 

As in most English manor houses, not everything matches. There is a Persian rug in muted tones in front of the fireplace, which contains blazing logs at all times of day and night. There are a couple of wing chairs near the fire, and there's a window seat with cushions on it under the leaded glass windows that overlook the garden. Occasionally, you'll be startled by the shriek of peacocks strutting around the grounds. 

 

The room is huge, with big leather Chesterfield sofas dividing the space and keeping it from feeling cold or impersonal. This allows us to break into groups -- if you look over in one corner, you'll see Ryan reading through all of Agatha Christie's works. In another part of the room, Debbie is curled up in one of the big leather armchairs with her dog in her lap and a hot romantic suspense book braced on the arm of the chair.

 

Hank Phillippi Ryan is at the rolltop desk, writing busily at her computer. If you open the French doors and walk onto the balcony, you'll hear the echoes of blasts as Jeanne Adams blows things up behind the summerhouse. Next to the fireplace, Roberta Isleib is demonstrating sand trays to an interested reader, while a couple of cats wrestle each other under her chair.

 

Mary Kennedy is here when she's not at her practice, and Jim Colombo is here when he's not hitting golf balls or talking sports with Debbie. Suze, Tigger, Eadie, Dulcinea, Maxcat, Fricka, Pen21, Reading Patti, and so many others I'm bound to miss a few, keep things hopping. (If you enjoy the idea of imaginary places, you might like to join the fun at the First Look thread, where we're always off-topic -- there's always a party on Mimosa Island!)

 

I'm stretched out on a leather sofa, with a cup of milky tea and a couple Digestive biscuits next to me on the coffee table. An old black lab-mix dog is asleep on the floor next to me and there's a tiger cat on my lap. There are so many books scattered across the coffee table, there's hardly room for my tea. I just got off the phone with my kids and I'm settling back with my book.


I can hear soft footfalls as someone enters the room -- maybe it's you. Pick out a book, pull up a chair and join the group -- you're among friends here.

 

 

 

Message Edited by becke_davis on 08-09-2009 03:14 PM
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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Forum - Introduce Yourself!

[ Edited ]

I neglected to mention one of the coolest things about the house I described. It's magical -- a little bit like Platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross station in London.

 

If you go to the Agatha Christie bookcase and pull out a copy of PARTNERS IN CRIME, a secret panel will open and -- voila! -- you will find yourself in a Barnes & Noble bookstore (which is where we got those cookies and coffee and tea, not to mention the books).

 

But what if you're in the bookstore to begin with? How do you get to the Mystery book club? Well, that's easy -- just use the free WiFi and log on to BN.com! 

Frequent Contributor
ms_linda
Posts: 125
Registered: ‎10-02-2007

Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Sounds great Becke!

 

Now I'm on the patio in a lounge chair in a sundress, sunglasses and flip flops sipping a non fat iced coffee (I'm a California girl after all!) and reading a brand new Elizabeth George. Sounds heavenly!

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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Well, if you step out through those French doors and stroll down the steps into the garden, you might stumble across my friends at the Garden book club, too: http://tiny.cc/u1BVu 
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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

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Bonnie_C
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎08-07-2009

Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Hi Becke,

 

I am a newcomer to the site.  I noticed your inviting library and decided to pop in and say hello.  I also grew up enjoying mysteries.  I read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on.  Later it was Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt.  I am looking forward to many great suggestions from fellow mystery lovers.

 

Bonnie

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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!


Bonnie_C wrote:

Hi Becke,

 

I am a newcomer to the site.  I noticed your inviting library and decided to pop in and say hello.  I also grew up enjoying mysteries.  I read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on.  Later it was Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt.  I am looking forward to many great suggestions from fellow mystery lovers.

 

Bonnie


Hi Bonnie, and welcome! Since you like Victoria Holt, I'll pull up a chair for you near the stairs to the tower room. You sneak up there for some privacy, if it gets too rowdy in the main library -- or if you want a better view of whatever Jeanne Adams is blowing up, back behind the summerhouse!

 

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,839
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Hi my name is Debbie, I'm 55, work full time for a graphic design firm in St. Louis, MO, live about 20miles from there in a small farming town called Portage Des Sioux, MO, I serve on the board of directors of my local Library district, and I participate in many of the book clubs here at B&N.com including Romance, Paranormal, First Look, Sci-Fi, General Fiction and of course Mystery.  I enjoy reading all venues of fiction especially romantic/suspense, paranormal and mystery.

I've been around B&N.com since the University days myself and have found many good on-line friends here including Becke.

 

And finally I am a book addict  :smileyvery-happy:

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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Debbie - scroll down to my image of the Mystery Book Club. I gave you a spot in the room!
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dhaupt
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!


becke_davis wrote:
Debbie - scroll down to my image of the Mystery Book Club. I gave you a spot in the room!
Hey thanks Becke, I missed myself. 

 

Contributor
Ann_Gilla
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-12-2009

Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Hello to everyone in the Mystery Book Club! My pen name is Ann_Gilla, I am new to B & N, and so far i'm loving it.  I am a full-time college student and a waitress.  In my opinon reading is very satisfying, yet sadly I feel as though I don't read enough.  I am trying to be a more active reader.  I fit right in here with all of you as "mystery lovers".  I was planning on picking up a book today or tomorrow.  Does anyone has any suggestions on where I should start? Any favorites? I'm very excited, because I haven't read a good novel in about 9 months.  Thanks in advanced!

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Ann - welcome to the Mystery Book Club! I have a special fondness for waitresses -- my daughter worked as a waitress all through college, and when she couldn't find a job using her English degree, she just stayed at the restaurant where she was already employed. It's not exactly a hard life -- she works at Disney World -- but I know that is NOT an easy job.

 

Oh, I do love to introduce people to mysteries, but it's kind of like picking out clothes for someone you haven't met. Can you help us get this right by telling us some of the books you've enjoyed? With mysteries, do like books set in modern times and familiar places, or books set in the past and in more exotic locales? Do you prefer police procedural type books, or cozy detective stories? Funny or dark? Scary or puzzling?

 

Give us some direction and the recommendations will follow! 

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Ann_Gilla
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-12-2009

Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Wow, she was a waitress in Disney!  That is exciting, yes not easy, but very exciting. Being a waitress has its advantages and disadvantages.   I am happy that your going to help point me in the right direction.  I'm very eager to dig right into a new novel.  Im hoping my new novel will a deep one.  I need a novel thats so interesting that I can't put the book down and my boyfriend has to yell at me saying, "You don't pay any attention to me, all you do is read that book!"  Modern place and time would be best for me.   I seem to really enjoy detective fiction. At one point in my life I was really into Nancy Drew mystery stories. Now that I am reading more adult material I would say that it doesn't have to be be happy. Possibly looking for dark and scary.  I like who-don-it's and crime mysteries.  I hope that helps you, help me :smileyhappy:  Thanks Becke.

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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Hmm. Depending whether you like scary or puzzling, you might try one of these series:

 

Die for Me   Scream for Me   Kill for Me   In the Woods   The Likeness  

 

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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Hi Anne, and welcome to the club. I like detective fiction also so here are some of my favorites some are series and some are just related by characters.

Deborah Crombie writes the Jemma James and Duncan Kincaid series they are Scotland Yard detectives, these I would read them in order.

Catherine Coulter writes an FBI series that's good

Michael Connelley writes the Harry Bosch series

Stephen Cannell writes the Shane Scully series

John Sanford writes two detective series, one starring Lucas Davenport and one Walt Fletcher.

Irish Johansen writes the Eve Duncan series, but there is a wee bit of paranormal in there so if you don't like that don't bother.

Kay Hooper also writes a paranormal FBI series that's very good. 

Lisa Gardner writes some very scary FBI and detective stuff any of hers is great

I hope that was helpful 

 

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Ann_Gilla
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Thanks Becke! Thanks Debbie! you two are wonderful.  I am definitely going to look at all of these.  I feel as though choosing a book is harder than I thought.  Now that I have all these great recommendations I really don't know which one to pick.  I skimmed a book by James Paterson too that looked good.  I'm also looking into Dominick Dunne.  What do you think of him as an author?  I like that he writes about fiction, even though it's practically non-fiction. 
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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

My favorite Patterson book is one he co-authored: 

Honeymoon  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read this one some time ago, but haven't read a whole lot of his books. 

 

An Inconvenient Woman  

 

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dhaupt
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

Hi Ann, I'm not a big fan of Patterson's series but I like some of his stand a lones. Actually an author who co-writes with him is also one of my favorite authors in his own right and how could I forget he writes detective novels too.

His name is Andrew Gross and here are his books.

The Dark Tide  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Blue Zone  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't Look Twice  

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!

I have the Dark Tide but haven't read it yet. I'll get to it!
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dhaupt
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Re: Welcome to the Mystery Book Club - Introduce Yourself!


becke_davis wrote:
I have the Dark Tide but haven't read it yet. I'll get to it!
Knowing your tastes Becke I think you'll love it!! I was lucky enough to review it for Harper Collins before it was published back a few years ago.