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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Six Degrees of Separation - From No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency to Into the Black Nowhere

I going to try doing Six Degrees of Separation, a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. She chooses a book as a starting point and then links to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.  I have seen other bloggers participate in this monthly event and when I read Margaret's post today (BooksPlease), I decided now is the time to begin, though this will go live a little late in the day.

The starting point of the chain this month is Alexander McCall Smith’s No.1 Ladies Detective Agency.  I haven't read this one (can't believe that, actually), but I have watched the TV adaptation.  So, here we go - and don't be surprised if my chains are mostly mystery/thriller/suspense related.  Ha!



This is the first book in the series featuring Precious Ramotswe and her assistant, Grace Makutsi.  Set in Botswana, this is a long-running series (18 books?), that is filled with humor and charm.  I need to read or listen to this one - maybe listen - bet the narrator would be great.


 
From Botswana, we move to Ghana in the northern part of Africa.  My next link is Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey.  This is the first book in this author's Detective Inspector Darko Dawson series.  I read and discussed it with the mystery group several years ago.  There are now 5 books in this interesting and unusual series.
 


Since Darko Dawson is a Detective Inspector, I decided to feature another person with this job title and settled on the first Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope mystery, The Crow Trap, ably written by the lovely Ann Cleeves.  I love Ann Cleeves' writing and also her passion for helping libraries when she can.  Vera is quite a character - a woman of a 'certain age' and not terribly warm and fuzzy, but canny.  I really liked this book when I read it last year.  I look forward to meeting Ann again when I attend the Malice Domestic Mystery Conference at the end of April and am excited that Brenda Blethyn (who plays Vera on the TV adaptations) will also be attending.



The Crow Trap has an environmental issue in the story and so that's my link to the next book, The Poacher's Son - the first Mike Bowditch mystery.  Mike is a Game Warden in the wilds of Maine and this series is created by Paul Doiron.  I have not read this book, as yet, but my husband has enjoyed it.  Love the setting of Maine and I look forward to starting this series at some point.



Maine is the tie-in for the next in the chain, Murder on the Rocks, also set in that state.  This is the first Gray Whale Inn mystery, penned by Karen MacInerney.  I have loved this series, but am a bit behind on it - 6 books so far.  It's sort of a cozy mystery and includes some tasty recipes.


 
Karen MacInerney has set her Gray Whale Inn series in Maine, but she herself resides here in my area of Central Texas - Austin.  Meg Gardiner, author of many thriller books, also resides in Austin.  Unsub is the first of her Caitlin Hendrix series, set in San Francisco, and inspired by the Zodiac Killer.  I'm really looking forward to reading this one soon.


 
And our last link is one that I hope is not a cheat.  Meg Gardiner's second book in the Unsub series is coming out on January 30th.  It is Into the Black Nowhere and is inspired by serial killer, Ted Bundy, and his crimes.  Again, I need to read Unsub, so I can go on to this one.

We come to the end of my first chain - Botswana to Ghana to Detective Inspector to Environment to Maine to Austin authors to 2nd book in a new series.  Wow.  This was fun and a bit hard.  I'll look forward to doing it again next month (February 3rd), when our starting place is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.   

49 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness... Brenda Blethyn will be at the MDM conference? How wonderful! Going to go and look up The Poacher's Son. You said the magic word, 'Maine'. LOL

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    1. Yes, she will be there. She's getting a special award. And I hope you try THE POACHER'S SON. My husband liked it.

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    2. Got it on reserve at the library!

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  2. Really??? You haven't read The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency? The audio version is really wonderful. I've listened to several of them, but have yet to watch the series. This is such a fun meme... keep meaning to give it a try.

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    1. I have not read it - I know, crazy, right? Since you recommend the audio, I'll probably try that. This was a fun meme to put together, though I did it pretty quickly. Whew!

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  3. Well done - so glad you've finally joined in! You're at least the second person in a matter of days who has mentioned Ann Cleeves, although different books. Is the Vera character the same as the television series of the same name? If so, I really think I need to check out the books!

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    1. Yes, Vera is the character that is the protagonist of the TV adaptation and also Ann Cleeves' books. She's interesting for sure. And Ann is very gracious and lovely.

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  4. You've suggested some crime reads that I'm not familiar with, set in promising locations (Maine, Ghana). Will have to investigate further.

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    1. Glad you stopped by! Yes, if it's crime reads you like, I'm a good stop on any blogging tour. Crime (or mystery) is my go-to genre for reading.

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  5. Isn't this a fun meme?! I must say that I'm surprised you haven't read the wonderful and gentle No. 1 Ladies' Detective series. I was quite taken with it, though friends haven't liked it as well as I did.

    In any case, I'm happy to see you back blogging again.

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    1. Thanks, Deb! Yes, I don't remember why I didn't read it when it first came out. I certainly suggested it to a lot of people at the library. In any case, I've used an Audible credit for it now and so will be listening to it at some point before long.

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  6. Fun! I've read the first and second (I think) books in the Gray Whale Inn series, but I never continued with the series. Not sure why since I enjoyed the first books. Got distracted by something newer and shinier, no doubt!

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    1. Isn't that always the way? Distraction to the 'new' things. Sigh.

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  7. Although I have read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency all the rest of your links are unknown to me - some of which I now need to investigate.

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    1. There might be a couple that you'd enjoy. Darko Dawson's series is very interesting. And I love Ann Cleeves. Could you tell? LOL

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    1. It was fun to figure out. Like a puzzle.

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  9. This is so cool! I need to join in next month. You did great taking us from Botswana all the way back to Austin. And, by the way, I didn't realize Meg Gardiner was in Austin! Hope you get a chance to read or listen to The No. 1 Ladies book. That is such a fun series. I may be up to book 14 or so. I've fallen a bit behind over the last few years but those books are just so charming.

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    1. You do need to join in. I listed the starting point and you can just take it wherever you like. Yes, Meg Gardiner did an event at the Georgetown Library. I wasn't able to go, but they pretty much have local-ish authors come or their Friends group does. Think that Jeff Abbott will be with them at the end of this month.

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  10. That was really fun to read! I have a bunch of these authors on my TBR list to read as well! Meg Gardiner's series is really on my radar thanks to that new book coming out soon! I will be looking forward to your thoughts as it sounds like you will be reading it as well :) Great post!

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    1. I am planning on getting to it. Best plans - we'll see. LOL

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  11. This is a great chain. Apart from the first book I haven't read any of the others on your list, but as I enjoy mysteries maybe I should try some of them.

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    1. If you like mysteries, stick around. I don't only read mysteries/crime novels, but I do read a lot of them.

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  12. I would like to try doing this some time, but so far it has seemed too time-consuming. Maybe next month.

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    1. Maybe if you just make a few notes along and then work on it a little at a time. It was a lot of fun.

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  13. I have seen this meme around and it's always fun to see what connections are made. I have read the first two books, but not the others. They do sound good though!

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    1. Well, I've only read 3 of the 7. The other 4 are on my list, of course. It was fun to come up with.

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  14. I've read the first of the Alexander McCall Smith series, and always meant to get to them again, but of course, there are just too many books that I can't get to them all. And I do like the Paul Doiron series - which I am also a few books behind in.

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    1. I know. I always have such good intentions to catch up on all the series I'm reading and start new ones. Not sure that will ever happen.

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  15. Welcome to #6Degrees Kay!

    I like your use of series - it's funny because I didn't even think of that as a basis for links!

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    1. I guess pretty much anything is fair game for linking - right? Since I wanted to read both the 1st and 2nd book in the series, it was on my mind. Thanks for doing this meme!

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  16. You'd know it was your first time? Very interesting, varied links. Great job!

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! It was fun to think up the links and books that went with them.

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  17. This was a lot of fun to read; I look forward to your next Six Degrees!

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    1. I've already started planning for the next one. LOL

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  18. The Six Degrees of Separation sounds like a really fun meme. Enjoy!

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    1. It was fun to think of the links and books to correspond.

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  19. Like you, I haven't read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, but loved the tv show. The books have been on my tbr list for years so maybe I should start them.

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    1. I picked up the audio with a credit I needed to use. Will do the first book that way.

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  20. Great Links and I'm so glad you're doing this too, Kay - and thanks for the mention. And lucky you meeting both Ann Cleeves and Brenda Blethyn - a new series of Vera started last night on TV, really good.

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    1. I hope to get to do so. Have already met Ann, but Brenda is receiving an award at the conference and is supposed to attend.

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  21. So much fun! As for the Mma Ramotswe books - they are the heart of my reading life. I love them beyond words.

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    1. I knew that and hope to listen to the first one soon.

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  22. This sounds like a fun project. I like how you linked each book together. My favorite book among your list would be the Vera/Ann Cleeves book. I love the Vera character, especially the TV version. Good luck with all your books.

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    1. It was fun! Thanks, Margot! Was not so hard once you got started.

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  23. What a fun meme! I haven't read the Mma Ramotswe books either. I had a bunch of them on my shelves at one time, but couldn't get interested. Maybe I'll try the audio of the first, too.

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    1. It is a fun meme. You should try it next month or sometime. Part of the fun for me was thinking of the connections.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!