The starting book in this month's chain is one that I read many years ago with an online book group. Seems like it was quite popular at the time - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
I remember really liking this book and also learning a lot about a way of life that I knew nothing about. A life in which women had few choices and many 'societal rules'.
Connecting to women, societal rules, few choices, I'm moving on to Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Another book I discussed with a book group. Setting her book in China, Lisa See tells a historical story of friendship and sorrow. The foot binding descriptions were heartbreaking.
Also set in China is Qiu Xiaolong's Death of a Red Heroine. This book is the first in an award-winning mystery series featuring Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police. I read and discussed this one with our mystery book group a few years ago. A lot of politics crowds the Inspector's investigation and it was quite an interesting story.
Another mystery set in China and a mystery book club selection was Eliot Pattison's The Skull Mantra. Inspector Shan Tao Yun has been imprisoned in Tibet for having offended some high ranking officials in Beijing. While there, he is called upon to investigate a murder. This book won the 2000 Edgar Award for 'Best First Novel'. It was well deserved.
Tana French won the 2008 Edgar Award for 'Best First Novel'. Her debut book was In the Woods and it's the lead-off book for her Dublin Murder Squad series. This is such a good book. I've read it more than once and enjoyed it each and every time. Telling the story of three children who get lost in the woods and then only one is found, it definitely deserved a 'Best First' award.
Another debut thriller, The Chalk Man also tells of a group of kids who live in a small English village. It's 1986 and all is well - and then it's not when they discover a body. This book by C. J. Tudor is told in two time periods - 1986 and 2016. The kids are grown, but the little chalk figures they used for secret messages have reappeared in their lives. A very bad thing.
Our last link is to a novella in Stephen King's book, Different Seasons. The Body is the story that the movie Stand By Me was based upon. Again, we have a group of young friends and the search for a body. This tale is being published for the first time as a stand-alone book this summer.
I again had a great time creating a chain of books. I never know where I might end up. We've started with a book about Geishas and ended with a coming-of-age novella about 12-year-old boys looking for a body. The connectors were 'Women, Societal Rules, Few Choices'; 'China'; 'Mystery Book Club Selections'; 'Edgar Award for Best First Novel'; 'Debut Thriller'; 'Group of Kids'; 'Search For a Body'. And I've actually read most of these books. Next month, May 5th, I'll be on a blog break, but I'll hope to be back for this event in June.