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Mystery Book Club - Past Titles: March 2023

Titles from the Mystery Book Club at the Islington Branch *No longer an active club*

"The Paradox Hotel" by Rob Hart

  1. Do you enjoy time travel as a trope in a book? If you do, when do you consider such a plot twist successfully executed?
  2. Do you actually care if the time travel consequences make sense?
  3. Every murder mystery begins with an act of murder. How was the murder in this book? Was it credible or creative? How about shocking or memorable?
  4. Great characters make great stories. Were the characters in this book engaging, fully developed, and emotionally complex? Who was your favorite character?
  5. The mystery-suspense genre has an expectation of being a “page-turner.” Was this book suspenseful? Did you become anxious as you read it—quickly turning pages to find out what happens next? At what point could you not put the book down?
  6. What does this book say about science and technology and their effects on today’s society or the future?
  7. Is the purpose of the book to be optimistic about the future or to serve as a warning?
  8. What did you think about the recurring color blue (uniforms, ceilings, floors, book cover, etc.)? Was it meant to represent something or just to be a calming effect as January is told?
  9. Which character(s) did you relate to the most? Why?
  10. What did you think about the repeating passages? Was there a reason January saw those future events instead of others? What did they represent?
  11. What genre would you classify this novel as?
  12. A good mystery is a challenge to the reader to solve the crime before the sleuth. Did you solve the mystery and identify the murderer before the big reveal in the end? 
  13. Did you enjoy the spin on the mystery genre or would you rather stick to classic mysteries?
  • The author of The Paradox Hotel, as well as The Warehouse, which sold in more than 20 languages and was optioned for film by Ron Howard

  • He is also the author of the Ash McKenna crime series, which wrapped in July 2018

  • Wrote the short story collection Take-Out, and co-wrote Scott Free with James Patterson

  • The former publisher for and the current class director at LitReactor. He has also worked as a political reporter and the communications director for a politician and was a commissioner for the city of New York

  • Currently working on his next solo novel, as well as Dark Space, a sci-fi novel he is co-writing with Alex Segura

  • Lives in Staten Island, N.Y.

  • "I had gone to this interactive theater experience in New York called Sleep No More which I’m a huge fan of. It’s structured as a play that you explore, following different actors and different scenes. It starts in a hotel and expands out: all of sudden you’re in a graveyard or a psych ward or a forest. And I thought, “Man! Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a hotel where you could go into a room and it was five minutes later or ten minutes ago?” I went home and opened a Google doc and wrote “time-travel hotel,” and then closed it. I do that whenever I have an idea – I’ll start a Google doc and rough something out: sometimes I come back to it, sometimes I don’t. This one kept sticking with me, especially because I love time-travel stories.” (Crime Reads)

  • Optioned for TV by Working Title (no release date available)

The Warehouse


Ash McKenna series

Short Stories

“Diffusion” — Dogmatika

“Second Chance” — Shotgun Honey

“Ginny Tonic” — NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir

“The Best Job in the World” — Crime Factory

“Happy Ending” — Thuglit

“The Gun With Two Triggers” — Kwik Krimes

“A Blow to the Head” — RELOADED: Both Barrels Vol. 2

“Pont des Arts” — Helix Literary Magazine

“How to Make the Perfect New York Bagel” — Thuglit

“Knock-Off” — NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir

“Foodies” — Shotgun Honey

“No Good Way Around” — All Due Respect

“Confessions of a Taco Truck Owner” — Thuglit

“Drone” — Thuglit

“513:47:22:11” — Joyland

“Making it Easy” — Shotgun Honey

“How the Game is Played” — Occupied Earth

“Pretty Princess” — Shotgun Honey

“Bad Beat” (w/Alex Segura) — Polis Books

“The Santa Con” — Cruel Yule

“Last Request” —Thuglit

“Creampuff” —Unloaded

“Bhut Jolokia” —Medium Short

“The Gift of the Wiseguy” —The Mysterious Bookshop

“The Gas Chamber” —Hard Sentences

“Like the 309” —Just to Watch Then Die

“Take-Out” —Mystery Tribune

“The Hug” —Killing Malmon

“Lake Paradox” —Mystery Tribune

“Bar Wall Panda” —Collectibles

“No Honor Amongst Thieves” —Lockdown

“The Other Foot” —Both Sides


We Need More Wonder Women – Daily Beast

On Overcoming a Deadly Case of Writer’s Block – LitHub

Eight Writing Lessons from Hamilton: The Revolution – LitHub

10 Authors with Tattoos Inspired by Their Own Books – Electric Literature

A Story and a Scar – Pediatric Congenital Heart Association

Yes, Road House is a Modern Day Western – Birth.Movies.Death

Four Decades of the Condor – Birth.Movies.Death

Self-publishing has become a cult – Salon

Book Bag: Five Great Books About New York City – Daily Beast

Sweet Potato Girl – Nailed

From Page to Screen with Death Wish: The Case of the Disappearing Conscience – Criminal Element

Grist for the Twitter Mill – Crimespree

Art Inspired by an Unknowable City – Bookpage

The End of Apocalypse – Powell’s

Five Things I Learned Writing New Yorked – terribleminds

Top 10 Words That Need To Die, Immediately – LitReactor

Republishing A Lost American Classic or Why I Love My Job – LitReactor

Tom Spanbauer: A Primer, and A Review Of His Latest Novel, ‘I Loved You More’ – LitReactor

Eleven Tips For A Successful Book Signing – LitReactor

10 Really Obnoxious Things Writers Do – LitReactor

Eight Tips For Increasing Your Writing Output, From A Very Busy Writer – LitReactor


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Islington Branch

273 Washington Street
Westwood, MA 02090
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