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Mystery Book Club - Past Titles: May 2023

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

"Pint of No Return" by Dana Mentink

  1. How is the book structured? Mentink didn’t use many narrative elements (flashbacks, multiple points of view, etc.). Did this detract from your enjoyment of the book? Why or why not?
  2. Talk about the author's use of language/writing style. Pick your favorite passage. How does this particular passage relate to the story as a whole? Does it reveal anything specific about any of the characters or illuminate certain aspects of the story?
  3. What did you think of the cutesy wording used in some passages? For example, “Kevin Heartly had popped his last batch of corn. Her scream exploded like an erupting kernel in his iron kettle” (pg. 26). Does this add to the cozy aspect of the mystery? Or take away from the overall tone of mystery?
  4. Discuss the mystery aspect of the plotline. How effective is the author's use of plot twists and red herrings? Were you able to predict certain things before they happened, or did the author keep you guessing until the end of the story? 
  5. How important is the setting to the story? Was it important that the story took place in Upper Sprocket? That we meet all of Gabe’s exes? Could this have been any random small town?
  6. What is the most essential part of a mystery or thriller: characterization, action, dialogue, or setting? How does this book rate in each of these areas?
  7. Is this book part of a series? What other types of mysteries could you see taking place in Upper Sprocket?
  8. Is the author equally invested in both character and plot? Or did the author put more effort into developing the story than in creating compelling and believable characters? Were the characters' motivations believable, or did their actions feel like a means to further the plot?
  9. Agatha Christie wrote in her autobiography about her dislike of mysteries having a romantic subplot. Do you agree or disagree with her views? Did this book have an element of romance? Do you feel the love aspect enhances or detracts from the story?
  10. Would you recommend this work to a non-mystery/thriller fan? Or would the work strictly appeal to fans of the mystery/thriller genre?
  11. Have you read anything else by this author? If so, did this book live up to or exceed your expectations of the author?
  12. What did you like or dislike about the book that hasn't been discussed already? Were you glad you read this book? Would you recommend it to a friend?
  • lives in California
  • the family includes two daughters
  • Papa Bear is retired from the fire department and he met Dana doing a dinner theater production of The Velveteen Rabbit
  • writes in two genres, cozy mystery, and romantic suspense
  • a USA TODAY, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon bestselling author as well as a two-time ACFW Carol Award winner, and a Holt Medallion recipient
  • Betrayal in the Badlands earned a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award
  • 2015 Heart of Excellence Finalist for Return to Pelican Inn
  • 2014 ACFW Carol Award Winner for Jungle Fire
  • 2013 ACFW Carol Award Winner for Lost Legacy
  • 2012 Award of Merit in the Holt Medallion Contest
  • Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest, inspirational fiction, 2008
  • Women on Writing Flash Fiction contest, 2007
  • Long and Short Reviews Best Romance of 2007 nomination
  • Get Your Stiletto in the Door Contest finalist, 2005
  • ACFW Book of the Year Finalist, 2009
  • 2010 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
  • 2019 Daphne du Maurier Award finalist
  • Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author

Shake Shop Mystery Series

Pint of No Return

A Sprinkle in Time

Spoon to be Dead

California Capers Series

Trouble Up Finny’s Nose

Fog Over Finny’s Nose

Treasure Under Finny’s Nose

Desert Desperate

Deadly Sands

Honey Creek Treasure Hunt

Rocky Mountain K-9 Series

Undercover Assignment

Desert Justice Series

Framed in Death Valley

Missing in the Desert

Death Valley Double Cross

Death Valley Hideout

Christmas Crime Cover-Up

Targeted in the Desert

True Blue K-9 Unit Series

Shield of Protection (ebook prequel)

Act of Valor

True Blue Brooklyn Series

Cold Case Pursuit

Roughwater Cowboys Series

Danger on the Ranch

Deadly Christmas Pretense

Cold Case Connection

Secrets Resurfaced

Gold Country Cowboy Series

Cowboy Christmas Guardian

Treacherous Trails

Cowboy Bodyguard

Lost Christmas Memories

Pacific Coast Investigations

Seaside Secrets

Dangerous Tidings


Dangerous Testimony

Stormswept Series

Shock Wave

Force of Nature

Flood Zone

Wings of Danger Series

Hazardous Homecoming

Secret Refuge

Race for the Gold

Treasure Seekers Series

Lost Legacy

Dangerous Melody

Final Resort

Harlequin Love-Inspired Suspense

Seek and Find

Escape from the Badlands

Buried Truth

Betrayal in the Badlands

Endless Night

Race to Rescue


Killer Cargo

Top Secret Target


Targeted in the Desert

Jungle Fire


Westwood Public Library

Main Library

660 High Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Main Library

Islington Branch

273 Washington Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Branch Library