November 2023

Laura’s Picks:

The last devil to die by Richard Osman (2023)Last devil

The Thursday Murder Club is back to solve another mystery, this time concerning a mysterious box full of smuggled heroin and its whereabouts. As the body count rises, the geriatric group rallies to protect their friends. As always, their wry and witty company is a delight, but this adventure also includes a sensitive and moving portrayal of a loved one living with dementia.


The lady from Burma by Allison Montclair (2023)Lady from Burma Opens in new window

Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge, the proprietresses of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, receive an unusual task: finding a new wife for a man already married. His current wife is dying of cancer and she wants to be sure he is cared for when she is gone. When she is later found dead in an apparent suicide, Gwendolyn and Iris suspect murder instead. Complications ensue when Gwendolyn herself is suspected of murdering the conservator of her estate. Together, the two friends must solve two mysteries before anyone else gets hurt


John’s Picks:

Another Country by Rod Stewart (2015)Rod Stewart

The twenty-ninth studio album by Rod Stewart and one that sees him following the trend of his previously successful efforts.  This includes writing more personal lyrics and experimenting with different genres such as reggae and ska.  The lead single, “Love Is,” was a minor hit on the Adult Contemporary chart.  A bonus edition with five more tracks was also released concurrently.


The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)Budapest Hotel Opens in new window

A dramedy directed by Wes Anderson and featuring an ensemble cast including Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton.  Set in the fictional European country of Zubrowka, the film follows hotel concierge Monsieur Gustave H., played by Fiennes, as he and his protégé go on a quest for fortune and priceless art while being framed for murder.   Earnest and a bit absurd at times, this film is another notch in Anderson’s already impressive filmography.   

Black Mass (2015)Black Mass

A crime drama biography based on the life of American mobster Whitey Bulger and starring a nearly unrecognizable Johnny Depp in the title role.   Costarring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon and Dakota Johnson, the film is an unflinching look at the violent life that Bulger lived which ultimately led to his arrest.


Lauren’s Picks:

Hula by Jasmin Iolani Hakes (2023)Hula

This story, set in Hilo, Hawaii, follows three generations of women in the Naupaka family: Hulali, the matriarch responsible for the revival of hula; Laka, winner of the Miss Aloha Hula competition, and her daughter Hi'i, who wants to dance hula to feel a sense of belonging.  Hi'i does not look Hawaiian like the rest of her family, and there are some who doubt her heritage, believing she is the reason for the estrangement between her mother and grandmother. The novel’s familial conflict is strongly intertwined with the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement and the question of what it means to be Hawaiian.