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I’ve signed up for a course on mystery novels at Brandeis University’s BOLLI (Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute).  BOLLI is a nation-wide program offering dozens of courses during the year ranging from literature to politics to science to drama.  I have several friends who have been taking classes for years, and every report I heard was positive.  So now that I’m retired, I have the freedom to take some of the courses that are offered.

When I read the fall catalog I couldn’t believe my good luck.  On Thursdays, one of my “free” days, a course was being offered with the title “A Sense of Place:  Murder Mysteries ‘Round the World.” The course is ten weeks long, each week focusing on a different writer and country/city.  We’ll be reading Donna Leon (Death in a Strange Country, Venice), Agatha Christie (Murder in Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia), Batya Gur (The Saturday Morning Murder, Israel), Zoe Ferraris (Finding Nouf, Saudi Arabia), Georges Simenon (The Bar on the Seine, Paris), Tony Hillerman (Skinwalkers, Navajo Reservation), Louise Penny (Still Life, Quebec), Dana Stabenow (A Cold Day for Murder, Alaska), Boris Akunin (The Winter Queen, Russia), and Arnaldur Indridason (Jar City, Iceland).

The only writer in this group I haven’t read is Zoe Ferraris, but although I’ve read many books by the other authors I’ve only read four of the novels that we’ll be reading for the course.  So the majority of the books will be first-time reads, very exciting.

I’ll keep you informed as to how the class is going.  I’m really looking forward to it.


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