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February 11, 2017

I’ve just celebrated my seventh anniversary of writing this blog.  The first About Marilyn post was written on February 1, 2010, and I’ve been averaging three or four a year in this section of Marilyn’s Mystery Reads.

Now, as the award winners do at the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and Tonys (I’ve left out the many other award-giving groups due to lack of space), I’d like to thank the people who’ve encouraged me through the years:  my son Rich, who told me the world needed a mystery review blog written by me; my husband Bob, who suggested that I write to the authors following the reviews of their novels to alert them to the post (I was sure none would respond to my emails; much to my surprise more than half do, with replies ranging from a single sentence of thanks to longer replies that let me know they’ve forwarded my blog link to their Facebook page), and to the rest of my family and friends who not only read my posts but let their families and friends know about it.

For a neat segue, since 2010 I’ve been a member of a program at Brandeis University (Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute).  It’s a group of people, mainly retired, who take courses in a wide variety of subjects.  Sometimes a course is given by a professional in that area; I’ve taken courses in Hispanic studies with a former college professor, courses in English literature by another college professor, and a course on the American musical by a musical director of community theater plays.

I’ve also taken courses given by knowledgeable amateurs who have a strong interest in the areas they’re teaching:  a lawyer who leads literature and film classes, a psychiatrist and a teacher who discuss short stories, and courses on two pivotal twentieth-century decades taught by a librarian and a physicist.

The students at BOLLI are as diverse as the SGLs (Study Group Leaders) who conduct the classes.  I’ve been in classes with musicians, engineers, teachers, college administrators, scientists–you get the idea.  Everyone at BOLLI is engaged and interested in whatever subject they’re teaching/learning.

Now for my big news.  I’ve been asked to lead a ten-week course on the mystery novel this fall at BOLLI.  The title of the course and the novels/authors are my choice, and I’ve decided to start with books featuring my part of the country.  I’m tentatively calling it Whodunits/New England Mysteries, and it will feature female and male detectives, official, private, and amateur.

So you probably won’t see me lounging around the pool this summer or water-skiing on a lake (although there was a very, very small chance of that happening anyway).  I’ll be sitting on my patio, reading mysteries and choosing the ones that I think will promote the best and most active discussions in my class.

Wish me luck.



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