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In this About Marilyn column I am celebrating two events.

The first is that this month begins my eleventh year writing Marilyn’s Mystery Reads.  In that time I’ve blogged about hundreds of books plus my favorite authors and my thoughts about all things mysterious.

In addition to the fun of having a personal space to air my thoughts, I’ve discovered numerous new authors and have revisited old favorites.  My only problem is that there are so many books being published that I can’t read them all.  I’m really trying, though.

Second is my upcoming course at BOLLI (Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Program).  I’ve been taking classes there for as long as I’ve been writing my blog, in a variety of subjects–literature, music, sociology, and art to name a few areas.

Then, nearly four years ago I was asked to teach a course on mystery novels because two BOLLI members had been reading this blog and thought I knew the subject well (“My blushes,” as Holmes said to Watson).  In March I’ll begin my eighth course, WHODUNIT?:  INTERNATIONAL MYSTERIES, PART I.

Given that there are enough mysteries set across the globe for me to teach PARTS II through X, I had a difficult time deciding which countries to showcase first.  I chose a mix of countries, a number of which many of the students in my class have probably visited as well as countries less familiar to us.  I also decided to showcase authors who are very well known as well as newcomers to the field.

So here is the list of books we’ll be reading beginning in March, with the countries given in alphabetical order:  THE DRY by Jane Harper (Australia), STILL LIFE by Louise Penny (Canada), AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie (England), BEHIND GOD’S BACK by Harri Nykänen (Finland), SMOKE AND ASHES by Abir Mukherjee (India), NEWCOMER (Japan) by Keigo Higashino, ROSTNIKOV’S VACATION by Stuart M. Kaminsky (Russia), and FINDING NOUF by Zoe Ferrais (Saudi Arabia).

Please join us on our round-the-world journey, won’t you?


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