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September has arrived, and that means the beginning of a new school year.  At BOLLI, the Brandeis University adult learning program where I teach classes on mystery novels, we begin the fall term on September 20th.  Classes will be virtual, but nevertheless it will be an opportunity to meet on Zoom with friends and classmates and share opinions on the novels we are reading.

Once again I invite you to read along with my class, which this semester will be discussing International Mysteries, Part II.  We will be visiting various countries vicariously, as most of us were unable to travel in person over the past year and a half (and counting).  Here is the list of the books we’ll be reading and the countries we’ll be touring:

DEATH IN A STRANGE COUNTRY (Italy) by Donna Leon; THE MIST (Iceland) by Ragnar Jónasson; AMONG THE RUINS (Iran and Canada) by Ausma Zehanat Khan; SMOKESCREEN (South Africa) by Dick Francis; BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE (France) by Martin Walker; LITTLE BLACK LIES (Falkland Islands) by Sharon Bolton; THE SATURDAY MORNING MURDER (Israel) by Batya Gur; THE KIND WORTH KILLING (the United States) by Peter Swanson.  The last book brings us home, and I chose it because I imagine we’ll probably be tired after all our international journeys and will welcome a return to a more familiar landscape.


“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” people ate inside restaurants, went to movies, plays, and concerts sitting next to strangers, and attended classes and lectures in person.  Oh wait, that was only a year and a half ago.  My wish for us all is that soon we may be able to visit countries that now we can only read about, and upon returning we will be filled with the wonders of international travel but happy to be home again.  Until then, join us for International Murders, Part II.





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