Hello Gladys Mitchell and classic mystery fans! I am very happy to announce the next title selected for the MITCHELL MYSTERY READING GROUP: the Winter-into-Spring tale Dead Men's Morris, first published in 1936.

As with the previous reading group events, new and veteran Gladys Mitchell readers are welcome to provide their observations, general or specific, as we read through the chapters. This book is divided into three sections, so every 10 days I ask contributors to send their comments to me at jason@jasonhalf.com and I will curate and present a blog with everyone's thoughts included, loosely organized by topic.

Previous group readings have been very enjoyable, and you can view the archived discussions of Come Away, Death and The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop on my site. Please visit this link for more information on December's read:


Note that Dead Men's Morris is available on the Amazon Kindle in the U.S. and that reprints from Rue Morgue Press and Michael Joseph can still be found. This season, Vintage Press reprinted the book as Death Comes at Christmas, available for purchase now. Our first call for comments on Dead Men's Morris will be due December 8, covering Chapters 1 to 6 in the section entitled FIGURE 1: Fossder's Folly.

We hope you will be able to join us in the dance!

Statue of Aesculapius, Greek god of medicine

Hello mystery fans and friends of psycho-analyst sleuth Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley! We have just concluded a group reading of 1937's COME AWAY, DEATH, and you can see what April's travelers had to say about the title by visiting these post links:

Post 1 - Post 2 - Post 3 - Post 4

You can also find Reading Group post links on the book's bibliography page -- so far, THE MYSTERY OF A BUTCHER'S SHOP (1929) and COME AWAY, DEATH are represented. We will launch the next Reading Group event around November 2019, where a GM mystery first published in the 1940s will be chosen. I hope you'll join us; stay tuned!

My first MITCHELL MYSTERY READING GROUP event in November was a great success -- where we checked in weekly to discuss elements from farce to finance to fair play to flannel trousers in 1929's The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop -- and I'm happy to announce the next title for a group read: 1937's Come Away, Death. In this one, Mrs. Bradley takes part in a tour of Greece that turns deadly. It's one of my favorites, but I haven't read it in more than 15 years, so it's time to consult the Oracle of Delphi once again.

While my schedule already looks to be busy through August (*sigh*), it feels like APRIL will be the best month to host another reading event. Like last time, readers will be welcome to read along and send me comments and observations related to the chapter groups each week. (Send to jason@jasonhalf.com .) I will then organize all the remarks and feature them in blog posts. The dates would be:

MON. APRIL 1 - comments due for Chapters 1 to 5

MON. APRIL 8 - comments due for Chapters 6 to 10

MON. APRIL 15 - comments due for Chapters 11 to 15

MON. APRIL 22 - comments due for Chapters 16 to 20

As long as you focus the discussion on the chapters chosen for that week (and don't provide any major spoilers near the end), any topic is fair game! The variety of comments from the previous event was greatly enjoyable, as readers analyzed characters, setting, tone, plot, clues, clothing, references and themes. Come Away, Death should provide another opportunity for a lively discussion.

Last time, a few Americans opted out because The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop wasn't available in the U.S. as a Kindle title. It's very frustrating to say, but Come Away, Death is also one of only a handful of Gladys Mitchell mysteries not currently available as a Kindle eBook in the States. (I'm not deliberately making this difficult, I swear! It appears UK and Canadian Kindle users will have access to the title.) There are reprint softcover editions available through booksellers -- look for editions by Vintage UK (from 2011) and Rue Morgue Press US (2007). And if finances or bookstore challenges keep you from participating because of the eBook unavailability, write to me and I can try to help you locate a reading copy.

I hope you'll consider taking a tour of the Greek isles with Mrs. Bradley, Sir Rudri Hopkinson (he's a little odd, but Mrs. Bradley may be odder), and myself (no comment) in April!