I am very happy to announce the next Mitchell Mystery Reading Group event: anyone interested should join us for a joint reading in September of the 1942 Mrs. Bradley book Laurels Are Poison. This story of mayhem and murder at Cartaret Women's College received the most mentions when I conducted an informal poll of 1940s titles way back in March, edging out other suggestions Death and the Maiden (1947) and The Rising of the Moon (1945). Laurels also introduces the "three Musketeers" who will make future appearances in the series, the trio of friends featuring Alice Boorman, Kitty Trevelyan, and Laura Menzies, with the latter stepping up to become Mrs. Bradley's trusted factotum through the many mystery stories recorded after this one.

As with the previous reading group titles, I would like to frame the conversation by encouraging a discussion on a set of chapters each week. Readers and contributors can certainly read through the novel earlier than scheduled, but the chapter division allows us to have a more focused exchange of ideas and observations. Those who want to offer comments only need to email them to me, and I will do my best to organize and incorporate everyone's thoughts in weekly blog updates. And if you want to read but not take part in the public forum, that is also fine.

The link below will provide details about the weekly dates for chapters and discussion. I hope you are able to join us in the group reading!


My next Gladys Mitchell group reading event is planned for July 2020, and this time I am asking readers to tell me which Mrs. Bradley mystery first published in the 1940s they would like to read and discuss! I welcome recommendations, so please send your vote to jason@jasonhalf.com .

If you want to suggest more than one title, just let me know your rank of interest, as in first, second, third. I hope to announce results of the voting in April. Let me know what you think!

Brazen Tongue – 1940 Hangman's Curfew – 1941 When Last I Died – 1941 Laurels Are Poison – 1942 The Worsted Viper – 1943 Sunset over Soho – 1943 My Father Sleeps – 1944 The Rising of the Moon – 1945 Here Comes a Chopper – 1946 Death and the Maiden – 1947 The Dancing Druids – 1948 Tom Brown's Body – 1949

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!

© 2020 by Jason Half