This month, we're reading Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson, the interwoven stories of two men—Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication—whose lives intersect during the dynamism of those years when great shipping companies competed to build the biggest, fastest ocean liners; scientific advances dazzled the public with visions of a world transformed; and the rich outdid one another with ostentatious displays of wealth. Against this background, Marconi races against incredible odds and relentless skepticism to perfect his invention: the wireless, a prime catalyst for the emergence of the world we know today. Meanwhile, Crippen, “the kindest of men,” nearly commits the perfect murder.
WhoDunnits is a discussion group devoted to mysteries and following a yearlong program of books and movies around a single topic. We'll have featured titles some months, and do themes with title suggestions other months. We'll also hold occasional movie showings. This year we're taking a look at the Golden Age of Mysteries, the period between the wars that saw an explosion of cozy British country house murders, dark detection by damaged detectives, and noble amateurs whimsically solving crimes. This era produced mystery legends like Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett, Ngaio Marsh -- and even influenced writers working today.
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