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The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club (edition 2012)

by Duncan Whitehead

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5020232,256 (3.56)12
Member:debavp
Title:The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club
Authors:Duncan Whitehead
Info:Dog Ear Publishing (2012), Paperback, 196 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction, ARC, ER, Read

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The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead

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I will take this afternoon read, Southern Noir style with a twist. The members of the Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club meets in the park every afternoon to let their dogs romp, drink an afternoon cocktail, and most importantly gossip about the neighbors. It seems like a typical southern style community with the young and the old alike living their normal lives, but behind closed doors each has their own dirty little secrets. The question is: who gets theirs aired first? This is a fast-paced novel that will keep you guessing right up to the very last page. I would recommend it to anyone who likes revenge, mystery, and whodunnit novels. ( )
  sallyawolf | Feb 6, 2014 |
I will take this afternoon read, Southern Noir style with a twist. The members of the Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club meets in the park every afternoon to let their dogs romp, drink an afternoon cocktail, and most importantly gossip about the neighbors. It seems like a typical southern style community with the young and the old alike living their normal lives, but behind closed doors each has their own dirty little secrets. The question is: who gets theirs aired first? This is a fast-paced novel that will keep you guessing right up to the very last page. I would recommend it to anyone who likes revenge, mystery, and whodunnit novels. ( )
  sallyawolf | Feb 6, 2014 |
The story centres round a square where the well to do residents, mostly single and widowed, exercise their dogs. From this vantage point they watch the comings and goings of their neighbours.

For me Cindy and Carla seem interchangeable as characters. Heidi is the most interesting, but her family background strains credibility for me. This begs the question, what is the dividing line between fiction and fantasy? Fiction by it's nature is not real, but can we blur the boundaries and alter history in order to make a fictional point? Forrest Gump turned up at many of the seminal moments in American history, but the chances of one person being present at all those moments is highly unlikely. Yet it is probably one of the most loved films of all time.

From a political standpoint I would have liked to see Heidi's views exposed and developed sooner in the book. To see how her politics conflicted with other people and the American way of life. Would her right wing views be treated with more tolerance than left wing, socialist views?

Elliott, as a young man, encountering a stranger in a restaurant is perfectly possible. The man telling him stories that he would later pass off as his own is plagiarism, but perfectly possible, if ethically objectionable. Who that man was is a bit of a problem, as historically he would have been dead long ago. Again this begs the question, how far can we stretch history?

Doug and Veronica are a married couple with a little girl. She works and he is unemployed. He represents the psychological struggle and guilt which men face, when due to circumstances, they are out of work. For an older generation there is something culturally objectionable to a wife going out to work and leaving her husband to look after the baby.

Kelly and Tom as the perfect young couple are interesting, due to their lack of intellectual depth. They represent the cultural obsession with beauty over substance. As well as the gullibility of some people, to believe they can create and sustain a credible fictional persona. In that sense the reader will undoubtedly feel sorry for Kelly and her need to create such a delusion, even if they believe, as a couple, they are the authors of their own destruction.

The writer talks about the violence of everyday life and the conclusion of the book reflects this. However I find the characters motives for revenge and violent retribution disturbing. Would anyone pay such a large amount of money to have someone killed? I guess that depends how much money you have to spend and the value you put on a human life.

This is obviously an intellectual writer who likes to weave controversy into his work in order to promote debate, Although this novel may raise more questions than it answers, it is nevertheless an entertaining read. ( )
  TraceyMadeley | Oct 28, 2013 |
In a small, upper middle class, Savannah, Georgia neighborhood lies bitchery, trickery, and enough drama to run a season of reality television. Behind this drama are four, older women, who pride themselves with poking their noses into everyone's lives, scheming behind each others back, and a nice cocktail at the park every afternoon at four, while the dogs frolic around. That is until the demise of poor Thelma, wife of Elliot, Mayoral candidate. Upon her death, her supposed two best friends unleash their cat claws to sink them into poor grieving Elliot, even before Thelma’s body has hit the dirt.

For full review, please visit my website http://ow.ly/ktxdD ( )
  crayolakym | Apr 26, 2013 |
When Thelma Miller dies, everything changes in the leafy Savannah neighborhood of Gordonston. Her three closest friends and fellow members of her afternoon cocktail club (aka Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club) gather to mourn the death and lament the life of their neighbor but already the dynamics of their once close relationship have changed. Gordonston is a typical gated community, where all is amity and tranquillity, and the only thing that mars this idyllic existence is the ONE person who does not ‘scoop the poop’ after walking his dog. Thelma’s death unleashes a relentless juggernaut of revenge that crashes into these once-peaceful lives. Old sins cast long shadows and ancient histories are revealed in an intertwined web of deception. A killer lurks in the wings and is anyone really who they seem to be?

Hearts beat faster, passions surge, and dark secrets spill over and threaten to destroy the harmony. Age is no barrier to desire—when the chips are down, the resident widows will do anything to secure the affections of the newly widowed Elliot Miller who has political prospects. Added to this overriding theme are the various ambitions of a motley assortment of characters. From the mysterious European gentleman in South America, the young Italian count in Paris and a charitable and kind hearted nephew recently arrived from India, to the lovely Kelly (who could even be a model) and her handsome firefighter husband, to the Englishman (who seems suspicious) and his young daughter, and finally a mysterious killer with links to organized crime. Who is destined for an early-unmarked grave in the wooded park that centers the tree-lined avenues of Gordonston?

This is an absolutely hilarious cosy murder mystery with a kick. A chilling beginning develops into a full-blown saga of intrigue, deceit, and vengeance as petty rivalries escalate and various players set wheels in motion to accomplish their ambitions. With an unerring eye, author Duncan Whitehead homes in on the tiny details that make each character unique. His darkly comic style is reminiscent of Alexander McCall Smith’s writing, with a dry, tongue-in-cheek touch. Seemingly unrelated people and events are drawn into a deadly entanglement that keeps the reader glued to the pages until the dénouement that surprises. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from this author. Recommended.
First reviewed for Readers Favorite ( )
  FionaRobynIngram | Apr 16, 2013 |
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Book description
Something is not quite right in the leafy Savannah neighborhood of Gordonston. 

As the friends and fellow members of her afternoon cocktail club gather to mourn the death and lament the life of their neighbor, Thelma Miller, not all is what it seems.

When old friends vie for the attention of widower, Alderman and mayoral candidate Elliott, jealousies surface and friendships are strained. An old woman with a dark secret and an infamous uncle plots her revenge for a perceived wrong done over thirty years before, a once successful children’s writer with his own secret is haunted by memories of the past and aspiring model Kelly Hudd has just won the trip of a lifetime.

As secrets are revealed and history, both old and recent unravel, and an intertwined web of deceits and lies surfaces in the middle class neighborhood a killer lurks and is anyone really who they seem to be? 

An enigmatic European gentleman in South America, a young Italian count parading the streets of Paris and a charitable and kindhearted nephew recently arrived from India add to the remarkable assortment of characters in this story of intrigue, deceit and revenge. 

What is the secret a recently retired accountant is trying to hide and just why did the former showgirl and attractive sixty two year old widow Carla Zipp really have plastic surgery?

A mysterious organization with links to organized crime, a handsome fire fighter who can do no wrong and a trio of widows with deep hidden agendas compound a story of simplistic complexity. As twists and turns lead the reader to a conclusion that they will not see coming and a sucker punch ending that will leave readers breathless, the Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club’s top priority remains the need to chastise the culprit who refuses to ‘scoop’ after his dog walking sessions in their treasured park.
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