Starts at Sixty Book Club – One week to go… 5



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Hello Starts at Sixty Book Clubbers

Only a little over a week before our first online chat about the books we’ve read; hope you are as excited as we are!


If you missed our last article kicking off the book club – you can read it here...


The discussion timetable is currently 8.00pm Tuesday, and we will discuss one book each week for the coming weeks:


23 July, Knots & Crosses, by Ian Rankin, lead by Vivienne Beddoe


30 July, The Railwayman’s Wife, by Ashley Hay, lead by Karen O’Brien-Hall


6 August, The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald, lead by Dolly Daniels.


How does this timetable sound to you?  Have you had enough time to source and read the book of your choice?


Please join us on 23 July, (and every Tuesday night), we are so looking forward to meeting you.  An article will go up on the homepage explaining how it all works beforehand.


Vivienne has written an introduction to Knots & Crosses, posted below as a starting point.  We hope this gets you thinking in advance of next week’s bookclub session.



Dolly, Vivienne, Karen



Welcome, everyone, to our first Book Club discussion.

My name is Vivienne, one of the three Book Club co-ordinators, and I am a recent convert to Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels.

The name ‘Rebus’ gives us a clue to the type of story – a puzzle that has to be solved by clues, not just forensics or witness statements. Incidentally, originally Rebus was intended to die, but fortunately, that hasn’t happened and Ian Rankin continues to write about Rebus.

Ian Rankin is a Scot who lives in Edinburgh, the setting for most of the Rebus novels. He is a graduate of Edinburgh University where he studied Scottish Literature. ‘Knots and Crosses’ was published in 1987. If you want to learn more about Ian Rankin I can recommend his official website:

Edinburgh is a clear player in the novel. Rankin wants to expose the gracious city, ‘the Athens of the north’, a city of intellectual achievement , charming buildings and natural beauty as a place where dark and dreadful deeds can, and do, happen. He sees the city as part of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde complex, the famous characters brought to life by noted Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Noughts and crosses is a simple childhood game, but the children who are murdered are not part of a simple plot. As Rebus works on the case in a lowly routine part of the case, he receives crank anonymous letters always with knots and crosses. These are passed on but it is only under hypnosis that Rebus sees the connection to himself, his past, and more immediately his family.

Rebus is a loner struggling to find a place for himself.

Are you are long time Rebus fan? Will you become one?

What do you think of Rebus as a man and as a detective?

I appreciate the wry humour of the writing style. What comment would you like to make about Rankin’s style?

What do you think of the importance of the setting?

I’m interested in what you think.  Next week we’ll discuss it at the Starts at Sixty bookclub.

Book Club

  1. maybe the book club needs to be less adventurous and not have a book review each week. Once a month would be better suited. Not everyone reads books with haste.

    1 REPLY
    • Thanks for your comment Margo – sorry but for some reason it has only appeared today.

      I appreciate what you are saying about reading three books a month and I hope we get more comments about the number of books.

      Our reason for having three books is to give members a choice of genre, but it is a bit difficult if you wish to read more than one of the books on offer.
      I hope you join us on Tuesday night at 8.00pm and perhaps you might like to raise this point?

  2. I presume to join in the Book Club one will obviously have to have read the book – therefore does that mean I need to hunt down the book or is the book available online?

    1 REPLY
    • Hi Christine and thanks for your question – as with Margot’s comments, this has only appeared today so I apologise if it seems we’ve been ignoring you.
      Many of the classics are available online from Project Gutenberg,, but not recent releases. When choosing our book club selections, we have checked availability with libraries, both for hard copy books and eBooks. Some wonderful books have been rejected as they are only available for purchase. Hope this answers your question, if not please let me know

  3. Thanks to everyone who joined in the conversation last night on Knots & Crosses, look forward to seeing you again next week for The Railwayman’s Wife.

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