The Best of February’s Reading

Cat and FiddleThe short month of February caught me by surprise hence the late timing of this post. After a panic when I realised that only one book in my January reads had been written by a woman, I redressed the balance in February. Eight out of the ten books I read were by female authors.

Like last month, I have a tie for my book of the month. In February it is between Belinda Bauer’s Rubbernecker and Liza Marklund’s Last Will. The books are poles apart – Bauer’s a standalone set in South Wales while Marklund’s is the latest in the series featuring reporter Annika Bengtzon. What unites them is excellent storytelling, which is the main reason we love crime novels isn’t it?

The nine books I read for crimepieces were:

1. Rock Creek Park by Simon Conway

2. Dead Scared by S J Bolton

3. Dead Man’s Land by Robert Ryan

4. Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths

5. Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer

6. The Golden Box by Frances Crane

7. Thirteen White Tulips by Frances Crane

8. Last Will by Liza Marklundpick of the month 2013

9. The Senior Moment by Eva Hudson

I read one book for Eurocrime, Lyndsey Davis’s excellent The Ides of April, the review of which will appear nearer the April publication date.

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise is putting together a list of reviewers’ favourite books for February.

19 thoughts on “The Best of February’s Reading

  1. kathy d.

    I’ve only read Last Will of the books on your February list. However, I do want to read the newest Ruth Galloway story and The Senior Moment due to the setting and the protagonist. Bolton’s and Bauer’s may be a little over my limit for “scariness.”
    My favorite books last month were Anne Holt’s Blessed Are Those Who Thirst and Helene Thurston’s The Golden Calf.
    I am awaiting the latest Liza Marklund book from the library.
    And, yes, we do read crime fiction for the excellent storytelling — and because we want to be riveted, unable to put down the books we’re reading — just one more page, one more chapter, we tell ourselves when we know we’ll be with a good book for hours. (And for me lately, certain tasks are just “on hold,” while I read.)


    1. Agree with everything you say Kathy, and I’m looking forward to reading your 2 favourite books for February which are both on my list. Marklund I’m hoping to get hold of soon too.


  2. I liked Last Will a lot too when I read it last year – Annika is not always likeable but she is so believable – and Marklund tells a ripper of a yarn. I am downloading the audio book of Rubbernecker as I write – I had my name down for the print version at the library but it’s taking forever and I am impatient so that seems like a nice way around my personal book buying ban (as I have kept up my audible subscription). I’m also keen to get to the SJ Bolton book


    1. I agree about Annika. She is a very frustrating character but totally believable. ‘Rubbernecker’ should be quite interesting as an audio book and I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the narration. The boy who is the central character has a very distinctive voice and I think it will be quite a challenge to narrate him.


  3. Margot Kinberg

    Sarah – That’s the thing about February; just as you’ve gotten started with it, it’s over. I’m glad you found some good things to read this month and I am keen to read Rubbernecker. I’ve liked the Bauer novels that I have read and this time, she really innovates with her protagonist so I’m looking forward to it.


    1. Hi Prashant. My reading is fairly random in as much as I pick up whatever book I fancy although I usually know which book I want to read after the one I’m reading. I like to vary it around a bit and not read too much that is same-y.

      I get my books from a variety of sources. My classic crime reads usually come from my own (extensive) collection. The latest ones are often either direct from the publishers or from other bloggers who have given me their own copy (eg the latest Vargas which was passed on to me from Karen at Eurocrime). There’s a lot of book swapping that goes on my my life….


  4. With the possible exception of the Conway book, all of these are books or authors I want to read when I have the chance. I am currently reading The Loyal Servant by Eva Hudson, 50% through and eager to continue.

    My numbers for female authors is still down, last month only two out of nine. Maybe some month I can only read female authors. I am due to read a Lindsey Davis soon, will be looking for your review at Eurocrime. I am starting at the first of the series though.


    1. Lyndsey Davis is an interesting one, Tracy.The early books are very good, but like very long series it slightly loses its way in later books. For ‘The Ides of April’ she focuses on the daughter of Falco (the protagonist in earlier books). She back in fine form in my opinion.


  5. kathy d.

    Oh, drat. Do I really have to do anything but read? I just realized I didn’t pay my bills yet as I was reading for the last few days. The more posts I read like this and the more blogger comments, I just say to myself: Keep reading and looking for these books.


  6. Sarah, thanks for your reply. I read books at random too, though I am partial to certain genres like crime-fiction, spy thrillers, and westerns. Book swapping is a good concept as it also helps you to make new friends and acquaintances.


  7. That’s a really varied collection, good for you. I’ve read the Elly Griffiths, and of course the Frances Crane because you suggested it to me! I believe I read the Golden Box years ago, I think I still have it and will embark on that soon. A couple of the others are definitely on my list, probably because of your reviews…..


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