The Best of January’s Reading

Well, January is over thank God. I can see from my stats that I have plenty of readers from the Southern Hemisphere and recent Januscomments about the Australian heatwave mean I am sending envious glances across the globe.

Perhaps I should have geared my reading to books set in sunnier climes, but my need for escapism was more than amply met by the amount of historical fiction on my list. Five out of the eight crime books I read this month were set in the past, from first century Alexandria to 1980s Northern Ireland. Compiling this post, I’m slightly ashamed to notice that only 1 and 1/2 books (Nicola Upson and Maj Sjöwall) were written by women. However, I’m pleased to say that a number of women crime writers – Lindsay Davis, Elly Griffiths and Eva Hudson are already lined up for my February books.

My book of the month is a tie between Paul Doiron’s The Poacher’s Son and Adrian McKinty’s Hear the Sirens in the Street. Doiron is a new discovery of mine and I’m looking forward to reading more of his books. McKinty is an old favourite and once more he didn’t disappoint.

The eight books I read for crimepieces were:

1. The Chessmen by Peter May

2. The Abominable Man by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

3. The Dark Winter by David Mark

4. Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson

5. HHhH by Laurent Binet

6. The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron

7. Furies by D L Johnstone

8. I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise is putting together a list of reviewer’s favourite books for January.

The Best of November’s Reading

Arvon crime writers groupThis post is a little later than usual which more or less sums up my reading in November. At the beginning of the month I met some lovely fellow writers at a course organised by the Arvon Foundation. There are some interesting crime novels being written at the moment and it was fascinating to hear works in progress being read aloud.

It did mean, however, that I then spent most of the month trying to catch up with both my reading and reviewing. It took me a week to read one of the books on the list and then I read the next two novels in a single day. Does anyone else find that their reading goes in fits and starts? It wasn’t a reflection on the novels in question, just my ability to concentrate on the task in hand.

Six of the books were by new-to-me writers and one in particular, Louise Welsh, I intend to read more of in the near future. My book of the month was by another new-to-me writer: The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters. It had an interesting premise and was well written. I’m already looking forward to the next instalment.

The eight books I read for crimepieces were:

1. Babylon by Camilla Ceder

2. The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters

3. Murder at the Savoy by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

4. Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

5. Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham.

6. The Consorts of Death by Gunnar Staalesen

7. Vanished by Liza Marklund

8. The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh

Kerrie from Mysteries in Paradise is hosting a monthly round-up of all the recommendations by crime fiction bloggers. Do pay the site a visit and see if you agree with the books that have been chosen.