The Best of April’s Reading

April was a quiet reading month but May promises to be much busier with Crimefest taking place in two weeks time. It’s always a IMG_1012great opportunity to catch up with writers, reviewers, bloggers and readers and there will be plenty of updates on this blog.

My book of the month for April is a surprise. I was looking forward to reading Fred Vargas’s Dog Will Have His Day but, while I found it an enjoyable read, it wasn’t one of her best. Instead, a book by an’new to me’ writer, Massimo Carlotto, was by far my favourite read this month. At the End of a Dull Day has sly humour and dark violence in equal measure and it was good to be taken out of my comfort zone.

The four books I read for Crimepieces were:

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

At the End of a Dull Day by Massimo Carlotto

The Ghost Runner by Parker Bilal

Dog Will Have His Day by Fred Vargas

 

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise is bringing together other bloggers’ recommendations from their April reading. Do head over there to see what everyone else has been reading.

 

 

The Best of February’s Reading

Only four books reviewed in February but I do have a backlog of reviews to write, including one of an outstanding book that’s shaping up to be my read of the year.

1962665_10151925829526625_408074059_nMy highlight of February was the meeting of the judging panel for the Petrona Award for translated Scandinavian Crime Fiction. The shortlist will be announced this week on the 6th March. There was a lively discussion and some interesting themes emerging from the books we read. More of this on the 6th but, in the meantime, the picture on the right shows the judges as we concluded our long judging session. From left: Karen Meek, Kat Hall, Barry Forshaw and me.

My book of the month was easy to choose: David Mark’s third novel in his Hull based series, Sorrow Bound. It’s getting lots of rave reviews already and rightly so.

The four books I reviewed for Crimepieces were:

1. The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

2. The Front Seat Passenger by Pascal Garnier

3. Cairo by Chris Womersley

4. Sorrow Bound by David Mark

The Best of October’s Reading

I finally managed to get my reading mojo back in October, helped in part by a five day trip to Finland which gave me plenty of IMG_0813opportunity to catch up on all those books I’d been meaning to try. This, and my forthcoming trip to Iceland Noir, accounts for the overwhelming Scandinavian bias of my reading. My book of the month is in fact by an American author, Elizabeth Hand. Available Dark, however, is set in Finland and Iceland and provides a creepy and disturbing tale which, if you read the comments on the review, has split opinion amongst readers.

I already have a few books under my belt to review in November and I promise a wider geographical spread this month.

The six books I read for crimepieces were:

Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand

Closed for Winter by Jorn Lier Horst

Blue Blood by Sara Blaedel

The Long Shadow by Liza Marklund

Death of the Demon by Anne Holt

Police by Jo Nesbo

As usual, the pick of the month for crime fiction reading is being collated by Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise. The photo above was taken at the launch of Iceland Noir at the Icelandic Embassy in London. Also present were wonderful bloggers Ayo Onatade from Shots and Steph from Crime Thriller Girl. Do check out their blogs if you get a chance.

The Best of August’s Reading

Gladstone libraryAugust was quiet in relation to crime fiction events for me, with the exception of the excellent launch of Martin Edwards’s new book, The Frozen Shroud. However, my reading continued at a slower pace and all the books that I finished were of a high quality, mainly I suspect I only read what I really wanted to. Three of this month’s books were by ‘new to me writers’: Martin Edwards, Linda Stratmann and A D Garett. I hope to carry on reading all of these authors.

My book of the month is Jan Costin Wagner’s Light in a Dark House which is continuing a high quality series which is a must read for me, although the book wasn’t quite up to the standard of earlier ones.

The five books I read for Crimepieces were:

1. Everyone Lies by A D Garrett

2. Cold Hearts by Gunnar Staalesen

3. The Frozen Shroud by Martin Edwards

4. Light in a Dark House by Jan Costin Wagner

5. A Case of Doubtful Death by Linda Stratmann

I have some cracking books set for September, so fingers crossed….

The Best of June’s Reading

A 032late post to round up my reading in June. The month started with the excellent Crimefest and I came away with lots of new authors that I want to read and not enough time to try them. A new teaching job is taking up a lot of precious reading time but at least a decentish train journey is helping me keep on top  of things. I read one book for the Petrona Awards, a slightly disappointing The Devil’s Sanctuary by Marie Hermanson.  There were some nice new discoveries though, and worth a mention is Gordon Ferris’s series set in post-war Glasgow which I will certainly be reading more of.

My book of the month, though, was the outstanding I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. I really do hope this book gets the attention it deserves. Anyone who loves a good spy story will love this one.

The seven books that I read for crimepieces were:

1. Pilgrim Soul by Gordon Ferris

2. The Good Suicides by Antonio Hill

3. The Devil’s Sanctuary by Marie Hermanson

4.  Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand

5. World Noir: A Tribute to International Crime Fiction

6.  A Taste for Malice by Michael J Malone

7.  I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

The Best of March’s Reading

March photoWe all know March isn’t really spring but in the north of England we were surprised and dismayed by the poor weather this month. We got early crocus flowers, then drifting snow and we’re heading into April with cold temperatures.

I’ve been luckier with my reading, however. Lots of books by old favourites were published this month including offerings from Fred Vargas, Jonathan Kellerman and Shona (now S G) MacLean. I don’t think there was a dud amongst them but my hands-down favourite was by Leif G W Persson. Linda, As in the Linda Murder was unusual and funny and must have been a guilty joy to translate from its original Swedish.

The eight books I read for crimepieces were:

1. Linda, As in the Linda Murder by Leif G W Persson

2. The Ghost Riders of Ordebec by Fred Vargas

3. The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

4. Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman

5. The Healer by Antti Tuomainen

6. The Devil’s Recruit by S G MacLean

7. The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg

8. Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses by Catriona McPherson

I also reviewed Johan Theorin’s Asylum for Eurocrime.  Do head over there and have a look what I thought of it.

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