Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reading in April and Mystery Pick of the Month


In the month of April I read eight books. I read two books that are not in the mystery genre. I read The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Also one non-fiction book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss.

I read six mysteries in April. Two vintage mysteries this month. Two mysteries written after 2005. And two mysteries written in between. A good balance. No historical mysteries this month, but some coming up soon.


The mysteries I read this month are:
  1. The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird
  2. The Ransom Game by Howard Engel
  3. The Chinese Parrot by Earl Derr Biggers
  4. Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
  5. Chinatown Beat by Henry Chang 
  6. The Dark Winter by David Mark
The Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme is hosted at Mysteries in Paradise. Bloggers link to summary posts for the month, and identify a crime fiction best read of the month. Check out the link here to see the other bloggers picks.

Once again I had trouble narrowing down my choice for Pick of the Month. I enjoyed all of the books, and it was hard to make comparisons because of the variety of mysteries I read. But this month I did pick one favorite.


My Pick of the Month is The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird. This is an unusual pick for me because it has a lot of humor, and I like my mysteries on the serious side.

The Stately Home Murder, published in 1969, is the third book in a twenty-two book series which is still being published. The author is definitely poking fun at many elements of country house mysteries in this book, but it is quite a good mystery in itself. As far as solving the crime, I did have some inklings along the way, at least regarding the why, but I am not sure I ever guessed who. I was entertained by the banter between various policemen and how some of them did not take all of the pomp of the stately home so seriously. The humor was dry and witty.

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations on a good month of reading. It was a slower month for me. My focus has been on books and authors for the Alphabet in Crime Fiction meme.

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    1. Bill, I have enjoyed your Crime Fiction Alphabet posts. The work you have put into them is paying off.

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  2. The Aird book is probably one I would pass on by, but the humourous aspect attracts me....hmmm undecided.
    Chang is more of an attraction if I'm truthful. Engel's first arrived earlier this week, so I will see how that goes.
    Waiting for my wife to get through Dark Winter before my turn.

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    1. Col, I can see why the Chang book would attract you. Looking forward to your review of the Engel book; hope you like it.

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  3. Looks like a good choice Tracy even though I've not read it.

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    1. Sarah, it was hard to pick and I want to continue reading books by all the authors. That makes it a good month.

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  4. Tracy - I think you made a terrific choice. Oh, and I loved Eats, Shoots and Leaves. So glad you got the chance to read that one. Maybe it's my language background peeping out...

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    1. Margot, I enjoyed Eats, Shoots, etc. also and will do a post on it when I have time. I am reading Origins of the Specious by Patricia O'Connor right now. Are you familiar with that one?

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  5. I love the Aird books and this one is particularly good.

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    1. Bev, I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to more of them. The only other one I have read is The Religious Body.

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  6. I haven't read a country house mystery in ages, and a humorous one is probably the way to go for me. Interesting list, Tracy!

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    1. Rebecca, I love country house mysteries, but they don't all come up to my standards. I like a lot of interplay between the servants and the other characters.

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  7. Good reading month, Tracy. It's nice to have method in one's reading habits. I usually read half that number of fiction, partly because I read non-fiction in-between (which I don't count) and at least one or two classics every month where my reading slows considerably. My reading of mysteries has to compete with my reading of westerns, thrillers, espionage, and sundry novels that don't fit into any particular category, so I'm all over the place.

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    1. Prashant, I count thrillers and espionage books as mysteries. But this month my reading was primarily straight mysteries. I suppose I should be clearer and use the term crime fiction, which I just can't get used to. I am reading more books per month this year than last year and I don't know why or how.

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