Saturday, July 13, 2013

Canadian Reading Challenge 6: Books Read

This year I participated in the Canadian Book Challenge 6. This is an online reading challenge in which participants from Canada and around the world aim to read and review 13 or more Canadian books in a one year span: July 2012 through June 2013. A Canadian book is a book written by a Canadian author or set in Canada.

I  read these books for the challenge:

The Suspect by L. R. Wright
This book is the first in a series by L.R. Wright (1939 - 2001). The series features RCMP Staff Sergeant Karl Alberg and librarian Cassandra Mitchell. It is set in a small town on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. The Suspect won the 1986 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel of the year. It was the first Canadian novel to do so.
The first three books in a series, set in post World War II Britain, in the village of Bishop's Lacey. Flavia narrates the stories. She is the youngest daughter (around 11 years old) in the de Luce family, and lives with her two sisters and their father. Her mother died when she was young. They live in an ancient country house.
Amuse Bouche by Anthony Bidulka
Russell Quant is a private detective, and to this point in his career he has had small, nondescript cases. Now he has a case where a wealthy client has hired him to find his missing lover, Tom Osborn. Set in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Very enjoyable humorous mystery, part of a series of eight books.
Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt
A serial killer novel with too much graphic violence for my tastes. However, the characterization was so strong in that book, and the plotting and setting are so vivid, that I have to try the next in the series.
Deadly Appearances by Gail Bowen
Murder at the Mendel by Gail Bowen
The first two books in a series of fourteen books about Joanne Kilbourn, a political analyst and university professor who gets involved in criminal investigations. Set in Saskatchewan. Family and relationships play a large part in these mysteries.
A Stone of the Heart by John Brady
A police procedural featuring Matt Minogue, a Sergeant in the Garda Murder Squad in Dublin. Like some books of that sub-genre, it goes much deeper and examines the character of the policeman and how his family and his environment affect his ability to do his job. The setting is primarily Dublin, Ireland in the late 1980's. Thus the unrest and violence in Ireland at the time is a part of the story. There are nine more books in the series.
The Ransom Game by Howard Engel
This is the second book in a series featuring Benny Cooperman, private detective. Benny is hired to locate a paroled ex-con, by his girlfriend. He is missing and she fears he has come to harm. Her boyfriend, Johnny Rosa, was in prison for kidnapping a wealthy young woman, and the ransom money has never turned up. The book is set in a small city in Canada near Niagara Falls: Grantham, Ontario. This town is based on the real city of St. Catharines, Ontario, where the author was born.
Except the Dying by Maureen Jennings
The first in series of seven books known as the Murdoch Mysteries. Set in Toronto in 1895. William Murdoch is an Acting Detective, ambitious and intelligent. He wants to move up in rank, and he hopes this case will bring him some attention. The author takes us through the investigation slowly, introducing us to the individuals involved. She describes the prejudices of the time and the hardships that the poorer inhabitants of Toronto lived with.
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
This is the second in a series of mysteries set in a small village in Quebec. The investigator is Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Surete de Quebec. Gamache is a likable character, a dedicated policeman yet compassionate. I have often said that I prefer a fairly normal protagonist, especially as a police investigator, and am growing tired of flawed and damaged policemen. In this case, Gamache is a little too perfect for me, but still an interesting character.
Kaleidoscope by J. Robert Janes
This book is set in Occupied France, in December of 1942. It is the story of two men who are on opposite sides but must work together. Gestapo Haupsturmführer Hermann Kohler and  his partner, Sûreté Chief Inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr have been thrown together by circumstances to investigate crimes. They have developed a trusting relationship, but know that due to the realities of war, it will probably not end well. One side or the other will be the victor, and then where will their loyalties lie? This is the second book in the series, and Jean-Louis and Hermann follow cases in a total of 14 books.


I will be participating in the 7th annual Canadian Book Challenge sponsored by John Mutford at The Book Mine Set. You can see information on joining this challenge HERE.


15 comments:

  1. Great post, Tracy! It's led me to some Canadian authors I haven't yet read.

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    1. Great, Debra, that is what I wanted to do. Point out some Canadian authors that some readers haven't experienced. They were all enjoyable reads.

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  2. Loved The Suspect and enjoyed the first two books in Bidulka's series; Russell Quant is a lot of fun. Read Gail Bowen's Kaleidoscope, the last book in this series, must start at the beginning.

    And recommended Alan Bradley's series to a friend who loves child protagonists and voices. I may check it out, too. There are more than three books in this series at this piont.

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    2. Kathy, I don't usually like child protagonists, but I enjoyed the books with Flavia a lot, so need to try some others. Yes, there are five in the Alan Bradley series now and one coming in 2014.

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  3. Tracy - Oh, you have chosen such wonderful books! I have to say I'm biased towards several of the authors you mention (Bowen, Bidulka, Penny, etc..), so that necessarily colours my judgement. But I am impressed with your choices.

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    1. Margot, I will be continuing with more books by the authors you mentioned. And some of the others. But I want to try some new Canadian authors in the next 12 months also.

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  4. Nice post Tracy, I am going to read L.R. Wright now! My library has some of her books! Thanks. I did not get 13 books done for the meme. Fell short by 4:( But it was fun.

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    1. Thanks, Peggy. The first L. R. Wright book I read was really good, so I have two more to continue the series.

      I don't know that I will read 13 books from Canada in the next twelve months, but I do want to keep on with the challenge.

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  5. TracyK: Glad you were able to make crime fiction trips to Saskatchewan. I hope you will be back! There are lots more good books by the Saskatchewan "B's".

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    1. Bill, I will definitely be reading more Canadian books for the Challenge. I want to continue these authors and read some new ones.

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  6. I think I might have enough Canadian fiction shelved to maybe give this a go next time round. I have picked up a few based on your recommendations...Penny, Engel, Bradley. I may not start until new year, as I can finish my own personal Scandinavian challenge first.

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    1. Col, I want to read more Scandinavian fiction and more from Asia, Africa, Australia. Doing better at that lately but it will probably be 2014 before I can really get more international in my reading.

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  7. I love the Flavia books. Have just finished the latest, Speaking from Among the Bones, and it was the best yet. Several authors here I haven't heard of so will be checking them out. Tempted also, to do this challenge next year.

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    1. Cath, I plan to read the 4th Flavia book around Christmas and then the 5th one sometime in 2014. This is a great challenge to learn about new Canadian authors, new to me anyway. I want to continue reading more of all of these authors, and I have others that I have not tried yet.

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