Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mysteries in August and Pick of the Month

I read seven mysteries in August, and I enjoyed all of them. A very good month. They were all so good it is hard to pick a favorite for the month.

These are the books I read in August:
  1. Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage
  2. Skulduggery by William Marshall
  3. The Square of Revenge by Peter Aspe
  4. Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten
  5. Unholy Ground by John Brady
  6. Murder at Hazelmoor by Agatha Christie
  7. Seeking Whom He May Devour by Fred Vargas
Two books set in European countries, written in a foreign language, were in competition for my favorite: Detective Inspector Huss (Sweden) and Seeking Whom He May Devour (France).  But in the end I think Detective Inspector Huss, by Helene Tursten, is my pick of the month.

Some of my comments on that book:
Detective Inspector Irene Huss is a strong female character, and I like that. In addition to highlighting sociological issues in Sweden, the book addresses women's roles in male dominated jobs like law enforcement.

The author has the gift of portraying the characters ... at least the detectives ... as real people with real lives. The details of Huss' day to day life feel authentic but not boring. One of the minor subplots deals with the neo-Nazi movement in Sweden.
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.


20 comments:

  1. I really, really must read Helene Tursten. I've had the first book for quite sometime. I missed where you read John Brady. Heard he was pretty good. Must go check out that review. Thanks Tracy.

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    1. Keishon, I will be looking forward to hearing what you think of Detective Inspector Huss. I enjoyed the Brady books (the first two). Another series that is a bit different from the norm.

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  2. Tracy - I'm so glad you liked Detective Inspector Huss enough to choose it as your pick of the month. I'm a fan of this series for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Huss' character. I love it!

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    1. Margot, So many good characters this month. And I really liked Irene Huss.

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  3. Tracy, I'm glad you'd a good reading month with lots of variety too. I have that Helene Tursten book in mind.

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    1. Prashant, it was a great reading month. I hope you do try the Helene Tursten book.

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  4. Congratulations on your reading month. I am sure you would wish every month could be as good. I try to find good books to read but have realized if I only read recommended books I can no longer discover an author.

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    1. Bill, I do tend to read books that I am pretty sure I am going to like. But I have recently bought a few on impulse with no recommendation. We will see how I fare with those. And I read a couple that I was asked to review -- but had never heard of the author -- and really lucked out with those.

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  5. I like your pick, Tracy, and I wish Tursten's books would be translated more quickly. Hope you have a good reading month in September.

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    1. Rebecca, I am way far behind, and just have to figure out which book to read next. I do expect to have a good reading month in September. I have already read three (very short) books that I loved and am reading The Broken Shore by Peter Temple right now.

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  6. Which reminds me that my copy of the Tursten book I ordered has yet to turn up! (chalk that up to the law of inintended consequences) - as always, thanks TracyK!

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    1. Well, I hope it arrives some day, and that you enjoy it.

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  7. How timely - I've just picked up a couple of Irene Huss books in the hopes of improving my Swedish! Sounds like I'm in for a treat - thank you!

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  8. Vargas v Tursten? An impossible choice in my opinion. Glad you had a good reading month!

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    1. I know, Sarah, it was a hard decision. And really, they are so different, I could have picked both. Tursten just falls in my area of preferred reading... police procedurals. Adamsberg is a policeman, but so untypical... Still a hard choice.

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  9. I never read mystery but after seeing some of your reviews I think this is just what I need to balance my other reading ( in the process of reading 20 book in French, Zola's Rougon-Macquart series). Enjoying Detective Irene Huss and find the pathologist Yvonne Stridner pretty feisty!

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    1. Twenty books in French, I am impressed. I think I read one book in French many, many years ago in college when they put me in a French class I was not ready for. So not a great experience. Don't even remember what it was. But I would love to be able to read French now.

      Irene Huss is a great character and the Huss series has many strong female characters.

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  10. Hmmm. That is a hard choice: Vargas vs. Tursten. I'd pick Vargas as she's in my top handful of great crime fiction writers, and no one has an imagination like hers. A reader never knows where she/he is going with Commissaire Adamsberg, whether to Normandy or Eastern Europe, nor what information one may pick up along the way.

    However, I do like Irene Huss, and I've enjoyed some of the TV episodes featuring her at MHZ Networks. It is a good TV series. It's also good to see a normal home life, a happy marriage and good parenting, despite adolescent angst.

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    1. Kathy, I agree. They are both very good and very different.

      I just bought another Vargas at an annual book sale I go to. But not the next one in order. So I will have to go hunting online for the next book in the series.

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