Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Books in December and Pick of the Month

In December I read a mix of crime fiction and straight fiction.  I enjoyed my forays into non-mystery fiction. The Man-Eater of Malgudi is set in India and written by an Indian author. Mr. Ives' Christmas tells the story of a man who has experienced a great loss, and how he deals with the loss. Both were very different reading experiences for me.

These are the nine books I read in December...
  1. The Hanging Judge by Michael Ponsor
  2. Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis 
  3. Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
  4. Murder in Belleville by Cara Black
  5. A Night of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell
  6. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
  7. The Man-Eater of Malgudi by R. K. Narayan
  8. Mr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos
  9. The Holiday Murders by Robert Gott

I read four books that had a Christmas theme. That is to say, they were set at Christmas and Christmas played into the story to at least a small extent. But none of them were really Christmassy and uplifting. Which is fine. Three of them were obvious from the title. The fourth is I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley. This is an historical mystery set in post-World War II England, and features an acting group at a snowed-in country house.

I just finished The Holiday Murders by Robert Gott and have not had time to write a review. It takes place from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, and no one in this book is in the Christmas holiday spirit. It is set during World War II in Australia, and it was an eye-opener to read about the situation in Australia at that time. Another thing I love about crime fiction: the chance to learn about different places and different times. I liked The Holiday Murders a lot, although there were some grisly scenes toward the end.

My crime fiction pick of the month is A Night of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell. This is the second book in a four book series, set in Germany in the 1930's prior to World War II. This book takes place in 1934, in the cities of Munich and Berlin.

The story is told in first person, by Hannah. She is headstrong and independent, and willing to take risks. As the book's title indicates, the events of this book are intertwined with the Nazi purge called the Night of the Long Knives.
The Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme is hosted at Mysteries in Paradise. Bloggers link to a summary post for the month, and identify a crime fiction best read of the month.

12 comments:

  1. Tracy - You had a good December! Thanks for sharing your reading, and I'm glad you liked The Holiday Murders. I agree with you about the violence but I also agree that it's a great book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot, it was a good December. Good to end the year with so many good books.

      Delete
  2. Tracy, nine books in a single month is terrific. I have lined up the Rebecca Cantrell book this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prashant, I expect I will have lower numbers of books read per month in 2014 due to reading some longer books. I do love shorter books though.

      Delete
  3. Some great books to end the year on Tracy. After declining the Cantrell, that fantastic cover has me re-thinking a bit. I had better stick with Hijuelos and Gott though!
    I don't know how you keep up with all the posts at this time of year.........I have about 10 I want to put up, which is disrupting my reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Col, the Cantrell book does have a great cover, but I like the cover on the first in the series best. You will like the Gott book, I am sure. I hope to get my review up soon. And the Hijuelos, different and thought-provoking. I have been busy at the end of the year but had lots of time off and we celebrate quietly. Lots of movies though.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Sergio. December was a good reading month, even with work being demanding in the first three weeks.

      Delete
  5. I'm hoping to get more reading done this year (aren't we all). I quit my job, so that might help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Kelly, more reading would be great. I have so many authors I want to catch up on. Wow, if I could quit my job, I could do a lot more reading and reviewing. Have a great New Year.

      Delete
  6. I'm just about to read your Gott review! This is a great varied selection - December was a good month for you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. December was a good month, Moira, but it would have been less hectic if I had not wanted to get so many Christmas books in. Just because I haven't done that before.

      Delete