Sunday, January 5, 2014

New To Me Authors, October - December 2013

Today I am joining in on the meme for the best new-to-me crime fiction authors at Mysteries in Paradise. This meme runs at the end of each quarter. Check out other posts for this quarter.

Between October 1st and December 31st in 2013, I read eight books by authors that I had never read before.
  1. Frantic by Katherine Howell
  2. Dead Before Dying by Deon Meyer
  3. The Last Clinic  by Gary Gusick
  4. The Hanging Judge by Michael Ponsor
  5. Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis 
  6. The Man-Eater of Malgudi by R. K. Narayan
  7. Mr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos
  8. The Holiday Murders by Robert Gott
I liked all of these authors for different reasons, and it is very hard to make a choice of best new crime fiction author (for me). But that is the name of this game, so I will narrow it down to ... Katherine Howell, an Australian author.

Frantic (2007) by Katherine Howell is the first in a series of thrillers set in Sydney, Australia. There are two main characters per book (roughly, as I understand it from reviews). The detective, Ella Marconi, is a constant throughout the series. The second character in each book is a paramedic, and that character changes from book to book. I think this is a very clever strategy, because it allows for variety and spices up the mix of characters. But, most of all I liked the pace of the book. It just did not let up. The excitement level in the story kept me reading and I did not want to put the book down.


I think I first heard of this author at Margot's blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist... This In the Spotlight features a later book in the series.

I was also very impressed with both of the non-crime fiction authors I read in this time period: R. K Narayan and Oscar Hijuelos. I plan to read more books by both of them, so I am taking small steps toward broadening my reading choices.
  

14 comments:

  1. So nice to see an Aussie author highlighted in this way - and FRANTIC is a great novel especially for a debut

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    1. Bernadette, Frantic was a great debut. I have the 2nd novel in the series and hope to read it soon.

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  2. They are all new to me too, Tracy.

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    1. Peggy, they are all so different too. Looking forward to trying some new Scottish writers soon.

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  3. Katherine Howell looks good.....unfortunately for my embargo and my wallet! I'll just add it to the wish-list for now! I hope you read more by Deon Meyer - I love him.

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    1. Col, I understand the embargo, I am cutting down on buying books too. Yes, I will read more Deon Meyer, but I want to read in order even though there are not continuing characters per se so....

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  4. Tracy, I'm glad you were impressed by R.K. Narayan. I hope you'll follow him up with another wonderful storyteller I mentioned earlier, Ruskin Bond, who has been living in northern India for decades. Although not an Indian, Rudyard Kipling's Indian tales, aside from "The Jungle Book," are worth reading. I found similarities between Narayan and Kipling.

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    1. I will look into both of those, Prashant. I am of course familiar with Kipling, but I did not realize how much he had written nor how much variety of genres he covered.

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  5. Tracy - Oh, I am so pleased that you like Katherine Howell's work. Isn't she talented?!?! I hope you'll get the chance to follow that series; it's one I like very very much.

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    1. Margot, I will definitely read the next book as I already have it. I am sure I will get other books in the series too.

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  6. Though I've read none of the writers you discovered at least I recognize three writers (Meyer, Davis, Hijuelos) and know of their work. I own a slew of those Falco books set in ancient Rome, but have read none of them. Sad, I know. Deon Meyer has been on my "Must Read" list for several years ever since I read a glowing recommendation in my local indie bookstore. Somewhere in this book crammed house I have two of his books -- one a freebie I got at a Bouchercon ages ago. Time to go digging...

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    1. John, I will be interested to know what you think of the series by Lindsey Davis. And I will be trying more Meyer also.

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  7. You have done so much recently - reading, reviewing and roundups! Another great collection of titles. You are adding too many to my list!

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    1. Moira, I have done too many roundups lately. But it does give me a sense of closure for the year and moving on to new horizons.

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