Friday, October 10, 2014

New (to me) Authors: 3rd Quarter 2014

At the end of every quarter, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise hosts a meme for the best new-to-me crime fiction authors. Check out other posts for this quarter.

These are the books by authors that are new-to-me this quarter:



All of these authors wrote books that I enjoyed reading, and I will continue to read books by most of them. Often when I do these summaries for three months worth of reading, the most recently read books are the most memorable.

Most enjoyable was:

The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman. This novel combines a mystery and the supernatural. The characterization is wonderful. All of the main characters are well fleshed out. The characters are realistic; all have flaws. They are mostly likable but far from perfect. Very, very long, though.

Not so enjoyable, but a very good book:

Lie in the Dark by Dan Fesperman. This book is a police procedural set in the midst of the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian conflict. It describes the daily life of homicide inspector Vlado Petric as he tries to do his job. The siege has been going on for two years, and Petric's wife and child have escaped to Germany. His job seems to be useless in times of war when so many are dying and suffering.

Quotes from the book:
    The same two motivations which had kept him going before the war could still sustain him. Or at least he hoped they could.
    One was the small, slender promise that beckons to all homicide detectives-that someday, something worthy and noble would come of his work. For the clever and the persistent, perhaps something larger lurked behind the daily body count. In the way that an epidemiologist knows that a single autopsy can provide the key to a pandemic, Vlado clung to a belief that, now and then, one murder offered a portal to machinations far greater than the pulling of a trigger or the plunging of a blade.
    But could this still be true in wartime? ...
    Yet Vlado couldn't help but marvel at the enduring popularity of murder. He knew from his history texts what war was supposed to do to people. In Stalingrad they ate rats and burned furniture to stay warm, but they stuck together. Even in London, fat and soft London, suicides dropped and mental health soared. But now he wondered if it hadn't all been some great warm lie of wartime propaganda. Because, if anything, people succumbed more easily now to the passions that had always done them in. And as the siege grumbled on, spurned lovers still shot each other naked and dead, drunks stabbed other drunks for a bottle, and gamblers died as ever for their debts.
This is not the darkest book I have ever read, but it is not a fun read or uplifting.


16 comments:

  1. Tracy, all of these books look good to read, particularly the Max Brooks and Dan Fesperman novels.

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    1. They are all good, Prashant, and I would like to read more by each author but it depends on availability and time. So we will see.

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  2. Tracy - You've read some really interesting novels this quarter! So glad you got the chance to 'meet' Elly Griffiths, whose work I like very much. The Fesperman may not be a light, uplifting book, but it sounds very well written and worth reading.

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    1. I am glad I finally read the Elly Griffiths book also, Margot, and will read another in 2015. Maybe two. My husband gave me his copies. Also glad to get to Fesperman, I want to read more of his books. So many good books...

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  3. Tracy, I have not had time to visit your blog these last few weeks...sorry. You are one of the most prolific bloggers that I follow! I just cannot keep up with you! I have no idea what good/not good is in 'crime land' so I will have to follow your recommendations. I did order and have "The Soft Talkers" by M. Millar recommended by blogger The Dusty Bookcase. I am making progress!

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    1. I know what you mean, Nancy, I have the same problem keeping up with some blogs. I suppose there are some standards for what is good or not in crime fiction, but in many cases it is a matter of taste. I haven't read Margaret Millar in a long time and I plan to read some soon. I am sure any recommendations from The Dusty Bookcase would be useful. I only recently discovered that blog.

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  4. I remember reading Colin Watson years ago. And, of course, Hughes, but the others are also new to me.

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    1. I am looking forward to reading more books by Hughes, Patti. It seems that they had such variety. Just based on reviews I read.

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  5. Tracy, not too many in common, but I will get to Fesperman soon-ish and I will see what I have from Johnston. Both will be new to me when I get there.

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    1. I hope you like both of them, Col. Especially interested in what you think of Johnston, when you get there.

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  6. I like this meme because it means I don't have to wait until the end of the year for some best-reads recommendations. I'm glad you had a good reading quarter, and good luck with the coming months.

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    1. Rebecca, my reading seems to have slowed down this month, or maybe it is just me. Reading some great books though.

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  7. About half your authors would have been new to me too. I must try to do this meme in future....

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    1. Moira, it is interesting to review all the new authors over three months. And to think I once despaired that I would ever find new mystery authors that I liked. I was so wrong.

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  8. Interesting. I have a Phil Rickman book on my shelf that I've been toying with reading. I'll dig it out!

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    1. Definitely worth trying, Sarah. I like the way he writes.

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