Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reading in November and Pick of the Month

In November, I read eight books. Seven of these books were mystery novels but the last book I finished in November was Monuments Men, a non-fiction account of the efforts of a group of men and women who worked to save art treasures during and after World War II.

The seven crime fiction novels I read in November were:

Enigma by Robert Harris
Down Cemetery Road by Mick Herron
Murder Within Murder by Richard and Frances Lockridge
Garnethill by Denise Mina
A Season for Murder by Ann Granger
The Jasmine Trade by Denise Hamilton
Slicky Boys by Martin Limón

I also read a novella for the Christmas season, "Christmas Party" by Rex Stout.


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.

In November I read several really great books so it is very hard to narrow it down to just one.

This month I would choose Garnethill by Denise Mina as my favorite book.


Set in the city of Glasgow, this novel deals with tough topics: incest, patient abuse, drugs, unemployment, dysfunctional families. It is a very dark story, but there is an optimistic resolution.

As I said in my review: "I loved this book. Midway through I was thinking that it was a really uncomfortable book and the characters were hard to like. But by the end I was won over completely.  I read 400 pages in two days, which is an accomplishment for me."

Both Enigma by Robert Harris and Down Cemetery Road by Mick Herron were strong contenders for favorite book of the month.





16 comments:

  1. Nice to see you back Tracy: I hope you are feeling OK.
    I haven't read any Denise Mina, she gets such good reviews, but the subject matter sound so down. Mick Herron is definitely on my list, and I said before how much I love Enigma.

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    1. Thanks, Moira. The subject matter of the Garnethill trilogy is dark, and that is probably why I let the book sit there a while. But Mina's writing seems to overcome that. As for her other series, I don't know but I will be trying them to see.

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  2. Delighted you're back, Tracy. I've been thinking of you... Very pleased that you enjoyed Garnethill as much as you did. I really like Mauri O'Donnell's character and even though the book itself isn't exactly uplifting, it's a great story.

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    1. Thank you, Margot. I agree with you on Garnethill.

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  3. Denise Mina is firmly on my radar. I hope to get to is soon. Thanks Tracy. --Keishon

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    1. I hope you like whatever you read by Mina. And I hope I have time to continue reading more of her books soon.

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  4. So glad you're back. Hope that you are feeling better, but grieving for a parent lasts for a long time, and comes in spurts.

    I agree on Garnethill. I looked up at Abe Books and Exile and Resolution, the next books in the trilogy are available there for a few dollars each.

    Although this series is somewhat hard to read, the main character is feisty, independent and strong -- and courageous. The story is terrific, and, frankly, I felt like I was in Glasgow, as the atmosphere was so well explained.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy, you are right. It takes a while.

      I am sure I will find some more Mina books soon at Abebooks. I do like the character in the Garnethill series.

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  5. Tracy, it's good to have you back. I'd especially like to read THE MONUMENTS MEN and ENIGMA.

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    1. Thank you, Prashant. You will like both of those books, I think. Right up your alley.

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  6. A great month's reading Tracy. I have 3 of yours on the pile.....maybe next year!

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    1. I did have a good month in November, Col. I look forward to seeing your take on those books.

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  7. The Monuments Men was my choice for: "read the book before seeing the movie.
    Unfortunately the book never made in to my 'read pile'.
    I hope you will watch the movie and give us a 'comparison' review!.
    ps: I did read play and watch movie Merchant of Vence ( screenplay left out a few bits....just to lyrical for the big screen.)

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    1. Nancy, I will be watching the Monuments Men movie soon and comparing them. It will be a 2nd watching.

      Glad to hear you read Merchant of Venice and watched the movie. Don't they have to leave out pieces of many movies based on Shakespearean plays because they are so dense?

      I have to find an annotated play to read and see if I can handle it.

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