I read one non-fiction book this month, Erik Larson's account of the years from 1933 to 1937 when William Dodd was the American Ambassador to Germany. He and his family lived in Berlin and took part in society functions there, although Dodd worked hard to stay within the Ambassador's salary. The full title is In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin; it is a very interesting account.
Please check out Bill's review at Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan.
These are the crime fiction novels I read in August:
Motor City Blue by Loren D. Estleman
Shotgun Saturday Night by Bill Crider
Charity by Len Deighton
Hopscotch by Brian Garfield
Dead in the Morning by Margaret Yorke
The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
Diamond Solitaire by Peter Lovesey
Funeral in Berlin by Len Deighton
One interesting thing to me was that all of the crime fiction books I read in August were published in 1996 or earlier. I have always preferred reading older books, and often let books sit for years before I read them, but lately I have included more newly published novels or more contemporary reads. The oldest book in this group was The Moving Finger by Christie, published in 1942. The most recent was Charity by Deighton. So I will tell you just a little about each in order of publication.
The Moving Finger is set in a small village, and I liked all the characters and village stereotypes. The novel is considered to be a Miss Marple story, but she shows up very late as a visitor to this village. I did not miss Miss Marple at all in this story and her participation is minimal. I have not reviewed the book yet, but I liked it a lot. One of my favorite Christie's so far.
Funeral in Berlin (1964) is the third novel in the Nameless Spy series by Len Deighton. It was made into a film starring Michael Caine and I will be watching that soon. I will confess to being confused about plot points when reading books in this series. In this particular book, there were only a few chapters where he lost me temporarily and later it all began to make sense. This is my favorite so far of that series.
Dead in the Morning (1970) is the first book in the Patrick Grant series by Margaret Yorke. Grant is a likable, highly intelligent, but also extremely nosy amateur detective. In this first book, Grant visits his sister at the same time a death occurs in the small village she lives in and he insinuates himself into the investigation. The Patrick Grant series is not considered to be Yorke's best books; there were only five books in the series. I enjoyed it though; it inspires me to read more of her books.
Motor City Blue was my book of 1980 for the Crimes of the Century meme at Past Offences. It was my introduction to Loren D. Estleman, and as a result both my husband and I got interested in his Valentino series, and my husband has already read the first book in that series.
Shotgun Saturday Night (1987) was the second book I had read by Bill Crider, and I liked this entry in the Dan Rhodes series even more than the first one. Dan Rhodes is the Sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas. I am hooked on the series, which has now extended to twenty two books.
Peter Lovesey's Diamond Solitaire (1992) is the 2nd book in a police procedural series that is now 15 books long. Its protagonist, Peter Diamond, is ex-CID, due to difficulties in his last assignment. At the beginning of this book, Diamond is sacked from his job as a security guard at Harrods in London. He pursues a personal investigation into the identity of a young Japanese girl, traveling to New York City and Japan along the way.
Len Deighton's Charity (1996) is the last in a nine book spy fiction series, set during the Cold War, mainly in London and Berlin. As the series starts, Bernard Samson is an agent, married to a beautiful and intelligent woman in the same office, with two children. In the nine books, we follow Samson and his trials and tribulations over five years, 1983 to 1988. A wonderful series of books which I will certainly reread.