Sunday, October 4, 2015

Crime Fiction Reading in September

In September I read six crime fiction books. Five of those books were by authors I had read before; one book was the first novel by its author. All six were a pleasure to read. Thus, it was a very good reading month.

The books I read were:

From Bruges with Love by Pieter Aspe
King and Joker by Peter Dickinson
Ask for Me Tomorrow by Margaret Millar
The Con Man by Ed McBain
In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward
Ghost Hero by S. J. Rozan


Amazingly, I have reviewed almost all of the books I read in the last month. (That means that there are several from August that still have not been reviewed.) The only book that I read in September and that I have not reviewed is Ghost Hero. That book is the latest in a series about two private detectives based in New York's Chinatown. As often happens (to me) in a series, this later book was not as much to my liking as the earlier ones, but many reviewers preferred it over previous entries. Review coming soon.


It is easy to decide on my Crime Fiction Pick of the Month for September. Although King and Joker is one of my all-time favorite books, I don't think the crime fiction element is the best part. Thus, I would choose In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward as my Pick of the Month.

In Bitter Chill has everything I look for in a mystery novel. I love a good police procedural, but I want more than just an investigation. I was interested in the characters and they were believable. The reader sees the story from the investigator's viewpoint but also gets a picture of the lives of those affected by the crime. And the story is told without excessive violence. On top of all that, the writing pulled me into the story from beginning to end.

Here are a couple of reviews for In Bitter Chill that came out after I posted my review:


The Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme is hosted at Mysteries in Paradise. Bloggers link to summary posts for the month, and identify a crime fiction best read of the month. Check out the link here to see the other bloggers' picks.


22 comments:

  1. I love a good crime fiction reading month and it sounds like you found a few good ones. I read a couple in Sept. but planning to get back to some crime reads properly when RIP is finished. In fact I may do so before. :-)

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    1. You remind me that I need to put some reviews up at the RIP site, Cath. We watched two semi-spooky movies this weekend (The Mummy with Brendan Fraser and Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant) and I hope to do a post on those for RIP.

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    2. Two films I love. First saw Arsenic when I was 15 and thought it was one of the funniest films I'd ever seen. Seeing many years later I thought it was a trifle OTT but was glad I'd loved it so much at 15. :-)

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    3. We had seen both of them many times, Cath, but close to Halloween was a good time to do it again. We notice all the holes in the plot for The Mummy, but it is still fun. Cary Grant I could watch in just about anything.

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  2. So glad you had a good reading month, Tracy. And especially glad that you enjoyed In Bitter Chill. I think it's really an excellent read.

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    1. Thanks, Margot. In Bitter Chill was a great read.

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  3. I've only read McBain from your list of authors, though I'm hoping to try Millar and Rozan at some point. Glad you had a great reading month.

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    1. Millar and Rozan are definitely worth a try, Col. My reading is slowing down, and I worry about not reading books I wanted to get to this year.

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  4. THat is a very nive lineup there Tracy - and I really have to get Sarah's book!

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    1. It was a good month, Sergio. In October, I actually ran into a book I gave up on, which is unusual for me, but I am finding other books to get me back in the groove. Yes, definitely get Sarah's book.

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  5. I agree completely about In Bitter Chill. It is a favorite of mine and has all of the elements I like in crime fiction: interesting characters, a good plot, very well-time unfolding of the crime and perpetrators.

    Perfect for a rainy weekend with tea and snacks.

    And what is RIP? All I need is one more blog to follow! I'll never get anything done!

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    1. You and I are in total agreement on Sarah's book, Kathy.

      RIP is short for a challenge called R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril. It just runs in Sept and October and mostly focuses on spooky, haunted type of fiction but covers any type of mystery as well. I can never remember the name (or I end up calling it Rest in Peace incorrectly) so I shorten it. My post was here:
      http://bitterteaandmystery.blogspot.com/2015/08/readers-imbibing-peril-x.html

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  6. Really neat collection of books for September - I have read 4 of them, and would like to read one of the other two... (I'm determined to stop saying 'oh I'll be doing Ed McBain some time soon...')

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    1. My goal is to try some non-87th Precinct McBain books, Moira. Someday.

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  7. In Bitter Chill does sound really good Tracy. The cover makes me want to pick it up too. I'll see if the library has it! Good month for you!

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    1. I know, I love that cover for In Bitter Chill, Peggy.

      Are you already packing up to move to Tennessee?

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    2. Tracy: Some interesting books for the month. I had a slow reading month. I find I read less rather than more while cruising.

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    3. I was happy with the books I chose and there was a good amount of variety, Bill. I am not surprised that you read less while on the cruise, although I am sure I would read more.

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  8. For some reason the comment box did not come up until after I posted under Reply.

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    1. Interesting about the problems with commenting, Bill. I occasionally have similar problems.

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  9. Good reading, Tracy! I continue to sit on my pile of Ed McBains though I'm currently waddling my way through a collection of his non-87th Precinct short stories.

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    1. I just bought a book of stories by Ed McBain (at the book sale), Prashant. I hope I find time to read them soonish. Glad to see you back.

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