Saturday, October 8, 2016

Reading in September 2016

I cannot believe it is already October and only three more months left in the year. I do love this time of year. The promise of cooler weather coming (but not here yet for sure). Many holidays coming up. Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving holidays, and a long break between Christmas and New Year's Day.

In September I read seven books total. Two of the books were not crime fiction. The first book I read was a classic novel written for children, The Wind in the Willows. My first time reading it and I enjoyed it a lot.

The second book I read in September was also not crime fiction although it does have elements from that genre. Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson is mainly classified as a novel in the urban fantasy genre. The protagonist is a zombie who was formerly a private detective before becoming undead.

Then I moved on to straight crime fiction books:

The Diamond Feather by Helen Reilly
Helen Reilly wrote over 30 mystery novels between 1930 and 1962 and almost all of those were police procedurals featuring Inspector McKee.  This was her first Inspector McKee novel, and my favorite of the ones I have read so far.
A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward
This is Sarah Ward's second novel featuring Detective Inspector Francis Sadler and his team. It is a good police procedural, focusing as much on some of the people related to the crime as on the investigative team.
Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill
Set in the 1970s. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old medical doctor in Laos has been appointed the national coroner under the new Communist regime. This is the second book in a series. Very enjoyable, but it was heavy on supernatural elements. 
Grifters & Swindlers edited by Cynthia Manson
A collection of 17 short stories taken from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. The stories all center on tricksters and con artists who are plotting to cheat someone of their money or valuables. The contents are variable, but there were several stories I liked a lot, and all were worth reading. The stories were published between 1950 and the late 1990s.
Quoth the Raven by Jane Haddam
This was a reread. Quoth the Raven is the 4th book in a long-running series about Gregor Demarkian, retired FBI agent, living in Philadelphia. I discovered this series in 2005 and read the first 20 books in three months. This one is set in rural Pennsylvania at a small college, where Gregor has been invited to give a lecture. Set around Halloween.
I have been participating in the R.I.P. event in September and continuing in October. That event celebrates reading of books of mystery, suspense, dark fantasy, and horror. All of the books listed above except for The Wind in the Willows -- which I finished in early September -- fit into that type of reading. Four were on my list of proposed books for the event. In October I have read two more: The Coffin Dancer by Jeffrey Deaver and Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers. And I am now reading another from the list: All the Lonely People by Martin Edwards. So that event has been good for motivating me to read several books that have been on my TBR stacks for years.


17 comments:

  1. I was just today thinking that I want to get back to the Dr. Siri books. I got stalled because I didn't like the subject of one, but I should just skip it and to on to the next. I think a lot of them have that 'supernatural' thing, but I find that I like it.

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    1. Nan, it took me a while to get back to the series after I read The Coroner's Lunch. I found the supernatural elements interesting, and they are important to the stories, but I wasn't expecting them to be even more prominent in this second story. There is enough straight mystery in the stories to keep me happy and I do like the characters a lot.

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  2. You've read some terrific books this month, Tracy. I especially like the variety in what you've been reading. And some I've not read, myself,, so things to add to the TBR :-)

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    1. I did enjoy the variety this month, Margot. A book of short stories (which I actually started back in August)! I hope that is a trend and I read more short stories every month.

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  3. TracyK: Glad to hear you have had good reading. I am going to have to get a copy of Sarah's books.

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    1. It has been good reading, Bill. Sarah Ward's books are definitely worth giving a try.

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  4. Sounds like a good month to me Tracy. GRIFTERS AND SWINDLERS interests me the most, but I'm not hurting for books. I have some of Colin Cotterill's books on the pile, maybe this one but haven't tried him yet.

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    1. I thought of you when I was reading GRIFTERS AND SWINDLERS, Col. Some of those stories are just your type... I think. I don't know how you would like the Cotterill books but I would love to hear your opinion.

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  5. Tracy, our holiday season begins with Independence Day on August 15 and runs through New Year, thanks to lots of religious festivals in-between. We have one more public holiday coming up tomorrow! I'm going to try and read Sarah's A DEADLY THAW this year.

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    1. All those holidays sound great, Prashant. I hope you enjoy them. A DEADLY THAW was a great read.

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  6. An incredibly slow couple of months for me so I am in awe as ever Tracy :)

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    1. I read a lot more in September than I thought I would, Sergio. My problem is being so slow in writing reviews.

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  7. You read Colin Cotterill. Isn't he awesome? I haven't read his last two in the series yet. He's a solid writer. Looks like you had a good month of reading, Tracy.

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    1. forgot to sign it - Keishon

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    2. I did guess that the comment was from you, Keishon, because I know you really like Cotterill. This is my second book and it took me a while to get to it. Yes, I do think he is awesome. And I have several more in the series to read.

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  8. I already knew Jane Haddam was a taste we shared, Tracy, I must do some re-reading there. It's a mystery (!) to me why she isn't better-known.

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    1. I agree, Moira, I am surprised that Jane Haddam isn't a bigger name in mystery fiction. Her Gregor Demarkian series does have nearly 30 books in it, so someone must be buying them, but I don't see a lot about them.

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