Sunday, November 6, 2016

Reading in October 2016

I cannot believe I read 10 books in October. That many books in one month is almost unheard of for me and I wasn't even trying.  And in addition to that I read two graphic novels, although one was a reread.


One of the graphic novels was The Secret Service: Kingsman by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. I had read it early in the year, then watched the movie. I keep hoping to review it so gave it another read. It is pretty short and a fast read. Entertaining but lightweight.

The second graphic novel was Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Longer and not at all lightweight. I have been reading Superman comics now and then since I was a kid, so it was very nostalgic.

The problem is that of the ten books I read I have done a post on only one. I will blog about all of them eventually but for now I will give brief notes or descriptions. I was trying for one sentence summaries but apparently I am not capable of that.



The books I read in October:

The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver
(This is the second book in the Lincoln Rhyme series about a quadriplegic who is skilled at forensic investigations, usually working as a consultant to the police department. A thriller about finding an assassin who is targeting witnesses to a killing. Plot twists abound.)

Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers
(A reread. This is the sixth book in the Peter Wimsey series and the one that introduces Harriet Vane. I wasn't sure how it would hold up on this reread, but I enjoyed this very much. It has much to offer: a budding romance, Miss Climpson investigating...)

All the Lonely People by Martin Edwards
(Martin Edward's debut crime novel, published in 1991. Harry Devlin is a lawyer whose estranged wife returns to his apartment for a short stay. Soon she is dead and he is the obvious suspect. All the titles in the series are taken from hit songs in the 1960s.)

Boobytrap by Bill Pronzini
(The 25th book in the Nameless Detective series about a private detective. The series began in 1971; over the years the character has aged, matured, and changed his lifestyle. In this book, Nameless is on a solo fishing trip, using a cabin on a river loaned to him by a friend. He just happens to be there at the same time a bomber is seeking vengeance on the people who sent him to jail.)

B-Very Flat by Margot Kinberg
(An academic mystery set at Tilton University in Pennsylvania. Serena Brinkman, a talented violin major in the music department, dies unexpectedly a few hours after winning a major competition. Joel Williams, a former policeman on the faculty, gets involved with the case.)

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben
(Book 1 in the Myron Bolitar series. Sports agent Myron Bolitar is about to get a big break when his client Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback, is offered a very big deal. Unfortunately at the same time a tragedy in Christian's past comes back to haunt both of them.)

The Labyrinth Makers by Anthony Price
(The first book in a series of spy novels featuring Dr. David Audley, a British Intelligence analyst. Published in 1970. A Dakota aircraft assumed lost at sea after World War II ended has recently been discovered in a lake bed. The Russians are also very interested in this aircraft, and Audley must discover why.)

The Penguin Pool Murder by Stuart Palmer
(This is the first book in the Hildegarde Withers series, published in 1931. Miss Withers is a schoolteacher who helps Detective Oscar Piper with his investigations. I was VERY surprised at the ending of this one.)

Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman
(Kala Stonechild, a First Nations police officer with a troubled background, arrives in Ottawa for a new job just a few days before Christmas. She has no time to find a place to live in a new city before she is working on an important and puzzling case. And as an aboriginal woman she encounters racism on many levels. First of four books in a series.)

Sleeping Dogs by Ed Gorman
(The first in a series of five novels about Dev Conrad, a political consultant. In this novel, the reelection campaign of an Illinois Senator  runs into major problems with dirty tricks, blackmail and murder. Reviewed HERE.)

Every one of these books was a great read and I will be reading more books by these authors. The only one I am not eager to read more of immediately is the series by Jeffery Deaver. I think I need to take those books at a slow pace, due to the subject matter and the thriller aspects. But still a good, fast, and mesmerizing read.

Until I put this all together I had not realized that six of the ten books I read were first books in a series. This was good for discovering new series but bad since I don't need more books to read. And, without even realizing it, I added one more mystery onto my USA Fiction Challenge. Sleeping Dogs by Ed Gorman is set in Illinois.


Note that Margot Kinberg, of the Confessions of a Mystery Novelist... blog, has written a third book featuring Joel Williams, Past Tense, which was just recently released and is available in print or e-book version. I will be reading that one soon.


From Margot's web site:

Past and present meet on the quiet campus of Tilton University when construction workers unearth a set of unidentified bones.
For former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams, it’s a typical Final Exams week – until a set of bones is discovered on a construction site…

14 comments:

  1. Hmm, not bad and Margot's books are available in e? I must try one. Your list are author's I haven't read. Harlan Coben is one I've tried and failed to enjoy. -K.

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    1. I was happy with all my reading, Keishon, and I look forward to reading Margot's new book. I was surprised at the Myron Bolitar book, it had a different tone than I expected. Did you read books in the Myron Bolitar series or a stand alone book by Coben?

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  2. Thank you so much, Tracy, for the kind mention and the kind words. That means a lot to me. I love it that you took the time to read some graphic novels among your other choices; I think graphics sometimes get bad press; but the fact is, they can be really good reads.

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    1. I was happy to mention your new book, Margot. The problem I have with graphic novels is that there are so many out there and it is hard to know what I will like.

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  3. Tracy - well done on double digit reading! I had to cheat to get there! I've read something from Coben and Deaver, with more to get to from both, as well as more than a few from Anthony Price, not forgetting Pronzini.

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    1. yes, all that reading was great, but now i am so much more behind on reviews. I was thrilled to find that I enjoyed the Anthony Price so much.

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    2. Haha - I'm in the same boat....about 16 behind I think!

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    3. I saw you were doing some reviews for books you read a while back. But you have an excuse. You took a couple of breaks from blogging earlier.

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  4. That's a lot of books, and very varied - well done you. I have just read Margot's new one and will post on it shortly. I have just bought my first Jeffrey Deaver book, on Bill's reco, I don't know what I'll make of it...

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    1. I just finished Margot's latest book last night, and enjoyed it quite a bit, Moira. I have only read two of Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme books, and one standalone. I liked them all but I am not rushing to read more. Not sure why. From what I read the first book in the Rhyme series is not typical of the others in that series, and I also hear that there is a lot of variation in quality in that series.

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  5. You read some very interesting books in October, Tracy. I do remember the Harlan Coben book, because at the time I'd fallen instantly in love with Myron Bolitar and even with his friend, Win the psycho. Such an interesting first few books - I thought the series was headed for STARDOM. Would have made a fabulous TV show or even a movie or two. But then Harlan Coben totally lost me as a reader (though I love the guy in person - met him years ago) when he began writing those families in peril thrillers. SO BORING. Hard to believe at first that they were written by the same person. I know he's writing more Myron books now, but the bloom may have faded from that rose for me.

    Jeffrey Deaver is definitely not someone whose books you want to read one after the other. Ha! I only read his Lincoln Rhyme books, but sparingly.

    LOVE Stuart Palmer's books. I've only read a couple, but they are SO enjoyable. Wish I could find more. AND I still have high hopes of getting to see the movie version of THE PENGUIN POOL MURDER.

    I am NOT a big fan of Harriet Vane - what she put poor Lord Peter through. Jeez. STRONG POISON is a good mystery though. Yes.

    Good round-up, Tracy.

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    1. Thanks, Yvette. I was very surprised at the Myron Bolitar book, I thought it would be different and I liked the characters very much too. I have never been interested in the standalone books, although there is one I want to read because it was made into a French film (Tell No One).

      I was very pleased with the Stuart Palmer book, that was another series I wasn't sure I would like as much now as I did when I was younger. But it was a lot of fun.

      All in all, a good month.

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  6. A splendid reading month, Tracy! I'd love to read the two graphic novels though I have read reviews of "Superman For All Seasons".

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    1. It was, Prashant. After reading "Superman For All Seasons", I bought two Batman graphic novels (longer) by the same writer and illustrator. I want to try more but I have to figure out how to do it without spending too much money.

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