Monday, October 2, 2017

August and September Reading

I skipped a reading summary for August so this is a combo summary for August and September. I read ten books in August and seven in September. As usual most of the books were crime fiction. I read several of these books specifically so that we could go ahead and watch film or TV adaptations (Blue Lightning, Hammett, The Case of the Rolling Bones, and One Shot).

My project for the next few months is to read books by Jane Austen, as a part of the Jane Austen Read All A-Long at James Reads Books.  So far it has been a great experience. In August I read Pride and Prejudice (a re-read actually). In September I read Mansfield Park, which was totally new to me. And now I am reading Emma.

And these are the crime fiction books I read:

Blue Lightning (2010) by Ann Cleeves
Blue Lightning is the fourth book in the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves. Jimmy Perez is a Detective Inspector in the Shetland Islands. The book takes place on Fair Isle, where Perez grew up.  My thoughts are here.

Dead Skip (1972) by Joe Gores
The DKA Files series by Joe Gores features a group of investigators who work for Daniel Kearny Associates, a firm specializing in repossessions of vehicles whose owners have defaulted on their loan payments. The setting is in and around San Francisco. Dead Skip is the first novel in the series. I enjoyed it and will continue reading the series. My thoughts are here
Hammett (1975) by Joe Gores
This is a fictionalized version of events in Samuel Dashiell Hammett's life in 1928, when Hammett was no longer a private detective and was trying to support himself with his writing. An old colleague tries to get him involved in a high profile case in San Francisco. My thoughts are here.

Malicious Intent (2004) by Kathryn Fox
Set in Sydney, Australia, this is the first novel in a series starring Dr. Anya Crichton, a pathologist and forensic physician, who begins working as a freelancer. Dan Brody, a defence lawyer, asks her to look into the drug overdose of a young Lebanese girl. Forensic investigations are not my favorite subjects in mysteries, but this was an exciting read and my interest never lagged.

The Emperor's Snuff-box (1942) by John Dickson Carr
This is a standalone novel, not one of Carr's series books. Eve Neill is living in France, divorced from her first husband. She lives across the street from her new fiancé's family. One night her ex-husband sneaks into her house to beg her to return to him, and they see someone attacking her fiancé's father. I enjoyed this book immensely.

Dr. No (1958) by Ian Fleming
James Bond is sent to Jamaica to follow up on the disappearance of two agents, one of them being the Head of Station, John Strangways. This was a very entertaining novel and I enjoyed it even more since the movie is a favorite. My post is here.
Deep Water (2016) by Christine Poulson
Deep Water is about a legal fight to assert a company's claim to a drug patent, and the deaths that may or may not be related to it. This novel shows the many aspects of pharmaceutical research and development. There are those who need the drugs, to improve their lives or maybe even save them. There are the researchers, who are fighting for time and money to complete their research. And the companies who fund the research. This sounds complex, and there are a lot of characters, but they all feel real and the pacing is terrific. 

Winter Ground (2008) by Catriona McPherson
When a circus comes to spend the winter at the neighboring estate to Gilverton, Dandy Gilver is asked to investigate some worrisome pranks and practical jokes. Then one of the pranks results in a death, and the question becomes, was it an accident or not? Set in 1925 at a country house in Perthshire, Scotland. The setting is great, the characters are interesting, and it is set around Christmas and the New Year.

The Case of the Rolling Bones (1939) by Erle Stanley Gardner
This is the 15th Perry Mason novel in a series numbering over 80 books. A 70-year-old man (Alden Leeds) is institutionalized in a sanitarium by his relatives who don't want him to marry a younger girlfriend from his past.  His niece (Phyllis Leeds) thinks that Alden is being blackmailed and goes to Perry Mason for help. My post is here.

A Capital Crime (2010) by Laura Wilson
It is the 1950s in London; Detective Inspector Ted Stratton is a widower with grown children. The story begins with the suspected murders of a woman and her child. But it is also about the post-war changes in England and family relationships. Overly long, but I enjoyed this third book in the DI Ted Stratton series.
Close Quarters (1947)
and Smallbone Deceased (1950) by Michael Gilbert
Close Quarters was Michael Gilbert's first mystery novel and also the first in the Inspector Hazelriggs series.  Smallbone Deceased  is the fourth in the series and regarded by many as his best book. I love the way Michael Gilbert writes and both books are enjoyable reads. Smallbone Deceased was especially good, though.
Wicked Autumn (2011) by G. M. Malliet
Max Tudor is the vicar of the very small village of Nether Monkslip, and the star of this amateur sleuth mystery. However, he was previously an agent for MI5, so he has a bit of experience. He gets called on to help in a behind-the-scenes role when a prominent member of the Women's Institute dies during the Harvest Fayre. A bit too cozy for me, but I plan on reading more in the series.

One Shot (2005) by Lee Childs
This is the ninth Jack Reacher novel, and I read it because it is the basis for first Jack Reacher film. I loved this book; it is only the 2nd Jack Reacher book I have read. Now I will be  reading more of them.

The Nightrunners (1978) by Michael Collins
Coincidentally, this is the ninth Dan Fortune novel. Dan Fortune is a one-armed private detective based in New York. In this story he starts out tracking down a business man's brother, who is a compulsive gambler, but soon realizes that the story is much more complex. Michael Collins was a pseudonym for Dennis Lynds. Lynds was from New York like his protagonist, but he moved to Santa Barbara when he was 41 and several of the books in the series are set there. I will be tracking down more of them.

14 comments:

  1. The Reacher books do have a pull on me too. Can't really put it into words.

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    1. Same here, Patti. It is like a gut reaction, I just like the character and the story keeps moving.

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  2. You read some good 'uns, Tracy. And I'll be interested in what you say about the Jane Austen reading you do.

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    1. So far, Margot, reading Jane Austen books has been a really good experience.

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  3. I've only read the Austen books and Winter Ground, I really like that series. I fancy the John Dickson Carr though.

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    1. I saw your reviews of Winter Ground and at least one other in McPherson's series, Katrina, and saw that you enjoyed them. I think you would like The Emperor's Snuff-box.

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  4. A solid couple of month's reading. I like the look of Gores especially, though by the time I clear what I have planned for reading in the next few months, I'll have forgotten that he exists in my stacks! I'd like to get back to reading some Lee Child as well.

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    1. I was surprised at how much I liked the book by Lee Child, Col. A very good read.

      I have the same problem with having plans to read authors and then the list keeps getting longer and I forget about some of them.

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  5. Tracy, I like the way you read both old and new books. I'm not good at that sort of reading balance. I still mostly read fiction of the last century.

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    1. I do like older books mostly, Prashant, but I do find some newer fiction very entertaining. What I like about books written in the 1990s and before is less technology.

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  6. On the Shetland TV episodes, just watched series three. It is the best by far. Something terrible happens to someone in the police department, and Jimmy Perez is stellar in dealing with it, and then with pursuing the murderers and other criminals with great skill.

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    1. We have two more episodes in Series 2 of Shetland to watch, Kathy, then we will be able to move on to Series 3. I am glad to hear you liked it.

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  7. And a friend liked it. I read about the third series in an interview with Douglas Henshell who plays Jimmy Perez. He gives a lot of credit to the writers for that season.

    There is a fourth season, too, but it won't be available in the U.S. until next spring.

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    1. Kathy, besides the actors, I love the landscape, the beauty of it all. I am looking forward to watching the rest of the episodes that are available now. And glad to hear that there will be more.

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