Friday, November 30, 2012

Mysteries in November and Pick of the Month

This month I read a lot of mysteries. A total of nine, a lot for me. And while I was reading these, I was plugging away at my looooong non-fiction book, The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans. I probably got so much read because I had two weeks vacation and traveled by airplane to Alabama, thus having much more available reading time.

The mysteries I read this month were:
  1. The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
  2. The Affair of the Mutilated Mink by James Anderson
  3. The Dead Can Tell by Helen Reilly
  4. To Play the Fool by Laurie R. King
  5. With Child by Laurie R. King
  6. The Judas Sheep by Stuart Pawson
  7. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
  8. A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
  9. The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
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.

I liked most of the books I read this month, but I can easily pick a clear favorite: A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell. This is a historical mystery set in the years between World War I and World War II. It is also the first book of a series (of four, so far).

I loved this book. I was tentative at the beginning... but at the halfway point, I found that I was hooked by the story and by the main character, Hannah Vogel, a crime reporter in Berlin in 1931. The Great War and the changes in Germany in the years following the war have impacted her life greatly, as it did most people in Europe. The last few chapters of the book were a roller coaster ride. The book did not end at all like I expected, and I liked the ending a lot.


Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I like historical mysteries - A Trace of Smoke sounds good.

I've only read one of your books - The Secret Adversary, which I enjoyed, even if it shows that it was one of Agatha Christie's first books. The Tommy & Tuppence book I've most enjoyed is By the Pricking of My Thumbs in which they're both much older.

Sarah said...

There are some great titles in your book Tracy. I've read Cantrell's book and enjoyed it a lot. I would love to read more in the series.

Anonymous said...

Tracy - Oh, I couldn't agree more that A Trace of Smoke is an excellent book. A well-drawn protagonist, a solid story, a great context... yup, it's got all the elements I look for in a mystery.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

A TRACE OF SMOKE sounds like a gripping tale and set in the backdrop of WWI makes it that much more interesting for me. I love war novels.