Sunday, December 1, 2013

November's Wrap-Up and P.O.M. Award

Holding steady  this month with another 15 books. I'm still behind behind on Goodreads by one book.   Keep reading, Bev. Keep reading!   Anyway...I'm continuing to combine my monthly wrap-up post with Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month over at Mysteries in Paradise. . we go, November's number look like this:

Total Books Read: 15
Total Pages:  3,545 (a few more pages...)

Percentage by Female Authors:  47%
Percentage by US Authors:  53%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  7%
Percentage Mystery: 80%
Percentage Fiction: 87%
Percentage written 2000+: 20%
Percentage of Rereads: 0%
Percentage Read for Challenges: 100% {It's eas
y to have every book count for a challenge when you sign up for as many as I do.}    

Number of Challenges fulfilled so far: 24 (71%)

AND, as mentioned above,
Kerrie has started us up for another year of Crime Fiction Favorites. What she's looking for is our Top Mystery Read for each month. In October, thirteen of the books I read count as mysteries or mystery-related:


By a Woman's Hand by Jean Swanson & Dean James [NF] 
Maid to Murder by Roy Vickers (4 stars)
Shell Game by Richard Powell (3 stars) 
Kemp's Last Case by M. R. D. Meek (2.5 stars) 
The Murder Stone by Charles Todd (4 stars) 
Death Is in the Air by Kate Kingsbury (3 stars) 
Evidence of Things Seen by Elizabeth Daly (3.5 stars)
Check-Out Time by Kate Kingsbury (2 stars)
The Small Hours of the Morning by Margaret Yorke (3 stars)
The Dorothy Parker Murder Case by George Baxt (3 stars) 
The Patient in Room 18 by Mignon G. Eberhart (3.5 stars)
The Tragedy of X by Barnaby Ross [Ellery Queen] (3.75 stars) 
The Tragedy of Y by Barnaby Ross [Ellery Queen] (3.75 stars)

This month I wound up awarding four stars to two of these books: Maid to Murder a vintage-era novel by Roy Vickers and The Murder Stone a more modern novel set during World War I by Charles Todd.  Each of these novels were delightful in their own way.  Maid to Murder
was like sitting down for one of those old, black & white, B-movie, mysteries that used to get shown on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (back in the dark ages when there weren't hundreds of channels--before AMC and any others dedicated to classic movies).  Madcap mystery! Hero hiding out from the law and trying to clear his name!  Beautiful dames!  Rotten crooks!  A bit of amnesia!  Cursed jewels!  Lots of mysterious goings on and a big reveal at the end.  There really isn't much of a surprise when the crooks are fingered--but it's so much fun getting there that you really don't mind.  A rollicking good time with a wonderful protagonist--it's great fun watching to see how Habershon's going to prove his innocence.  And The Murder Stone was an absorbing, gripping story.  Told with all the assurance of good research, Charles Todd made me absolutely believe that I was in England during World War I.  There is an air of tension running throughout that is tied not only to the mystery itself, but to the backdrop of the conflict.  There are wounded men who have been invalided out and those who have escaped hospital who don't quite know who or where they are.  As other reviewers have pointed out, this is more of a Gothic mystery story than a straight crime or detective novel.  But it is a Gothic mystery done well.

I can't give out two P.O.M. awards, so the winner of November's Pick of the Month goes to:

1 comment:

fredamans said...

Happy December reading!