Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Wrap-Up & POM Award

Once again in 2014 I will be combining my monthly wrap-up post with Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month over at Mysteries in Paradise.

Image Credit

I've managed to keep a pretty good pace here in February--not quite as good as the nineteen in January, but still reading away.

Total Books Read: 16
Total Pages: 3569

Average Rating: 3.58 stars
Top Rating: 4 stars (Six books)
Percentage by Female Authors: 44%

Percentage by US Authors: 75%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors: 13%
Percentage Mystery: 75%
Percentage Fiction: 88%
Percentage written 2000+: 31%
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: 3 (8%)

AND, as mentioned above,
Kerrie has started us up for another of Crime Fiction Favorites. What she's looking for is our Top Mystery Read for each month. In February, I read twelve books that may count as mysteries--plus one non-fiction book that gives advice on writing a mystery of my own.

Death by Chick Lit by Lynn Harris (3 stars)
Exit Actors, Dying by Margot Arnold (3 stars)
Where There's Love, There's Hate by Adolfo Bioy Casares & Silvina Ocamp (4 stars) 
Shelf Life by Douglas Clark (3.5 stars)
 Gambit by Rex Stout (4 stars)
 Dandy Gilver & the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catriona McPherson (3 stars) 
Death Walks on Cat Feet by D. B. Olsen (3.75 stars)
Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland (3 stars)  
Made Up to Kill by Kelley Roos (4 stars)
 Ellery Queen's 20th Anniversary Annual by Ellery Queen, ed (4 stars)  
The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie (3.75 stars)
The Purple Parrot by Clyde Clason (3.75 stars)

You Can Write a Mystery by Gillian Roberts

And of those twelve books I handed out three 4-star rating to Gambit by Rex Stout, Made Up to Kill by Kelley Roos, and Ellery Queen's 20th
Anniversary Annual by Ellery Queen, ed. The fun in Gambit is that Archie actually gets to the solution before Wolfe and I got it at the same time as we both outdid the genius. And Made Up to Kill is a fun romp through the theatrical world of the late 1930s/1940. Lots of eccentric characters with idiosyncrasies to help muddy the waters and keep the reader guessing.  But my choice for the POM Award this month is the Ellery Queen collection of short stories from the mystery magazine.  

Every story is a winner on one level or another and several are just flat-out amazing. My favorites are "The Purple Is Everything" by Dorothy Salisbury Davis (when a theft really isn't a theft), "The Washington Party Murder" by A. H. Z. Carr (where Sarah Burton, famous foreign correspondent, returns to Washington DC to discover what really happened the night her husband died), "The Cobblestones of Saratoga Street" (in which we learn the real reason Miss Augusta & Miss Louisa don't want the cobblestones removed), and "Murder Ad Lib" by Helen McCloy (in which Dr. Basil Willing picks up on a clever clue on a "dark and stormy night).


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Looks like you had a great February!

Anonymous said...

{It's easy to have every book count for a challenge when you sign up for as many as I do.}

I loved this aside! I'm always impressed at the sheer number of challenges you participate in AND complete!

fredamans said...

Happy March reading!

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks, Sheila & Freda!

Geoff--we'll see how this year goes. I've stepped completely off the deep-end and signed up for the most challenges ever...40! :-)