Thursday, January 1, 2015

December Wrap-Up & P.O.M. Award

Well, here we are...down to the last monthly pick of 2014. I've spent the year combining my monthly wrap-up post with Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month over at Mysteries in Paradise. December was a whirlwind of mad-dashing reading (to try and meet all my challenges) and holiday merry-making (with the books above being part of the Christmas loot and headed for the TBR stacks of reading future). I'm pleased to say I read a fair amount even with holiday parties popping up everywhere. Here's the run-down:

Total Books Read: 15
Total Pages: 2615 [quite a drop! must be all the short books I was sneaking in to make the 191 total books ;-) ]

Average Rating: 3.43 stars  
Top Rating: 5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 53%

Percentage by US Authors: 73%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  6%
Percentage Mystery:  60% 

Percentage Fiction: 80%
Percentage written 2000+: 33%
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: 47 (100%)

AND, as mentioned above,
Kerrie had us all set up for another year of Crime Fiction Favorites. What she was looking for is our Top Mystery Read for each month. December found me with nine fictional mysteries and one non-fiction mystery-related book.

Mayhem in B-Flat by Elliot Paul (3.5 stars)
Black-Headed Pins by Constance & Gwenyth Little (4 stars)
The Secret of the Gondola by David Alan Brown (2 stars)
A Curtain Falls by Stefanie Pintoff (3.5 stars)
The Finishing Stroke by Ellery Queen (4 stars)
The White Dress by Mignon Eberhart (3 stars)
Words for Murder Perhaps by Edward Candy (3 stars)
Sick to Death by Douglas Clark (3.5 stars)
Crossworder's Holiday by Nero Blanc (3 stars)

The Films of Sherlock Holmes by Chris Steinbrunner and Norman Michaels (4 stars)

The only five-star winner this month was a non-fiction entry. A beautiful book of poems by Romayne Rubinas Dorsey called Then Gone. Not only are the poems hauntingly beautiful, but the tiny, hand-stitched volume is a work of art to look at as well. On the mystery side of things, we have two four-star fiction entries and one non-fiction. The Black-Headed Pins by the Littles is a fun, madcap mystery set in an American countryhouse. The Finishing Stroke by Queen is also set in a remote American house--but the atmosphere is a bit more sinister. Each is a fine example of murder under the mistletoe during the holiday season. The Films of Sherlock Holmes is an interesting (although a bit out of date) look at the Great Detective on film from the earliest minutes of silent film through Nicholas Meyer's The Seven Percent Solution. This December, I'm all about the the month's POM Award goes to....

This madcap mystery is great fun--with suspects popping in and out of rooms and dead bodies roaming through the hallways how could it not be? Smithy [our protagonist] gets in plenty of witty one-liners and exchanges bon mots with her two beaus...all while giving the local policeman a run for his money in the detecting business. Highly entertaining.

Stay tuned for the complete year-end review with the P.O.M. Grand Prize and other tidbits.

1 comment:

fredamans said...

Always a great month in books! Happy 2015 reading!