Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Wrap-Up and P.O.M. Award

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I'm enjoying another year of tracking reading progress and statistics for all things bookish on the Block. I will also be contributing to Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month. Now, what happened here on the Block in March....

Total Books Read: 11
Total Pages:  2,450

Average Rating: 3.18 stars  
Top Rating: 4 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 45%

Percentage by US Authors: 27%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  0%
Percentage Mystery:  82% 

Percentage Fiction: 82%
Percentage written 2000+: 18%
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: 4 (10%)

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. March was a big month for mysteries with nine coming from that field and two in non-fiction. And one of the non-fiction was all about poisoning, so it could almost count. Here are the books read:

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (3 stars)
Death & Mr. Prettyman by Kenneth Giles (3 stars)
Top of the Heap by A. A. Fair (3 stars)
Night Train to Paris by Manning Coles (4 stars)
The Underdog & Other Stories by Agatha Christie (3 stars) 

Playground of Death by John Buxton Hilton (2.5 stars)
Malice Domestic by Sara Woods (3 stars)
Murder Fantastical by Patricia Moyes (4 stars)
Dine & Be Dead by Gwendoline Butler (2 stars) 

This month three books earned four stars out of five but only two of them are mysteries: Night Train to Paris by Manning Coles and Murder Fantastical by Patricia Moyes. The Coles book is a fun outing.
Spy thrillers aren't my usual fare, but this particular series is breezy, witty, and humorous. There are more coincidences and unlikely events than you can shake a stick at--but you don't care, dead bodies accumulate at an alarming rate, and there is, of course, no real mystery about who did what to whom, but it's a rollicking good yarn. The Moyes novel
is a fun, humorous and very cozy take on the police procedural.  Yes, we're following Inspector Tibbett around, but the focus isn't on tracking down clues in the conventional way or gathering up evidence to send to the lab. The focus of the story is on Tibbett's interactions with the Manciples and various other characters connected with the crime. A very interesting character study and a delightful read. Both novels are fun to read--making a P.O.M. Award selection difficult this time around. But I do have to choose...and, that being the case, I'm going to give the nod to Murder Fantastical by Moyes.  

The book is worth it for the description of Bishop Manciple’s visit to a new neighbor to borrow some margarine. He arrives dressed in “an old-fashioned bathing costume... Wellington boots... carrying a flowered Japanese sunshade, a clarinet, and a string bag” while on his way to the river for a swim and a little musical practice.


1 comment:

fredamans said...

Another great month in reading down, only a bunch more to go. :-)
Happy April reading!