Thursday, July 2, 2015

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

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. Here's what happened here on the Block in May....

Total Books Read: 12
Total Pages:  2,603
Average Rating: 3.46 stars
Top Rating: 5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 50%
Percentage by US Authors: 66%
Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  0%
Percentage Mystery:  92%
Percentage Fiction: 100%
Percentage written 2000+: 16%
Percentage of Rereads: 0%
Percentage Read for Challenges: 100% {It's easy to have every book count for a challenge when you sign up for as many as I do.}  
Number of Challenges fulfilled so far: 8 (20%)

Well...twelve is pretty darn good considering I didn't read anything at all when I went on vacation with my parents. My page total did take a bit of a hit without a hefty nonfiction book to bulk up the numbers this month. We'll see what July brings.

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:

Double Cross Purposes by Ronald A. Knox (4 stars) 
The Darling Dahlias & the Cucumber Tree by Susan Wittig Albert (3 stars)
The Line-Up by Helen Reilly (3.5 stars) 
Falling Star by Patricia Moyes (3.5 stars) 
The Diamond-Studded Typewriter by Carlton Keith (4 stars) 
The Riddle of the Traveling Skull by Harry Stephen Keeler (6/21/15) 
The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie (6/22/15) 
Whisper Murder! by Vera Kelsey (6/24/15) 
The Humphrey Bogart Murder Case by George Baxt (6/26/15) 
Murder on Her Mind by Vechel Howard (6/27/15) 
The Summer School Mystery by Josephine Bell (
Again--as in May, I actually handed out one full five-star rating in June, but that went (also again) to science fiction master Harlan Ellison for Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, a graphic novel adaptation (by Scott & David Tipton) of Ellison's original screenplay for arguably Star Trek's best television episode. Unfortunately, that wasn't a mystery collection and doesn't qualify for the P.O.M. So, for the best mystery fiction we have two contenders with four stars each. The first is Agatha Christie's The A.B.C. Murders starring the brilliant Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot. It looks like England has a serial killer on its hands. Will Poirot be able to use his "little grey cells" to outwit the murderer before he can work his way through the rest of the alphabet? But Dame Agatha is a previous winner of the coveted Reader's Block P.O.M. and already abundantly decorated with honors, so let's move on. The Diamond-Studded Typewriter by Carlton Keith was a pleasant surprise. Keith put together a nifty little caper and a very likeable progatonist in Jeff Green. Jeff plays by his own rules--law-abiding citizen for the most part, but not above stretching a point here or there to ensure that justice as he sees it needs to be done. Not a puzzle plot, but recommended as a fun, light read. But I do like to give out P.O.M. awards to puzzling plots when possible....
Which means that this month's winner is

Double Cross Purposes by Ronald A. Knox. Knox was a fellow Golden Age author and member of the Detection Club with Christie and his novel is a quite lovely Golden Age Detective story--in every sense of the word. It was written between the wars, it's fairly clued, and it has a nifty, intricate puzzle plot. What more could a GAD-lover want? It has disguises and maps and suspicious chauffeurs. It has a curse on the treasure and a missing key. There is minister who seems a tad too interested in the treasure hunt and policemen who don't seem interested enough in dead bodies. 

1 comment:

fredamans said...

You had a great month for books! Happy July reading!