Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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

I'm still running behind on tracking reading progress and statistics for all things bookish on the Block. I'm also one review behind....but at least I'm doing better than January! I've got February's stats ready to log and I'll be contributing to Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month and handing out the coveted P.O.M. Award for the best mystery. So, here we go--let's take a look at February....

Total Books Read: 13
Total Pages: 2,829

Average Rating: 3.42 stars  
Top Rating: 5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 85%

Percentage by US Authors: 69%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  8%
Percentage Mystery:  77% 

Percentage Fiction: 100%
Percentage written 2000+: 8%
Percentage of Rereads: 15%
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--one final post coming (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. February found me with ten mysteries. Here are the mysteries read:

Lament for a Lady Laird by Margot Arnold (3 stars)  
Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh (3.5 stars) 
Avalanche by Kay Boyle (3 stars) 
Another Woman's House by Mignon G. Eberhart (3 stars) 
Beverly Gray's Secret by Clair Blank (3 stars)
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (5 stars)
The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird (5 stars) 
With Blood & Kisses by Richard Shattuck (4 stars) 
Odor of Violets by Baynard Kendrick (4 stars) 
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (3 stars)

This was a solid mystery-reading month with ten of my thirteen logged in the mystery field and all entries coming in at three stars or better. There were two five-star winners--both of them as rereads of books I first encountered over thirty years ago. It was nice to see that favorites from my early days of mystery-reading still came up to scratch when I revisited them.  The Daugher of Time by Josephine Tey and The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird were also my first introduction to each of these authors.

Tey's historical mystery
was just as entertaining this time around--even though I already knew what they found out and that it wasn't the big bombshell discovery that Carradine (and I) thought it was. I paid more attention to the research methods and the details than I did so many years ago. I enjoyed the little discoveries--the pieces found in letters and brief mentions in historical accounts that help them build their case for Richard's innocence. Not strictly speaking a straight detective novel, but it definitely helped get me interested in historical novels and in finding more Josephine Tey mysteries years ago. In February, I enjoyed listening to it in audio version from BBC Radio 4 Extra read by Paul Young because I can't figure out what I did with the hard copy I bought myself sometime after I read it from the library--younger Bev forgot to record the date bought on this one. The audio version was excellent.

 But--much as I enjoyed The Daughter of Time, Tey was edged out by our P.O.M. winner:

Aird has given us a mystery novel that is firmly rooted in the vintage works of the Golden Age. Though her book is set in the late 1960s, the detective work could have been done by Inspector Alleyn in 30s. The style of investigation is very much of an earlier era and she has made a definite effort to display her clues in a nod to the "fair play" school. That alone makes this an excellent novel, but she also entertains us by making fun of the very tropes she emulates. She plays on standard motifs and plot devices and serves up a denouement that should make classic crime buffs howl in dismay--but, it fits with the atmosphere she has skillfully employed. 

1 comment:

fredamans said...

13 books is pretty good for such a short month! Happy March!