Monday, March 1, 2021

February Pick of the Month


When I decided to renew my Pick of the Month Awards, I was amazed to find that it had been three years since I put together a monthly list of books read, stats, ratings, and overall My Reader's Block P.O.M. Award winner. So far (two whole months!), I'm sticking to the plan. In the past, I had participated in Kerrie's Pick of the Month meme which focused on mysteries, but it doesn't look like she's got that up and running. My plan is to focus on mysteries (since that's the bulk of what I read), but if there are non-mysteries worthy of a P.O.M. award then I will hand two awards. So...let's see what I've been up to in February.

Total Books Read: 16
Total Pages: 4,882

Average Rating: 3.41 stars  
Top Rating: 5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 56%
Percentage by Male Authors: 44%
Percentage by both Female & Male Authors: 0%
Percentage by US Authors: 31%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  6%
Percentage Mystery: 75
Percentage Fiction: 94%
Percentage written 2000+: 31%
Percentage of Rereads: 19%
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: 5 (20%)

Mysteries Read:
1. The Boomerang Clue  [aka Why Didn't They Ask Evans?] by Agatha Christie (4 stars)
2. The Listerdale Mystery by Agatha Christie (3 stars)
3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (4 stars)
4. The Adventure of the Peerless Peer by Philip Jose Farmer (1 star)
5. The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer (3.5 stars) [romance/mystery]
6. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (5 stars)
7. The Bookwanderers by Anna James (5 stars)
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre (3 stars)
9. Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (3 stars)
10. The Cannibal Who Overate by Hugh Pentecost (3 stars)
11. Murder at Bray Manor by Lee Strauss (3 stars)
12. Behind the Green Door by Mildred A. Wirt (3 stars)

As in January, of the books read this month I handed out two five-star ratings. But February's stars both have mystery elements. The first one to scoop up five stars was a young adult story with equal parts mystery and adventure which I read for one of the challenges I do that pushes me out of my comfort zone of vintage mysteries and mysteries in the vintage tradition. The Bookwanderers by Anna James features Tilly Pages who has lived under a cloud of mystery ever since her mother disappeared when she was a baby. The story reveals that she comes from a family of Bookwanderers (those who can actually enter the fictional worlds of books) and in her adventures she manages to unravel the mystery surrounding both her parents. 

The other five-star winner was Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders. This was fantastically put together. A great homage to classic detective novels with nods to characters and places particularly in the novels of Agatha Christie. Horowitz does an excellent job of laying out the clues and then distracting you from them in both the inner story written by Conway and the framing story about Conway's death. He actually did a much better job with the inner mystery--I didn't guess the culprit there, though I clearly recognized the clues once I finished. I did figure out the plot surrounding Conway's death, but the fact that it was more obvious to me didn't detract from my enjoyment. A truly fun, twisty read.

Last month I handed out two P.O.M Awards. However, since both of the February five-star winners have mystery elements I'm going to have to make a decision.....and that means our February P.O.M. Award Winner is.....Anthony Horowitz and The Magpie Murders.

No comments: