Thursday, April 1, 2021

March 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, 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 March.

Total Books Read: 13
Total Pages: 3,175

Average Rating: 3.75 stars  
Top Rating: 5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 69%
Percentage by Male Authors: 23%
Percentage by both Female & Male Authors: 8%
Percentage by US Authors: 31%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  15%
Percentage Mystery: 77
Percentage Fiction: 92%
Percentage written 2000+: 31%
Percentage of Rereads: 23%
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: 9 (35%)

Mysteries/Mystery-Related Read
Dead, Man, Dead by David Alexander (3 stars)
Blue Octavo by John Blackburn (3.5 stars)
Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie (4 stars)
Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective by Agatha Christie (3 stars)
Murder in 3 Acts by Agatha Christie (3/26/21)
Final Notice by Jo Dereske (3 stars)
Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh/Stella Duffy (3.75 stars)
The Coconut Killings by Patricia Moyes (3 stars)
The Devil & the Dark Water by Stuart Turton (4 stars)

In March the only five-star winner was nonfiction: Taking Detective Stories Seriously the collection of crime reviews  by Dorothy L. Sayers edited by Martin Edwards. This was a delightful book featuring Sayers' wit and keen eye and I enjoyed every bit of the reviews. [It also added to the long list of books I would love to find and own--but we won't talk about that.] Next in line after Sayers, we have Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie, Bodies from the Library edited by Tony Medawar, and The Devil & the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, each claiming four stars. Christie's book was a fun read (as hers so often are) and Turton's was an absorbing read that kept me glued to its pages until the finish line. But Turton's finish let me down a bit and Christie is often a full-star winner, so this month we're going to hand the coveted glittering P.O.M. Award for mysteries to all the writers featured in Bodies from the Library (and, see, Dame Agatha will sneak in there anyway). And...we'll let Sayers have one for her delightful reviews as well.

This is a delightful anthology full of stories that have either never been published before or only once upon a time in newspapers or magazines. I particularly enjoyed the earliest detective story by Georgette Heyer as well as stories by A. A. Milne, Arthur W. Upfield, and Vincent Cornier. It's a collection that has me looking forward to reading the second and third anthologies.

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