Thursday, May 6, 2021

April 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--though I'm a bit late this time. 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 this year. 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 out two awards. So...let's see what I've been up to in April.

Total Books Read: 21
Total Pages: 5,106

Average Rating: 3.5 stars  
Top Rating: 4 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 61%
Percentage by Male Authors: 38%
Percentage by both Female & Male Authors: 1%
Percentage by US Authors: 57%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  0%
Percentage Mystery: 86
Percentage Fiction: 90%
Percentage written 2000+: 14%
Percentage of Rereads: 4%
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: 11 (42%)

Mysteries/Mystery-Related Reads
Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs (4 stars)
Murdock's Acid Test by George Harmon Coxe (3.5 stars)
The Ivory Snuff Box by Arnold Fredericks (3 stars)
What Darkness Brings by C. S. Harris (4 stars)
Why Kings Confess by C. S. Harris (4 stars)
Gently in the Sun by Alan Hunter (3 stars)
The African Poison Murders by Elspeth Huxley (2.5 stars)
Fire in the Thatch by E. C. R. Lorac (4 stars)
An Ad for Murder by John Penn (3.5 stars)
One Murdered: Two Dead by Milton Propper (3.5 stars)
The Egyptian Cross Mystery by Ellery Queen (4 stars)
Mr. Smith's Hat by Helen Reilly (3.75 stars)
The Lazarus Tree by Robert Richardson (2.75 stars)
The Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers & Robert Eustace (3 stars)
Murder Goes to College by Kurt Steel (3 stars)
Who Killed Stella Pomeroy? by Sir Basil Thomson (4 stars)
Smooth Justice by Michael Underwood (3.5 stars)
Murder in the Bookshop by Carolyn Wells (2.5 stars)

Well, there were no five-star winners last month, but April did see a bumper crop of four stars. C. S. Harris claimed two with her excellent historical mystery series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr. George Bellairs, E.C.R. Lorac, Ellery Queen--all familiar names to Golden Age Detection fans also picked up four stars. The surprise winner in the bunch was Sir Basil Thomson's Who Killed Stella Pomeroy? 

 I'd not read anything by Thomson before and I only wound up with this one because it was included in a Lot of vintage books that the hubby got me for Christmas in 2018. It was unexpectedly delightful Thomson was head of the Metropolitan Police during WWI, so the investigation had an authentic ring to it but the writing was neither dull nor overburdened with procedure. In fact--if I hadn't had the prospect of work looming before me the next morning, I might have stayed up until the wee hours to finish it. The plot was quite sound and the sufficiently mysterious to satisfy any detective fiction fan. And should come as no surprise that Thomson is walking off with the P.O.M. honors for April.

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