Saturday, July 31, 2021

July 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. 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 out two awards. So, since it's unlikely that I'll get another book read tonight...let's see what I've been up to in July.

July was a reading bonanza! I somehow managed to read 34 books. But I'm very afraid that pace is going to come to a screeching halt. We are headed back on Monday to full-time in the office--after over a year of working from home. Having to commute just seems to put a damper on the reading mojo. But fingers crossed that it won't cut things down too much...

Total Books Read: 34
Total Pages: 8,104

Average Rating: 3.4 stars  
Top Rating: 4.5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 42%
Percentage by Male Authors: 45%
Percentage by both Female & Male Authors: 13%
Percentage by US Authors: 52%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  13%
Percentage Mystery: 91
Percentage Fiction: 98%
Percentage written 2000+: 19%
Percentage of Rereads: 5%
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: 23 (82%)

Mysteries/Mystery-Related Reads:

Quaker Witness by Irene Allen (2 stars)
Murder Draws a Line by Willetta Ann Barber & R. F. Schabelitz (3 stars)
Trixie Belden & the Mystery Off Glen Road by Julie Campbell (3 stars)
The Bride of Newgate by John Dickson Carr (4 stars)
The Basle Express by Manning Coles (3.5  stars)
Drink to Yesterday by Manning Coles (4 stars)
The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher (4 stars)
Great French Detective Stories by T. J. Hale, ed (3 stars)
What the Devil Knows by C. S. Harris (4 stars)
Who Speaks for the Damned by C. S. Harris (4.5 stars)
Murder Underground by Mavis Doriel Hay (3 stars)
Naked Came the Manatee by Carl Hiassen, Dave Barry, et al  (1 star)
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume (3.25 stars)
Lord Mullion's Secret by Michael Innes (3 stars)
Strangled in Paris by Claude Izner (2 stars)
Stone Cold Blonde by Adam Knight (1 star)
Two-Way Murder by E. C. R. Lorac (4.5 stars)
Murder at Teatime by Cynthia Manson, ed (3.5 stars)
The Illusion of Murder by Carol McCleary (3.5 stars)
After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson (3 stars)
Cats Don't Smile by D. B. Olsen (3.5 stars)
Callander Square by Anne Perry (3 stars)
The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry (4 stars)
The Graveyard Rolls by Maurice Procter (3 stars)
Road Rage by Ruth Rendell (3.5 stars)
The Red Right Hand by Joel Townsley Rogers (2.5 stars)
The Kennel Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine (4 stars)
Giant Mystery Reader by Various (ed by Avon Books) (4 stars)
The Portcullis Room by Valentine Williams (3.5 stars)
No Medals for the Major by Margaret Yorke (4 stars)
The Perfect Crime (aka The Big Bow Mystery) by Israel Zangwill (with "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe) (4 stars)

Once again C. S. Harris makes it into the final round with a 4.5 star rating for Who Speaks for the Damned, one of the most recent entries in her Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series. Joining Harris at the top is E. C. R. Lorac with the recently published Two-Way Murder. I am very thankful that Martin Edwards and the British Library found a way to bring this long lost novel into print. It is absolutely delightful and I would hate to have missed out on Lorac's final book. It is a very strong work and certainly Lorac showed no sign of declining powers in this, her final work. I'm most pleased to award July's P.O.M. prize to...

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