Friday, October 1, 2021

September's Pick of the Month


Here we are again for another reading round-up and the much-anticipated Reader's Block P.OM. Award. August saw my reading pace slow as we headed back into the English Department office--after over a year of working from home. But I still managed to average almost a book a day... And, unfortunately, September found me reading less again. Hopefully, now that things are calming down a bit a work, I can step it up a bit. But what did I read in September?

Total Books Read: 18
Total Pages: 4,291

Average Rating: 3.29 stars  
Top Rating: 4.5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 33%
Percentage by Male Authors: 56%
Percentage by both Female & Male Authors: 11%
Percentage by US Authors: 44%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  6%
Percentage Mystery: 94
Percentage Fiction: 100%
Percentage written 2000+: 33%
Percentage of Rereads: 11%
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: 25 (89%)

Mysteries/Mystery-Related Reads:

The River & the Rose by Sandra Abbott (1.5 stars)
DeKok & Variations on Murder by A. C. Baantjer (4 stars)
The House of Care by W. J. Burley (3 stars)
The Witch of the Low Tide by John Dickson Carr (3 stars)
Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (4 stars)
The Regatta Mystery by Agatha Christie (3 stars)
A Burial at Sea by Charles Finch (4 stars)
A Death in the Small Hours by Charles Finch (3.5 stars)
A Stranger in Mayfair by Charles Finch (3 stars)
The Appeal by Janice Hallett (4.5 stars)
Dolls Are Deadly by Brett Halliday (3.5 stars)
Practise to Deceive by Frances & Richard Lockridge (3 stars)
Many Deadly Returns by Patricia Moyes (2.75 stars)
Dead Woman's Ditch by Simon Nash (3 stars)
Murder at Archly Manor by Sara Rosett (4 stars)
The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (3 stars)
The Lake Frome Monster by Arthur W. Upfield (3 stars)

Of course, just looking at the ratings above, it is easy to see who our September winner is. Janice Hallett's The Appeal is the only book to gather up 4.5 stars and it very nearly ran away with five. As I said in my review: Everything depends on whose point of view is trustworthy (and to what extent) and understanding that a great deal of what is said in these messages may have more than one interpretation. Some readers may think that we're given a lot of fluff--gossip, trivia, etc.--in these emails, but appearances aren't always what they seem and a random comment may prove very important indeed. I was a bit upset with myself that I missed so many of the clues that were right there in the emails and texts.  This is a fantastic updating of the epistolary story--very reminiscent of Sayers' The Documents in the Case. My primary difficulty was keeping everybody straight--there are a lot of characters to keep track of.

Congratulations to Janice Hallett on such a terrific read!

No comments: