Thursday, December 2, 2021

November Pick of the Month


Here we are again for another reading round-up and the much-anticipated Reader's Block P.OM. Award. Even though things remained pretty calm at work, I had a severe slow down in the reading department--less than half what I managed in October. And the books weren't quite as good overall--with the average rating dropping below 3 stars for the first time in memory. Looking round the blogisphere, it seems that my reduced reading experience isn't unique.  Here's what the reading stats look like for November....

Total Books Read: 11
Total Pages: 2,660

Average Rating: 2.80 stars  
Top Rating: 4 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 55%
Percentage by Male Authors: 45%
Percentage by both Female & Male Authors: 0%
Percentage by US Authors: 45%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  9%
Percentage Mystery: 91%
Percentage Fiction: 91%
Percentage written 2000+: 18%
Percentage of Rereads: 27%
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: 26 (87%)

Spence & the Holiday Murders by Michael Allen (3.5 stars)
Death in High Heels by Christianna Brand (2.75 stars)
Dying Fall by Judith Cutler (3 stars)
Death Among the Stars by Kenneth Giles (1 star)
Death of an Obnoxious Tourist by Maria Hudgins (2.5 stars)
Murder under the Mistletoe by Jennifer Jordan [on TBR since 10/3/19] 
The Secret of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene (3.5 stars)
The Odor of Violets by Baynard Kendrick (4 stars)*
The American Gun Mystery by Ellery Queen (2 stars)
Murder at Feathers & Flair by Lee Strauss (4 stars)

*Read in November--but review scheduled for Reprint of the Year post in December, so no review link yet.

Once again, we have no five-star winners and only two books with four stars. In general, the quality mysteries just weren't on display in November. The Odor of Violets by Baynard Kendrick is an excellent mystery featuring a blind private detective. But this was a reread--done primarily for an entry in the Reprint of the Year Awards sponsored by Kate over at Cross Examining Crime in December. That means that the Reader's block POM Award is going to Lee Strauss for Murder at Feathers & Flair. Strauss has put together an interesting historical series set in the Golden Age and which features Lady Ginger Gold. As I said in my review: I think this was Strauss's best effort at mystifying me. Even though she plainly displayed two clues that should have told me who was responsible, I managed to disregard them. Well, not entirely, I did pay attention to one clue...for about two seconds. It didn't seem to lead anywhere so I promptly forgot about it. I could blame it on listening to an audio version (I don't seem to take things in quite so well if I don't actually read the words), but I don't think that's the reason. I just didn't hang on to it and put it together with the other clue. A nicely done mystery that left me looking forward to the next installment.

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