Thursday 22 March 2018


Another decent month's reading with 19 books devoured in the month and not too many short ones among the pile.

Nothing sucked only 1 - 3 STAR read

3 x 5 STAR reads - Blair Denholm's Sold - David Young's A Darker State and Steve Brewer's Homesick Blues

Pick of the month - Sold by Blair Denholm - on the basis that at the time of typing, this one would be what I would pick up out of the three for a re-read.

I read seven Lawrence Block books last month, only four this time around, but still more than any of the other guys and gals enjoyed. There were two from Steve Brewer and a couple from Ray Banks in the month after a 10 year sabattical. Everyone else was a one-hit wonder.

The full list with links...

Blair Denholm - Sold (2017) (5)

G.B. Williams - Locked In (2018) (3)

David Young - A Darker State (2018) (5)

Andrew Webber - Today (2015) (4)

Nick Kolakowski - Slaughterhouse Blues (2018) (4.5)

Ray Banks - Wolf Tickets (2013) (4.5)

Steve Brewer - Shotgun Boogie (2016) (4.5)

Andy Rausch - Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties (2017) (4.5)

David Owen - Big Red Rock (2017) (4.5)

Ray Banks - Trouble's Braids (2017) (4.5)

William Paul - Sleeping Pretty (1995) (4)

Lawrence Block - Keller's Designated Hitter (2001) (4)

Lawrence Block - Keller's Fedora (2016) (4.5)

Lawrence Block - Keller's Homecoming (2011) (4.5)

Lawrence Block - Quotidian Keller (2007) (4.5)

Margot Kinberg - Past Tense (2016) (4)

Steve Brewer - Homesick Blues (2016) (5)

Graham Smith - No Comment (2018) (4)

T.M. Logan - 29 Seconds (2018) (4.5)

Dissecting the month to the nth degree.....

10 x 4.5 STAR READS...... Lawrence Block x 3, Ray Banks x 2,  Andy Rausch, Nick Kolakowski, David Owen, T.M. Logan and Steve Brewer 

5 x 4 STAR READS.....Lawrence Block, Margot Kinberg, Andrew Webber, Graham Smith and William Paul

1 x 3 STAR READ ..... enjoyable, but not without a few niggles - G.B. Williams and Locked In

19 reads from 14 different authors, 4 from Lawrence Block, and a couple each from Steve Brewer and Ray Banks

5 of the 14 were new-to-me authors....... Blair Denholm, David Young, Andy Rausch, Margot Kinberg and T.M. Logan 

Of these newbies, I have more waiting from Margot Kinberg and David Young on the pile.

By definition, 9 authors have been enjoyed before - obviously! Lawrence Block, Nick Kolakowski, Graham Smith, Ray Banks, G.B. Williams, Steve Brewer, David Owen, William Paul and Andrew Webber

I have more on the pile from Lawrence Block, Graham Smith, Steve Brewer, Ray Banks, David Owen and William Paul

Gender analysis -  mostly male authors, 2 females - Margot Kinberg and G.B. Williams....... despite assertions that I'm going to correct the imbalance in my reading, I never do.
(An all female reading month is coming soon!)

I believe of the 14 authors I read, 4 are English, 5 hail from the US, 3 are Scottish, 1 is Australian and 1 originally hailing from Zimbabwe, but a long time settled in Australia.

All 19 of the reads were fiction - 13 novels and 6 long short stories or novellas, including a collection of 3 novellas from Andy Rausch, 5 reads were less than 100 pages long

Only one of the books - Sleeping Pretty by William Paul, pre-dated the 2000s (and that was re-issued last year).

2 of the Lawrence Block reads were penned in the 2000s, the other 16 books were from this decade - including five 2018 books, four from 2017, four from 2016 with one each from 2015, 2013 and 2011.

9 of the 19 books were accessed via a Kindle Unlimited trial, 4 were review copies made available from the publisher - Bloodhound Books, Bonnier Zaffre (x 2) and Clan Destine Press, 3 came from the authors and 3 were pre-owned.

Favourite cover? Shotgun Boogie by Steve Brewer

Second favourite – David Owen's Big Red Rock

My reads were this long 328 - 277 - 384 - 109 - 172 - 189 - 327 - 102 - 312 - 210 - 217 - 33 - 96 - 70 - 428 - 41 - 342 - 99 - 434

Total page count = 4170 (2761 in January)....... a 1400 page increase

14 Kindle reads, 1 x PDF and 4 x paperbacks.

2 < 50,
3 between 51 < 100,
4 between 101 < 200,
3 between 201 < 300,
5 between 301 < 400,
2  > 400 pages

T.M. Logan's 29 Seconds was the longest read at 434 pages.

Lawrence Block with Keller's Designated Hitter was the shortest at 33 pages long


  1. You did have a good month, Col. Don't you love it when your reading doesn't turn out to be a big disappointment? And there are a few in here I'd like to read, myself. I'm really glad you liked Sold as much as you did. As soon as I read it, I thought it'd be up your street.

    1. One of my best month's for a while Margot. SOLD was really really good!

  2. An impressive month's reading - that's a book about every one and a half days !! There's a lot to be said for a spell of grotty weather outside stimulating the reading count inside.

    1. Cheers Spade and Dagger. Not quite so many this month but still not too bad. I could do with getting snowed in for about 6 months, to let me do some catching up.

  3. I do like that cover on Shotgun Boogie. Looks like you had a very good month, and lots of books. And lots of Keller.

    1. A great month, a bit slower in March but hey hoh, still some great books!

  4. I’ve got a bunch of these on the list, including your three 5-Star reads. Thanks once again for all your reviews. I might name my rapidly growing TBR pile Col’s Criminal Library West.

    1. Elgin, hopefully they live up to the 5 - star billing!