Wednesday 28 August 2019


A decent month's reading - 11 books in total, with one stand-out 5 STAR read - funny enough the first book I picked up in the month. Two 3 STAR reads which weren't amazing, but ok overall. The rest were in-between.

5 STAR - PICK OF THE MONTH - Peter Ritchie's Our Little Secrets

4.5 STAR READS - just scraping the crossbar x 4 - Owen Laukkanen's Deception Cove, Patrick E. McLean and The Soak, Matt Phillips and Countdown and M.P. Wright's A Sinner's Prayer 

4 STAR READS x 3 - Jack Lynch and The Dead Never Forget, Linwood Barclay's The TwentThree and The Best Lousy Choice by Jim Nesbitt

3.5 STARS x 1 - Anthony Horowitz - The Magpie Murders

3 STAR x 2 - David Gordon and The Hard Stuff and The Scribe by A.A. Chaudhuri

I spent time in the company of .....

a criminal fraternity, the leader hiding a secret along with an ambitious cop

an author, his editor and his ailing series character in a dual murder mystery

an ex-reporter turned PI caught in the crossfire of a gang war

a detective investigating a mass poisoning in a small town, more murders occurring and lots on his plate

a damaged veteran, an ex-con, a rescue dog and some dodgy cops

a career criminal too stubborn to retire and on one last job

a bouncer with connections to organised crime and involved in a diamond and drugs heist

an ex-cop, PI looking into a suspicious death in the Texas borderlands

a cop, a legal eagle and a twisted serial killer

a West Indian caretaker, coerced by the police into some investigating into the disappearance of an Indian man

a Californian pot-shop collective and some reprobates interested in some easy plunder

Settings...... Edinburgh; near Bath and somewhere in Suffolk (from memory); San Francisco and other Californian parts; a small town (Promise Falls - fictitious?) in New York state; a small coastal community (Deception Cove - made up?) in Washington state;  Charlotte - North Carolina and the Florida Keys; New York; East Texas badlands; London; Bristol, England in the late 60s and present day San Diego

The full list for the month.........

Peter Ritchie - Our Little Secrets (2019) (5)

Anthony Horowitz - Magpie Murders (2016) (3.5)

Jack Lynch - The Dead Never Forget (1982) (4)

Linwood Barclay - The Twenty-Three (2016) (4)

Owen Laukkanen - Deception Cove (2019) (4.5)

Patrick E. McLean - The Soak (2017) (4.5)

David Gordon - The Hard Stuff (2019) (3)

Jim Nesbitt - The Best Lousy Choice (2019) (4)

A.A. Chaudhuri - The Scribe (2019) (3)

M.P. Wright - A Sinner's Prayer (2019) (4.5)

Matt Phillips - Countdown (2019) (4.5)

Anal analysis time read on if you're an insomniac ......

New to me authors in the month - 5 - M.P. Wright, A.A. Chaudhuri, Jim Nesbitt, Anthony Horowitz and Jack Lynch

I have more on the pile to read from M.P Wright, Jim Nesbitt and Jack Lynch,

Authors enjoyed before - 6 - Matt Phillips, Peter Ritchie, David Gordon, Owen Laukkanen, Patrick E. McLean and Linwood Barclay

There's more on the TBR pile from 4 of them - Owen Laukkanen, Peter Ritchie, Matt Phillips and Linwood Barclay

11 reads from 11 different authors.

6 were series books .....

Peter Ritchie - Our Little Secrets was the 5th Detective Grace Macallan - my second series read

M.P. Wright - A Sinner's Prayer was the 4th J.T. Ellington book dis-counting a couple of short stories - my first series encounter

David Gordon's The Hard Stuff was the second Joe the Bouncer book. I read the first - The Bouncer

Linwood Barclay's The Twenty-Three was the author's third Promise Falls book and my first.

Jack Lynch and The Dead Never Forget was the first in a series of eight featuring Peter Bragg - my first series encounter

Jim Nesbitt's The Best Lousy Choice is the third entry in Nesbitt's Ed Earl Burch series and my first time.

Series maybes....

Owen Laukkanen's Deception Cove could spawn a series.

Ditto A.A. Chaudhuri's The Scribe..... assuming both authors pick up again with the main characters which featured this time around

Gender analysis - 1 female authors, 10 male. No further comment really necessary

Another poor attempt at diversity in my reading! Deja-vous.
It looks like I'll have to sort out another all-female reading month later in the year to address the imbalance. Blah, blah, blah

Of the 11 different authors read, 5 hailed from the USA, 3 from England, 2 from Canada and 1 from Scotland - as best I can tell.

All 11 of the reads were fiction,

10 of the 11 books read were published this century - all 10 this decade
7 from 2019, 1 from 2017, 2 from 2016

1 book was from 1982,

1 came from the man-cave blue tub stash in my garage.
Linwood Barclay's The Twenty-Three but I don't think I've had it too long.

Publishers -  Mulholland Books x 1, Mysterious Press x 1, Spotted Mule Press x 1, Endeavour Media x 1, All Due Respect (an imprint of Down and Out Books) x 1, Orion x 2, Black and White Publishing x 2, Brash Books x 2 

(1 of the above probably passes as self-published but I'm fine reading that.)

4 of the 11 reads were pre-owned,

2 were accessed at Net Galley early reviewer site, cheers to publisher Mulholland Books and Mysterious Press.

I was impatient waiting on a response so also got one of these via Edelweiss - Above the Treeline, early reviewer site, thanks to Mysterious Press again!

3 were received directly from the publisher - cheers to Endeavour Media and Black and White Publishing

1 came direct from the author - cheers Jim Nesbitt

1 came from the author/author's publicist - cheers to Matt Phillips and Henry Roi.

Favourite cover? Owen Laukkanen - Deception Cove

Second favourite cover -  Jack Lynch - The Dead Never Forget

My reads were this long 416 - 564 - 304 - 512 - 339 - 216 - 320 - 269 - 391 - 336 - 149

Total page count = 3816 (2377 in June) ....... an increase of 1439 pages

2 were Kindle reads, 1 was Kindle from the laptop, 2 were ePub files read on the laptop, 4 were paperbacks and 2 were PDF files read on the laptop

0 < 50,
0 between 51 < 100,
1 between 101 < 200,
2 between 201 < 300,
5 between 301 < 400,
1 between 401 < 500
2 over 500 pages

Anthony Horowitz and Magpie Murders was the longest read at 564 pages

Matt Phillips with Countdown was the shortest at 149 pages long.


  1. I agree with you about the cover of Deception Cove, Col. It's a fabulous cover. And I'm glad you had a good reading month. Always nice when there are no real disappointments.

  2. Couldn't agree with you more about the Owen Laukkanen cover, Col! (I see Margot's already said the same.) And the Jack Lynch one is pretty splendid too. It's a pity that a book you rate so highly, the Peter Ritchie, has been given such a bog-standard, formulaic illustration -- it seems every other thriller these days has young-woman-in-raincoat-retreating-from-the-camera on the cover.

    1. Yes, I'm not especially drawn to the woman walking away theme. It's fairly prevalent at the minute.

  3. Col – Thanks for the list. Lynch is another author I need to try.

  4. That sounds like a good month for you. Two Canadian authors there that I would like to read but haven't yet. And the Jack Lynch series sounds interesting.

    1. Tracy, I've been doing okay with Canadian reading in the past few months! I'm hoping to read more from the Lynch series as well going forward.