Wednesday 18 March 2020


A decent start to 2020's reading with 15 books of all shapes and sizes enjoyed in the month. 

Books? A bit of a stretch, as a couple of the reads were short stories available on Amazon as an individual entity.

One 5 STAR read and my obvious choice as Book of the Month - Lawrence Block's Resume Speed and Other Stories

4.5 STAR READS - x 3 - Mark J. Newman's In For the Kill, My Home, Rob Parker's Till Morning is Nigh and Lawrence Block's hilarious Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man

4 STAR READs - x 6 - Attica Locke and Heaven, My Home, Lawrence Block's non-fiction offering - Step By Step: A Pedestrian Memoir, Adam Maxwell with Come On Steal the Noise, Janet Roger's Shamus Dust, another bit of non-fiction from Block - The Liar's Bible and the short story from The Behrg - One Star  

3.5 STAR READ x 1 - Glenn McGoldrick's short - Roseberry Topping

3  STAR READS - x 3 - Blair Denholm's comedy sketches - Boyd and Sarge: NYPD Law and Disorder, Richard Anderson and Boxed and Roger McKnight's collection of short stories - Hopeful Monsters 

One slight disappointment in the month... 

2 STAR READ - x 1 - Art Gomez and Innocent Crimes

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

a young couple torn apart by a father's arrest for murder

a fixer in hock over gambling debts

a black Texas Ranger searching for the missing child of a white supremacist

a grief stricken farmer bewildered by the arrival of loads of boxes

an author turned race walker

allsorts in a collection of Minnesotan short stories

a loner turned lover turned loner and others

an ex-military man seeking to bring down some right wing nut jobs

a family reunion at Christmas while still on a caper

a shamus investigating murder in post war London

an author dispensing hints and tips of his craft

a hapless double act of two NYPD cops

a tortured soul seeking a way to end his pain

an unemployed man seeking to annoy his ex-employer, his wife, his friends, his former loves through straight talking correspondence

a publicity seeking author


LA then Mexico; Glasgow, Scotland and Newcastle, England; Caddo Lake, Texas; rural Australia; New York, Spain and all over the US; Minnesota; US - various; Manchester, England; Kilchester (fictional), England; London in the 40's; a writer's desk; New York; the North East of England; New York and Mexico in the late 60s or early 70s; in front of an author's computer;   

The full list of 15 reads with links to my reviews below......

Art Gomez - Innocent Crimes (2018) (2)

Mark J. Newman - In For the Kill (2016) (4.5)

Attica Locke - Heaven, My Home (2019) (4)

Richard Anderson - Boxed (2019) (3)

Lawrence Block - Resume Speed and Other Stories (2018) (5)

Roger McKnight - Hopeful Monsters (2019) (3)

Lawrence Block - Step by Step: A Pedestrian Memoir (2009) (4)

Rob Parker - Till Morning is Nigh (2019) (4.5)

Adam Maxwell - Come On Steal the Noise (2019) (4)

Janet Roger - Shamus Dust (2019) (4)

Lawrence Block - The Liar's Bible (2011) (4)

Blair Denholm - Boyd and Sarge: NYPD Law and Disorder (2019) (3)

Glenn McGoldrick - Roseberry Topping (2019) (3.5)

The Behrg - One Star (2019) (4)

Lawrence Block - Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man (1971) (4.5)

More information than you'll ever need to know ......

New to me authors in the month - 5 - Art Gomez, Richard Anderson, Roger McKnight, Janet Roger and The Behrg. I have another book by Richard Anderson on the TBR pile.

Authors enjoyed before - 7 - Attica Locke, Mark J. Newman, Lawrence Block, Glenn McGoldrick, Rob Parker, Blair Denholm, Adam Maxwell

The books by Mark J. Newman was a re-read.

I have more on the TBR pile from Mark J. Newman, Lawrence Block, Adam Maxwell, Glenn McGoldrick 

15 reads from 12 different authors - Lawrence Block was read (listened to) 4 times

4 were series books .....

Mark J. Newman's In For the Kill is the 2nd in his Crime Syndicate Thriller series

Attica Locke's Heaven, My Home is her 2nd Highway 59 - Darren Mathews book

Rob Parker's Till Morning is Nigh is his 4th Ben Bracken tale

Come on Steal the Noise by Adam Maxwell is another Kilchester outing - the 3rd

Gender analysis -  2 female authors, 10 male.

Of the 12 different authors read, 5 hail from the USA, 5 hail from England, 2 from Australia

13 reads were fiction, 2 non-fiction - both by Lawrence Block

14 of the 15 books read were published this century - 13 from the past decade

9 from 2019, 2 from 2018, 1 from 2016, 1 from 2011

Of the 2 older books, 1 was from the 2009 and 1 from 1971

None came from the man-cave blue tub stash in my garage - though I do have hard copies of a couple of the Lawrence Block books I enjoyed via Audible. When I find them I can get rid.

Publishers - Lawrence Block (x 4), Independently Published (x2), Mark J. Newman, Serpent's Tail, Isis Publishing Ltd, Storgy Books, Lume Books, The Lost Book Emporium, Matador, Amazon Media, Pricks Like Thorn Media

Of the 15 reads - 6 were pre-owned, though I did also obtain copies of 3 of them from the authors, another 5 came from the authors - thanks to Rob Parker, Adam Maxwell, Blair Denholm, Glenn McGoldrick, Lawrence Block (via David Trevor)

2 came from publsihers - thanks to Matador and Storgy Books

1 came from Net Galley - though after some laptop issues I had to get a copy from my local library to finish it.

1 came courtesy of Reedsy Discovery reviewer site.

Favourite cover? Richard Anderson - Boxed

Second favourite cover - Blair Denholm - Boyd and Sarge: NYPD Law and Disorder

My reads were this long 215- 104 - 308 - (8 hr 26 min) 294 - (12 hr 49 min) 365 - 270 - (4 hr 56 min) 176 - 226 - 93 - 376 - (11 hr 8 min) 294 - 122 - 14 - (3 hr 59 min) 194 - 17

Total page count =  3068 ( 929 in December) ....... an increase of 2139 pages

Eye balled pages - 1745
Ear hole pages - 1323 or 41 hrs 18 mins

5 were audible listens, 4 were Kindle reads (1 on the device, 3 via the laptop), 2 were paperbacks, 1 was a hardback, 3 were PDFs read on the laptop

Length - always important, though I try and tell my wife otherwise

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

Janet Roger's Shamus Dust was the longest read at 376 pages

Glenn McGoldrick's Roseberry Topping was the shortest at 14 pages long.


  1. Glad you didn't have a lot of disappointments this month, Col. And I'm not at all surprised to see that Block tops your list. You've had a lot of interesting, varied settings here, too. Here's to a good reading month this month!

    1. Thanks Margot, sorry for the delay in replying. Life, eh....

  2. That is a lot of reading. I think Shamus Dust appeals to me the most.