Sunday 3 August 2014


Book of the month!

My most productive and probably most enjoyable month's reading of the year, coming directly after my worst since records began. The wise among you reading last month's round-up, said don't fret and you were right - so thanks.

14 books read in the month - 12 were new to me with only McBain and Elaine Ash aka Anonymous-9 being read previously.

5 of the 14 were females, which is all good. (13 from 56 - 23% - a definite increase on last year)

I read 1 book from each of the following decades - the 30's, 40's, 60's, 70's and 90's, all the rest have been published either this year or in the past couple. I will have a few slots to cross off my Vintage reads bingo cards when I get around to it.

All authors are either UK or US plotting by nationality, so I guess I will have a couple of authors who will tick a box or two on my US State Reading Challenge when I update.

I reckon The Bone Church can be counted as an Espionage book.

Nothing to qualify for Scottish or Down Under reads.

1 ticked off on the TBR Mountain Challenge - Shock Corridor.

7 of those read weigh in at under 100 pages, which if I'm totally honest only number a couple of them at over 50 pages long. Do I care? Not really, just pleased to have located my mojo - it's been a while.

Nothing sucked - though Red Gardenias was the least enjoyable. It did have a couple of redeeming qualities though.

2 - 5 Star reads in the month. Matthew McBride and Joel Townsley Rogers.

Book of the month - The Red Right Hand, by virtue of the fact I'm still thinking about it on and off a week or more after reading.

Full list of July's books follows,
The runner up!
Michael Avallone - Shock Corridor (3)

Linda Grant - I Murdered My Library (4)

Victoria Dougherty - The Bone Church (4)

Lori Rader-Day - The Black Hour (4)

Anonymous-9 - Just So You Know I'm Not Dead (4)

Ed McBain - Driving Lessons (3)

Matthew McBride - A Swollen Red Sun (5)

Joel Townsley Rogers - The Red Right Hand (5)

John Lutz - The Truth Of The Matter (4)

John Dolan - Jim Fosse's Expense Claim (4)

Jonathan Latimer - Red Gardenias (3)

Verge Le Noir - Black Pills And Red Bullets (4)

Keith Nixon - Dream Land (4)

Eva Hudson - The Last Ride (4)


  1. I wonder how yo can manage to read 14 books a month, Col. Very impressive.

    1. Jose, thanks. A lot of the books read were extremely short, but I'm happy to be enthused again about reading.

  2. Col, I'm impressed too. Unless my arithmetic is wrong, you read a book almost every two days. You ought to do a piece on your reading habits.

    1. Prashant, it a slightly skewed month because of the proliferation of shortish reads, but I'm happy with my month's reading overall.

    2. Col, long or short, it all adds up. The only way to boost my numbers is to throw in a few magazine articles as well!

    3. I might do that myself! I'm still behind on my target for the year!

  3. The Right Red Hand sounds like the one for me - love a bit of odd vintage crime (and it does sound like odd is as much a part as vintage!).

    1. Vicki, I would definitely recommend it to you, even though I can't recall a single pineapple!

  4. Col - You've had a goo month of it. Good to hear there were no complete disappointments in the lot. And I'm not surprised about your pick of the month. That one's gone onto my list.

    1. Margot cheers - best month of the year so far. I look forward to your reaction to The Red Right Hand if and when you get to it.

  5. Right with you on The Red Right Hand - I keep thinking about it too. Highly memorable. Glad you had such a good month, and look forward to more to come....

    1. Moira thanks. Fingers crossed August is as productive.

  6. Have you noticed you have been reading a lots of books with red covers, and they are wonderful covers? I am sure I will be reading The Red Right Hand someday.

    1. I hadn't realised - 4 in the month with Red in the title and covers to suit. I think I struggle to enthuse, picking up a book with a cover that is indifferent. No skulls I'm afraid! I hope you do read the Townsley Rogers sometime soon.