Friday 12 February 2016


A great start to the year reading-wise. 14 books in total - 10 novels and 4 short stories - 3 from the maestro Lawrence Block. He could entertain me with his shopping list I reckon.

What was devoured in January........

Evangeline Jennings - Beretta (2015) (4.5)

Dietrich Kalteis - The Deadbeat Club (2015) (5)

Nicholas Searle - The Good Liar (2015) (5)

C. J. Howell - The Hundred Mile View (2016) (4)

Max Everhart - Alphabet Land (2016) (4.5)

Rusty Barnes - Ridgerunner (2016) (4.5)

Carlito Sofer/Nik Krasno - Rise of an Oligarch (2014) (3.5)

Patricia Highsmith - Strangers on a Train (1950) (3)

Max Allan Collins - Quarry (1976) (4.5)

Lawrence Block - If You Can't Stand the Heat (Kit Tolliver 1) (2013) (4)

Ellen Kirschman - The Right Wrong Thing (2015) (4.5)

Lawrence Block - Rude Awakening (Kit Tolliver 2) (2013) (4)

Terry Shames - A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge (2015) (4.5)

Lawrence Block - You Can Call Me Lucky (Kit Tolliver 3) (2013) (4)

As is my want, a bit of data of no interest to anyone other than myself.......

14 reads from 12 different authors, 13 really as Carlito Sofer and Nik Krasno co-authored one of the books.

6 (or 7) of the 12 (or 13) were new-to-me authors.

2 – 5 star reads Dietrich Kalteis - The Deadbeat Club and Nicholas Searle - The Good Liar.

Book of the month on the basis that I'd be more inclined to re-read this one - Dietrich Kalteis and The Deadbeat Club!

I'm fairly sure Dietrich's debut Ride the Lightning was also a book of the month back in 2014!

Review here.

I wonder if his third, Triggerfish will complete the hat-trick?

6 of the 14 were 4.5 star reads, 4 scored 4.0 and 1 was a 3.5. 1 was a 3.0..... 

The 3.5 was good not great - Rise of an Oligarch

Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train was a struggle, one which slowed my reading right down and which felt a bit like a homework assignment.

8 of the 12 authors read were male. 4 females - an increase on last month! 

Cover of the month! Tough - I really like the covers on the 280 Steps imprints and find it hard to choose between the 3 I read, maybe C. J. Howell's The Hundred Mile View shades it.

8 of the 12 authors hail from the US - not a surprise!. 1 from England, 1 from Britain (I can't find out whether he English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish), 1 from Canada, score 0.5 each for the Ukraine and Israel. 

1 book from the 1950s, 1 from the 70s, 12 from this decade - 2013 (x3), 2014 (x1), 2015 (x5) and 2016 (x3).

All 14 were fiction. 

3 books were sent to me by the author, 3 from the publishers, 3 from Edelweiss review site, courtesy of publisher 280 Steps. 5 were owned copies - though 3 of them were gotten from Amazon when freebies.(Thank you Mr Block!)

3 were paperbacks, 1 was a hardback, 6 were Kindle reads, 1 was a PDF and 3 were ADOBE files and were read on my laptop.

I have now started my next Max Allan Collins series after finishing Nolan. Quarry went with a bang - 1 down, 10 to go!

I did manage to start Bill Pronzini's Casefile short stories - my other ongoing one a month series, but didn't get it finished - I'm about halfway as of 1st February  

Total page count - 2593 - a massive increase on December's 1334.

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise, collates crime fiction bloggers monthly round ups and their best books over at her site.

Check out what others enjoyed in January here.

Rest of the covers.......


  1. A good month, indeed, Col. You had a lot more good reads than books that weren't as appealing to you. And you've reminded me that Lawrence Blook is just as good at shorter stories as at novels.

    1. Margot cheers. Not much here that I didn't like - only really one book.

  2. Another great reading month for you. I hope I like the first Dietrich Kalteis book, Ride the Lightning, as much as you did. I just ran into Lawrence Block's huge book of short stories, Enough Rope, in one of my tubs of books. I am going to sample some of those soonish.

    1. Tracy, thanks. February's been a bit quieter so far, but there's still plenty of time yet! I might dig out my massive collection of his short stories and keep them handy. I hope you enjoy Ride the Lightning.

  3. Col, I'm looking forward to reading Highsmith, Block, and Collins soon this year. I'm curious about Dietrich Kalteis' work too.

    1. If you can read those four you'll have a great reading year. I hope you enjoy Highsmith a bit more than me!

  4. Good set of books there, and I enjoyed the stats as ever. And agree - your chosen cover is awesome.

    1. Cheers Moira - I love the 280 Steps covers. They are quite distinctive I think.