Thursday 19 October 2017


A pretty good month's reading with 12 titles of varying lengths devoured in the month.

One stand-out 5 STAR read and my Pick of the Month was ZERO AVENUE from Dietrich Kalteis.

All 12 were enjoyed, and the full list is.....

Graham Smith - Watching the Bodies (2017) (4)

Graham Smith - The Kindred Killers (2017) (4.5)

Mark Dawson - 1000 Yards (2013) (4)

J. R. Lindermuth - Shares the Darkness (2016) (4)

Michael Pool (ed.) - Fast Women and Neon Lights (2016) (4.5)

Emma Viskic - Resurrection Bay (2015) (4.5)

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice (2017) (4)

Eddy Cook - Faces, Places and Pain (2016) (4.5)

Martin Holmen - Down for the Count (2017) (4.5)

Paul D. Brazill - Big City Blues (2017) (3)

Paul D. Brazill - A Case of Noir (2014) (4.5)

Dietrich Kalteis - Zero Avenue (2017) (5)

With the one 5 STAR read from Kalteis, there were half a dozen that were enjoyed fractionally less - with 4.5 STARS awarded....

Graham Smith's second Jake Boulder novel, The Kindred Killers, Paul D. Brazill's classy collection A Case of Noir, Emma Viskic's multi-award winning Resurrection Bay, the Michael Pool edited 80s themed short story collection - Fast Women and Neon Lights, Martin Holmen's second Harry Kvist novel - Down For the Count and Eddy Cook's Faces, Places and Pain - a short collection of autobiographical essays.

There were 4 x 4 STAR reads - Phil Stanford's tales of a corrupt Portland in the 60s and 70s - Rose City Vice, Graham Smith again with the first Boulder book - Watching the Bodies, one from J. R. Lindermuth's Sticks Hetrick series - Shares the Darkness, and a Mark Dawson John Milton novella - 1000 Yards

And 1 - 3 STAR read, a slight disappointment, but still plenty to like - Big City Blues from Hartlepool's premier wordsmith Paul D. Brazill

More awaits me on the TBR pile from Eddy Cook, Paul D. Brazill, Emma Viskic, Dietrich Kalteis, Michael Pool, Graham Smith and Mark Dawson.

More useless trivia......

12 reads - 9 different authors, plus an anthology of short stories

6 of the 9 were new-to-me authors....... Graham Smith, Emma Viskic, J. R. Lindermuth, Eddy Cook, Mark Dawson and Phil Stanford

Dietrich Kalteis, Paul D. Brazill and Martin Holmen have been read and enjoyed before.

From the short story collection there were contributions from some familiar faces for me....Kalteis, Eryk Pruitt, Preston Lang, Sarah M. Chen and others, as well as an introduction to some newbies including the editor Michael Pool himself

Gender analysis - 8 male authors, 1 female....... a continuing pattern of unhealthy gender bias in my reading. The anthology of shorts was probably a 12 vs 6 split between genders, male dominated.

I believe of the 9 authors I read, 1 is Canadian, 1 is Australian, 1 is Swedish, 1 hails from Scotland, 2 are English, and 3 hail from the US.

10 of the 12 were fiction reads - 7 novels and 1 novellas, 1 collection of linked short stories and an anthology of the same.

2 were non-fiction - Phil Stanford's Rose City Vice and Eddy Cook's Faces, Places and Pain.

No old stuff enjoyed - all 12 were published this decade -  6 from this year, 3 from 2016 and 1 from each of 2013, 2014 and 2015.

3 of the 12 books were pre-owned/purchased, though in a couple of cases I think I received another copy of one from the publisher and one from the author.
4 of the 12 came via the publisher, 1 of which I had also accessed via Net Galley.
I received 3 of them courtesy of the author, 1 of which was a giveaway when signing up to his website newsletter.
1 book came via Edelweiss - Above the Treeline early reviewers site and the short story copy anthology was kindly provided by the editor.

Favourite cover? Martin Holmen's Down For the Count

Second favourite - Phil Stanford's Rose City Vice

My reads were this long - 322 - 318 - 118 - 226 - 222 - 272 - 104 - 30 - 304 - 97 - 134 - 232

Total page count =  2379 (1249 in August).......over 1100 pages up on the previous month.

8 were Kindle reads, 3 were paperbacks, 1 was a PDF

1 < 50,
1 between 51 < 100,
3 between 101 < 200,
4 between 201 < 300,
3 between 301 < 400,
0 > 400 pages

Graham Smith's Watching the Bodies was the longest read at 322 pages.

Eddy Cook's Faces, Places and Pain - the shortest at just 30 pages.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed your reads as much as you did this month, Col. Lots of 4s and 4.5s there, and that's great. I'm glad, too, that you had a chance to read as much as you did.

    1. Margot - a pretty good month for me thanks. I guess I tend to focus on reading the kind of books I know I'm likely to enjoy, rather than getting too far out of my comfort zone.

  2. Looks like a good month with mostly 4-5 star reads. I guess I need to get to the Dietrich Kalteis book I have soon. I am also very interested in Resurrection Bay, which sounds like a good read.

    1. Tracy, I think you would have a good time with either of them.

  3. Col – I just got Kalteis’TRIGGERFISH. Paul Brazill is in the line-up. Lindermuth is on the list. Don’t know when I will get to these others.

    1. Happy days, Elgin - you've some great reading ahead of you mate.

  4. I admire your reading rate - especially as you have enjoyed most of them! This mild weather is playing havoc with my reading as the allotment plants are still growing & needing attention. I've got plenty of your suggestions sitting in cyberspace (the freebies adding to the mother load) just waiting for the right moment:)

    1. I'd much rather have my head in a book, than be working an allotment. I'm rather hoping I don't have to cut my grass again this year. When the weather does eventually turn, hopefully you get back to enjoying a bit more reading, including the suggestions you may have picked up here.

  5. You certainly packed them in this month! I have been on holiday twice (most unlike me) in recent weeks, and assumed I would do loads of reading, but really didn't - again most unlike me. Turned out eating, sitting in cafes, chatting with friends etc was far too time-consuming.
    Anyway, I think the Dietrich Kalteis was while I was away, so I'm off to catch up on your review now...

    1. I had the same when I had a week off work back in August, I think I read less than normal. Kalteis is established as a firm favourite of mine now.