Monday 3 December 2018


A decent month's reading which delivered on my aim of an all-female author reading month. Numbers-wise and page count I was well down on October's figures, but everything was enjoyed even if there was no 5 STAR read.

Fourteen reads in the month - 4 of them merited 4.5 STARS in my opinion.

On the basis that it would be the first one I would pick up for a re-read Margaret Millar's Vanish in an Instant (1952) is my pick of the month.

The three other close contenders for book of the month were - Elka Ray's Saigon Dark, an anthology of short stories - Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled and Anonymous-9's The 1st Short Story Collection

Six of the fourteen were 4 STAR reads - Wendy Cartmell and No Mercy, Tess Gerritsen and Whistleblower, Jenny Morton Potts and Hiding, Nikki Dolson and All Things Violent, Nanci Rathbun and Honor Kills, and Marietta Miles with her pair of novellas in Route 12.

One 3.5 STAR read- Christianna Brand's war-time murder mystery - Green For Danger

Lastly, three x 3 STAR reads, all enjoyable but for whatever reason they didn't hit any great heights for me. Eva Hudson and Run Girl, Carole Morin with Spying on Strange Men and a non-fiction browsing type book - Older Wiser Sexier by Bev Williams

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

a female FBI agent searching for a missing teenager in London

some British Military Police

a woman plotting to kill her husband

a couple thrown together by a car accident and battling to stay alive, pursued by some rogue government official

a war-time medical team, one of whom is on a bit of a killing spree

a Scottish orphan and a troubled American with nefarious designs

a talented cartoonist

a team of hitmen/hitwomen caught in a love triangle

an inquisitive lawyer with a nose for the truth

a grief-stricken mother who makes a rash decision and spends ten years waiting for her chickens to come home to roost

a female PI working a missing persons case

a vulnerable pair of friends at the mercy of a vicious ex-con

a frightened pregnant lady, an unbalanced loner, and a disturbed preacher

and a plethora of characters in a short story anthology and a short story collection

Settings - London mostly, Carlisle, London again (I think), California, Kent in War-time, Scotland and the US, nowhere, Las Vegas, California again, Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Milwaukee, Appalachia, various haunts and lastly California

The full list of fourteen read with links below ......

Eva Hudson - Run Girl (2014) (3)

Wendy Cartmell - No Mercy (2014) (4)

Carole Morin - Spying on Strange Men (2012) (3)

Tess Gerritsen - Whistleblower (1992) (4)

Christianna Brand - Green For Danger (1944) (3.5)

Jenny Morton Potts - Hiding (2018) (4)

Bev Williams - Older Wiser Sexier (2016) (3)

Nikki Dolson - All Things Violent (2017) (4)

Margaret Millar - Vanish in an Instant (1952) (4.5)

Elka Ray - Saigon Dark (2016) (4.5)

Nanci Rathbun - Honor Kills (2018) (4)

Marietta Miles - Route 12 (2016) (4)

Lisa Douglass (ed.) - Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled (2018) (4.5)

Anonymous-9 - The 1st Short Story Collection (2011) (4.5)

Anal analysis for my own amusement - read on if you're an insomniac ......

New to me authors in the month - 9 in total - Wendy CartmellCarole Morin, Christianna Brand, Jenny Morton Potts, Bev Williams, Nikki Dolson, Margaret Millar, Elka Ray and Marietta Miles

I have more on the pile to read from Marietta Miles and Margaret Millar

Authors enjoyed before - Anonymous-9, Tess Gerritsen, Nanci Rathbun, and Eva Hudson
More on the TBR pile from Tess Gerritsen, Eva Hudson and Anonymous-9

13 reads from 13 different authors, ignoring the anthology of short stories

4 were series books with the added potential for one to become one if the author picks up with the same characters in future

Gender analysis - BOOM - an all female reading month including the anthology of short stories. Hopefully December's reading maintains a female presence. My reading split is never going to be 50/50 but I could do much better on this particular aspect of my reading

Of the 13 authors read, 1 hailed from New Zealand, 4 are English, 2 are Scottish, 2 hail from Canada, 4 are American - I think

13 of the reads were fiction, one was humourous/observational on the vagaries of getting older

11 of the 14 books were published this decade - 3 from this year, 1 from 2017, 3 from 2016, 2 from 2014, and 1 each from 2012 and 2011

1 book came from the 90s - 1992 - Whistleblower from Tess Gerritsen

and 2 were 40s and 50s - 1944 and 1952 respectively - Christianna Brand and Margaret Millar

3 books were read from the man-cave blue tub stash in my garage.

Publishers - 1 each from Pushkin Vertigo, MIRA, Dragon Ink Ltd, Pandora, Summersdale Publishers Ltd, Fahrenheit Press, Crime Wave Press, Cahoots Publishing, Dark Chocolate Press LLC, Caledonia Press, All Due Respect

3 titles were self-published

10 of the 14 reads were pre-owned, 

2 of the 14 came from the publishers - cheers to Pushkin Vertigo and Crime Wave Press,

1 came from the author directly - cheers to Jenny Morton Potts

1 was a Net Galley read which had expired, thanks to author Nanci Rathbun for sending me another MOBI file

Favourite cover? Christianna Brand's Green For Danger which oozes menace

Second favourite cover Margaret Millar's Vanish in an Instant

My reads were this long 176 - 89 - 256 - 150 - 96 - 208 - 165 - 325 - 256 - 235 - 286 - 179 - 176 - 70

Total page count =  2667 (4481 in October) ....... a decrease of 1814 pages

8 were Kindle reads, and 4 were paperbacks, 1 was a hardbacks, 1 was a PDF kill some trees printout, 

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

Hiding from Jenny Morton Potts was the longest read at  325 pages

Anonymous-9's The 1st Short Story Collection was the shortest at 70 pages long.


  1. Hi Col! I'm going to read Margaret Millar and Christina Brand in 2019. I look forward to your final number for the year. It can't be anything but formidably impressive.

    1. Prashant, I'm aiming now for 140 plus, I don't think I'll smash 150 unless I tweak the reading schedule for a load of shorter hits that qualify. I'll be keen to see how you go with your two chosen authors, especially Margaret Millar.

  2. Good to hear you had a decent reading month, Col, even if none of your reads really hit the heights for you. I'm especially glad you enjoyed the Millar; I've always thought she was good at building psychological suspense.

    1. Thanks, Margot. Nothing totally blew me away, but they were all enjoyed and more than a few came close.

  3. Glad to see you reading a few female authors . . .

  4. How wonderful that you did an all female reading month, Col. (I did notice that before now, really.)

    1. Tracy, I enjoyed the reading month. I may repeat the exercise around April/May next year.

  5. I am so impressed with the all-female reading month - good on you! and I'm a big fan of Green for Danger but have never seen that cover before - it's a great one.

    1. Thank you - it was long overdue as I'd been promising it for a while. I do like the Green For Danger cover on my copy. Time for the film maybe!