Sunday 7 April 2019


Last month's reading saw 10 books completed in the month, all very good books, all very enjoyable reads

No FIVE STAR READ, but seven of the 10 were close run things at 4.5 STARS - Mark Brandi - Into the River, Paul D. Brazill - Last Year's Man, Ralph Dennis - Atlanta Deathwatch, Bill James - Hitmen I Have Known, E. A. Aymar's The Unrepentant and two from David Swinson - The Second Girl and Crime Song.

Pick of the month!
I'll choose Ralph Dennis and Atlanta Deathwatch as my pick of the month, maybe because it's freshest in my memory. I could easily have chosen any of the others.

The other 3 were 4 STARS READS each - Peter Ritchie and Where No Shadows Fall, Nigel Bird with Mr Suit and Julie Morrigan and Cutter's Deal

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

an investigation into a Scottish prison suicide and more

two Australian boys and a deed done in later life

an ex-cop, PI with a dirty habit hunting a missing girl and in another book, a more personal case - the murder of his cousin

an ageing hitman, past his sell by date

a couple double act, one under suspicion of a couple of killings

a girl fleeing traffickers and forced prostitution

another ex-cop and his sidekick investigating the death of a gangster's girlfriend

a fractured family, some missing money and a possible mercy killing

a criminal gang on the up an up and an ordinary family caught in their web

Settings..... Glasgow and Edinburgh; Wimmera - Australia; Washington DC; London and Seatown - a fictional NE town in England; the Virginia, Maryland, D.C. triangle; a fictional town outside London; Atlanta; Washington DC again; London and Sunderland

The full list of ten read as follows, with links to my thoughts if you're inclined....

Peter Ritchie - Where No Shadows Fall (2019) (4)

Mark Brandi - Into the River (2019) (4.5)

David Swinson - The Second Girl (2016) (4.5)

Paul D. Brazill - Last Year's Man (2018) (4.5)

Bill James - Hitmen I Have Known (2019) (4.5)

E.A. Aymar - The Unrepentant (2019) (4.5)

Ralph Dennis - Atlanta Deathwatch (1974) (4.5)

David Swinson - Crime Song (2017) (4.5)

Nigel Bird - Mr Suit (2012) (4)

Julie Morrigan - Cutter's Deal (2015) (4)

If you're not asleep yet - anal analysis for my own amusement - read on if you're an insomniac ......

New to me authors in the month - 6 - Peter RitchieDavid Swinson, Mark Brandi, E. A. Aymar, Ralph Dennis and Julie Morrigan

I have more on the pile to read from Swinson, Aymar, Dennis and Morrigan

Authors enjoyed before - 4 - Bill James, Paul D. Brazill, Nigel Bird and David Swinson. He counts in both columns as I read him twice!

There's more on the TBR pile from all of them - Bird, Brazill, James and Swinson

10 reads from 9 different authors. David Swinson was read twice.

6 were series books - David Swinson's The Second Girl and Crime Song are the first two in his Frank Marr trio of books. Trigger is the third. Where No Shadows Hide is the fourth in Peter Ritchie's  Grace Macallan series, Hitmen I Have Known is the 35th or 36th entry in the Harpur and Iles series from Bill James, Atlanta Deathwatch is the first in Ralph Dennis's 12 book Hardman series. Julie Morrigan's Cutter's Deal is followed on by Cutter's Firm and Cutter's Fall

Gender analysis - 1 female authors, 8 male.
Another poor attempt at diversity in my reading, but it is 1 more than February!

Of the 9 different authors read, 4 hailed from the US, 2 possibly 3 from England - the 3rd UK born definitely, 1 from Scotland, 1 from Australia, 1 from Wales,

All 10 of the reads were fiction,

9 of the 10 books were published this century and all this decade.
4 from 2019, 1 each from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2012

1 book was from 1974, re-published last year

Only 1 came from the man-cave blue tub stash in my garage.

Publishers - All Due Respect Books - Black and White Publishing - Mulholland Books x 2 - Legend Press - Severn House - Down and Out Books - Brash Books - Sea Minor - Morrigan Publishing. (I think a couple of the presses above disguise the fact they they are the author's own output, not that it makes a difference to me.)

5 of the 10 reads were pre-owned,

3 were accessed at Net Galley early reviewer site, cheers to publishers Down and Out Books, Legend Press and Severn House

2 were received directly from the publisher - thanks to All Due Respect and Black and White Publishing

Favourite cover? David Swinson - The Second Girl

 Second favourite cover - David Swinson - Crime Song

My reads were this long 400 - 184 - 368 - 136 - 188 - 220 - 230 - 368 - 82 - 89

Total page count = 2265 (2795 in February) ....... a decrease of 530 pages

3 were Kindle reads, 3 were ePub files read on the laptop,  4 were paperbacks,

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

Peter Ritchie and Where No Shadows Fall was the longest read at 400 pages

Nigel Bird and Mr Suit was the shortest at 82 pages long.


  1. I'm glad you had a good month of reading, Col. Nice to see that you didn't have any total disappointments. And I can see how you liked the Swinson covers as much as you did - I think they're very atmospheric. By the way, I noticed you're reading Bluebird, Bluebird. I hope you're enjoying it.

    1. Love the Swinson covers Margot. Halfway through Bluebird - so far so good. I need to get a hurry on though. Not much read this month so far :-(

  2. Another good haul, Col! I can see why you like the covers for the Swinson books. Those for the Nigel Bird and Paul DB's book likewise grab me.

    1. Cheers John. I do like the simplicity of Mr Suit. The cover would make me pick the book up, even if I wasn't aware of Nigel Bird.

  3. OK seems I was wrong about your reading more women! I had got that impression, and if you hadn't been so honest with your stats you could have got away with it!

    1. Catholic guilt wouldn't gnaw away at me if I tried to pretend!

  4. I am sure that Ralph Dennis and Atlanta Deathwatch would be my pick from that list. And I do have some Bill James books on the TBR.

    1. I like the time frame and setting of the Dennis books and I want to read more from Bill James fairly soon and while I'm used to the quirkiness of his prose. If I leave it too long it takes a while to get accustomed to his rhythms.

  5. Good list, as usual Col. I’ve got three of your recommendations from last year lined up as the next reads this Spring, right after I finish the Dietrich Kalteis I am into now.

    1. Kalteis is great Elgin, which reminds me I still have a couple of his to get to.