Thursday 5 March 2020


November's reading round-up posted in March! WTF - well I'm a bit behind on some of my posts. Apologies to the multitudes who have been wondering for the past four months where the round up post aka the monthly insomnia cure was.

The wait is over!

A dozen books enjoyed in the month - both read and listened to.

5 STAR reads - 2 of them - Mick Herron's novella The Catch and John Dunning's Booked to Die 

Book of the month - John Dunning - Booked to Die for no other reason than I'm pretty sure Mick Herron has been the blog's monthly top banana before.

4.5 STARS - x 4 Candice Fox and Crimson Lake, Russell Rowland with Cold Country, Larry D. Sweazy  - The Lost are the Last to Die and Heather Harper Ellett's debut Ain't Nobody Nobody

4 STAR READS - x 3 - T.S. Hunter - Killer Queen, Lawrence Block - Spider, Spin Me a Web and Heleen Kist - Stay, Mad Sweetheart 

3.5 STAR READS - x 1 - Owen Mullen and Deadly Harm

3  STAR READS - x 1 - Lawrence Block - The Adulterers

2.5 STAR READS - x 1 - Lawrence Block (as John Warren Wells) and Wide Open

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

a cop turned bookseller

a group of abuse victims gathering strength

an ex-cop with a shadow hanging over him

a small town community in thrall to a bully

a troubled married couple on a road trip

a "milkman"  with some trouble on his "round"

a grieving friend looking out for family

a one armed retired Ranger chasing a blast from his past

the Soho gay community in the 80s

a researcher/sex counselor and his subjects

a celebrated author revealing some tricks of his trade

some strong women fighting back against workplace harassment


Denver; rural Ayrshire and Glasgow; Crimson Lake - Australia; Paradise Valley - Montana; mostly Mexico with a bit of USA; London; backwoods East Texas, rural Texas; London; a writer's office; the same writer's office; Edinburgh

Full list of books enjoyed with links to my reviews.....

John Dunning - Booked to Die (1992) (5)

Owen Mullen - Deadly Harm (2019) (3.5)

Candice Fox - Crimson Lake (2017) (4.5)

Russell Rowland - Cold Country (2019) (4.5)

Lawrence Block - The Adulterers (1960) (3)

Mick Herron - The Catch (2020) (5)

Heather Harper Ellett - Ain't Nobody Nobody (2019) (4.5)

Larry D. Sweazy - The Lost are the Last to Die (2019) (4.5)

T.S. Hunter - Killer Queen (2019) (4)

Lawrence Block (as John Warren Wells) - Wide Open (1973) (2.5)

Lawrence Block - Spider, Spin Me a Web (1986) (4)

Heleen Kist - Stay Mad, Sweetheart (2019) (4)

More information than you'll ever need to know ......

New to me authors in the month - 5 - John Dunning, Candice Fox, Russell Rowland, Heather Harper Ellett and Heleen Kist. I have another book from John Dunning on the pile.

Authors enjoyed before - 5 - Owen Mullen, Lawrence Block, Larry D. Sweazy, Mick Herron and T.S. Hunter. I have more from all of them on the TBR pile.

12 reads from 10 different authors - Lawrence Block was read 3 times.

5 were series books .....

John Dunning's Booked to Die is the 1st of 5 in his Cliff Janeway series

Owen Mullen's Deadly Harm might not be a series book per se but features a policeman encountered in some of his other books

Candice Fox has 3 in her Crimson Lake series featuring Ted Conkaffey

Mick Herron's The Catch is the 3rd short novella featuring John Bachelor and other Slough House figures.

T.S. Hunter's Killer Queen is the 5th of 6 with Joe and Russell

The Lost are the Last to Die is Larry D. Sweazy's 2nd Sonny Burton book.

Gender analysis -  3 female authors, 7 male.

Of the 10 different authors read, 5 hail from the USA, 1 and a half from England, the other half is from Wales, 1 from the Netherlands, 1 from Australia, 1 from Scotland 

11 of the books were fiction, 1 was non-fiction.

8 of the 12 books read were published this century

6 from 2019, 1 from 2017, 1 from 2020 that I got an early peek at

Of the 4 older books, 1 each from 1960, 1973, 1988 and 1992

None came from the man-cave blue tub stash in my garage

Publishers - Pocket Star, Bloodhound Books, Arrow, Dzanc Books, Soho Press, Polis Books, Five Star Publishing, Red Dog Press x 2 and the 3 from Lawrence Block were all released by the author

All 2 of the 12 reads were pre-owned, 5 came from the author, 2 from publisher Red Dog Press, 1 was a Net Galley book (Polis Books), 2 came from other review site - Edelweiss - Above the Treeline (Soho Press and Dzanc Books)

Favourite cover?  Heather Harper Ellett - Ain't Nobody Nobody

Second favourite cover - Cold Country - Russell Rowland

My reads were this long 432 - 369 - 416 - 248 - 182 (4 hr 20 min) - 128 - 167 - 332 - 76 - 154 (5 hr 34 min) - 243 (4 hr 5 min) - 336

Total page count =  3083 (2795 in October) ....... an increase of 288 pages

Actual read pages was 2504 with 13hr 59 min worth of Audible content

4 were paperbacks, 4 were ePub files read on the laptop, 1 was a Kindle book read on the laptop and 3 were Audible books enjoyed while commuting to and from work

0 < 50,
1 between 51 < 100,
4 between 101 < 200,
2 between 201 < 300,
3 between 301 < 400,
2 between 401 < 500
0 over 500 pages

John Dunning's Booked to Die was the longest read at 432 pages

T.S. Hunter's Killer Queen was the shortest at 76 pages long.


  1. You had a decent month there, Col. I'm glad you enjoyed Candice Fox's book. I really ought to get more familiar with her work than I am, as she's quite talented. And, not surprised Mick Herron's work was only off by a whisker; he's another who's got real talent.

    1. Margot, I really liked the Fox book more than I expected to and she is definitely someone I want to read more from.

  2. That is an interesting list. Several older ones by Lawrence Block. I still have two of Larry Sweazey's books to read and I did not realize that A Thousand Falling Crows had a sequel. More books I should read in 2020.

    1. I would love to get caught up on the other Sweazy books I have on the pile and to get more Lawrence Block reading done this year.