Thursday, March 08, 2018

What Are You Reading?

After we all talk about what we're reading this week, you might want to back up and read the blog I posted earlier today about CrimeReads. Some of you might be interested in the new site. It looks like there's a wealth of interesting reading there.

I've just started Ian Rankin's first Rebus mystery, Knots and Crosses. I've never read one of his books, as much as I like police procedurals. He's going to be the keynote speaker at a Poisoned Pen Conference at the beginning of September. It's a two-day conference, and I already registered. I understand that Rebus and Rankin may not have come into their own until partway through the series. And, there have even been recent discussions as to whether you should start at the beginning, or as Hank Phillippi Ryan says, meet characters as adults, and learn they have a whole backstory. As much as I love Hank, I still like to start at the beginning, if possible. So, it's Knots and Crosses for me right now.

What are you reading or listening to this week? Thursdays (Wednesdays when the schedule forces me to do it then) are really my favorite day of the week. I love to see what you're all reading. Tell us about your recent books, please.


Nann said...

I have a huge stack of ARCs from ALA Midwinter. I've finished Chicago, by David Mamet -- a hard-boiled, very noir story set in Chicago in the 1920's. Murder, gun-running, whisky-soaked. I'm coming to the end of What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw, by Leah Stewart. Her style reminds me of Ann Patchett. (My husband is enjoying the ARCs of the latest books by Anne Hillerman and Donna Leon.)

P.S. I'm listening to Murder Manual by Steven Womack. I didn't know that author; the audiobook was "on shelf" in my library's downloadables. It's good! As far as I can tell there are only five in the series, written in the late 1990's (online searching was a new thing!).

Sharon said...

I finished Murder in Bloomsbury by D.M Quincy this week and loved it! It was almost better than the first book in the series. I especially enjoyed the secondary storyline with Thea. My only very small quibble was with the introduction of Nicholas Lennox and his abrupt departure. I am guessing that his storyline will figure more prominently in subsequent books.

I am more than halfway through The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen. I am finding it pleasant but not outstanding nor a page turner.

Happy reading!

Lesa said...

Nann, I just love your "whisky-soaked" description of Chicago. Jealous of your husband's reading of the forthcoming Anne Hillerman!

Lesa said...


I was interested in your description of both books. I'm just in love with D.M. Quincy's Atlas Catesby & that series. Yes, the part about Thea is interesting, isn't it?

And, I was interested to see you reaction to The Tuscan Child.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I hope you like the Rebus book. I agree with you about starting a series at the beginning where possible. As a lover of Edinburgh, the local color and setting has always been a big part of my enjoyment of the Rain series.

After THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW and THE PYRAMID OF MUD (Andrea Camilleri), I'm nearly done with SUNNY'S NIGHTS: LOST AND FOUND AT A BAR ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by Tim Sultan. It's set in Red Hook, Brooklyn from the mid-90s on. We've eaten at his favorite restaurant, Ferdinando's, by the way, which opened in 1904, and is known for their amazing rice balls and the Panelle Special.

Also nearly done with Andrew Kaplan's prequel to the HOMELAND series on Showtime, CARRIE'S RUN.

I'm reading the very old fashioned but fun collection of railway stories about Thorpe Hazell by V. L. Whitechurch, THRILLING STORIES OF THE RAILWAY, set even before the First World War.

And I am looking forward to reading a new arrival, the new collection of stories by Patricia Abbott, I BRING SORROW & Other Stories of Transgression.

Charlotte said...

Hello everyone

I finished the following:

The Fix by David Baldacci
Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly
Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

I enjoyed all three of them.

I am now reading the following:

Shotgun Saturday Night by Bill Crider
Lighthouse Cottage (book 3) by Barbara Cool Lee
Murder is an Art by Bill Crider
Hope to pick up and get a few more chapters read from Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Reading brings such pleasure.

Margie Bunting said...

Hi, everyone. I, too, read Murder in Bloomsbury and enjoyed it thoroughly. I think I enjoyed Murder in Mayfair a bit more, simply because it was a new series and a new character, but I'll definitely stick with this series.

The Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by debut author Sara Ackerman was a total letdown for me. I can't remember where I heard about the book, but I picked it up when I saw it on the library shelf. It's set on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1944 after the Pearl Harbor attack. A husband, father, and school principal has disappeared a year ago under mysterious circumstances, leaving his young daughter particularly traumatized. The many Japanese residents are looked at with suspicion by the government, and the women spend their time teaching school and baking pies for the soldiers stationed there. Alternating chapters are voiced by the mother and the daughter, and the latter did not sound at all like the voice of a 10-year-old. I didn't find the characters, and especially the writing, engaging until the final part of the book. It was a chore for me to get through it (don't know why I persisted). Strangely enough, all of the 14 Amazon reviews were 5 stars (hmmmm).

Surprise Me is Sophie Kinsella's latest. It's a "very Kinsella" silly story about a young couple living a happy life until a doctor tells them they will probably live for another 65 years or so. They find it horrifying that they will be together that long so they start trying to surprise each other to keep things fresh, sometimes with disastrous results. However, things get interesting in the last part of the book, when Sylvia discovers a secret about Dan and draws her own (erroneous?) conclusions. I zipped through it in one day and found the end worth waiting for.

Right now I'm in the middle of Alexander McCall Smith's The House of Unexpected sisters, which is a typical No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel set in Botswana--and yes, I have read all 18 in the series! Predictable but somehow comforting.

Lesa said...

Jeff, Some of my favorite kind of reading such as your Sunny's Bar - books where I know the area, and recognize places. I just finished one set in Ireland, in many of the places we went. I love that type of book. And, when there are restaurants where you've eaten? Were you reading passages to Jackie?

Glen Davis said...

I've been pretty busy this week. Been working on Agent in Place, one of the Gray Man series by Mark Greaney.

So far, it's everything you might want in a super agent type novel.

SandyG265 said...

We’ve had some bad weather so I’ve had a lot of time to read. I finished HALF BROKE HORSES by Jeannette Wells which I started last week.

I also read
GUNSLINGER GIRL by Lyndsay Ely, a YA book which was more dystopian than western
An ARC of KILLING IN C SHARP by Alexia Gordon
BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY by Seanan McGuire, a fantasy book that I only finished because it was short

And I’m almost finished with RASBPERRY DANISH MURDER by Joanne Fluke which I wouldn’t read if I didn’t get it from the library

Lesa said...


I'm so glad you're enjoying the Bill Crider mysteries! And, it sounds as if you found some enjoyable books to read this week. Hugs!

Lesa said...

Margie, I'm sorry about that island book. So, why didn't you give up on it? Just enough to keep you turning pages to find out what happened, I'm guessing.

Lesa said...

Glen, Then, if you're a fan of the super agent novel, Greaney's is a good one, right?

Lesa said...

Sandy, I love your editorial comments - only finished because it was short. Wouldn't have read if it didn't come from the library. In other words, a couple so-so books in that list.

Charlotte said...

Lesa, I checked out Crime Reads. It was interesting so I bookmarked it that way I will be able to find out what is new.
Glad you shared this with us.
Always nice to find out about new things of interest about mystery books and authors.

Yes, the Bill Crider books are real fascinating too read. Glad I listened when you suggested them for me.
Give the fur babies a little petting for me this evening.

Kay said...

Like you, Lesa, I've never read a Rankin book, though they have been on my list for years. One day maybe. Right now, I'm reading Simone St. James' new book, The Broken Girls. It's quite a page turner - ghosts and a girls boarding school and a timeline that goes back and forth 60 years in the past. It's lovely so far.

I'm also trying to read all the Vera Stanhope series in preparation for attending Malice at the end of April. Ann Cleeves and Brenda Blethyn will be there. All fun, right? I'm closing in on the final chapters of The Moth Catcher.

Lesa said...

You're welcome for CrimeReads, and, even more, for the Bill Crider suggestion, Charlotte. I will hug the fur babies for you!

Lesa said...

That will be fun, Kay. And, Catriona McPherson is going to be on a panel with Brenda Blethyn. I'd catch Cat, if you get the chance. She's always fun.

Glen Davis said...


Yes, I'd put Greaney in the top tier, right behind Brad Thor and Ben Coes.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm reading Cynthia Kuhn's mystery, The Semester of Our Discontent.

Lesa said...

Love the title of Kuhn's mystery, Patricia. I'll have to check on it.

Carol N Wong said...

Arcs are coming in so fast that I am back to reading two books at time instead of listening one and reading the other. I started Maybe Esther by Katja Petrowskaja. She researched her family tree for this book. Her family was Jewish but they changed their last name for protection. She sort drags on in the first chapter for a while but I still enjoy reading about her family being poor. It is bringing back some memories that I had forgotten.

Also reading a children's book, Playing Atari With Saddam Hassein. It is a true story based on Ali Fadhui's boyhood, The team of the person who helped him write the book and Mr. Fadhui are great. The description what the bombing felt is great. I like to read children's book because the print size is great for my eyes but there are really great authors out there.

Jim G said...

I'm about halfway through "Death in St. Petersburg" by Tasha Alexander. She uses an unusual technique in that in alternate chapters she does a flashback to the time period when two of the main characters were growing up.

Also listening to "Column of Fire" by Ken Follett. I just reached the halfway point in this 24-part audio-book. I have had to Google through 16th century French and English history to help understand the complicated plot. That's one drawback to audio-books - you can't easily flip back to a prior chapter to understand what's going on.