Thursday, May 10, 2018

What Are You Reading?

It's Thursday! I'm going to be in an important meeting for part of the day, so I won't be around mid-day, but I'll start out with all of you, and catch up.

I'm not going to talk about what I'm reading today. Instead, I'm going to talk about awards. I'm always happy to see Louise Penny nominated. She writes my favorite mystery series. And, Lori Rader-Day's The Day I Died is up for an Anthony. But, don't you wonder sometimes, when you see the same books on all of the award nomination lists? What did we miss?

I end every year with my lists of favorites read. I always say these are just my favorites, not the "best of" list. And, Louise Penny and Lori Rader-Day's 2017 books were both on that list. But, so was Craig Johnson. He never writes the same book twice, yet has a cast of beloved characters. And, his language is beautiful. I loved D.M. Quincy's historical mystery, Murder in Mayfair, and historicals seldom win awards. Then there's Ellery Adams. The Agatha Awards honor traditional mysteries, but Adams seldom appears on the nominations lists.

I know. As a reader, I did get to vote for some of the awards. As in any awards, some books get overlooked while the same authors or books get picked in one year. Maybe they are the best books of the year. Maybe they're the ones that everyone read because they had the most buzz.

I have a proposal for you. You can either talk about the books you're reading and listening to, as we do every week. We do always want to know.  Or, you can tell us what crime novel or novels were overlooked this year that would go on your best of 2017 list. Either way, I'm curious!


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Can't think offhand of overlooked crime novels. I suppose I could look back and try to remember, but...I'm glad the Michael Connelly was nominated.

Current reading? I raced through Nick Petrie's second Peter Ash thriller, BURNING BRIGHT, and really enjoyed it. Any fan of Lee Child should check this series out immediately. Also reading the first military SF book in a series by Marko Kloos, TERMS OF ENLISTMENT, clearly inspired by such authors as John Scalzi and Joe Haldeman. Good so far. That one is on the Kindle.

I am also reading the very good THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne. Jacob Holbrook kidnapped and impregnated a 16 year old girl. They lived in the wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula without electricity or any vestige of "civilization" until she escaped as a teenager. She has a new life with a husband and two children when, fifteen years later, her father kills two guards and escapes from prison. She knows she is the only one who can find him and return him to prison before her own daughter is taken. I haven't read that much of it yet, but I can see how good it is.

I should finish the Kipling collection in a couple of days. I have two new Crippen & Landru collections of stories, by James Holding and Elaine Viets, plus I have two collections of stories waiting at the library, by Jodi Taylor (a collection of her Chronicles of St. Mary's stories) and Robert Sheckley (SF).

Liz said...

Reading To Hell in a Handbasket by Beth Groundwater.

SandyG265 said...

We’ve been busy redoing the flower beds so I didn’t have a lot of reading time this week.

I finished TART OF DARKNESS by Denise Swanson. I enjoyed the story but I felt a bit lost in the beginning. Apparently some of the characters were from another series of hers and she seemed to assume you’d know who they were.

And I read a short paranormal romance, THE PRINCESS PROTECTS HER HUNTSMAN by Kira Nyte

Sharon said...

I haven't had much time for reading this week either. I am reading THE UNINVITED Corpse by Debra Sennefelder. My biggest quibble is she seemed to introduce almost all the characters at the very beginning. I am about halfway through and am finally starting to sort them out.

Kay said...

I agree with the books and authors you mentioned, Lesa. I love Louise Penny and Lori Rader-Day as well. My favorites also include Julia Keller's Bell Elkins books and Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder books and I loved Spencer Kope's COLLECTIING THE DEAD with 'Steps' Craig. I also love Donis Casey's Alafair Tucker series. These may not be as well known, but they are worth a reader's time for sure.

OK, right now I'm reading THE SHADOW OF DEATH by Jane Willan, debut book for her and set in Wales. I met Jane at Malice and she was lovely. So far, so good with the book. And I'm listening to KILLER ON THE FENS by Joy Ellis. I've really been enjoying this author's Nikki Galena series and this is #4.

Lesa said...

So many books! So little time. Your TBR pile sounds as big and as varied as mine, Jeff. Not enough hours in the day unless I give up sleep, which I'm not about to do.

Lesa said...

Sandy, I know what you mean. If I hadn't read some of Denise Swanson's earlier books, I wouldn't have known what she was talking about either.

Lesa said...

Sharon, You're right. That garden party served to introduce everyone, but it took me a while to catch up, too.

Lesa said...

You're right, Kay. Those are all authors who have interesting, well-written series, but you just don't see their names out there as much as some of the others. Thanks for mentioning them.

Lesa said...

Liz, It's nice to catch up with older titles once in a while, isn't it?

David C said...

I guess I'm always flummoxed not to see Tim Hallinan, who write consistently brilliant and different books in each outing. And other authors who are smart and whose work I admire, like Jeffrey Siger (you introduced me to his work, Lesa!), Terry Shames, Leslie Budewitz, Susan Spann, Jeffery Deaver, Colin Cotterill. Alas!

Lesa said...

Funny, when we chatted yesterday, David, and I mentioned Jeff Siger, I was also thinking of Tim Hallinan. And, Larry D. Sweazy. I really admire his writing.

Margie Bunting said...

Katherine Bolger Hyde is a fellow Sister in Crime (Norcal), and I finally met her at an event on Saturday. I was able to tell her I was in the middle of her first published mystery, Arsenic with Austen, which I really enjoyed. Emily is a professor who inherits her great-aunt's stately home and $6 million dollars. But the suspicious death of the housekeeper quickly follows and there are other relatives and townspeople who believe their own inheritance should have been greater. There's also Luke, Emily's boyfriend of 30+ years ago, who is now the town's detective. Epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter show parallels with Jane Austen's classic stories. I've seen Hyde's second in this series, Bloodstains with Bronte, at the library and I will be picking it up.

The Fallen by David Baldacci, fourth in his Memory Man series, was long and fascinating. FBI investigator Amos Decker's football injury unleashed his power to remember everything he has seen and heard which, added to his superior powers of deduction, has turned him into a formidable force. However, a tragic family event has left him emotionally empty. When some of his power seems to be leaving him, he wonders whether he will have a life at all. But while on a visit to his partner's family, he involves himself in a dying mill and mining town where drug addicts are everywhere and unexplained murders seem to be accelerating. Are they somehow related to a descendant of the town's ruthless founder, rumored to have left a huge fortune behind? In this extremely detailed and engrossing mystery, Amos shows extraordinary skills and also finds himself softening up a bit personally. Loved it!

Those two books and a contracting project have taken up most of my time this week, so I've just started The Bad Break by Jill Orr, which I expect to enjoy because I found her first in the series very entertaining.

Charlotte said...

I finished:
Creek Crisis ( book 2) by NC Lewis
Cursed to Death by Bill Crider

Now I am reading:

Death by Rum Balls by Colleen Mooney
Death on the Move by Bill Crider

May books always bring joy to you.

Lesa said...

And, she's a mature amateur sleuth. I like that Margie. I know I've seen both of her books here at the library. It sounds as if we've all had busy weeks that have kept us from books.

Lesa said...

Charlotte, Thank you for your book blessing. I can use that right now. I hope you're enjoying your books!

Netteanne said...

Some of my overlooked authors have been mentioned by others but these are authors that I enjoy and try hard to keep up with the new books. David Rosenfelt, Charles Finch, Paul Gaus, James Grippando, John Lescroart, Jeffrey Siger and Betty Webb.

Just finished Terry Shames newest - A Reckoning in the Back Country which confirmed to me that Samuel Craddock is one of the most interesting protagonists around these days. She keeps the series very fresh.

Next up is the very well written continuation of the Spenser series by Ace Atkins. He has done very well by the Parker series.

Glen Davis said...

I'm usually at least a year behind on all the award winning books. I'm a little surprised not to see Barry Lancet or Glen Erik Hamilton on the lists, though.

On a different note, I hope the mystery field can avoid the unpleasantness surrounding the nominations for awards that exists in the sci-fi/fantasy fields for the last couple of years.

This week I read:

The Purloined Puzzle by Parnell Hall, an entertaining, though talky cozy. Does anybody else actually do the puzzles? I read an earlier book in the series, and seems that the series has changed quite a bit over time. The one I read focussed on the woman who actually made the puzzles, while this one focussed almost totally on the fake puzzle lady.

Pushing 40 by Lynn Johnston, a compilation of the For Better or Worse comic strips before the whole thing derailed around 1990.

A Hard Day's Knight by Simon R. Green...Well, it's Simon R. Green writing the same stuff he's written ever since I was in high school, only with a different setting. At some point, I burnt out on him.

The Vault by Boyd Morrison: which is a cheap, WWE Studios version of a Die Hard 3 rip off movie, probably starring The Edge. They wouldn't waste The Miz's time, with something like this.

The Dead Have Secrets by Owen Parr; a kid undergoing hypnotic regression seems to have been an assassinated senator in a past life. Now the conspiracy wants to eliminate him, but the usual Spec Ops guy just happens to be his godfather.

The Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin; an historical espionage novel set during the war between Turkey and Russia in the 1870's, not a time and place with which most of us are familiar. Very interesting.

Ice Run by Steve Hamilton; an entry in the Alex McKnight series. While at a hotel for a rendezvous, an old man puts an old hat in front of the door, with the message I know who you are inside. McKnight starts poking around. For some reason, throughout the entire book, McKnight never pays attention to his surroundings, which always gets him beaten up or worse. By the end of the book, I stopped feeling sorry for him.

Lesa said...

Netteanne, Some of those authors would be on my list, too. Samuel Craddock is a terrific character, isn't he? I really enjoy that series. It seems fresh.

Lesa said...

Glen, Glen Erik Hamilton said he's finished his next book in the series, so we'll see what happens next year.

I loved Lynn Johnston's cartoons. I just wonder if her divorce is what ruined that cartoon series.

I could never get into the Puzzle Lady books, although I read a few of them.

I think I read Ice Run quite a while ago. And, you're right. It may have been the last one I read because I didn't feel sorry for McKnight by the end of the book.

Mark Baker said...

I'll go with option A. I just finished up Murder on Moon Trek 1 by Diane Vallere, which is a cozy mystery set in space. I really enjoyed it.

Up next is I Scream, You Scream by Wendy Lyn Watson. I've actually had the book since the original version game out in 2009, but I'm brushing it off since Henery Press just rereleased it.

Glen Davis said...

Lesa, I see where Hamilton's next book comes out January 22, 2019. I already pre-ordered it!

I got a number of McKnight books in a trade, and I think I still have one more. I'll probably get to it someday.

Carol N Wong said...

Margie, I loved The Fallen by David Baldacci. The Memory Man is my favorite of his series.

I am still reading, Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy. The author knows how to employ humor but it is in small print.

Don't You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son By Mary Carter Bishop.

The Place To Be (Lonely Planet-reviewed this coffee table book about what emotions are inspired by travel.

Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callende is a great book for 12 years and up. Handles many serious issues. Finished and reviewed.

Today, I am starting Amal Umal by Aisa Saeed. Can't wait for it.

Jacqueline Fiedler said...

I rarely read the books of any given current award year, always trying to catch up on books from prior years. So my Best of 2017 included:

• Mary Anna Evans' Artifacts (first in a series about an archaeologist in the South)
• British writer, Barbara Cleverly's "Last Kashmiri Rose" and "Tomb of Zeus"
• Cozy series by Australian, Jennifer Rowe, "Grim Pickings" and "Murder by the Book"
• Martha Grimes' "Anodyne Necklace"
and always includes an Agatha Christie or two. Currently reading "Sparklng Cyanide/Remembered Death"

So not current, but my favorite reads of last year.