May: Murder & Mayhem
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Okay, is everyone ready for our 2nd annual M & M? I hope so, I know I am. Nothing grows bigger in the stacks than crime/mysteries. So this is a good opportunity to make a dent however tiny.
We are very flexible here, so anything with even just a touch of Murder or Mayhem can be included. Let's just have fun.
I have a ridiculously large list to get to, but here are a few I intend to get to:
Zoo Station by David Downing This seems to be an LT fav, I know Benita & Paul are big fans!
Started Early, Took My Dog I'm overdue on the 4th Jackson Brodie book.
the Woman in Black A hug to Deb for this one!
the Shape of Water FINALLY! No laughing!
Hell & Gone by Duane Swierczynski The 2nd in a terrific trilogy
Voices by Arnalder Indridason I am way overdue on this one too!
More to come, I hope
Still in my major book funk so I don't want to promise anything but I do hope to participate in this.
My choices are probabliy a little too optimistic for my reading ability so I don't anticipate reading all of them, but hopefully they are page turners and I can get through some of them quickly. Here is the plan:
Nicci French Secret Smile
Donna Leon Uniform Justice
Tony Hillerman Skeleton Man
Agatha Christie Evil Under the Sun
Alexander McCall Smith The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
and Kate Atkinson Case Histories
You know I will be there! I have not decided what luscious bit of Murder or Mayhem to bring to the party! :)
I will join in as well. Have a zillion choices on my shelves.
The Moonstone which I am looking at for The Reading Through Time Challenge
5th Horseman - James Patterson and Booked for Murder - Tim Myers which will fit my 12 12 Category Challenge
AND something by Robert B Parker and / or Agatha Christie, just because!
I'll play! May's going to be a busy month, so I'll keep my list short, and copy a few from Mark:
The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri. I'm not laughing, Mark.
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. I just got this last month at a book fair, and I'm a HUGE Jackson Brodie fan, so it fits right in.
Mobs, Mayhem & Murder: Tales from the St. Louis Police Beat by Tim O'Neil. What better book to read for M&M?
Plus, it will probably be May before I finish The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, so there's another one.
One of the things I like best about these challenges is finding new authors/titles of books being read by other LTers. I've already seen 3 or 4 that have piqued my interest.
I hope to read the second Dr. Siri mystery, finish the SPQR series, read the latest Anne Perry mystery featuring the Pitts. Oh, and The Long Fall by Walter Mosley, Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman, and The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans, which have recently ended up on my wishlist. I may also give Last Days a try, based on Richard Derus's review (yes, I have been known to engage in brief explorations of the dark side).
ETA that I love the atmospheric images Mark posted at the top of the thread.
Oh--- I've a batch I'm itching to read - enough for a year of Mays - I'm going to challenge myself to read ten of them. Every last one of these is already sitting on a shelf or on my Nook or my MP3. I need to clear these out.
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer
The Bitter Truth and The Unmarked Grave by Charles TOdd
Curse of the Pogo Stick and Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
On What Grounds Cleo Coyle
Stake of Affairs by Julie Hyzy
Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney
Murder in the Blood by Gene DeWeese
Dare to Die by Carolyn Hart
Dreaming of the Bones Deborah Crombie
Death in a Funhouse Mirror by Kate Flora
The Dogs of Rome by Conor Fitzgerald
Deadly Blessings by Julie Hyzy
The FIrst patient by Michael Palmer
Saving the Queen by William F. Buckley
Capital Offense: 8 by Barbara Mikulski
Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews
Think of a Number by John Vernon
The Trail of the Wild Rose by Anthony Eglin
Three Day Town by Margaret Maron
Oh.........wish I could start now... I'm actually reading three now, and have already read 27 so far since I declared 2012 as my year of Histories and Mysteries. As two of my favorite BBC characters would say "Rock On!"
Dead Level by Sarah Graves
anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill
The Great Cat Nap by Rita Mae Brown
Will you all promise not to laugh if I too have The Shape of Water on my potential M&M list for this May?
And hoping to get to The Thin Man.
Have lots to choose from, but a serious reading backlog. We'll see how I go, I guess!
Thanks for setting this up, Mark, it was a lot of fun last year, nice to be back this year. :)
My short list for May includes:
The Successor by Ismail Kadare
And the Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi
Revelation by C. J. Sansom
The Heart of Danger by Gerald Seymour
A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson
No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
Oolong Dead by Laura Childs
The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton
In the Shadow of Gotham by Stephanie Pintoff
The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez
Broken English by P. L. Gaus
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Alexandria by Lindsey Davis
The Expats by Chris Pavone
Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Hooray! M&M is up. Great pictures at the top, Mark, very noirish.
I haven't planned all my May reading yet, but I know for sure that I want to read Zoo Station and The Crossing Places, as both those will be library books, I would like to pick the rest off my shelves. I will come back with a more complete list later.
Well, I have Zoo Station sitting on my bedside table, almost overdue already, so I guess I'll join in the fun! Not sure what else I'll read, but I'll certainly find a few. :-)
Do cozies include enough murder to count? What about urban fantasies - does dealing with many "long-legged beasties" qualify as mayhem? If so, I'm in!! I've got vast numbers in each of these genres to read. I won't put a list together - makes reading seem too much like classwork - but I'll definitely skew my choices to fit the theme.
I think cozies count. Most of them have at least one death. (Well, some don't, but they do count.) They are mysteries. Maybe not so much mayhem, but definitely mysteries.
First on my list for May is the NEWEST David Downing book. Lehrter Station. I have read all of the others in this series and can't wait to get to this one. After that -
Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin
Honorable Schoolboy by John le Carre
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
and if all goes well the new one on my Nook Between Summers Longing and Winter's End by Leif Perrson. This is the beginning of a new Scandi crime series. It will be the start of a new series while the others are all keeping up with or finishing old series that I have started and want to see how they come out.
I'm very new to thrillers and mysteries, but I enjoyed my first one this month (aside from the Kate Atkinson books), thanks to vancouverdeb's recommendation of Karin Fossom's Bad Intentions. I put The Caller on my Audible wishlist, so I may listen to that in May. Plus, I'll try to add one or two print thrillers. Exciting!
I think it's so funny (in a strange way) that my first M&M book will be by C.S. Lewis! I knew he was a versatile author, but I didn't know he could write a thriller. I've just begun That Hideous Strength and there has already been a murder, kidnapping, and rioting in the streets.
I'll be here but it's best that I not try to commit to anything in particular. I plan on reading the next Fossum on my list, #3. My current read would seem to qualify, Devil in the White City but I may finish it before May starts.
Love the noirish start Mark!
Although I am very much enjoying reading it, I am really regretting that my library hold for Destiny of the Republic came in so soon! A book with the subtitle A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President would have been a dandy fit for May Murder & Mayhem, methinks. :)
I'm in. I have a bunch of books/mysteries from Netgalley so this is perfect!
A Most Contagious Game
Gone to Ground
The Lola Quartet
The Third Coincidence
Temple Mount Code
and if I get those done
Curse of the Pharaohs
Murder with Puffins
Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos %
Died in the Wool
Dead Men Don't Crochet
Yes, cozies count! I personally avoid them but that's me being a hard-core crime guy. We are flexible here on M & M but no sneaking in any Harlequins.
Actually, I could be getting an early start with my current read, Under the Skin. OMG, is this dark & creepy and I'm sure there is going to be heavy doses of M & M.
I'm in - but I'll have to post my list later. It's upstairs, and I'm supposed to be resting so I don't need to be up and down a lot. I probably need to edit the list anyway, but I've got several that I hope to read in May.
I'm back and armed with a list of potential May reads. It is possible that I may get to a few of these yet in April, and I seriously doubt I'll manage to complete them all before the end of the month.
Trophy Hunt by C. J. Box
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
Murder Makes Waves by Anne George
One Bad Apple by Sheila Connoly
Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander
Uneasy Relations by Aaron J. Elkins
Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov (It's one of my options for Ukraine, but I may read a book I have in hand instead.)
Death, Bones and Stately Homes by Valerie S. Malmont
A Body Surrounded by Water by Eric Wright
Endangered Species by Nevada Barr
Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters
Blood of the Prodigal by P. L. Gaus
Termination Dust by Sue Henry
Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow
Death Books a Return by Marion Moore
Louisa and the Missing Heiress by Anna Maclean
Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe
Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck
Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton
I had a book down to read in April, but when I searched for it in my TBR boxes, I couldn't find it. If I find it, I'll probably move it to another month since May looks quite full!
I'm in for the M&M read! I haven't made a list yet, but half the stuff on my fiction bookshelf would probably qualify, along with a good chunk of my public library TBR list. A few I'm thinking of getting around to reading soon:
Gone Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
Burning Angel by James Lee Burke
the Indian Bride by Karin Fossum
The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell
Argh. Terri, I'm blaming YOU for having checked out Dogs of Riga from my library. Are you secretly on vacation on the Emerald Coast??
I have more than 20 books marked as mysteries on MT TBR as well as a few true crime. I'm hoping to get through at least 4 of those....... so what do I do last night?
Ordered the first books in two more series that have been recommended to me by people here on LT:
Child of Silence by Abigail Padgett
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
Yay for murder and mayhem!
Lori- Wow that's a mighty list! Good luck!
Terri- I'm another fan of the Dogs of Riga, although the 4th Wallander is still my favorite.
So many people reading the Cotterill books. Yah for Dr. Siri!
My planned reads:
Cry Dance, Kirk Mitchell (to knock off Nevada from my 50 states fiction list)
Thirty-Three Teeth, Colin Cotterill (because I loved my first Dr. Siri last month)
The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson (because I wasted my whole day yesterday trying to figure out how to put it on my iphone for listening, so dagnabit, it's ON)
A Morbid Taste for Bones, Ellis Peters (my first Ellis Peters; hope it fits this theme! For Reading Through Time historical mystery challenge)
I picked up the second and third Dr. Siri mysteries from the library yesterday and am not sure I can wait until next Tuesday to start reading Thirty-Three Teeth.
Oh, Cindy ~ I loved the audio of Devil in the White City and remember that I had a hard time taking off my earbuds when I had to stop listening for some reason! I hope you enjoy it too. Also the Brother Cadfael mystery (Morbid Taste for Bones). If you are like me, you won't be able to stop reading that series.
I couldn't resist and spurned David Copperfield for the more exciting charms of Lehrter Station by David Downing. This will be my first one for May, and I only cheated a little bit. I read about 30 pages before falling asleep. The author is just setting up the story, so I am not really reading yet. Am I?
Oh my, another month to read mysteries and the like. I've got a few planned, although I don't know if I'll get to them.
Bone Rattler by Eliot Pattison
Grensgeval by Matti Ronka
Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin (not so much murder, but mayhem enough if I go by the description)
And probably also Zwarte merel in een veld met pioenen by Borislav Cicovacki, about the war in Kosovo.
I have finally put together a list of the books I hope to get to for May:
Devil in the White City by Eric Larsen
Zoo Station by David Downing
Lennox by Craig Russell
Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
White Russian by Tom Bradby
Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James
Blackburn by Bradley Denton
The 50/50 Killer by Steve Mosby
I'm looking forward to getting started, but I have one more read I am trying to complete for April, then on to the Murder & Mayhem!
Judy, I think you are going to really love Dissolution. I may break down and move the second in that series up and something else down just so I'll have a book for the Tudor TIOLI challenge.
Thanks, Lori. It all came together nicely, Mark's Murder and Mayhem, the TIOLI Tudor challenge, and the Reading Through Time choice of historical mysteries as the theme this month.
Just added Neon Rain to the list of books I hope to read in May (thanks Terri #41 for mentioning Burning Angel, which sounded interesting enough to look up). It will be my first Robicheaux.
Judy, I second Lori ~ Dissolution is so good!
ETA that so is Devil in the White City.
47 Just want you to know -- the Robicheaux series gets better as it goes along. Neon Rain could be off-putting for some readers due to the level of violence. Dave becomes less of a "loose cannon" as the series progresses -- though I don't think he ever loses all his rough edges. (It's fun to watch the character development!)
I will try and get some of my mysteries read in May as I have time in between school and work stuff. I am currently reading and enjoying Beverly Connor's Diane Fallon series that begins with One Grave Too Many.
Thanks, Terri. As far as violence in mysteries is concerned, it kind of goes with the territory (I almost typed "terrortory") if you like the kind of dark, hard-boiled mysteries I prefer. But it has to be necessary to the story; no gratuitous violence please. (And I would really REALLY prefer the violence not be perpetrated against children or animals, thank you very much.)
#46 - Yes, Mark's Murder & Mayhem does have a nice ring! I also love that you started early with a book called "Started Early ...". Serendipitous, indeed!
Judy- I didn't even realize that...but yeah right I did plan that! How cool am I?
LOL about Mark starting early with Started Early!
I'm going to be starting late. Just looked at my library books and checked the online catalogue and Behind the Beautiful Forevers has a queue behind me. (Which wasn't there before! I started some sort of trend...) I will be picking it up tonight, and then start M&M later in the week. Or so.
I too started early, but I started with Lehrter Station. I didn't intend to start it but it was staring at me. Once I started reading I couldn't stop and so I finished it this weekend. I really like the John Russell series by Downing, but this book was not the best in the series. It is short on plot but long on atmosphere. The setting is in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Specifically, October to December 1945 in Berlin. The author manages to bring the reader into a city that is mostly rubble, that smells bad, and has thousands of people moving into and out of the city and all across Europe. To add to the confusion there is no economy. Cigarettes and the Black Market rule.
The publisher changed the cover format on this book, and I don't care for it as much. The four former books had a photograph of the inside of the various train stations on the cover, but this one is very different. It looks like a some sort of attempt at a film noirish look. While the character is clearly moving into the Cold War spy mode I am not sure that this cover helps me make that transition with him.
My copy of this book was an ARC I got at the winter conference. The release date for this book is May so I thought it would be a good idea to make this one my first read of the month. I didn't expect to finish it in four days, so while it isn't the best, it ain't bad either.
Mary...No one can resist Dr. Siri once they get started. I'm in danger of ODing on these wonderful stories! Enjoy.
50 Well, some of the early Robicheaux violence can feel a little gratuitous at times, but it really is part of where he comes from vs. where he progresses to as the series moves along. And as far as I can remember, he's always kind to kids and animals -- though some of the crooks he chases may not always be.
I read the first Dr. Siri book earlier this year. Quite an interesting character!
I finished Foul Matter by Martha Grimes today. It's the first non-Richard Jury book of hers that I've read..... and, I think I'm going to stick to her Richard Jury series. This was rather tepid and short on mayhem. I think perhaps only the staunchest Martha Grimes fan would enjoy this.
Next up, I think, will be my second Dr Siri book.
I have some non-fiction I want to get to - I think they'll fit in "Murder and Mayhem:"
The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars
Dangerous Doses: A True Story of Cops, Counterfeiters, and the Contamination of America's Drug Supply
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
really is related to murder & mayhem, in a backward sort of way....isn't it?
I'm so very bad at these monthly theme reads...even with murder and mayhem, I can't seem to read things in the right month.
I finished The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America - perfect for murder and mayhem since there sure was a lot of it!
>59 vancouverdeb: I hope you're enjoying the Shetland Series, Deb - I loved them.
Hey, I thought this was going to be one hopping place! Hello!! You're not afraid of a little M & M, are you? Big babies.
I finished my 1st M & M, Started Early. This turned out to be my least favorite of the Jackson Brodie books. The last 1/3 began to bog down for me. I hope she begins to tighten things up more on her next book. Anyone feel different?
I also have about 80 pages left in Zoo Station, which has been very good. Those nasty Nazis!
Mark - Are you trying tough love on us? I am reading The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo, and it is very good so far. I am listening to Casino Royale and very much like the narrator Simon Vance. I am wondering if James Bond and Harry Hole had to work together, do you think they would get along or just get in each other's way?
Well Mamie, soft love ain't cutting it! Have you read the other Harry Hole books? I've read the 1st 2, (American releases). I have the 3rd in the wings, plus The Snowman.
Any fans of Gillian Flynn out there? Her new book Gone Girl is coming out. I loved Sharp Objects. Sadly, I haven't read Dark Places, which I've heard is even better. This is one dark dark lady.
Yes, I have read the first three that are available here - what's up with that, why can we not get the first two?? My copy of The Redeemer is from Canada - shh, don't tell. I have The Leopard and The Snowman waiting patiently for me to get to them.
I guess soft love doesn't really fit the thread theme either, so it's just as well you changed tactics!
*edited to fix touchstone
I'm working on my first M&M book (Mmmm wish I had some M&M candies...)
Reading The Gods of Gotham. Not a ton of mayhem yet, but lot's of murder so far ...
Mamie, it's very good that you're reading these in order; Gone, Baby Gone has definite spoilers for the previous volumes.
#71 > I totally agree. I actually read Gone, Baby, Gone first because I wanted to read Moonlight Mile which had just come out and I knew those two books in the series were very intimately connected. I didn't really know if I was going to like the series enough to read the whole thing, but of course I did. Even though I still enjoyed going back to #1 and reading the series in order, I did know that certain things were going to happen in those earlier books that I probably wish I hadn't known. It didn't ruin the experience, but it wouldn't have been my first choice of ways to do it.
So, Mamie, listen to Terri!
Oh me, too, I'd gotten Moonlight Mile as an ARC and wanted to read it but hadn't read the others yet. So I started with it and then went back and quickly read through the series from the beginning. I didn't mind knowing how things were going to end up, but so glad I didn't mix up the rest. I really loved that series!
(I did see the movie of Gone, Baby, Gone long before I started reading the books last year but luckily my memory is terrible!)
I read my first book for Murder and Mayhem - an ER One Blood by Qwantu Amaru - lots of murder and mayhem. Still mulling on the review though.
Also started a second The House at Sea's End the third in the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths, human bones have been found so I just have to carry on reading to find out just how much murder and mayhem will follow:)
I'm off to a good start to the month with And the Sea Will Tell, a true crime story of a murder on a deserted island in the Pacific. I'm about halfway through and should finish it this weekend. I'm also listening to the audio version of And Then There Were None. Apparently I downloaded the interactive version. I was listening while vacuuming last night, and just as I noticed a dead wasp on the carpet, one of the characters said "There's a wasp!"
Too funny! But be careful - an interactive MURDER mystery entitled And Then There Were None?! Actually, I love that one - but I don't think I'm ready for the interactive version.
Just finished Flat Spin, an ER mystery with touches of the intelligence community. Quite well done, nicely filled up a couple of airplane rides yesterday.
I read four of the Jo Nesbo books and quit. They are simply too dark and sadistic for me. The Snowman had me so grossed out that I almost quit reading it. I decided after reading the first page or two of The Leopard that I would pass. Those first couple of pages were just sick in my opinion, so I won't be reading it. It almost seems as if the author has to see how much he can gross us out and with me he reached that point. On-the-other-hand, I liked the first two I read Redbreast and Nemesis. Devil's Star really started the gross out process for me and Snowman completed it. I also guess I ran out of sympathy for Harry as well.
The weekend is coming up and I will be spending it with Adelia Aguliar and her Murderous Procession. Can't wait.
Benita, really how did you feel about the books? Don't hold back!
I haven't gotten to The Snowman or The Leopard yet, but Devil's Star didn't gross me out. I'm guessing your not a fan of Steig Larsson, either. I don't mind dark and sadistic if it's well written! That's the great thing about so many different kinds of murder and mayhem - there's something for everyone.
*Hey, I'm back to add that I just looked up the book you listed above and saw that it is the fourth one in the series by Ariana Franklin - I'm reading the first one Mistress in the Art of Death this month. It came highly recommended by Judy (DeltaQueen50). Can't wait to get to it!
*edited to fix touchstone
Oh dear, I'd been looking forward to the Jo Nesbo books on my shelves... At least I've only got the first two. And I did enjoy Stieg Larsson, so maybe these will sneak under the wire. We'll see.
Busy, busy, busy. And trying to read a serious book for bookgroup, so not making much headway with reading. But my MIL is visiting this week and brought me a pile of books, including 5 of the "Bony" books by Arthur upfield. Consider me tickled pink, I've been looking for those everywhere!
I've been trying to squeeze in Mistress in the Art of Death for a while, but I feel guilty starting a new series when I've got so many already in progress. Problem is, that's a never-ending problem. So if I wait, I'll end up waiting forever!
#83 & 84
I don't mind murder and mayhem as I read plenty of those kinds of books. It is just that the descriptions were way over the top in the last two books. I don't mind reading about a murder, but writing about the death process was just too much. Maybe I felt have too much empathy for the victims. I felt the same way about the description about how a person drowns in Perfect Storm so for me it is the way the author writes about it. And come on - Harry has everything in life and he wants to be miserable. I just lost patience with his poor poor pitiful me attitude.
I did enjoy the Steig Larsson books, but they have a whole different attitude about violence. It is not written in such a way that it makes the reader wallow in the violence. It explains it but somehow doesn't march the reader into depravity.
Recently I have been disturbed by this kind of violence. I found it in The Hunger Games as well. The kind of violence that is disturbing seems gratuitous and serves no purpose in the novels except for the gross out factor. I think that a reader would get the idea just as well without the gross-out descriptions. Some famous writer once said that the imagination is the most powerful descriptor. The author's job is to make the reader use his mind as well as his reading skill.
Benita - What an excellent job you have done explaining your point of view. Well said. I totally get what you are saying and respect your opinion even though I don't feel the same way. I think what you say about Harry Hole is an interesting discussion point:
"Harry has everything in life and he wants to be miserable. "
I'm not sure that he has everything in life. I think each of us would define very differently just what having "everything" means. We are each such distinct individuals and the things that make one person feel happy and fulfilled are not necessarily the things that can make the next person feel that way. He certainly could make better choices, less damaging choices. He could stop and think about what it is in life that he wants and make an honest effort to pursue it. That being said, I do not think that he "wants to be miserable" - I think that he doesn't know how to be happy. This is a fatal flaw, I think, and it is (I believe) intentional that Harry has this flaw. It is his demon, just like his alcoholism and his feeling of isolation. This combination makes for an interesting character because it seems that he should be ripe for vigilantism or the criminal element, and yet he has honor and a moral code and chooses to work within a system that he knows can be just as corrupt as what he if fighting against. It is an intriguing dilemma, which I guess is what keeps me coming back for more.
I feel a little funny even reporting mine here because it's got mild mayhem at best: The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith. It's the latest in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, and another charmer. My review is on the book page.
As I mentioned on another thread, whatever is the opposite of noir, this series would fit in it well.
You hit the nail on the head with the idea that he doesn't know how to be happy. Amen. I think I liked the first two books better Redbreast and Nemesis because I was interested in the Neo-Nazi angle and the corruption within aspects. Since both of those story lines are unresolved as of The Snowman I am sure that they will turn up again. However, I decided after the Snowman that I was not going along with Harry on his self-destructive ride. Just like I am not going to finish The Hunger Games novels either. There are too many hard-core mysteries that I like reading, and I am sure that the Jo Nesbo books will do just fine without me as a reader. There are enough other readers who don't seem to have the same concerns I do, who will buy them and read them.
While I was reading the Jo Nesbo books I was also reading the Benjamin Black series about Quirke. (I read three of them Christine Falls, Silver Swan, and Elegy for April.) The hero of these books is also unable to be happy. However, they seemed more realistic to me and that there was some hope for Quirke. I haven't read more of the series, but while Quirke was without hope somehow I still could like him. Both men had the same problems, but they came across to the reader in different ways.
I also think that the Jo Nesbo books are without a doubt riveting reads. The Benjamin Black books are not as thrilling and are more of a deep character study of all of the people in Quirke's life. Not just the hero as in the Nesbo books.
Benita, for some reason I am always happy to see people who are able to give up on series without much regret. You're right; life's too short to waste reading time on a series that you don't or no longer enjoy.
I'm enjoying The Fairy Gunmother, it's the second book in the Benjamin Malaussène series but book 1 is hard to come by and I'll probably have to get a copy off abebooks.
I've also started A man you can bank on which has a fairly brutal killing in the first 50 pgs so will include it here. It's about the inhabitants of an Australian outback town finding (and spending) $3 million from a robbery and 10 years later the crims are about to get out of prison and come looking for their 'treasure'. So far everyone in town drives a white Toyota Camry and owns a Jack Russell terrier.
Aha! Another misguided Louise Penny fan here! I was taken in by three in the series, when Armande and I had a personality clash! Oh life is challenging! ;)
Faceless Killers is good, but the second one in the series, Dogs of Riga is even better. I've got to get to one of those Dr. Siri books soon. I'm just reading a White Nights - rather like Three Pines, but it's in the Shetland Islands.
My original list has changed with the TIOLI challenges so.......
Donna Leon Uniform Justice
Agatha Christie Evil Under the Sun
Alexander McCall Smith The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
and The Man in the Picture.
I'm just finishing up Susan Hill's The Man in the Picture. With a few pages to go I'm finding it's just as horrifying as The Woman in Black.
The woman causing all the mayhem, possibly murder is Clarissa Vigo, a jilted lover. She has a way of taking jealousy to a new level.
My first two books in May definitely qualify with Murder and Mayhem!
Deadlocked, the most recent Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse book is brimming over with muder and mayhem, as you might expect.
Relics Mary Anna Evans second Faye Longchamp mystery has murder and some restrained mayhem. Relics isn't as good as Artifacts, but it's still a very good book. This series will appeal to anyone who likes the archaeologist / amateur detective combination.
I always say that I don't like and don't read murder/detective stories but having looked at the list of touchstones on the right I have read (and liked) about 6 and have more on my TBR list. (Given the subject of this thread I assume that 'The Snowman' in question isn't the one by Raymond Briggs, which is what the touchstone links to!)
I'm currently reading The Harper's Quine and I'm hoping to get to the seventh in the Three Pines series, A Trick of the Light, soon.
Too funny that the Raymond Briggs' book is what the touchstone goes to!! Fixed my posts to go to the correct touchstone which is the Jo Nesbo book.
I just finished Dennis Lehane's Gone, Baby Gone. Very dark. But this discussion causes me to reflect that for the most heinously violent crime in the book, he only gives us glimpses of the victim -- not a full-on litany of every wound. Indeed, mentally Kenzie can't mentally process the details of what he's seeing at the crime scene.
I'm still doing the audio of James Lee Burke's Burning Angel.
Feeling the need for something lighter, I've pulled a cozy off the shelf. State of the Onion is the first in Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series.
My first book finished in May was I Shall Not Want. I discovered this series about six months ago and have been enjoying it immensely. Maybe because I work in a church! I think this may have been the best in the series. I enjoy where it's going... and to make it applicable to the May topic -- there certainly was plenty of mayhem and a handful of murders. I must say, for such a small town, Miller's Kill certainly gets a lot of major crime.
I agree re Started Early. The ending sounded promising though, so I am looking forward to the next one.
A Murderous Procession is very interesting as all the books in this series. The Procession is now in Southern France and there are Cathers involved. Like others in LT I am sad that there will be no more books by this author. All four of these in this series have been winners. Such engaging characters.
I also started listening to Echo Park and old entry in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly. I liked the other book in this series that I listened to and I think this will be a fine book for the commute.
Benita- Patience, my good friend, patience. I am working on my review, which should be posted in the morning. I've been busy with my Short Story Thread and a silly old LT Meet-up. Short version: I liked it!
I've started a Claudia Bishop cozy set in Upstate New York. Dread on Arrival. I always enjoy this series.
I finished my first Murder & Mayhem book this afternoon - And the Sea Will Tell, a true crime story about a murder on a remote Pacific island.
I'm so excited for this! Mysteries are my favorite genre by far. I tend to just grab whatever books I feel like reading off my shelf, but luckily pretty much all my shelves are filled with mysteries, so that should work just fine.
Well, it took me a while to get to this thread, but I'm all caught up now.
Here is my (ambitious) list. Most are audiobooks, but the books off the shelf (check mark) may be more challenging to get to since I've got several non-M&M books planned this month too.
May Murder & Mayhem options:
♫ When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
♫ Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri - listening to it now
♫ The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
♫ The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
♫ The Long Fall by Walter Mosley
♫ Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh
♫ The Last Child by John Hart
♫ The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
♫ Stettin Station by David Downing
✔ Acqua Alta by Donna Leon
✔ Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers
✔ Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
I started the month with the pulpy Queenpin, and finished The Crazy Kill today. I just now added Stettin Station by David Downing to the list after seeing so many people list Zoo Station here. I've read the first two and am ready for the third instalment!
cbl_tn- I read And the Sea Will Tell years ago and loved it. Bugliosi is a master at narrative nonfiction. I wish he would write more of that type.
Becca made it! Becca made it! Looking forward to seeing your choices.
Ilana made it, Ilana...okay never mind. Hey, that's a hearty list there. I really liked the Last Child.
My Zoo Station review is up and thanks to Benita & Paul for the nudge on this one.
Yes, well, I'm always one for overambitious lists...
Don't forget I recommended Zoo Station too! I want me some of that credit! :-)
Ilana- You are so right! My bad. Shout out to my pal in Montreal! Oh, and I went back and reread your excellent review of zoo Station. Good job.
If anyone is not convinced by my little review, check out Ilana's. That'll get you.
Well, such a busy weekend I couldn't concentrate on my Serious Book Group Read. So I'm most of the way through The Thin Man. Much more suited to my slightly frazzled brain.
I finished Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander. If you like historical mysteries, this is the start of a great series. I can't wait to read future installments of it.
I finished The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo last night. I read it in one day because I just couldn't put it down. I LOVED it!! I love where Harry Hole is in his life in this installment of the series.
When a soldier with the Salvation Army is shot and killed, the lack of a motive, suspect and weapon frustrates the Norwegian crime squad. What could have been the perfect crime, however, begins to unravel when the killer realizes that he's made a mistake a killed the wrong person.
With his nemesis gone and his alcoholism under control for the time being, Harry Hole should be dancing on cloud nine. Instead, his boss retires and is replaced with a man who appears to play by the book and want to instill military-style discipline in the unit and he's now faced with a seemingly invisible killer.
As the killer proceeds to go after his intended target, Harry and his team grasp at all and any possible clues that might help them understand the motive and uncover the identity of the murderer. But time is running out, and even as they manage to discover that the murderer is traveling under a false identity, the killer continues to keep one step ahead of Harry and his team and the danger to his team escalates as the killer becomes more desperate.
The escalating tension will keep the reader turning the pages right up to the surprise at the end.
Caro did an M & M. Yah! It sounds terrific too. I need to get back to Nesbo. I've only read the 1st two.
I am enjoying The Shape of Water. Fun stuff.
Sounds great, Caro. I love page turners like that.
Glad you're enjoying The Shape of Water, Mark. I get a big kick out of Inspector Montalbano, his team, the locale, and these stories.
Another Sarah Graves for me....not as good as the one I read in April.
Nail Biter. A good series (Homicide is Murder) set in Maine (naturally). The sense of place is spot-on, and the characters are lots of fun. However, this is not one of the better ones in the series. Full review is attached to the book page.
I also finished Karen MacInerney's Murder on the Rocks a Gray Whale Inn Mystery set on the Cranberry Islands off the coast of Maine. I REALLY liked the setting in this one, and found the characters and the plot engaging. This is the first in the series and was a weekly freebie a while back for NOOK. I did have a little problem with anyone who would live on an island in Maine without a backup generator. I could tell the author was "from away" because anyone who lives here knows that when you lose power, you do NOT run a hot bubble bath (HELLO HELLO ==the well pump requires electricity). There were several other anomalies that just kept the picture from ringing true.
Great story though, with a hint of future romance promised, an intelligent but again way too nosy amateur sleuth, and as has become de rigeur for cozies these days, there is lots of talk about food, and several good recipes.
The only 2 books I've read in May were Donna Andrews - kind of fluffy but fun murder.
I'm all caught up on the Leonid McGill, maybe I'll check out the Easy Rawlins series by Walter Mosley.
I read about Collin Cotterrill so many times today that I've put #1 on hold at the library so that's a definite. Now I'm thinking I should check out Kate Atkinson too.
And there is plenty of Christie and Robert Parker to read.
I've finished my first two M&M reads. Lennox by Craig Russell is the first in a series. This was tartan noir at it's best, set in the gritty city of Glasgow during the 1950's, the author caught the atmosphere of the city perfectly and has introduced an exciting new character. Thanks to Paul for introducing this series to me.
The White Russian by Tom Bradby is a historical mystery, set in St. Petersburg in the early spring of 1917. Although the mystery was fairly easy to figure out, the history was really a strong component. Well researched, the author seemed to catch the last days of Imperial Russia as it was on the brink of revolution.
My reviews of both these books have been posted to their respective book page.
Next up I am starting The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths.
Started Dillinger's Wild Ride last night - nonfiction murder and mayhem. Hey, what's a little bank robbery between friends? :)
My first M&M read was The Boy Who Stole the Leopard's Spots by Tamar Myers. I was NOT impressed (my review is on the book page). If the blurb hadn't told me it was a mystery, I would have never known. Need to start on some REAL M&M now.
I finished A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin. This is the fourth and last of the Mistress of the Art of Death series by Franklin. I am sorry that it will be the last, as the author died in January. I have read all four of these books and there isn't a stinker among 'em. The books are set in England during the Middle Ages. Henry II once again calls upon his friends Adelia, a physician trained at the medical school in Salerno, and Rowley, his friend the Bishop of St. Albans, who happens to be Adelia's lover. The mission is to escort his daughter, Joanna, to her marriage to the King of Sicily. Unfortunately, there is a serial killer among the people in the entourage. This serial killer is after Adelia, but he doesn't mind killing anybody who gets in his way or who is connected to Adelia. The novel is full of adventure, romance, and thrills aplenty. I stayed up late two nights in a row just to finish this one. I highly recommend this series for its historical content as well as the mystery.
Last night I started When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson. This is the third in the Jackson Brodie series. I have already read the first two in this series and anticipate that this will be as good as the previous books in the series.
Are you saying that I gave up on Harry Hole to soon? Has he redeemed himself? Maybe The Leopard was the anomaly rather than the rule in heading into dark and desperately dark territory?
I just finished The Caller, which was a little disappointing after recently reading her Bad Intentions. I'll write a brief review in the next couple of days and post it on my thread.
I just started The Flatey Enigma this morning. It takes place in Iceland and involves murder (of course) and an ancient manuscript.
I have finished my first book for May, and it fits into the Mayhem and Murder theme - The Redeemeer by Jo Nesbo. I absolutely loved it - the plot and pacing of the story are excellent. I love how Nesbo weaves a tapestry with his books so that the connections are delicate and subtle at first, but eventually reveal more and more of the big picture. Caro did an excellent job of summarizing the plot, so I will simply direct you to her post above (#121) for more information on the storyline. She's right - it's a page-turner!
130> benitastrnad, does the Mistress of the Art of Death series have a finished feel to it? Or does the last book written have a lot of unfinished business at the end? I'm kind of hesitant to pick the series up, knowing the author died and didn't actually get to finish/stop the series at a good and well-chosen point.
The series works well and ends well. Each book can function as a stand alone and like many series all of them are not the same in quality. Some of them are more exciting than others. In this book, one of the major characters in the previous novels does not have a major role, but some who were in previous novels and then dropped out of sight reappear. The end is a cliff hanger, but then so is the end of Gone With the Wind. Do Scarlet and Rhett ever get back together?
I would say that it is worth reading the series even if this one is the end. Adelia is a fascinating character.
Oh, it does my mystery-loving heart good to see another reader get caught up in the Nero Wolfe series! These are the books I have re-read more than any others, and this is the world I would choose to be transported to if I could choose any fictional setting to live in.
And just to whet your appetite, Fer-de-Lance is quite good, but it's nowhere near the best of the series.
"If this woman's a snake, I want to be a herpetologist."--Archie Goodwin
>142 rosalita: So I see! I liked your review, but can't up-gethumb it since it's not on the book page. Boo!
Oh, Julia, you got me, too. If that review does not make you want to pick up that book, then you can rest easy that your heart will ever take the lead in choosing your books!
Wow, loving the Nero Wolfe adoration here. When I mentioned I was reading him on FB, a whole lot of friends waxed lyrical as well.
#140> rosalita, the edition I have has both it and the second one (The League of Frightened Men), so it'll be easy to continue on - first books are often a bit awkward, so (unless it's a total dud) I do like to read the first two, at least. But I think this one is good enough to know that it was a wise investment, buying this edition. :)
Thanks to both Richard and Mamie for the thumbs. You are too kind, indeed.
Tania, I'll look forward to your Nero Wolfe reports as you continue with the series. Off to fnd and star your thread now. :)
Edited to add: Do you not have a thread, Tania? I couldn't find it in the Threadbook.
Voices grabbed me right away! I like sad rumpled Inspector Erlendur. This is not as moody or atmospheric as the Wallander books, there is more cutting humor. The murder victim is dressed in a Santa costume and is also wearing a condom. Hmmmmm....
Becca & Joe- Good to see you knocking out the M & M titles. Yahoo!
I am finishing up The Crossing Places tonight, I have really loved this book. The main character, Ruth, is one I would love to be friends with in RL. Another great series start.
I am also reading The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, and I think it fits the Murder and Mayhem theme beautifully. First he murders his victims, then causes mayhem when he eats them!
Tomorrow I will be starting Zoo Station which I am looking forward to.
rosalita, I'm over in the "100 books" group. I just pretend to be a 75er, really. :)
Reviews are very slowly forthcoming on my thread, but I blasted through a whole lot yesterday and then started a nice clean new thread, where hopefully reviews will appear a bit quicker. (Yeah, heard THAT one before, and I'm only about 11 behind now, yeesh...) http://www.librarything.com/topic/136918#
Picked up Gods of Gotham at the library yesterday. It'll fit in this theme nicely, I think.
Finished Burning Angel and posted comments on my thread. Summary: Great characters, atmosphere, setting; lots of action -- but left me scratching my head at the end. Not the best in that series.
Started audio of Mercy Falls #5 in Cork O'Connor series; and about a quarter of the way through a cozy, State of the Onion, first of the White House Chef series.
I have just over 100 pages left in The Gods of Gotham and it is quite good, though very dark and brutal. Not recommended for anyone who prefers lighter/cozier mysteries!
I am listening to The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, the second Flavia de Luce mystery - I was lukewarm on the first, but am really enjoying this on audio, so that might be the way to go from now on with the series. The narrator is delightful.
I fear I will be crucified for saying this: I am not liking Case Histories much. Like, really, not at all.
RD.....have you read any other Kate Atkinson's? Her's is a distinct style that I liken to strong dark roast coffee....it's definitely an acquired taste, but once you like it, you'll never be happy with decaf.
>158 tututhefirst: I loves me some dark roast, Tina, but this isn't gettin' the job done for me. It seems so self-conscious. I am in a real struggle not to Pearl Rule this bad boy.
>157 richardderus: Well, I loved Case Histories when I read the first chapter and after I'd read the last chapter, but there were certainly stretches in between where I had my doubts about it, and Atkinson, and life itself. :)
That might seem an encouragement to stick with it, but I fully support anyone's right to Pearl Rule any book at any time. There are too many great books in the world to feel stuck reading one you are for whatever reason not connecting with.
Richard....Pearl Rule it, and try it later....they're great stories, but they do involve a great cerebral investment, and this is obviously not your time. On to something else..
Okay. I have Pearl Ruled Case Histories. It is a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I was finding myself snarling at people and even being impatient with the dog. Can't have that.
Good call, Richard. Murder and mayhem books should never cause you to go all stabbity.
Finished my first one for the month, Child of Silence by Abigail Padgett. A child protective service worker with Bipolar Disorder (manic depressive) struggles to manage her mood and save one of the kids assigned to her whom someone is trying to kill. This series was recommended by mkboylan. I was interested as I have a loved one who is bipolar. I'll continue on with the series. 3.8 stars.
Never heard of Nancy Pearl and the Pearl rule so I just looked it up. Love the idea. I too have had experience with reading something, hating it, picking it up years later and loving it. Since I am 59 I only have to give it 41 pages.
Since my kids were young we have had a 15 minute rule for movies and videos which always works well for us. They are 29 and 25 now and most of the time we get hooked on the movie that one of us is recommending to the others but some times we give up. And no one gets offended if their recommendation is a bomb for someone else.
Like that Pearl Rule a lot!
Mark - TGoG was great. Finished it today and made some comments on my thread. Very dark - even dark enough for you!
Lots of murder and mayhem in the two books I've read over the past couple of days. First, Run by Blake Crouch, which involves a strange phenomenon that turns ordinary people into killers, and a family on the run from the mayhem.
Second, just finished Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter, the first book in the Sara Linton/Grant County series. I accidentally read a later book that gave away a huge series spoiler, but despite that I found this first book to be quite absorbing. I'll definitely keep reading this series.
Went to the Pasadena book fair today with a friend and met author Denise Hamilton. What a lovely woman, really friendly. Bought two of her books (Damage Control (a stand-alone mystery) and The Jasmine Trade (first book of the Eve Diamond series); my friend bought two others (Sugar Skull (second of the series) and Los Angeles Noir)). I'm reading Damage Control first; my girlfriend's reading Los Angeles Noir first. Then we are going to trade.
ETA I haven't read anything of hers yet and hope they are good mysteries. I did read the first couple of pages of each, and I liked her writing style, which goes a long way toward whether I'll enjoy a book.
I recently started listening to the audiobook The Bourne Identity (just because I wanted to) and just realized that it fits May: Murder and Mayhem . Bonus!!
I just finished Holly Blues by Susan Wittig Albert. It was so good to visit Pecan Springs again. It's been WAY too long since I visited China Bayles. I love this series, and love that you don't really have to read them in order. Yes, as with any good long lasting series, there is character growth between the books, but the mysteries themselves are self contained. And China is good about catching folks up on what's going on in Pecan Springs without the dreaded "data dump".
This one had a pretty high body count for a cozy - but all the mayhem was off stage.
I finished Glazed Murder last night and am reading Messenger of Truth. I'm liking it better than some of the earlier installments in the series. Up this week are Dark Fire and Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall (which I think qualifies as mayhem).
I read One Was a Soldier, the latest in the Clare Fergusson series. Boy was I disappointed.... I've loved the rest of it, and found this one to be a let-down. The whole first half of the book just meandered around the issue of returning vets, without really making the story actually go anywhere. The last half was better, and the end almost enough to redeem the book, but I can only hope the next one will be better.
More mayhem of the YA kind in my most recent read, The Knife of Never Letting Go.
I finished Voices, the 3rd Inspector Erlendur book. This is a very solid series set in Iceland and I highly recommend them.
Next up, is the Woman in Black. This is a nice short novel. Aren't they refreshing once in awhile?
Rosalita- I enjoyed the entire Chaos Walking trilogy but the 1st one was my favorite.
I finished a few more books to add to my list. The Successor isn't a traditional murder mystery, but it does deal with a violent death of the Successor to the Albanian dictator. Was it suicide or murder?
In the The Oxford Murders, a graduate mathematics student and a mathematics professor work together to figure out a series of mathematical symbols linked to murders. The setting and main characters were more interesting than the actual mystery.
Revelation is the 4th book in C. J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series. The books in the series have been consistently good. Nothing seems out of place for the Tudor era.
Matinicus An Island Mystery I just finished this really terrific double mystery set in Matinicus Maine. There are murders in the 1800's and murder in 2005. Lots of great characters, an exciting plot, and an incredible ending. My review is on the book page. It's a self-pub, and the major publishers really missed the boat on this one. I also chatted about it on my thread
#182 - Mark - The Inspector Erlendur books sound good. It looks like I have a few in my Audible wishlist already (It's impossible to keep track of all of my wishlists!). I think Paul recommended that author to me.
Sorry you didn't like Case Histories. I like Atkinson but do agree that her style can be hard to stay with - at first. I just finished read When Will There Be Good News? and think this one is the best Jackson Brodie book so far in the series. I am 120 pages into Started Early, Took My Dog and so far it is grabbing me as well. That is saying something as I started reading it while vacationing in New Orleans.
I know that I was confused by Case Histories when I started it, but I ended up really liking the way she ties together all the threads of stories. I will also say that her use of really choppy sentences in that first book was annoying to me, but either I became accustomed to the style or else she has improved because I don't notice it in either of these last two books.
I am visiting England for The Woman in Black, good but very mild M &M, and back to Laos, for Disco for the Departed, the 3rd Dr. Siri book. This is such a fun series. If you haven't tried it yet, (WHAT??), please give it a go.
Benita- Glad you are enjoying the Jackson Brodie books. Looks like you're going to be all caught up.
I have learned that with Kate Atkinson, I have to try to read her books straight on and not interspersed with any others. I loved Case Histories once I figured out how to read it, and I've gone through the rest until my current Started Early, Took My Dog (which I am loving). I think I like her because you can't read it mindlessly, and once in a while, I like to have to concentrate on a book. Couldn't do it as a steady diet, though.
I haven't had much computer time lately (plus horrible tendinitis in my thumb joint makes it hard to type & use my mouse--who would have thunk you use your thumb for so many things???). But I have been reading, thanks to a nifty book rest for my lap that my son gave me for Mother's Day a few weeks ago ("I don't know when Mother's Day is" he says).
My first M & M was Seventy-Seven Clocks by Christopher Fowler. Much murder in this one. It's the third in the series, and I love the series. So right up the old alley for this challenge!
I also read Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation by Gregory Maguire. Mischief is mayhem, isn't it?
I finished Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger. I thought it was a good mystery/suspense novel and will read more of the series. :)
Laura Childs' Tea Shop mysteries are comfort reads for me, and I was in the mood for a comfort read this week. There's only one murder in Oolong Dead, but plenty of mayhem.
No, I didn't find Atkinson's style confusing, just off-putting, since it seemed to me to be unnecessary to the story being told. I just don't like her writing. It feels show-offy to me.
Mark, I'm also about 1/3 through Disco for the Departed - it's one I had skipped but I'm glad I finally got it ----long waiting lists for these are starting to build up at libraries as more people discover the delights of Dr. Siri and his marvelous entourage....
Tina- These Dr. Siri books are quick reads, but are so smart and funny. I'm glad everyone has jumped a board.
I finished listening to Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger, 5th in the Cork O'Connor series. I liked the book all the way up to the end. For the first time in this series, the main thread of the mystery was not wrapped up by the end of the book; Krueger left his readers with a cliff hanger. I HATE that. Ugh, double ugh! I may give the next book a try eventually, but if he does it again I'm done with the series. It's a shame, because I've really enjoyed the characters and setting.
I'm also reading State of the Onion, first in the cozy White House Chef series, and The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin, a somewhat spooky YA. Just downloaded the audio of Cadillac Jukebox by James Lee Burke. That's a re-read from the 90's, but I'm trying to read that whole series in order now and my memory is fuzzy enough that I don't remember enough of the story line to spoil it.
I finished Death Comes As the End by Agatha Christie. It was a re-read for me, and although I liked the book, the historical setting wasn't as good as I remembered. I think I've read so many amazing historical fiction that this historical effort of Agatha Christie fell a little flat. Still four stars though! Full review here.
Finished up a few:
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill - I love Dr. Siri!
Fer-de-lance by Rex State - can't believe I've never read Nero Wolfe before!
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson - now I finally know who Jackson Brody is. I was a little worried after some of the comments above, but once I sat down with it I couldn't put this one down. Very depressing in so many ways.
SO excited! I managed to snag five (yes, count 'em ~ 5) Dr. Siri audiobooks from the library! I picked them up last night, and am in the process of loading The Merry Misogynist on my iPod. I enjoyed reading them as books, but I'm looking forward to being able to listen to them when I'm driving, cleaning house, laying by the pool, washing dishes, walking the dog. Oh, wait, I don't have a dog. Hmm, maybe I should get one so I could have an excuse to take nice long walks a couple of times a day.
I wish I would have thought of this a couple weeks ago: An M & M Meter- a scale from 1-5. One being low on the murder & mayhem content, with 5 being...well, locked & loaded.
I just finished the Woman in Black. It gets a 1 but it is still a good ghost story.
Laura & Mary- I'm nearly done with book 3 of the Dr. Siri series and boy are these a lot of fun! And Mary, this is the 2nd one I heard on audio and this is a perfect format for them and I plan on listening to the rest of the series.
The Woman in Black involved murder...if it gets a 1, what does some feel-good happy romance (say Pride and Prejudice) get on your 1-5 M&M meter?
My May Murder and Mayhem month is turning out to be a literary journey of sorts. I just spent part of my lunch looking up some items of literary importance in When Will There Be Good News? I had not read the poem "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning in a long time and it is mentioned several times in the book. Then I had to look up the story of the "Mistletoe Bride" because it too was discussed in the book. There are several versions of the legend so I had to take time to read more than one so that I would be brought up to speed on brides locked up in boxes. I have to say that the Mistletoe Bride story reminded me of Anya Seaton's book Green Darkness. Does anybody remember that old tale?
I am now about 100 pages from the end of Started Early, Took My Dog and have been surprised at the amount of literary references that I have found in both of these books. Jackson Brodie reads poetry and then makes references to them. Very different for a mystery.
I am listening to Echo Park by Michael Connelly and it has been filled with references to the old folk tales about Reynard the Fox. If I get time later I will have to look up some more information about this character, but I already know that we have three children's books featuring this character. I know this because I purchased the books for the collection in the library. Who would have thought that Reynard would be in a murder mystery?
I finished Started Early, Took My Dog last night. I'd give it a 3.5 on the M & M scale (although a 4 on the readability scale!).
>204 benitastrnad: Benita ~ I remember Green Darkness well. I remember loving it when I read it a million years ago and wonder how it would stand up today. (Also, love Connelly's books ~ there's so much I've learned about L.A. from them, and I've lived in L.A. for almost 40 years!)
Am almost finished lisitening to The Long Fall by Walter Mosley. It's okay, I guess, but I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the series (unless someone tells me that it picks up A LOT as the series goes on). It's not just that Leonid McGill is not Easy Rawlins, it's that there's too much about his personal life, and it's just not that interesting or ~ at least yet ~ necessary to the story, plus it seems a bit disjointed. Also not thrilled with the reader. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 on the M&M scale but only a 2.5 on the readability scale.
It's been a while since I've stopped by. Sounds like I have some good M&M hiding on my nook, including The Last Werewolf and Iron Lake.
Mark, I agree that The Woman in Black falls low on an M&M scale but add a spooky component, and the rating ramps up. :)
I started Nelson DeMille's The Lion's Game last night and so far, no murders, but knowing John Corey, there will soon be some mayhem. I forgot how entertaining this series is.
Benita and Mary, I haven't read Green Darkness in a million million years, but when I did, it was in conjunction with my mother and sister. We stole the book back and forth from each other, until my sister who ran a book shop in those days, gave Mama and me our own copies. It was the only time she ever did that. She said she just got tired of wondering where her copy was!
#206 & 208
I remember being enthralled by Green Darkness about 30 years ago. So enthralled that I recently purchased a used copy of that book with intentions to read it again and pass it on. I rarely re-read books, so perhaps when I get to it I will be able to answer the question of how well it wears. I also want to read the Dissolution series - (I think that is the one - mysteries about the monk in the early years of Henry VIII) because those books are about the dissolution of the monasteries, which is also the time of Green Darkness. Sometimes fiction fosters research and in this case Green Darkness did just that.
I finished the marvelous Disco For the Departed. This has quickly become one of my favorite mystery series. And I have the next 5 saved on audio. Yah! Let's face it, Dr. Siri Rules!! I would give this a 2 on the M & M Meter. The mystery is an after-thought. It's the characters that really sing or...dance. (inside joke)
I started Iron Lake. I love the setting and the mood. This is just my cuppa.
Rachel- I sent you a PM, to avoid a spoiler.
Mary- I never could get into Mosley. I'm not sure why, when so many readers love his work.
Joanne- Ooh, The Last Werewolf. Licking my drooling chops.
I am not familiar with Green Darkness. It looks like I need to look into it.
I have finished Casino Royale and If Death Ever Slept. The first, as most everyone probably knows, is the start of the James Bond series. It was worth reading as it provides the backstory as to why Bond is so cynical and also how he got his OO status. Fleming is not a great writer but also not a terrible one. If Death Ever Slept was my first Nero Wolfe (and no, it is not the first in the series). I read it after reading Julia's wonderful review of it, and she is quite right- it's a great book. Archie Goodwin is utterly charming and the dialogue is clever and quick. It's kind of like reading an old movie where the characters are smart and have a command of vocabulary. It's more of an intellectual murder - Nero Wolfe is not Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. In fact, he seems to rarely leave his house - more like a dictatorial Perry Mason who holds his cards close to his chest. A very fun read; I will definitely search out more of the series. So, thanks, Julia!
I just finished The Coroner's Lunch, the first of the Dr Siri series. Another fan is born!
Thanks to everyone for the recommendations of this series--I hadn't heard of it outside of LT. I don't think I've read any negative reviews of them here, either.
I finished Defending Jacob last night. It's a legal thriller rather than a strictly defined mystery, but it was truly excellent.
I'm about halfway through A Pirate of Exquisite Mind, about William Dampier - pirate, naturalist, explorer.
Oh Mamie, I'm so glad to hear you read and liked If Death Ever Slept! And the Nero Wolfe series is one that truly can be read in any order you like, as there is no carryover from book to book, and the characters never age (although the era they are living in is always contemporary with the time in which the book was written, which somehow isn't as weird as it sounds).
Had a wonderful afternoon on the deck. The other day as we were sorting "old discards" at the library, one of our volunteers said "Hey Tina....there are three boxes over here that have HOLD FOR TINA marked on them". I was in a hurry, so dragged them home! THey were all mysteries, often older, paperbacks, but there were about 30 that hubby and I said "let's put these in the collection". So they have been rescued from the dump. There were several Rex Stout's we didn't have, 3 or 4 Mrs. Pollifax (whom I've yet to read) 3-4 P.D. James - whom we both love, and an assortment of Agatha Christie, Margorie Allingham, Dick Francis and others. I will gradually get them cataloged, but it got so hot I had to bring the laptop in because the glare was too bright to work outside.
I finished Disco for the Departed and as I reported on my thread loved it but got a severe dose of clautrophobia listening to it while I fell asleep. I'm listening to Love Songs from a Shallow Grave right now----cannot get enough of Dr. Siri.
>202 msf59: Hi, Mark ~ I'm listening to disc one of Anarchy and Old Dogs and am not finding the voice of reader Clive Chafer at all pleasant. It's nasally, with very little infection, almost robotic, in fact, and distracts me so much from the story that I'm probably going back to reading these in print. Just wondering if this is the same guy who reads the Dr. Siri audiobooks you've been listening to, and, if so, if he reads them all the same way.
I finished the first in the Ruth Galloway series, The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths. It was very atmospheric, full of literary, historical and archaeological references, and beautifully written. Pretty low on the M&M meter, but definitely a series worth following. The narrator on the audio was also fantastic.
>219 Storeetllr: Mary...I'll chime in here on the Dr. Siri audios....I really like the voice of Clive Chafer reading these. They are quite similar to several BBC announcers we used to hear when we lived in Japan and were visiting around Southeast Asia during the early 80's. To me, they really resonate with the language as spoken in that area. It does take about one whole book to get used to the name pronunciations, but that is probably has more to do with our unfamiliarity with the spoken language than with the narrator's voice/pronunciation. Either way-print or audio--they are delightful books and I hope you can stick to them.
Back to Mark--sorry for highjacking...
Started and finished The Shape of Water in one fell swoop. Great start to the series!
I finished Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson and posted a review. I have to disagree with you guys - Richard and Mark. I liked this book. As this series has progressed I find that the author is creating stronger and stronger female characters who are a joy to read about. Tracy is one tough bird. And even poor Tilly must have been a strong person. The men in this book come off looking like sad saps. I do agree with you that Atkinson has a great sense of humor and is very witty in the writing. In this book Jackson Brodie is really a secondary character.
I also finished listening to Echo Park by Michael Connelly and found this one to be a standard police mystery. It was interesting but only average when compared to the complexity of the Atkinson books I have been reading for the last two weeks. It was a nice traveling companion, but nothing exciting.
Here is my review of Started Early, Took My Dog.
Like all of the others in this series it features strong women characters who come through hardships and make fateful decisions, some good some bad, but always from a position of strength, determination, and stouthearted character. This book features a retired woman police detective who is not pretty. Rather she is over weight and plain. She has never married or had children though she desired both. She is a staunch defender of women and their rights because she has had to live through the sexism of the police department in which she worked. She managed to make it to the rank of police detective without the help and aid of the "good old boys club" and has had to watch incompetent or, at best, mediocre, men get promoted over her. She makes a decision early on in the book and then lives with the consequences. The other main character in the book is Tilly, the aged actress, who likewise made a decision early in her life, and has lived with the consequences. She is rapidly sinking into Alzheimer's disease and as a result reality for her is a bit foggy. This too has consequences. As with all of the Jackson Brodie books, watching the threads and paths of all the characters converge is the great mystery at the heart of the novel. As Jackson Brodie says "A consequence is just an explanation waiting to happen."
>223 benitastrnad: Thumbs-upped your excellent review, Benita. I simply don't like Atkinson, but I know others feel differently. You've done a terrific job of conveying the sense of the book to my unwilling eyes.
Just downloaded another Montalbano Wings of the Sphinx and put a reserve in for two others. This is another series I just can't get enough of, especially when I can sit outside, work on my needlework, feel the warm sun and imagine I'm in Sicily....life doesn't get much better.
Mary- I'm with Tina, I really like Clive Chafer's narration. I think he captures the tone and feel of these delightful books. I've noticed that certain narrators can rub a listener the wrong way, I think that's what has happened here.
Tina- I love highjacking! Knock yourself out.
Terri- I loved The shape of Water too and look forward to the other books.
Benita- I stated a couple things bugged me a little on Started Early but I still liked it. It may be my least favorite of the series but it's still a solid read.
Good review, BTW!
I just finished The Killer's Cousin. I'm not sure why I bought this book last year. I chose it to read now because I was looking for something that would simultaneously fit into May Murder & Mayhem and the "Spooky" category in my 12 in 12 challenge. As it turned out, it barely fit either. Not one of my more enjoyable reads this year.
Wow! I'm trying to process all of the great recommendations I'm finding here.
Anyway, I just finished The Keeper of Lost Causes, which is probably my favorite crime novel/thriller/mystery that I've read so far. I'll try to write a brief review today.
And that brings me to something I've been thinking about this morning, which is that if it wasn't for my LT friends, I would have never started reading from this genre. I'm not really sure why, and I don't think it was book snobbery, as I read quite a bit of sci-fi, which is also genre fiction. I just never thought I'd like it. So thank you LibraryThing!
I just started The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder (also called Tokyo).
http://www.colincotterill.com/home.html ....just what I'd expect from Colin Cotterill, author of the wonderful Dr. Siri series. Now can anyone who speaks Lao, or is familiar with the language verify that the narrator on the audios is pronouncing "Siri" as "Silly" or are my ears getting very old?
Kerri- I LOVE crime/mystery, but LT definitely opened up many doors, in this genre and several others. My over-stuffed bookshelves can attest to that. LT is a freakin' fantastic place, what can we say!
Good endorsement for The Keeper of Lost Causes. I'll have to move it up the list. I have it saved on audio. I have never read Hayder, although many of my LT pals really like her.
Tina- That is such a cool site and yes, I agree it sounds like "silly". LOL.
On the trip to see my brother graduate college, I finished two more mystery books, The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver, and The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez. The first was a quick and easy read, with some good twists, the second a really excellent book with a really clever mystery that made even a non-math-lover like me find mathematics interesting.
#230 - I'm glad you say that about Mo Hayder, as I have no idea how that book landed on my wishlist. It started out a bit clunky, so the vote of confidence helps me to continue.
I've been away and fallen behind on this thread but I loved Zoo Station. I finished Blackburn over the weekend and was quite intrigued with this character study of a serial killer. Now I am reading The Devil In the White City by Eric Larson and I am fascinated with this book. I've been reading some great stuff for M&M!
On Ilana's recommendation, I started A Rage in Harlem. So far a poor doofus has been burnt by an obvious con, and is looking to his twin to help him.
Okay, wrapped up Iron Lake. I like Cork O' Connor and look forward to following him on more M & M adventures. I would give this a 4 on the M & M Meter. So, moved from frigid northern Minnesota to wicked L.A., in Hell & Gone. This is the 5th one I've read by Duane Swierczynski. They are very good and very different. If you have not read him, keep an eye out I'm also on the homestretch of Defending Jacob. A top-notch legal thriller and an excellent audio.
Judy- I'm glad you enjoyed Zoo Station. There is now officially an army of us. And The Devil In the White City is fantastic. A perfect M & M pick.
Now, if you want to talk about REAL murder & mayhem: The Remains of Company D by James Carl Nelson. A bit of a twist on the usual histories of WWI. Nelson's grandfather was wounded at Soissons in 1918, and based on him minimal knowledge of that, he has researched the entirety of Company D and tells of their lives before the war, during the specific battles they fought, and the ultimate fate of each of them. Never read anything like it. Fabulous. But sad.
I'm late getting here but I've read a couple of books that I should have posted. First of all Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies had a few dead bodies in it and mayhem aplenty. I doubt that I'll read a book I like more this year. Did I mention that it was excellent?
My last read was another good one. I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming is the 6th in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series. Lots of murders. I love this series and it just gets better and better as I worked my way through it.
Just finished Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy which, to my surprise, fits!
Just finished Lost Light by Michael Connelly. It's the ninth book in the Harry Bosch series. I LOVE these books.
OMG. I just skimmed this entire thread, which somehow I hadn't read before. So many old book friends, and so many new titles to try!
I've been taking a break from 'serious' book club type books to read mysteries this month:
Murder Most Maine by Karen MacInerney, which I realized was not the first of the series, so I'll have to backtrack a little.
Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri, which had me laughing out loud in between clues
Safely Buried by John Pesta, quite nice and refreshingly middle-of-America in Indiana
Invisible by Lorena McCourtney, to be avoided by all, especially RD
and now Open Season by Archer Mayor, which sucked me in like a Dyson Cyclone, right through the phone screen on the subway. If it holds up, I'll be crowing to you all.
A Rage in Harlem was funny and sharp. The main character has to be up there among the most foolish people ever born.
I'm listening to The Potter's field by andrea Camilleri....and I must echo Judy's comment about laughing out loud in between clues. Montalbano is right up there with Dr. Siri and Commissario brunetti for cultural enrichment as well as murder/mayhem.
Yay! I'm a big Inspector Montalbano fan, Tina. The new one is supposed to come out in the U.S. in just a few days.
I've started on Bent Road by Lori Roy - set in Kansas in the 1960s. Very well written so far, if a bit slow to get going...
I've gotten incredibly behind on this thread! For M&M I've managed to read:
Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
11th Hour by James Patterson
The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz
And I'm starting the latest instalment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Reborn, which is always pretty good on providing lots of mayhem!
243 Invisible by Lorena McCourtney, to be avoided by all . . .
Oops, think I have that one on my e-reader. That bad, huh?
Well, my opinion only of course. As a cozy, its not awful, and I had hope for the little old lady amateur, but the constant Christian proselytizing is really hard to take.
eta to correct spelling. I KNEW that looked wrong.
I finished The Ask and the Answer, the second in a trilogy of dystopian YA. I appreciate the fact that these books don't pretend there are any easy or uncomplicated answers to the difficult situations the protagonists face. Off to look for the final book at the library.
There certainly is murder and mayhem going on in that Chaos Walking series, Julia!
There sure is, Joe! I don't think I had any idea what I was getting myself into, but I've enjoyed it quite a bit. I might even go so far as to say it is better than
The Hunger Games.
>252 rosalita:-255: I'm glad to hear that series is so good. I picked up all three during a Kindle sale a couple of months ago!
I can see the flickering flames from here, Joe. I'd better get a move on ...
Katie, they are good. We'll compare notes once you've read them (no pressure, I know what an overloaded TBR list looks like!)
I picked them up during that same sale. Glad to hear that they are so good. *In a loud, clear voice asserts that she just can't imagine anything being better than The Hunger Games and steps back from Julia*
Mamie, do you feel as though you spend the better part of your time on LT trying to avoid getting dragged into my troubles? First on the Persuasion tutored read thread, and now here. :)
I love the thrill of danger, Julia, but I don't want to actually get hurt.
First off, we don't need to start another thread, right? There's just a week left, although I'm hoping for a burst of activity from the gang in the next 6 or 7 days.
Let me know!
Rosalita- I might even agree with you on the Chaos Walking trilogy compared to The Hunger games books. I think the former was more consistent, that's for sure. I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go but I would give the edge to the Hunger Games, IMHO.
I started the mammoth sized 11/22/63. It begins beautifully..
Chelle- I really like your M & M picks!
> 261 Mark,
I am about 3/4 of the way through 11/22/63 AND LOVING IT! Enjoy!
My M&M reads so far this month (and I think I'm done with murder and mayhem for now)
Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson
The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny
Sovereign - C. J. Sansom
Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov
I was another huge Green Darkness fan in my teens--I re-read that book until it completely fell apart. It may be time for a re-read.
And Katie I think I picked up the Chaos Walking books in the same Kindle sale--I've only read the first one though.
The Shape of Water and The Crossing Places are starting to call my name--as if I need more series!
Took a little break from M&M but now I have picked up Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James. This is the 4th book in his DI Roy Grace series.
I was hoping to get to Death and the Penguin but the waiting list for that one was too long. I'm going to have to delete it from my May reads, which is something I hated to do since it would have been a matched read. I hoped to run across it at the Goodwill Bookstore the other day, but it wasn't to be found.
It doesn't look like I'll get to my third M&M book this month. I read A Fountain Filled With Blood - the title was gorier than the book - and the latest Shardlake murder mystery set in Tudor England, Heartstone. Both were excellent.
I've enjoyed seeing what everyone is reading -- and even added a few titles to the WL. Dr. Siri is on my radar.
Hoping to finish the last two of the Dr. Siri series before the end of the month, plus Gone, Baby, Gone. It helps that it's a 3-day weekend here in the U.S.
Here's what I've managed to finish so far in May:
Bodies Politic by David Wishart
Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb
Tapping the Vein by Clive Barker
When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris
Disco for the Dead by Colin Cotterill
The Long Fall by Walter Mosley
Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill
Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill
The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill
As you can see, I've fallen hard for Dr. Siri.
I've started an early Ann Rule book called Lust Killer. It was published in 1984 when Rule was using the pseudonym Andy Stacks. The title is so sensationalist in-your-face that I find it almost silly.
I'd like to get a couple of quick reads off the mountain before the month ends so I'm aiming for this one and a gardening mystery called Bindweed.
I'll definitely be returning to Dr. Siri!
I'm reading really slowly this month so won't be trying for any more M&M, but want to know what's up for June?
Kerry- I'm hosting a Group Read of River of Smoke for mid-June and then there's Of Mice and Men for the Steinbeckathon.
Mary- Now that's a lot of Dr. Siri! He's the hot ticket this month. I have the rest of the series saved on audio. Yah!
I am LOVING 11/22/63. This is a perfect way to close out M & M, even thought I might run over a couple days. Come on, this is one Big Boy!
Today's Kindle Daily deal is a choice of 7 Karin Fossum books for $1.99 each.
I may have to go shopping for my Kindle!
ETA: I did add the ones I didn't have.
-Did two more Montalbano mysteries I hadn't read before Potters Field and Wings of the Sphinx and am working on the latest Dr. Siri The Merry Misogynist. I just love both these characters. I've gotten hubbie hooked on Montalbano and am hoping to convince him to dive into Dr Siri soon. He has heard me cackling uncontrollablly enough recently that I suspect he will give in soon.
Right now I'm reading a NetGalley ARC The House of Serenades that's due for publication next week...It's one of those mysteries that takes FOREVER to get going.....If she had started the book on page 74 and then backfilled as she went along, I would have been much more excited. Full review next week.
So off to spend the rest of the weekend reading...
Just a note to say that Amazon has ebook editions of all the Karin Fossum (well, perhaps not the very latest but the rest) on sale for $1.99. I had Don't Look Back already but haven't read it. But for that price I went ahead and bought the rest of them so hoping desperately that I will enjoy that series.
ETA: fixed touchstone
>275 DorsVenabili: Got 'em! I have the first in paper, but will now deaccession it. Excellent.
I just finished Booked for Murder by Tim Myers which I also read for the '2012 has 12 Months' sub-challenge of the 12 12 group - read a book about an emerald (the birthstone for the month of May) AND for the 75 Books Challenge for TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book with a word in the title suggesting violent death
I would not have picked up this book on my own but someone on LT recommended this series.
It is a short kinda fun read but not really much depth to it although I did like the two protagonists. The answer to the mystery was not revealed until the very end and I didn't find it terribly satisfying. I liked the writing style. I consider this to be a beach read. Light, airy, easy to read, not requiring a lot of focus. I liked it but it wasn't great. (3.5 stars)
I read Defending Jacob this week and I think it's one of the most gut-wrenching, emotional books I've read in a long time. I just keep thinking, what would a parent do? What would I do? Maybe the best book I've read this year.
I finished Nelson DeMille's The Lion's Game a few days ago. Quite the thrill ride! I know some others found the ending to be a disappointment, but since I had already read the next two in the series, I knew how it was going to go.
I started Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles and it will be my final M&M book for May. It's only my second AC book.
Thanks for setting this up, Mark!
I just finished One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly. I really loved the setting and characters. They mystery itself wasn't bad. There were plenty of suspects, and although I had my suspicions about whodunit, I was not sure until the revelation. I'm looking forward to future installments. Next up is Nevada Barr's Endangered Species. I started this series several years back after reading some of the later installments in it, but somewhere along the way, I got stalled in reading the ones in the backlog. I'm trying to remedy that situation.
I"ve read 4 Murder and Mayhem books so far this month, Mark, and I've started a 5th.
Three relatively cozy mysteries by Anne Cleeves , Blue Lightening, Red Bones and White Nights all of which were 4 star reads for me. . Zoo Station by David Downing, which was a 4 .25 read for me and so now I have started on Silesian Station by the same author. Great books! I anticipate reading all of the books in the Zoo Station series. Such a fascinating look into WW11 and pre WW11 and Zoo Station was a well written spy story.
I've just started Silesian Station by David Downing. Great stuff!
Terri- I also recently read and reviewed Defending Jacob. And I agree it's a very emotionally charged read, with plenty of issues to think and talk about.
Joanne- I had a great M & M month. It was a lot of fun and I cleared some titles off the tbr shelf! Win, Win!
Deb's back! Deb's back! And she is enjoying the Downing series too! Another bonus.
I really enjoyed the Shetland Islands series by Cleeves when I discovered and read it.
I managed to squeeze A Study in Scarlet in under the wire for M&M month. I thought it might be boring since we are all so familiar with the Sherlock Holmes "shtick" these days, but it wasn't at all. I'm looking forward to continuing my quest to read all of the Holmes stories in order.
Thumb up on Defending Jacob Mark! You've piqued my interest! The Downing series is FABULOUS!
I am so happy that the response to the David Downing books has been good. I think this series is great and hope that it will gradually build some readership. I read that Downing is writing one more John Russell book and then plans to put that character to bed for awhile, and is starting another series.
Sometimes I think that mystery writers keep churning out books to fast and somehow the characters loose that edge that makes them interesting. I do think that a mystery series ought to show some growth in the characters. A perfect example of this is the Harry Hole character in Jo Nesbo's books. He frustrated me to no end because he seems to be stuck in this poor poor pitiful me place, while I see John Russell, Effie and Paul as growing characters who have bad things happen to them, but grow and change. (Downing also has his characters age physically) To be able to take a character and make them grow and keep it interesting for the reader is a rare skill. The mystery or thriller part might be easy compared to that.
I finished We'll Always Have Parrots, fifth in the Meg Langslow mystery series by Donna Andrews. One murder. Lots of mayhem, mostly of the zany kind.
Last night I finished To the Nines by Janet Evanovich. A fun romp! Lots of murder and mayhem.
Stephanie is at it again with her wonderful cast of supporting characters. I like Evanovich's light writing style and her ability to get ideas across with few words. And she is FUNNY! Like one of the other reviewers I found something lacking in this one; it seemed I didn't care quite as much. Nevertheless, I laughed and chuckled all the way through especially around the 'vaseline guy' and Grandma Mazur.
I love the relationships between Stephanie and Morelli and Stephanie and Ranger and will be sad should the sexual tension between them change. I love that both men recognize that they each care for her and take turns protecting her from the stalker.
And, although I felt that the mystery was a little to 'pat' I did find the resolution very intense and suspenseful. All in all, a good read. On to 10 Big Ones. (3.5 stars)
I will feel *hugely* successful if I get my review of All I Did Was Shoot My Man written.
Two Time, a very enjoyable book, and Curse of the Pogo Stick, I won't even get within shouting distance of finishing before June.
*le sigh* I am the worst at themed/group reads. Just too contrary to fit myself into a group. As anyone who's tried to chat me up at a party will tell you.
Well, what do you know? I finished another M&M book after all, Murder One by Robert Dugoni. It was a fairly standard legal thriller, nothing too spectacular but not awful, either.
I'll be starting Kisscut by Karin Slaughter tomorrow, but surely I won't be able to finish that one before the month is over? I guess we'll just have to see!
I finished one more, The Thomas Berryman Number by James Patterson. This was definitely one of Patterson's weaker books, as it read like he was trying too hard and hadn't yet found his writing style.
OK, I finished what surely has to be last book of the month, bringing my May M&M total to — can it be? — 11:
I fit in one more, a member giveaway called Death of a Kitchen Diva by Lee Hollis, bringing my M&M total to 9!
I finished Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James, 4th in his DS Roy Grace series and an excellent thriller. This brings my total M&M reads to 7. Thanks for hosting this one Mark.
I had to look up the definition of mayhem when we first started this theme. Perhaps I should have posted it at the beginning. I thought mayhem referred to general pandemonium but it is a legal term that relates to 'causing bodily injury'. I am sure that 'war' qualifies.
I finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King just in time and it was full of murder and mayhem! Lots of mayhem!
I will write a review shortly.
Cathy, thanks for the definition of 'mayhem' — I wasn't sure exactly what it was, either. And you have confirmed for me that I need to read 11/22/63 soon!
I had a good month of murder and mayhem. I read five books that qualified.
Lehrter Station by David Downing
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
Echo Park by Michael Connelly
Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
Four out of the five were books I have had on my reading lists for at least a year so I have moved some books off my shelves as well. I am now more than half through with Angel of Darkness and getting to that point in the book where I can't put it down. It started slow but it really picking up steam. I am glad that the weekend is coming up, as I will probably finish it during the weekend. There were some quality books in this list, and some run-of-the-mill mysteries.
I think that David Downing is getting better all the time and Kate Atkinson is outstanding.
I noticed that Alan Furst as a new book coming out. Maybe that can be for September Suspense?
Somebody earlier in the thread asked about a June theme. I can't say for sure but don't think that there is one. Various groups inside of Librarything do various things as various times. Mark did the May, Murder & Mayhem last year and lots of us really liked it. We had a great deal of fun talking about the Jo Nesbo books and some others. We had so much fun that Mark decided to do it again this year. This is only the second time for this themed month. Somebody did do a September Suspense month long read last year, and at one time there was an Atwood in April group read. However, I think these things are mostly at the whim and fancy of whoever starts doing one.
Mark is going to host a group read of River of Smoke that will start June 15? (Is that the correct date?) This is the second book in a trilogy about the Opium Wars. I will be participating, as will a few others from this group and some others who didn't participate in this themed read. You are welcome to join in that group, but I don't know that there is a month long thematic group read set for June. I have not cruised the list of threads in LT for some time, but there might be a themed read going on. I just don't know about one.
We did a Juvenile July last year and we took breaks in June/August/December.
Nothing doing. Not one completed and reviewed. *sigh* And so many more added because of this evil, evil thread!
Finished The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson which is really well written and very interesting to read. Loved all the details about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
My mysteries featuring murders for the month of May were:
Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander
Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom
Uneasy Relations by Aaron Elkins
Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton
Blood of the Prodigal by P. L. Gaus
Murder Makes Waves by Anne George
One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly
Endangered Species by Nevada Barr
A Body Surrounded by Water by Eric Wright
Trophy Hunt by C. J. Box
I had two that might be considered Mayhem if you count what happened in Salem Village in 1692 and the Holocaust as mayhem:
Salem Witch Judge by Eve LaPlante
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn
I should have broke this one into 2 Threads! Bad Mark. I'll try to remember next year. I'm nearly done with 11/22/63, a great way to close out M & M, so I'll be back with my M & M wrap-up.
Looks like everyone has read some fantastic books and cleared a few off the shelves.
I think Judy will be doing a September Series & Sequels month!
>rosalita- You didn't understand Mayhem? Just ask around, plenty to be found.
Benita- Mission to Paris by Alan Furst Comes out June 12th
Good to have the definition. I'll still say that We'll Always Have Parrots had mayhem, as there were definite casualties from the craziness.
The Master of Verona certainly includes murder and mayhem altho not strictly speaking a mystery. It's historical fiction and was a pretty terrific read.
The M&M books I completed this month are:
And the Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Successor by Ismail Kadare
The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez
Revelation by C. J. Sansom
Oolong Dead by Laura Childs
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
The Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue
The Return of the Swallows by Aileen G. Baron
The Black Tower by Betsy Cromer Byars
Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James
The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald
My favorite read of the bunch was And the Sea Will Tell. If you like true crime and you haven't read this one, you need to add it to your TBR list.
I will definitely be tacking Series and Sequels in September! This will be series from any genre - Sci-Fi, Mystery, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, whatever. I already know that I want to read the next in the Bartle Bull trilogy for sure.
What about Juries and justice in June?
Then at least you could do police procedurals and courtroom mysteries...
309> Mark, I work with college students every day, so I am well acquainted with a sort of mayhem, though nothing that fits the legal definition thankfully!
My murderous May wrap-up is featured on Tutu's Two Cents. I read tons of mysteries but it was fun having a group to wrap them into. Can't wait to start River of Smoke....it's loaded on my MP3 and ready to go. I'll probably start it a bit early if I don't have anything else pressing on the audio list.
I did fairly well without even trying very hard:
Started Early, Took My Dog
The Shape of Water
River of Darkness
The Remains of Company D
A Tour Guide to Missouri's Civil War: Friend and Foe Alike
And the Grand Finale:
Mobs, Mayhem & Murder: Tales From the St. Louis Police Beat
My last of the month was CJ Lyons' cop and paranormal procedural Borrowed Time, which is also part romance - why not throw in the kitchen sink? Quite enjoyable, although I don't think the prejudices displayed by police management have been realistic for quite some time.
On to June!
Okay, sorry for the delay! This was a great M & M for me:
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
Zoo Station by David Downing
The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
Voices: A Reykjavik Thriller by Arnaldur Indridason
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill
Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
Defending Jacob by William Landay
Hell and Gone by Duane Swierczynski
11/22/63 by Stephen King
10 books and 7 OTS (off the shelf)
This was only a drop in the bucket, as far as crime/mystery books go but at least it was a hellava "drop"!
I tried reading Bone Rattler by Eliot Pattison. But although it's a well written book, it wasn't for me. It's a historical mystery, but it was far more gritty than I expected, as well as leaning towards horror a bit. For someone who likes that kind of thing I would definitely recommend this book, because the historical setting is pitch-perfect and very interesting. So, recommended, but for me it was a 'Did Not Finish'.
So during M & M, I read only two mysteries:
Death Comes As the End by Agatha Christie - 4 stars
Irish Chain by Earlene Fowler - 3.5 stars
I finished my last May Murder & Mayhem book today. Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr. I had such great hopes for this book because I so enjoyed The Alienist, but, what a dud it was. What this book does right is give the reader a sense of time and place. The time - 1890's and the place - New York City. The author creates that world so well that the reader feels like they stepped into the whirling social life of the time complete with late night dinners at Delmonico's, and the racing season and casino at Saratoga. Given that the expectations for the story are high, but the novel never delivers. Like many sequels this book is not nearly as good as the first in this series. First of all, it is way too long and too loosely constructed. It lacks the tightness and tension of the first novel. About half-way through this novel I thought about giving up on it, but I did want to find out what happened to one of the new characters introduced to the story, so I opted to stay with it. I also found it patronizing to the bad guy, who in this story was a woman. I can forgive that problem given that in the 1890's there was no depth of knowledge regarding postpartum depression, or any other psychosis for that matter. To keep the book within the historical limits of the setting the author probably had to present the story and the characters in that way. Even so this book could have used some serious editing. Put simply it was a long slog to the end.
It took me into June to finish my last MM&M, Cadillac Jukebox by James Lee Burke. A worthy re-read.
That would be the 7th that I'd list as easily qualifying for this thread.
1. Gone, Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane
2. Burning Angel by James Lee Burke (AUDIO and paper)
3. Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger (AUDIO)
4. State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
5. The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin (YA)
6. We'll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews
7. Cadillac Jukebox by James Lee Burke (AUDIO and paper)
These contained mayhem (lots of bodily harm), but not murder -- at least not strictly defined, though one might argue a liability for deaths might exist:
Under a Flaming Sky by Daniel James Brown
Waterproof: a novel of the Johnstown Flood by Judith Redline Coopey
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.