NanaCC (Colleen) tries not to fall off the page in 2021

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NanaCC (Colleen) tries not to fall off the page in 2021

Redigeret: jun 1, 6:57pm

Hi, I’m Colleen. Welcome to my 2021 thread. I kind of went MIA last year, but hope to be active again. I only finished 25 books in 2020, but plan to at least double that this year.

I will post my current reading here. I don’t usually set goals for my reading, as I get distracted easily, and my goals fall apart. I consider my posts as comments about the books I’ve read, rather than reviews. If I try to write reviews, I wind up spending less time reading than I’d like.

I enjoy listening to audio books in addition to reading paper books. Last year I read 14 paper or kindle books, and 11 audio books. All 25 of the books were by women. I have been on a Sue Grafton kick, and read through M is for Malice. Mysteries are my comfort reads, and I expect that to continue to be the majority of the books I’ll read.

Happy reading everyone. I look forward to your suggestions to add to my wishlist.


Saints For All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

Currently Listening:

The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen

Redigeret: jun 1, 6:59pm

Books Read 2021


1- Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith
2- The Searcher by Tana French
3- The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
4- N Is For Noose by Sue Grafton
5- Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
6- O is For Outlaw by Sue Grafton
7- In the Name of Truth by Viveca Sten
8- Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
9- Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie
10- In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
11- P Is For Peril by Sue Grafton
12- Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
13- A Song For The Dark Times by Ian Rankin
14- The Guest List by Lucy Foley
15- Q is For Quarry by Sue Grafton
16- Deacon King Kong by James McBride
17- Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre
18- The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
19- The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
20- In Bad Company by Viveca Sten
21- R is For Ricochet by Sue Grafton
22- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
23- The Magdalen Girls by V. S. Alexander
24- The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
25- Conviction by Denise Mina


1- Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming, narrated by Suzanne Toren
2- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, narrated by Lesley Manville
3- The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Anne Dover
4- The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, Narrated by: Andrew Wincott, Esther Wane, Sarah Feathers, Anjana Vasan
5- The Distant Echo by Val McDermid, narrated by Gerard Doyle
6- The Lewis Man by Peter May, narrated by Peter Forbes
7- Dead Water: A Shetland Mystery by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Kenny Blyth
8- The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan, narrated by Aoife McMahon
9- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
10- A Darker Domain by Val McDermid, narrated by Eilidh Fraser
11- The Chessmen by Peter May, narrated by Peter Forbes


Books Read Total = 36
Print/Kindle = 25; Audio = 11; Women authors = 25; New to me authors = 9

jan 13, 9:26pm

Hi Colleen, I'm glad I found you, helped along by the link you posted on your 2020 thread (thanks for doing that!). I always enjoy seeing what you've been reading and have received any number of great recommendations from you. I hope 2021 is a better year for you in all respects.

jan 14, 9:03am

Coming over to save a seat :-) Looking forward to checking in from time to time to see what you are reading. Are you reading those three crime novels simultaneously?! (I thought I was bad because I'm alternating between three books at a time, but they are fiction, nonfiction and poetry).

jan 14, 1:30pm

Belated wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

So far this year I have been mainly reading/scanning silly mysteries, but once I started the Patrica Fisher series I had to see where it took her, besides around the world on a cruise. Some of them are quite unbelievable. I have some better titles planned for the year but may slip again as these are available through KindleUnlimited and make the time pass.

I have almost given up on the news as I am so tired of hearing about COVID-19 and Trump, and I dislike movies with ads and many of the tv programmes are too real. My sister is recovering from a bad case of COVID-19. That has been a worry but she is much better. COVID-19 has gone on for far too long!

I need to start painting and looking at the world more positively, if not it will be a long, sad year!



jan 14, 4:19pm

Delighted to see you've created a thread, Colleen. I look forward to your reading as always.

jan 14, 11:17pm

>3 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. I’ll be popping over to your thread tomorrow. I finally set up my thread yesterday, but that’s about as far as I got.

>4 avaland: Hi Lois. Actually those are the three books I have teed up to read. The Searcher won being read first because it’s a library book and I will have to return it. I usually have one book that I’m reading in print or on Kindle, and then one audio book going at the same time. I like listening to the audio books while I knit or while I’m doing puzzles.

>5 pmarshall: Hi Penny. It’s nice to see you here. I agree that you should start painting. I really think we need some fun things to distract us these days. I’ve been on a jigsaw puzzle kick lately.

>6 AlisonY: Hi Alison. I’ll pop over to your thread tomorrow. I hope you are staying healthy over there. I know that the virus has really kicked up again there as it has here.

jan 15, 5:45am

>7 NanaCC: We're all good, thanks. Back in lockdown, but not much difference to us as we've only been going out for essentials anyway. My folks got their first Astra Zeneca vaccine on the first day they were generally available in NI, so that was an unexpected good result.

jan 15, 9:29am

Hi Colleen, good to see you have a new thread running. Duly starred.

jan 15, 9:50am

>4 avaland: I've sent for a CD player (imagine!) so I can listen to the books on CD that I already have while on the exercise bike. I used to try to listen to books while sewing but the machine noise gets in the way. Well, good to know you aren't trying to read three at once (one in the livingroom, one in the bedroom, and one in the bathroom, ha ha).

jan 15, 1:28pm

Hi, Colleen! I have to figure out where I left off in my re-read of the Sue Grafton books. I'm ready for a little Kinsey again, I think.

jan 15, 3:46pm

I also fell off when it came to posting last year. Glad to see you again this year, Colleen, and may your reading be good!

jan 15, 3:47pm

>8 AlisonY: Good to hear you are staying safe and that your parents were able to get the vaccine. I don’t go anywhere really. I haven’t been in a store since March. I’ve been using food delivery for my groceries, and like it so much that I might keep it up once things are back to our new normal.

>9 Caroline_McElwee: Hi Caroline. Nice to see you here.

>10 avaland: I used to have two going quite often, Lois, because I needed the kindle to read at night. But I can leave the light on now when I get in bed, so if I am reading a paper book I can take it to bed.

>11 laytonwoman3rd: Hi Linda. Kinsey got me through some rough patches so I’m grateful that I did start the reread. I think I’m approaching uncharted territory now, so I have more fun in store. I had read them so long ago, that they seemed new to me anyway.

jan 15, 3:48pm

I was wondering where you were :) Mysteries are always fun! :)

jan 15, 5:15pm

>14 AnnieMod: Hi Annie. Thank you for stopping by. I do love mysteries. I’ll be looking forward to your reading. I had a tough year. My husband passed away just a little over six months after an ALS diagnosis. I really wasn’t expecting it to happen so quickly. But I’m doing ok now, and need the outlets that make me happy. This group is one of them.

jan 15, 5:18pm

>12 shadrach_anki: Hi Anki. I think we were posting at the same time and I missed your post. I’ll be checking out your reading as well.

jan 15, 5:19pm

>15 NanaCC: Hugs! I saw the post in your old thread (a few weeks too late - I was kinda missing as well) and I am so sorry about it. I hope you are getting somewhat better (yeah, right... just don't give up) and happy reading!

jan 15, 6:00pm

Nice to see you back, Colleen. Happy New Year. I also go to mysteries as my comfort reads, as long as they aren't gory! I always find lots of good suggestions here.

jan 16, 10:28am

>17 AnnieMod: Thank you, Annie.

>18 BLBera: Hi Beth. I think you add to my wishlist quite often, so I’ll be checking in.

jan 16, 10:37am

1. Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

This is the latest installment in the Cormoran Strike series. The daughter of a woman who has been missing for forty years comes to Strike for help finding answers to her mother’s disappearance. He and his assistant Robin work to solve this cold case that appears to have been botched by the police at the time. I really enjoyed this one. It’s about 945 pages and yet I think I was sorry to see it end.

jan 16, 11:46am

>20 NanaCC: Did you enjoy Lethal White, Colleen? I thought that one was twice as long as necessary, and the personal-lives bits annoyed the daylights out of me because I thought both Strike and Robin should be smarter than they were acting. I didn't even know there was another one out, because I had pretty much decided I didn't care anymore about this series.

Redigeret: jan 16, 4:55pm

>21 laytonwoman3rd: I didn’t hate Lethal White, Linda, but can’t say that I loved it either. It was way too long, but too long ago for me to remember many details. This one is long too, but I think it worked. There were lots of characters who could have been involved in the disappearance, so it kept me guessing. There were a couple of things that were a little annoying, but not enough to make me want to put it down. If you don’t like the personal bits, you might not like this one either.

jan 17, 3:54am

Glad to see you back, Colleen. I always enjoy visiting your thread.

jan 17, 9:30pm

Hugs Colleen. Happy to see your thread here. Look forward to following again.

jan 18, 7:16am

>21 laytonwoman3rd:, >22 NanaCC: I gave up on the series after Lethal White, which I didn't finish. I don't remember much about it, except its length and that I found parts of the plot annoying. I'm guessing they were the same parts that Linda mentioned.

But I'm happy for you Colleen, that you enjoyed the most recent book and some good reading overall.

jan 24, 5:44pm

>23 rachbxl:, >24 dchaikin:, >25 lauralkeet: I’m behind again.

Nice to see you here Rachel and Dan. I’ll be checking in.

Laura, I can’t remember a lot about Lethal White so not completely sure what the issues were, other than the length of the book, and Robin being in danger again. I think I can say that this book doesn’t go there in the same way, although it is long.

jan 24, 6:13pm

2. The Searcher by Tana French

This book is another stand alone novel by French. A recently divorced Chicago detective decides to buy a run down house in western Ireland where he can lead a peaceful life enjoying fishing and a little hunting. A thirteen year old neighbor knows that he was a cop, and asks him to find a brother who has been missing for months. He reluctantly gets involved and finds himself turning over rocks that might have been better left alone.

French’s last book, The Wych Elm had very mixed reviews. I liked it, but I enjoyed this one more. I liked the pace. There were enough things going on to keep you guessing as to what would happen next.

jan 24, 6:37pm

>27 NanaCC: I agree with your thoughts on The Searcher, Colleen. It was better written than The Wych Elm and I reall enjoyed it.

jan 26, 3:50pm

{{hugs}} Colleen! I'm so glad to see you back! I've missed you.

I haven't got a thread here this year, but I'll be lurking and checking up on your reading. The Category Challenge group is as much as I can handle. I'm currently reading Galbraith's Troubled Blood and enjoying it a lot.

jan 26, 6:23pm

I can't wait for my turn with The Searcher, Colleen. It's gotten raves around here. I think I # 45 on the list. :)

jan 26, 10:13pm

>29 VivienneR: Hi Vivienne. I’m sorry you aren’t here in Club Read, but I get it. I’m having trouble keeping up and it’s only January. I really enjoyed Troubled Blood. I’ll try to pop over once in a while and see what you are up to.

>30 BLBera: I’m not sure how I lucked out, but I’m glad I did, Beth. I got into the line early.

jan 30, 9:11am

3. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz

This is the second book in the Detective Daniel Hawthorne series. The first was The Word is Murder. In the first book Hawthorne comes to the author and asks him to follow him as he solves a murder, and then write a book about it. Horowitz does that, mainly playing Watson to Hawthorne’s Sherlock, and finds himself with a new three book contract with his publisher. That book with its murder sets up the premise of these books. In the second book Hawthorne asks Anthony to join him as he investigates the murder of a well known divorce lawyer. One of the things I enjoy about these books is the real life people he brings into his telling of the story. Horowitz is known for creating and writing much of Foyle’s War, and Midsommer Murders. He also has written several books and a book series for kids. He talks about much of that and the actors throughout the story, so you almost feel like this must be a True Crime story. It’s not. But I think it’s a clever device to use.

His Magpie Murders was very popular here on LT. I’ve not been keeping up this past year, but I know that I got the recommendation for this series from Bonnie (brenzi).

jan 30, 9:56am

>32 NanaCC: may have hit me with that one.

>27 NanaCC: Loved The Searcher. I tore through The Wych Elm, but had some issues with it. This one was definitely better.

>26 NanaCC: "Robin being in danger again" THAT. And her wishy-washy sense of romance.

jan 30, 10:23am

>33 laytonwoman3rd: Did you read The Magpie Murders Linda? It was very different and a lot of fun. This series is good too. As with any series, best to start at the beginning. The Word is Murder.

I’m not sure what to say about Troubled Blood. It was much better than the previous book. But there may be things that you would find annoying. No real Robin danger though. And it is long.

Redigeret: jan 30, 10:29am

>34 NanaCC: I haven't read any of Horowitz's work yet. I know there has been a lot of warbling about The Magpie Murders around here, and I've filed it away for when I'm running out of that kind of fun. I hesitate to get into another series right now, but that probably doesn't mean anything! I do think I'll just let Robin and Strike slide for the time being. She (I mean Robin, not Rowling) annoyed me so much in the last one.

feb 1, 6:35pm

>35 laytonwoman3rd: I just put my name on the list for the sequel to Magpie Murders, Linda. It’s called Moonflower Murders. I’m 55th in line. They have 12 kindle copies, so hopefully the wait won’t be too long. It just came out in November and I didn’t know that there was a sequel until I looked at Bonnie’s thread.

In other news, I got my first Moderna vaccine this morning. Yay! I go back in about 28 days for the second dose.

feb 2, 11:36am

4. N Is For Noose by Sue Grafton

I started a reread of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series last year, thanks to Linda (laytonwoman). I had originally read about half way through the series as they first came out, until work got in the way of my reading anything. My original reading was so long ago, that for the most part the books were totally unfamiliar. I’ve now reached uncharted territory.

In this book, a police detective has died of a heart attack and is found in his truck. His wife hires Kinsey to find out what had been troubling him for quite a while before he died. She tells Kinsey that she is sure that he had been distracted and hadn’t confided his worries. Not much to go on, but of course, Kinsey takes it on, and soon comes to regret her decision.

Redigeret: feb 2, 11:47am

Congratulations on getting your first shot, Colleen. My MIL is to get hers next Tuesday, and she's 92 years old, so should have been way at the head of the line. PA's distribution system is NOT a big success so far.

>37 NanaCC: I got to "Q" with my re-read, and then was stymied by having the rest of the series in boxes in the attic. You wouldn't believe how unlikely I am to find the right box, never mind the books themselves. I started labeling and listing things I put up there at some point, but these went into storage before I got so organized.

feb 2, 11:46am

>38 laytonwoman3rd: She definitely should have been at the front of the line, Linda. Distribution has been terrible. I lucked out and was able to get my name on a waiting list thanks to my son-in-law. Apparently something like 1 in 5 people don’t show up for appointments and if they don’t have waiting lists, doses get wasted. My daughter took me for this one because it was a two hour drive each way in bad weather yesterday. Well worth it though.

feb 2, 8:47pm

Yay I found you Colleen. As I read through your thread you mentioned that your husband passed away and I'm just so sorry to see that. I was off of LT for a good chunk of last year and never saw that posted if you did. It's a tough row to hoe so I wish you all the best. Puzzles are good for whiling away the hours I've found when you can't concentrate on reading. I know that was a problem for me.

I see you're listening to the last Russ/Clare mystery. I listened to that one too. I hope you enjoy it.

feb 2, 11:07pm

>40 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. I know that you understand. I’m just starting the Russ/Clare book. I’ve enjoyed all of the others. It might be possible that you got me started on them. I’ve really been on a puzzle binge lately, but have managed to get some reading done too.

feb 2, 11:35pm

Somehow I missed your thread, Colleen, and I was wondering where you were. So good to see you here.

feb 3, 7:37am

>36 NanaCC: Glad you got your first jab. We have an appt for our first on the 24th.

feb 3, 8:25am

I just checked out the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz from the library for my 11 year old son. One pandemic benefit is that’s he’s gotten totally hooked on reading! I can barely keep up finding new books for him. Of course, a lot of this reading is happening while he’s “listening” to the teacher on the computer, but he’s doing great on tests and I’d rather him read than play video games during school like most of his friends!

feb 3, 10:17am

>44 japaul22: Has he read the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer?

feb 3, 10:59am

>45 rhian_of_oz: no, but it's on my list for him! He's hasn't usually gravitated to fantasy-type series (he seems to prefer spy or mystery), but he's been getting more into fantasty so I think he might like this now. Right now he's devouring all the Merlin books by T.A. Barron.

feb 3, 2:54pm

Hi Colleen. I know people who have gotten their vaccine because of cancellations as well. It's good that the doses are not wasted.

I keep meaning to start the Grafton series. Like you, I stopped reading a long time ago and want to start over.

feb 3, 9:31pm

>42 sallypursell: Nice to see you Sally.

>43 avaland: I know we will still be wearing masks for a long time, Lois, but the vaccine will give us some sense of stress relief I think.

>44 japaul22: I just told my daughter that my grandson might like the Alex Rider series, Jennifer. He’s twelve and reads a lot. The last book I saw him reading was Stephen King’s Under the Dome.

>45 rhian_of_oz:, >46 japaul22: Artemis fowl was a favorite of some of my grandchildren.

>47 BLBera: Linda got me started on the reread after Grafton died, Beth. They were just what I needed to get me back on track.

feb 11, 12:42pm

5. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

This was actually a reread for me. Bonnie (brenzi) recently reviewed a new book, Moonflower Murders, which happens to be a new book in this series. I didn’t realize it was going to be a series, and didn’t remember a few things about Magpie Murders. I enjoyed the book just as much this time as I had originally. I was trying to see if I could figure out what clues I had missed the first time around. There are lots of suspects in this story within a story. If you like the old British “who done it” stories, you will probably enjoy this one.

feb 11, 10:42pm

6. Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming, narrated by Suzanne Toren

This book is 9th in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne, mystery series. The murder mystery involves three separate identical murders that occurred at three different times..1952, 1972, and present day. The victims were young women found dead on a deserted road, dressed in party dresses. It seems unlikely that the murderer of the first victim could have murdered the current victim, but the details are identical. Russ is dealing with the murder, along with the possibility that the town will dissolve the police force and outsource the town’s protection to the state police. He’s worried about his officers. I enjoyed this installment, and hope there is another not too far away. There were several loose ends just waiting to be picked up.

feb 12, 7:46am

>50 NanaCC: I really enjoyed this one too, Colleen. It had been such a long time since the previous book that I was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. But I loved the three separate mystery storyline, and this book struck the right balance between the police work and the characters' personal lives. I'm glad Julia Spencer-Fleming is back at it!

feb 12, 8:39am

>51 lauralkeet: I had never read any of these books, until someone expressed excitement about the new book coming out. It could have been you, Laura. 🙂 I know there was a lot of warbling about it. I wound up listening to all of them, and became a fan like all of you.

feb 12, 9:22am

>52 NanaCC: Isn't that just the best thing about LT? It may have been me, but it could just as easily have been Linda (laytonwoman3rd). She introduced me to the series several years back and we were both pretty enthusiastic about this latest book.

feb 12, 11:23am

>52 NanaCC:, >53 lauralkeet: I think it was Lois avaland who started the Spencer-Fleming ball rolling for me...

feb 12, 11:25am

>44 japaul22: I really enjoyed the Alex Rider books when I was a kid. I actually plan to get around to reading the last one, which I never read, one of these days. I hope your son likes them!

feb 15, 3:24pm

>50 NanaCC: I also loved this one, Colleen. I hope we don't have to wait so long for the next one.

feb 15, 4:04pm

>53 lauralkeet:, >54 laytonwoman3rd:, >56 BLBera: Hi Laura, Linda and Beth. I only started reading these books in 2019, after all the warbling about the new book. But, of course, now I’m waiting for another. There are a few series that I always impatiently wait for that next book. As if I didn’t have tons waiting for me already.

>55 Julie_in_the_Library: I’ve told my daughter about the Alex Rider series. I think my grandson would like them.

feb 15, 4:42pm

Hmmmm I’m wondering if I might’ve whispered in your ear about a new Julia Spencer Fleming novel coming out Olsen lol.

feb 16, 11:05am

>58 brenzi: That is very likely, Bonnie. 🙂

feb 16, 11:25am

7. O is For Outlaw by Sue Grafton

I think this was my favorite of the alphabet Kinsey Malone series, so far. The mystery is personal to Kinsey. It involves her ex-husband. She hasn’t seen him for 14 years, and all of a sudden she winds up with a box of her things from when they were married. She thinks he must be in trouble, and as she looks into his whereabouts, dangerous coincidences abound.

At the beginning of the book, the author explains the timeline of her books. A Is For Alibi takes place in May of 1982. The current book, number 15, is only in 1986. Therefore there are still no cell phones or internet for the character to use.

feb 16, 12:30pm

>60 NanaCC: I just bought A and B in this series, as over the years on LT I've seen lots of love for the series. Glad it is still a good read by O.

Isn't it odd now Colleen, reading recentish novels written or set in pre-digital times. It doesn't cross my mind when I read a 19th century novel, but something set in the 70s/early 80s. It makes you wonder how we managed, and I held out ages before getting a mobile!

feb 16, 2:11pm

I've been meaning to start the Grafton over. I read the first few years ago, so I want to start over. I find the digital disconnect in older books. I've noticed it in the Sara Paretsky books as well -- no cell phone seems odd now, doesn't it?

feb 16, 5:58pm

>61 Caroline_McElwee:, >62 BLBera: Hi Caroline and Beth. The series is pure fluff, but I really enjoy them. Each book only progresses a short time, so her references to things that happened in previous books is so much like me relating to my kids what I did a couple of months ago. The lack of technology is interesting. It’s one of those things that makes everything she has to do as a private investigator a real process.

I remember at work in 1989, I was writing a user manual for a new system that we were developing. My boss bought me an iMac. It was very new at the time, and I was the first to have one. We didn’t even have PCs at that time. I held out for a long time before getting a cell phone. I can’t remember when I first had one. That and the GPS in the car. I can’t imagine how we did without, but we did.

feb 16, 6:45pm

>63 NanaCC: Your story reminds me of the first job I had at the company where I ended up working for 33 years. I was a recent Computer Science graduate, and instead of writing computer programs as I was trained to do, I was assigned to a group promoting "office automation". My role was to evaluate PCs and their software and help set company standards. This was the mid-1980s, and most execs thought PCs were just toys. One way we gained their support was by giving them Macs, which they could understand and use. Of course we ended up deploying IBM PCs and compatibles to the masses. It was such a fun job though, working with what was leading edge at the time.

feb 16, 10:20pm

>64 lauralkeet: I retired from this company after 30 years. I had several different roles during my time there. This was probably the most enjoyable period though. I was the user liaison between the developers and users for a new automated order entry system. I did the analysis which let us automate about 40% of the orders that the reps entered. I did the requirements, testing and training. It was crazy long days, and yet I enjoyed every minute of it,

feb 16, 10:34pm

>65 NanaCC:. I did the same thing - automated our county library system. I loved it.

feb 17, 6:51am

>65 NanaCC: ooh, I loved that kind of work too Colleen. I was always on the IT side but I really liked finding ways to streamline and automate business processes.

feb 17, 9:29am

>66 dianeham:, >67 lauralkeet: I think the satisfaction of the tangible results is what makes it rewarding. The billing process and training their people was the most fun, because they were so reluctant to change.

feb 17, 9:20pm

I had the pleasure of traveling around the midwest to teach nurses to program insulin pumps and interpret monitor readings to determine the doses and when they should occur.

feb 18, 8:15pm

>63 NanaCC: I have a big soft spot for Kinsey and this series. I was a bit sad when Ms Grafton died.

Redigeret: feb 19, 2:48pm

>70 rhian_of_oz: I know what you mean Rhian. I only read through maybe K when I first read them. Then my job got in the way and I really didn’t have time for much reading. After Grafton died, Linda (laytonwoman) talked about doing a reread. It seemed like a good time to start over. I’m so glad I did. She got me through a rough patch last year, and now I am reading ones that I hadn’t read previously. It is really sad that she wasn’t able to finish the series.

feb 19, 3:18pm

8. In the Name of Truth by Viveca Sten

If you’ve read the previous books in the Sandhamn Murders series, you’ll be familiar with the characters, Nora and Thomas. In this book, both have significant parts to play. Nora is prosecuting a financial fraud case, and Thomas is investigating the disappearance of an 11 year old boy from a sailing camp. The boy happens to be the son of Nora’s star witness. Are the cases related or just coincidence? I thought this was a fairly good entry in the series, although maybe a bit darker than some of the others. The translation of the next book, In Bad Company, came out in January. I’ll probably get to it at some point in the near future.

feb 19, 3:26pm

I’m waiting on a couple of holds from the library. I’m 8th in line for the newest Rebus book by Ian Rankin, A Song For the Dark Times; 27th in line for Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz; and 167th for The Guest List by Lucy Foley, which I know nothing about, just that my daughter wants me to read it. So what to read in the meantime.....I’ve loads on the book shelves. I just need to pick one.

feb 19, 4:03pm

Have you read any of Ruth Ware’s mysteries, Colleen? A friend just recommended them and I hadn’t heard of her. Curious if you have an opinion!

feb 19, 6:12pm

>72 NanaCC: I'm up-to-date on this series too, and I have the latest one waiting in the wings. There's a group of 75 Book Challenge readers who are working their way through the series and will read the latest book in June, so I thought I'd join them.

feb 19, 6:37pm

>74 japaul22: I haven’t read anything by Ruth Ware, Jennifer, although my LT catalog says I have two of them on my kindle. I’ll have to try one. I must have had a suggestion from someone here and downloaded a couple. Maybe they were on sale.

feb 19, 6:41pm

>75 lauralkeet: Maybe I will join you Laura, unless I’m in the mood to move ahead. :) I’m bad with series. Sometimes I just keep going.

feb 19, 10:19pm

>74 japaul22:, >76 NanaCC:
Jumping in on Ruth Ware here . . . I've enjoyed her books. Late last year I read Turn of the Key, which I definitely recommend. Young woman from London gets nanny job in isolated mansion in Scotland. The other one I read was her earlier book In a Dark, Dark Wood which I also liked. I gave this one to both my daughters and they agreed it was a fun read, but they both had more trouble suspending disbelief than I did. You do kinda have to go with the story with these sorts of books. I have One By One high on my TBR pile. This one is set in a ski resort in the French Alps, which is a location that I'm all over.

feb 19, 10:57pm

>78 Nickelini: I have In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Lying Game on my kindle. I’ll have to read one soon. I’d forgotten about them, as I had such a bad year last year.

feb 20, 7:12am

>78 Nickelini: thanks! One by Onw is the book that was recommended to me. I think I’ll give it a try when I need something fun this year.

feb 23, 6:43pm

9. Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood

This is the second book in the Phryne Fisher series. Phryne is a private investigator during the roaring 20’s. I read Cocaine Blues last year at Linda’s (laytonwoman) suggestion. The book takes place in Melbourne Australia. Light, fluffy, sexy, fun. In this book, Phryne solves a murder and a kidnapping, flies a plane, and sets up a new house. All in a very short book. If you are looking for a serious murder mystery, this is not it. If you need something short and sweet, with a few chuckles along the way, this series might be what you are looking for.

mar 1, 10:33pm

10. Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie

M Poirot is asked to attend a fete by an acquaintance. She has created a Murder mystery scavenger hunt for the festivities, but worries that something is wrong. She fears a real murder will take place, and wants him to see if he detects anything amiss. Of course, she is right. This wasn’t my favorite Christie, but it was good. Her books are always enjoyable.

mar 2, 10:43am

>81 NanaCC: Phryne is always good for a great escape. I'm sailing through R is for Richochet now...had to get it from the library as I simply cannot put my hands on my own copy. I think I have the rest of the series here, though.

mar 2, 5:19pm

>83 laytonwoman3rd: P is For Peril is next up for me, Linda. Then, fortunately, the library has the rest on kindle as that is the last I have on my shelf. I am enjoying the Phryne series too. I haven’t watched the tv series, but might give it a try.

mar 2, 8:03pm

The Phryne Fisher TV series is a visual treat.

mar 2, 9:44pm

>85 laytonwoman3rd: I will definitely take a peek then, Linda. Thank you.

mar 4, 7:30am

>86 NanaCC: Be aware that they have made some changes to some of the characters in the TV series. I eventually stopped grumbling :-D and enjoyed it for its own self, primarily because I think the casting is so good.

mar 4, 8:37am

>87 rhian_of_oz: I think that may be true of many tv adaptations, Rhian. I think I try to overlook those changes as long as the show is good.

mar 5, 6:55pm

Colleen....have you seen that PBS will have a series based on Magpie Murders? Due out in 2022. I'll be looking forward to it.

mar 5, 11:03pm

>89 brenzi: Oh, that would be good, Bonnie. I’ll be looking for that one too.

mar 7, 4:47pm

11. In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

The main character, Leonora, is invited to a pre-wedding girls weekend (hen party) in the woods. The house is all glass which lends an eerie tone to the party on display to a dark wooded landscape. She hasn’t seen or heard from the bride in over ten years, and is not sure why she has been invited. The story moves back and forth between the party and her being in the hospital, knowing that someone has died, but not remembering who or why. I believe this was Ruth Ware’s first book. It is sold as a psychological thriller and does have that suspenseful feel to it, although I did have a pretty good idea of the reveal at the end before I got there. It was a page turner for me, and I think I have Joyce (Nickelini) to thank for my picking it up.

mar 7, 5:08pm

>91 NanaCC:
Glad you liked In a Dark, Dark Wood. And I have Simon Savage from YouTube - Savage Reads to thank for introducing me to the book

mar 9, 10:08pm

12. P Is For Peril by Sue Grafton

In this installment, Kinsey is asked to look into the disappearance of a popular doctor who manages a nursing home. There has been some investigation into Medicare fraud. Kinsey also signs a lease for new office space, but just like the low rent, it could be too good to be true.

mar 11, 12:41pm

Just stopping by to say hi. Enjoyed your comments on the mysteries (and on everyone’s various circa-1980’s professional lives)

mar 11, 5:58pm

>94 dchaikin: Its always nice to see you stopping by, Dan. I know that most of my reading would not be your cup of tea, but I do enjoy your thread. You often suggest something that points me in a different direction.

mar 14, 1:05pm

Wow, you are zipping through the Graftons, Colleen. I keep meaning to start...

mar 14, 6:30pm

>96 BLBera: Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m zipping through anything, Beth. They are a great read when you are in the mood for a fun distraction. That was the last one that I actually have on my shelf. Now I am at the mercy of the library, but they do seem to have the rest of them.

mar 14, 6:59pm

You remind me that I've never read an Agatha Christie, Colleen. I know it's not really my genre, but still - she's a classic! And actually, now I'm questioning about saying that murder mysteries aren't my genre. I don't think that's true - I just think I've not leaned towards picking one up in a very long time. I'm quite sure I'd really enjoy many of the books you read if I gave them a go.

Noting In A Dark, Dark Wood as I quite like a psychological thriller (and again, I've not read any thrillers in a while).

mar 14, 10:41pm

>98 AlisonY: If we all liked the exact same things, Alison, it might get pretty boring. Mysteries are my comfort reads, and I’ve needed a lot of that during the past year. Agatha Christie is definitely a classic. And Then There Were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd I think are considered her best.

mar 14, 11:27pm

>99 NanaCC: I haven't read Dame Christie in a long time (I read them all when I was younger because my mum had them) but I would second the recommendation for And Then There Were None. I also remember Crooked House as having a strong impact on me when I read it.

mar 15, 10:37am

I'm actually thinking I've never read an Agatha Christie. I should try at least one, right?

mar 15, 11:45am

>100 rhian_of_oz: I haven’t read Crooked House, Rhian. There are so many. She was quite prolific. I’ll have to look for that one.

>101 lisapeet: You read so much, I’m surprised that you haven’t read any, Lisa. I think you’d probably like her. Some books are better than others, but I’m guessing that her better ones are the ones you’d find easily in the library.

Redigeret: mar 17, 10:39am

13. Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

In this book, the second in Anthony Horowitz’ Susan Ryeland series, the author goes once again to the book within a book format he used in Magpie Murders. I really enjoyed it. I don’t want to say too much because I wouldn’t want to spoil anything in the first book of the series. In book two, Susan is a retired editor who is asked for help by a couple who own a hotel in England. Their daughter had read one of the books Susan had edited, Atticus Pund Takes The Case, and she felt it had a clue to a murder that had happened at the hotel. Now she is missing, and the parents think that Susan may be able to help. If you are interested, start with the first book, as it sets everything up for the series. Did I say I enjoyed the book?!? I really enjoyed both.

Horowitz is a pretty busy writer. He has written the Midsommer Murders and Foyle’s War tv series, a YA book series, Alex Rider, and another detective series, Hawthorne and Horowitz.

mar 17, 9:27pm

Still trying to catch up so just stopping by to say hello, Colleen. Love all the mysteries you've been reading.

>98 AlisonY: I'm shocked that you have never read Agatha Christie, Alison. I've been reading Christie since my dad recommended her books when I was about 10 or 11. I've read most of them multiple times except for the short stories and the non-mystery novels like The Man in the Brown Suit that didn't appeal. Everything else, I devoured. Colleen mentions a couple of the best at >99 NanaCC:.

mar 17, 9:44pm

>104 VivienneR: So nice to see you drop in Vivienne. I’ve been thinking about you. I peek in at your thread once in a while. I haven’t read every Christie, but I think I’ve read most of them. I always enjoyed them, even on a re-read.

mar 17, 10:52pm

>99 NanaCC: Add Death on the Nile to these 2 and you have my favorite 3 :) This was my very first Christie and it made me fall in love with her style and the whole mystery genre. I've reread it often since - and though I know all the twists, it still works. :)

PS: If you are a fan of locked room mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express is as good as that subgenre gets - even if it is not in a room :)

mar 18, 5:54pm

>106 AnnieMod: I’ve read both several times, and love them both, Annie.

mar 19, 8:49am

>102 NanaCC: I know, I'm surprised too! But I'm not the biggest mystery reader (though I'm certainly not opposed to them), so I guess she just fell under my radar. I'll fix that soon though, with one of the books recommended here.

mar 19, 5:35pm

14. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, narrated by Lesley Manville

This is a cosy mystery, full of humor. A group of elderly folks in a retirement community get together on Thursday nights to try to solve cold cases. When someone they know turns up dead, they are determined to solve the case, and worm their way into the investigation in an amusing way. More bodies show up, and secrets are revealed. The book is funny at times, and touching at times as these aging sleuths point the police in the right directions.

The audio version has an interview with the author, conducted by author Marian Keyes. Parts of it were interesting, but the mutual admiration was a bit much. As one reviewer put it, don’t listen to the interview at the end if you are a diabetic. :-)

mar 19, 5:36pm

>108 lisapeet: I’d love to hear your thoughts on one of them, Lisa.

mar 19, 6:05pm

15. A Song For The Dark Times by Ian Rankin

I am a fan of Rankin’s Inspector Rebus books, and this new one, #23, didn’t disappoint. The book starts with Rebus retired and moving, with Siobhan’s help, to the ground floor flat of his building. He has COPD and can’t manage the stairs much anymore. He gets a frantic call in the middle of the night from his daughter, Samantha. Her partner, Keith, is missing. Rebus hops in his old car and heads to the north of Scotland, where he offers his unwelcome help to the investigation. Meanwhile back in Edinburg, Siobhan and Malcom Fox are dealing with a high profile murder case.

Other than the first book, which was a little weak, this has been one of my favorite series. It does get a bit graphic at times, so not a cosy mystery series by a long shot. I thought the series was over after book 17, but Rankin has managed to keep Rebus going by making Siobhan’s character a major force, as well as by introducing Malcom Fox.

mar 19, 9:41pm

>109 NanaCC: I guess it's good that I didn't listen to the interview of the author at the end Colleen, lol.

mar 19, 10:19pm

>112 brenzi: The book was great, Bonnie. Thank you for the recommendation. That interview though. The best part was him talking about the next book and which characters would be in it. The rest was very syrupy.

Redigeret: mar 20, 7:27am

>109 NanaCC: I enjoyed this one too Coleen, I wasn't sure at first, then really got into it. The next one comes out in September.

mar 20, 1:25pm

>109 NanaCC: I've heard good things about this one, Colleen. I reserved it at the library, and no surprise, there is a long waiting list. It's lucky I do have other things to read.

Have you listened to any of the Grafton books? My library has audiobooks, and I thought I might give them a try in that format.

mar 20, 4:46pm

>114 Caroline_McElwee: I’m looking forward to the next book, Caroline. Once I got into it, I really enjoyed it.

>115 BLBera: I used one of my Audible credits, Beth, so didn’t need to wait. I haven’t listened to any of the Grafton books, so I can’t comment. I think if the reader is good, they could be good for listening.

mar 25, 3:55pm

16. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. It’s a strange feeling, because I did enjoy it. It was a quick fun read. A beautiful bride and a charming groom have an elaborate wedding on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland. Each chapter is narrated by some of the people at the wedding. The bride’s sister, the bride, the plus one, the wedding planner, and the best man tell the story from their perspectives. The story goes back and forth between them on the night before, the day of, and the wedding celebration itself during a wild storm. The first page starts at the celebration where the lights go out and someone finds a body. There are several suspects and motives that come together and are revealed along with the identity of the body at the end. There are so many unlikeable characters, and the end is just too tidy. A good beach read, I think.

mar 25, 8:52pm

>117 NanaCC: Hey, sometimes a "quick fun read" is just what's wanted.

mar 25, 10:17pm

>118 laytonwoman3rd: I agree with you, Linda. There are too many four and five ratings here on LT to write it off. It was a Reese Witherspoon pick, so I’m assuming a movie might be in the works.

mar 25, 11:09pm

>117 NanaCC:
I own this, but I've held off reading it because I recently read the same author's The Hunting Party, which I did enjoy. But I read that they are basically the same story line in a different settings. And based on your comments, I'll say "yep". That's just fine with me -- I just need a bit of time between reading these books. I don't mind rereading that story with a different setting and a different set of characters.

As >118 laytonwoman3rd: says, sometimes a quick fun read is something we need!

mar 26, 8:35am

>120 Nickelini: I haven’t read The Hunting Party, Joyce, but I’ve also read reviews that say they are basically the same story under different circumstances. But, with enough time between, I could see me reading it when I need another quick fun read. Although, lately, I think most people would say that that is pretty much all I do read. :-)

mar 28, 7:22pm

>109 NanaCC: The Thursday Murder Club is one of the sudden avalanche of library holds that just arrived for me but I'm looking forward to it.

>111 NanaCC: I really must try to catch up on some series I'm reading including Rebus. Ian Rankin is one of my favourite mystery writers.

mar 28, 10:24pm

>122 VivienneR: The Thursday Murder Club was a fun one to listen to, Vivienne. I hope you enjoy it. I love the Rebus series. I think because I had such a bad year last year that I didn’t realize there was a new one. I’m not sure how I stumbled onto the fact that it was out there, but I’m glad I did.

mar 29, 3:48pm

17. The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Anne Dover

This is the first book in the Vera Stanhope series. A team of three women are tasked with an environmental impact study to determine the fate of a quarry project. The leader of the team, Rachel, arrives before the other two women, planning to visit her friend Bella who lives on a farm next to the building they will be staying in. When she arrives, she finds her friend has committed suicide, and is determined to find out what led to this. The three women each have a section in the book where their characters tell their story. The detective, Vera, is only brought into the story after a murder connected to the study is discovered about half way through the book. I started watching the Vera tv series about two years ago. There has been a long enough interval, that I can’t say how closely the show followed the book. I also enjoy Cleeves’ Shetland series. I will continue reading both.

Redigeret: mar 31, 10:38am

18. Q Is For Quarry by Sue Grafton

In this installment, Grafton has used a real cold case from the late 1960’s as her inspiration. A young girls body was found dumped near a quarry, and to this day her identity remains unknown. In the story a body is found, and Kinsey works with two policemen to try to identify the body. Science has advanced and there are new ways to try to identify the victim, although these books are in the 1980’s so not as advanced as in today’s world. As Grafton was working on the book, the real police had a forensic artist create a reconstruction of the girl’s face from the cold case. She included the picture at the back of the book, in hopes that someone would see it and come forward with an identity.

apr 2, 12:07pm

I'm another fan of the Shetland series, Colleen. I've read the first two, I think, and have watched the series, which I love.

apr 2, 4:36pm

>126 BLBera: I’ve listened to the first four, Beth. I’ve downloaded the fifth recently, and will get to it soon.

apr 3, 8:43pm

19. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, Narrated by: Andrew Wincott, Esther Wane, Sarah Feathers, Anjana Vasan

This is the first book in a new series by Elly Griffiths. The main character for the series is Harbinder Kaur, an Indian detective sergeant who still lives with her parents. In this book, Clare Cassidy is an English teacher who is writing a book about RM Holland, a fictional author whose most noted book was a gothic ghost story. Her friend is murdered, and the killer seems to be mimicking Holland’s book. The story is told by Harbinder, Clare, and Clare’s daughter, Georgia. Bits of the ghost story are read between the different narrations. I had my suspicions about the killer early on, but I did enjoy this book and will continue the series.

apr 4, 6:43am

I enjoyed this one too, Colleen. I’m looking forward to the next book and to seeing where Griffiths takes Harbinder’s character. The ongoing character development is one of the things I like most about her Ruth Galloway series.

apr 4, 7:34am

>129 lauralkeet: I think Griffiths’ development of all the characters in her books is very well done, Laura. I always look forward to her new books. So many good authors....

I’m sure you must be up to your eyeballs in boxes right now. Happy Easter. Enjoy your new home. :-)

apr 4, 7:39am

>130 NanaCC: I'm sure you must be up to your eyeballs in boxes right now
You've got that right, Colleen! But yesterday I connected our internet so I'm back in business here now that I'm not limited to browsing on my phone. I'll post on my thread later this morning.

apr 7, 4:16pm

20. Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Reviews by Bonnie (brenzi), Laura (laurelkeet), and Kay (Ridgewaygirl) put this book at the top of my wishlist, and I am so glad that I read it. It is full of humor and sadness, and great characters. The story takes place in and around a 1960’s housing project in Brooklyn, NY. The Deacon goes around in a drunken haze, talking to his dead wife, and trying to help his friends in the projects. There are a few different plot lines, with crazy and interesting people, that all connect at the poignant end of the book.

The author is best known, I think, for his award winning novel, The Good Lord Bird, and his memoir The Color of Water. I plan to check them out.

apr 7, 6:36pm

>132 NanaCC: That was a rollicking good read, wasn't it? I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it, Colleen.

apr 7, 7:57pm

>132 NanaCC: Oh, I'd been seeing this title but hadn't connected it to the author of The Good Lord Bird. I bought that book years ago and haven't read it yet.

apr 7, 10:10pm

>132 NanaCC: I must put that one on the "sooner-rather-than-later" list, the recommendations are piling up. I read The Color of Water, and it was very good, but I gave The Good Lord Bird a pass, because, having read Cloudsplitter a few years back, I felt I had spent enough time with John Brown.

apr 7, 10:39pm

>133 lauralkeet: It definitely was “a rollicking good read”, Laura. I am very glad to have read it.

>134 japaul22: I think you’d like this one, Jennifer. I haven’t read any others, but I’m very tempted now.

>135 laytonwoman3rd: Funny, I have had Cloudsplitter on my shelf for years, Linda, and still haven’t read it. Too many books, and I do get distracted by all of the recommendations. I’m pretty sure you’d like this one.

apr 9, 9:25am

Hi Colleen - Another recommendation of Deacon King Kong - I must get to it soon!

I also enjoyed The Stranger Diaries, though not as much as her Ruth Galloway series. I didn't know it was the start of another series.

apr 9, 4:41pm

I'm glad you liked Deacon King Kong. For me, it was just so welcome to read an essentially upbeat novel. McBride doesn't gloss over hardship, but he emphasizes the joy.

I also have a copy of Cloudsplitter on my shelf. I really do want to read it, but its size is daunting.

apr 9, 6:55pm

Hi Colleen, I thought the characters that McBride created for the novel were all so unique and interesting (for lack of a better word) that it made for a fun and unpredictable novel. I'm glad you also enjoyed it.

apr 9, 10:29pm

>137 BLBera: I think you’ll enjoy Deacon when you get to it, Beth. When I downloaded Stranger Diaries a while ago, I didn’t realize it was a new series either, but I will look for the next when it’s available.

>138 RidgewayGirl: McBride has a way to write about the sad stuff, with humor so that you can smile throughout. I’m still thinking about it, Kay. And I agree about Cloudsplitter. I’m sure the size is keeping me from lifting it off the shelf.

>139 brenzi: Your review was what put it on my wishlist, Bonnie. Kay and Laura pushed it to the top of the list. I love when a recommendation is so justified.

Redigeret: apr 11, 11:43am

21. The Distant Echo by Val McDermid, narrated by Gerard Doyle

This was my first book by Val McDermid, and it won’t be the last. I’m pretty sure that Vivienne pointed me to the author. In this book four young university students at St. Andrews, running through a cemetery after a night of drinks and drugs stumble across the body of a dying woman on their way back to their housing. She’s been stabbed. One of the men is a medical student and while he tries to save her, another rushes off to find a policeman. Of course, they are covered with blood from their attempts to save her, and become the chief suspects. There isn’t enough evidence to charge them, but suspicion hangs over their heads. Twenty five years later the cold case is opened and detective Karen Pirie leads the investigation. With new technology maybe they can solve it. This is the first book in the Karen Pirie series. I guessed the murderer about half way through the book, but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment. I wondered how they were going to prove it.

Edited to add that it was also Lois who put this author on my list.

apr 11, 12:41pm

I just put this one on hold at the library. I haven't read MacDermid before either, and I have one of the later books in this series on my shelf. Naturally I'd rather start at the beginning. Lois can be very persuasive--I'm sure she's the reason I know about these also.

apr 11, 10:12pm

>142 laytonwoman3rd: I’m listening to The Lewis Man now. It’s the second book in another series that Lois and Vivienne put on my wishlist. I love the accent of the reader, which adds to the enjoyment.

apr 12, 1:39am

>141 NanaCC: That sounded so good that I downloaded it and am reading it now.

apr 12, 8:56am

>144 dianeham: I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

apr 12, 2:35pm

I recently read The Skeleton Road, which I thought was a stand alone. It was excellent and I think the third in the Karen Pirie series.

apr 12, 3:10pm

>146 BLBera: It is, Beth. She doesn’t appear in the first until at least half way through. I just downloaded the audio of the second, along with a couple of other books in series that I’ve been reading.

apr 12, 5:26pm

Are you familiar with the British series Wire in the Blood? I saw a book in one of her (Val McDermid) series is called that. I loved that, not a lot of episodes and it was probably over 10 years ago.

apr 12, 6:32pm

>143 NanaCC: I haven't read any of McDermid's books Colleen, but I read The Lewis Trilogy a couple of years ago and thought it was absolutely amazing. Just so well done.

apr 12, 10:40pm

>148 dianeham: I’m not familiar with that one. I’ll have to check for it.

>149 brenzi: I hadn’t read any before either, Bonnie. I think you would love the audio for this one. It’s the first in the series. I also just finished The Lewis Man this morning. I haven’t had time to write about it. I’ll do it in the morning. The reader is fantastic. I quickly downloaded the third. I’ll get to it very soon.

apr 12, 11:07pm

Have you ever watched Grantchester? The actor who plays the police detective was the detective in Wire In The Blood.

apr 12, 11:37pm

>151 dianeham: I love Grantchester.

apr 13, 12:10am

>141 NanaCC: Just saw that this book is 571 pages! Yikes.

apr 13, 8:03am

>153 dianeham: I listened to it, so really didn’t notice. The audio was so good. I guess I don’t consider the length of a book. If it’s 900 or 1,000 pages, then I notice, but if it’s good, length doesn’t seem to matter to me. A book like this is a page turner. I hope it is for you too.

apr 15, 2:46pm

22. The Lewis Man by Peter May, narrated by Peter Forbes

This is the second book in The Lewis trilogy. Retired police detective Fin Macleod has returned to the Isle of Lewis of the Hebridean islands. He plans to restore his parents cottage and settle down. A body is pulled from the bog, and DNA points a relationship to the father of Fin’s first love, Marsaili. The father has always claimed to have been an only child with no relatives. Much of the story is told through the thoughts of the father who is slipping quickly into dementia. He has no understanding of what is going on, but as questions are asked, they bring his thoughts back to his childhood in an orphanage and a murder that took place changing his life forever. Even though he is retired Fin delves into the mystery. The book is terrific. The audio is excellent. I liked this even more than the first book, The Blackhouse, which was also very good. The parts that are told through the father’s confused thoughts are so well done. The descriptions of the island make it a character in the story, as well.

apr 15, 3:05pm

23. Dead Water: A Shetland Mystery by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Kenny Blyth

This is the fifth book in the Shetland Series. The body of a London journalist with ties to the island is found in a boat. A new inspector, Willow Reeves, is introduced to the series. She is brought in to manage the case, because Jimmy Perez is still on part time leave after the tragedy in the previous book. The mystery helps bring Perez out of his grief, as he becomes more and more involved in the hunt for the murderer. I preferred this narrator for the audio to the reader of the previous four books.

apr 17, 1:34pm

24. Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre

If you’ve read any of Ben Macintyre’s books, you know that he brings these real life spy stories to life. They read like novels and are always very good. Ursula Kuczynski was a member of a prominent and wealthy German Jewish family. She saw communism as a way to fight fascism. Her code name was Sonya, and she was ruthless. People saw her as a housewife and mother, but she was responsible for handling all numbers of communist spies throughout Europe and Asia during the Second World War. She also managed to relay hundreds of pages of secrets regarding the making of the atomic bomb to the Russians which was passed to her by Karl Fuchs who was allowed to participate in the Manhattan Project. MI5, MI6, and the FBI kept overlooking her, because she was a woman and couldn’t possibly be dangerous despite her known communist leanings. My only problem with this book, is that Macintyre seems to make her a sympathetic character. I don’t think she deserves that. Thanks again to Bonnie (brenzi) for bringing this one to my attention. It was very good.

apr 19, 2:25pm

25. The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan, narrated by Aoife McMahon

This is a fairly new series, featuring detective Cormac Reilly. He has recently left Dublin where he was a successful detective, and has moved to Galway with his girlfriend to a new location where the other detectives are not very welcoming. There is a suicide which coincides with a cold case he has been given to work on. Flashbacks twenty years earlier to this cold case, which happens to be one he worked on as a new police officer. Suicide..accident..murder? I’m not sure how I wound up with this book. It might have been an audible freebie. It was good, not great, but I enjoyed it. The narrator was excellent. I will read the next in the series.

apr 19, 6:33pm

>158 NanaCC: I like Galway, I’ll have to try it.

apr 19, 10:11pm

Galway is lovely, Diane. Very dark in this book, in a good way if you like that kind of police procedural.

apr 20, 6:15am

>141 NanaCC:, >142 laytonwoman3rd: ..."very persuasive" hmmmm.

>155 NanaCC: You remind me I need to get back to Peter May. I have a few of his others in the TBR pile....

apr 20, 11:06am

>161 avaland: You might like Val McDermid, Lois.

I really like Peter May. Thank you for the recommendation. There are others you’ve recommended that I still haven’t picked up. I always know that I’m not going to run out of ideas.

apr 20, 11:47pm

>158 NanaCC: I’m 63% done. Thanks

apr 21, 10:55am

>158 NanaCC: I didn't love this (I thought there were *lots* of holes) but the premise of the second one intrigued me so I read it and liked it much better than the first. I'm waiting for her third to come out in smaller format.

I'm almost certain the author is in my local Buy Nothing group but her picture is different enough to her official author one to leave an element of doubt.

apr 21, 5:09pm

>158 NanaCC: I liked it but would have like women featured more prominently. Maybe I’ll try the second one.

apr 21, 6:54pm

>164 rhian_of_oz:, I’m glad the second is better, Rhian. I didn’t love it, but the narrator for the audio recording was very good. I figured I’d give the next one a chance at some point. Plus, it was free.

>165 dianeham: I will try the second eventually, Diane. I’m not in a hurry. I’ve got quite a few lined up.

apr 24, 1:12pm

I really enjoyed The Ruin as well, Colleen. I keep meaning to read something by Peter May as well. I have one of his on my shelf.

apr 24, 1:16pm

Loitering frequently and enjoying the chat. Hope you're doing OK, Colleen.

apr 24, 4:17pm

>167 BLBera: I really like Peter May, Beth. I’ve only read the two books in the trilogy so far. But very good.

>168 AlisonY: I’m doing ok, Alison. Thank you for asking. Thankful for having my daughter and family close by.

apr 29, 10:48am

26. The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis

I watched the miniseries of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix recently, and really enjoyed it. I decided to read the book, which I’d normally do before watching a program. Beth Harmon is an orphan at the age of eight, and winds up in an orphanage. Vitamins and tranquilizers are handed out to all of the kids on a daily basis. The tranquilizers to help keep the kids easy to handle. Beth excels in her schoolwork and is given the privilege of cleaning the erasers. While in the basement cleaning erasers she sees the janitor playing a game she knows nothing about. She picks up the game by watching him, and from there the child chess prodigy takes off. I mention the tranquilizers because they become important in the story. The book was very good, and unusually, the miniseries was even better. It followed the book very closely, but fleshed out a few of the other characters, and the special effects were done well. I’d recommend both.

apr 30, 2:00am

>170 NanaCC:

My whole family loved that show (early 20s daughters and my husband). The aesthetic was also fabulous.

Redigeret: apr 30, 8:24am

>171 Nickelini: It was fabulous, wasn’t it. The actress was wonderful. I know nothing about chess, but it made it enjoyable to watch. The Queen’s Gambit was published in the early 80’s, according to LT. I read somewhere in a review that it did for chess what The Hustler did for the game of pool. I was assuming that the comment was referring to the books, rather than the movies, but now I’m second guessing myself. Does anyone know?

Redigeret: apr 30, 11:45am

>172 NanaCC: I think the comment is more about the television series than the book, because I know that since the show dropped on Netflix sales of chess boards and books have really spiked, and more people are talking about chess.

Edited to add: The book may have also increased interest in chess when it was published, but I didn't even know about the book until a coworker recommended it to me in 2013 (borrowed from the library, copy hadn't been checked out recently at the time).

apr 30, 1:58pm

>173 shadrach_anki: That makes sense, Anki. I didn’t see the other movies. Paul Newman was in the Hustler I believe.

maj 1, 9:11am

>170 NanaCC: I watch almost zero TV, but I did watch that series with my husband and really enjoyed it. For one thing, it made me realize how much I miss hotels (I did a bit of business traveling pre-pandemic and always grouched about it, and have really rethought that). I picked up a copy of the book, because folks were talking about what a good job Tevis did with the actual chess, and look forward to it.

maj 1, 11:55am

>175 lisapeet: I’ll look forward to your thoughts.

maj 4, 5:38pm

It's lovely to come to catch up on a thread and see your own name mentioned! (#141, #143).

I really like Val McDermid but the Tony Hill & Carol Gordon series can be a bit gruesome (and funny). Peter May's Lewis Trilogy is terrific.

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths disappointed me. However, I might try another one because I really like the Ruth Galloway series.

Hope you are doing well, Colleen. It's been so long since I visited your thread that my wishlist has grown significantly.

maj 4, 6:49pm

>177 VivienneR: I’m glad you stopped by, Vivienne. I miss seeing your posts here. I try to remember to pop over to your category thread. I have you starred so hopefully I’ll get there more often. You’ve introduced me to some favorite series.

maj 5, 3:13am

I'll try to drop by more often. We have such similar taste in books and I always enjoy reading your thread.

Redigeret: maj 13, 9:42am

27. The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey

This is the second book in the Perveen Mistry series. The first was the Widows of Malabar Hill, which I read in 2019, thanks to Lois. Perveen Mistry is a lawyer in her father’s practice in Bombay. The time period is the 1920’s, and her character is supposed to be the only female lawyer in Bombay at that time. In this one, she is asked to represent the British Raj to help settle a dispute between the two widowed maharanis over the education of the young maharaja. The boy’s mother wants him to be educated in England, and her mother-in-law wants him educated at the palace. As they are observing purdah, they will only see a woman. The boy’s father and older brother have died under mysterious circumstances and the mystery begins there. The setting and the customs are an interesting part of the story. I enjoyed it.

Redigeret: maj 13, 9:43am

28. In Bad Company by Viveca Sten

This is the ninth book in the Sandhamn series which takes place in the Stockholm Archipelago in Sweden. In this book Nora is trying to get a conviction for a drug dealer by going after him for tax evasion since they haven’t been able to get enough evidence for the drug conviction. Add onto that that he beats his wife and the story becomes quite violent. This book ended with a bit of a cliff hanger ending that must mean the next book will pick up where this one left off.

maj 7, 8:03am

>181 NanaCC: not looking -- I haven't read that one yet but I plan to do so very soon!

Redigeret: maj 9, 8:17am

>182 lauralkeet: I’ll be curious to see what you think. I enjoyed it, but it was somewhat different from the others, prompting love it or hate it reviews.

maj 9, 5:45am

Agree with >177 VivienneR: VivienneR about McDermid's Tony Hill/Carol Gordon series, which is why I never really got into it (however, I did watch the television series with Robson Green).

maj 9, 8:18am

>184 avaland: What was the name of the tv series, Lois? Is it very gruesome as well?

maj 9, 9:23am

>185 NanaCC: Wire in the Blood and it’s Carol Jordan.

maj 9, 10:27pm

>186 dianeham: Thank you, Diane.

maj 13, 9:53am

29. R is For Ricochet by Sue Grafton

Kinsey is hired by a wealthy elderly gentleman to pick up his daughter who is about to be released from prison. He wants her to “babysit” for a few days to make sure she stays away from the bad crowd that led her down the path that landed her in prison in the first place. The daughter, Reba, is an over the top spoiled rich young woman who is used to getting her own way. Kinsey has a hard time keeping her on the straight and narrow, and much too often in this book, strays from her normal slightly skewed code of ethics in order to try to keep Reba out of trouble. Not the best of the series, but I enjoyed it.

maj 13, 1:45pm

Just posting to say Hi. I had deep catch up on your thread and all these intriguing mysteries.

maj 13, 1:48pm

You are zipping right through the alphabet, Colleen! I keep meaning to start. :)

maj 13, 7:41pm

>189 dchaikin: I know that the mysteries are not your cup of tea, Dan, but I do appreciate your visits. :-)

maj 13, 7:44pm

>190 BLBera: If you ever do start them, Beth, be sure to start at the beginning. I think the character development throughout has been interesting.

maj 16, 2:59pm

Two rereads..

30. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, narrated by Simon Slater

I read this book when it originally came out, and loved it. I do have a goal for this year to read The Mirror and the Light, and given that the first two books were so long ago, I felt a reread was in order. I thought it might be fun to listen to it. As much as I enjoyed it, I’m not sure I would recommend this as an audiobook, at least not for a first time read. A friend started listening to it at the same time, but, she had never read it before and found it very confusing. She got about eight hours in before she gave up. I’m not going to review it, as the group thread will tell you everything you want to know. As an audiobook, it is close to 25 hours long. So it is definitely a commitment.

31. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

I know, I know, I just listened to this a couple of months ago. I was waiting in a doctor’s office the other day and needed something to read. I had forgotten to bring something and wanted something fun and quick. I also figured that I might have missed something whilst listening, so why not. I downloaded to my kindle, and I must say it was just as funny the second time. Four residents of a senior community meet once a week to try to solve cold cases. They call themselves the Thursday Murder Club. When they become involved in a live murder case, the fun begins. It really is laugh out loud funny at times.

Redigeret: maj 16, 4:27pm

>103 NanaCC: Enjoyed both books Colleen. Glad to hear the Osman Book stood up to a revisit. His second is due out in September.

maj 16, 6:13pm

>194 Caroline_McElwee: I’m looking forward to the new one Caroline. This one had me smiling the whole way through.

maj 16, 6:26pm

I reread both of the Mantel books last year before the new one came out but I listened to the audiobooks and followed along on my Kindle and I have to say that was a pretty wonderful experience Colleen.

maj 16, 6:31pm

>196 brenzi: I agree, Bonnie. I didn’t have the books to follow along, but enjoyed the audio version. I think if I hadn’t read the book previously though, it might have been confusing. My friend hasn’t read a lot from that time period, and I think that was what made it even more confusing for her.

maj 17, 4:20am

>193 NanaCC: Gosh, I can definitely see how Wolf Hall would be hard to keep up with via audio book. In the first book especially when you're not familiar with the characters I certainly did a lot of flicking back to the who's who at the front of the book.

maj 17, 7:55am

>193 NanaCC: I just started The Thursday Murder Club. Glad to know I've got a lot to look forward to!

maj 17, 7:58am

I, too, can see how Wolf Hall on audio would be confusing to the first-time reader. Besides the large cast of characters, as Alison mentioned, there are so many named Thomas and Mantel has a way of referring vaguely to them.

maj 17, 8:08am

>198 AlisonY:, >200 lauralkeet: That was my friend’s comment “too many named Thomas”. I had to laugh when she said “ I can’t believe I’m eight hours in and Wolsey is still around”.

>199 Julie_in_the_Library: I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

maj 17, 8:12am

>193 NanaCC: nice to see your comments on Wolf Hall. I think I would have had trouble on audio even this second time, as it had been ten years. But i can imagine listening to it now, with the book still fresh.

maj 17, 8:22am

>202 dchaikin: I like Bonnie’s idea of listening while reading, although I tend to listen while I’m doing other things. In the version I listened to, the reader would say “He, Cromwell”, which I don’t think was in the book. But it’s been so long since I read the print version that I can’t remember. My friend’s version didn’t have that I don’t think. Or at least when I said it, she said she could never figure out which “he” it was.

maj 17, 3:56pm

>203 NanaCC: Okay, this conversation sent me off to Google "he, Cromwell". I found a letter to the editor on The Guardian website, which includes this paragraph:
Despite Hilary Mantel’s irritating habit of referring to Cromwell only as “he” – a practice which she modified in Bring Up the Bodies, by occasionally referring to him as “He, Cromwell”, in order to clarify who was thinking or speaking, I have enjoyed both books.
So, she made the change in the second book. Maybe the audio version you listened to was modified retroactively to help the listener.

maj 17, 5:26pm

>203 NanaCC:, >204 lauralkeet: Wow...I remember there being a kerfuffle over her use of the pronoun, but in my mind it was because she always said "He, Cromwell", even when it wasn't necessary! And I both read and later listened to Wolf Hall. Funny thing, mem'ry. I also keep forgetting that I have the third Cromwell book downstairs waiting for me to read it. *sigh*

maj 17, 6:01pm

>204 lauralkeet:, >205 laytonwoman3rd: It was so long ago, I remember being confused by it at first, but it was always capitalized when it referred to Cromwell, or at least that is my memory. I don’t have a physical copy of the book to check. I was thinking that Macmillan audio had the reader add the “Cromwell” to make it easier for the listener.

I plan to listen to Bring Up the Bodies before reading the third book. The first two books have two versions. The first is read by Simon Slater in the original version I listened to. The second was originally read by Simon Vance. Ben Miles played Cromwell with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and “Mantel has stated that his voice was in her mind as she wrote The Mirror and the Light”. He recorded that and then went back to do new recordings of Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies. The Ben Miles versions are longer than the original recordings. Wolf Hall is one hour longer, and Bring up the Bodies is about two hours longer. I’m not sure that I want to go that route. The Mirror and the Light is over 38 hours long. I might do what Bonnie did, and read and listen at the same time.

maj 20, 2:21pm

32. A Darker Domain by Val McDermid, narrated by Eilidh Fraser

This is the second book in the Karen Pirie series. Detective Pirie is now head of the cold cases team. A woman comes to the police to report her father missing. He’s been missing for 20+ years, and Pirie takes it on, although her boss doesn’t know she’s working on it. He comes to her with a sensitive cold case. The grandson of an extremely wealthy man was kidnapped 20+ years earlier and a new clue has come to light. She works both cases, rubbing her boss the wrong way throughout the story. Pirie is a feisty character which added to my enjoyment of the book.

maj 22, 1:52pm

>193 NanaCC: Congratulations on your re-read of Wolf Hall. It's one of those books that deserve to be revisited. I agree with >196 brenzi: that reading while listening is a great experience. Wolf Hall with all its complexities is the ideal candidate for this - even if it means the ironing may never get done. :)

maj 22, 6:07pm

>208 VivienneR: Ironing? What’s that? Ha...I do as little of that as possible, although now with materials for warmer weather, I think just about everything needs ironing.

maj 23, 1:34pm

>185 NanaCC: Glad Diane provided you with the series name. Believe it or not I watched in some years ago via DVDs I had bought (I would watch them while riding the exercise bike). I had heard it was somewhat gruesome and put it off, but honestly, compared to some series these days, it seems fairly tame (the show was 2002-2008).

maj 23, 10:40pm

>210 avaland: I’ll have to look for it, Lois. I don’t watch as much tv as I used to, but I do like these series.

maj 24, 4:43pm

>211 NanaCC: I still have it on DVD if you would like to borrow it (if you can still play DVDs).

maj 24, 10:48pm

>212 avaland: Thank you for offering, Lois, but IMDB says that I can watch it on Acorn tv on Prime which I have. I’ll be looking for it soon.

maj 25, 2:11am

>185 NanaCC: I bought it on dvd too.I didn’t have cable at the time.

maj 25, 9:53pm

>214 dianeham: Being able to stream things on the tv has changed the way I watch tv for sure.

maj 26, 9:16am

33. The Magdalen Girls by V. S. Alexander

Set in Dublin in 1962, this is the story of two girls who are given to the Magdalen laundries by their parents. The Magdalen laundries were run by nuns for “fallen women”. Usually this meant they were a prostitute or were unmarried and pregnant. The women could be locked up in these convents until someone came to rescue them. In this case, the two sixteen year olds were disowned by their parents, one for being too forward..she was caught kissing her boyfriend, the other for being too pretty...the parish priest confessed that he had lustful feelings for her. The two girls formed a friendship promising to come back for the other if they ever got out. The cruelty was terrible. The story is fictional, but the laundries were very real and part of Ireland’s history. All part of some of the terrible things done in the name of religion.

maj 26, 9:50am

34. The Chessmen by Peter May, narrated by Peter Forbes

This is the third book in the wonderful Lewis Trilogy. Back on the Isle of Lewis, a remote island in the outer Herbrides of Scotland, Fin, having left the police force, is working security on a large estate where poaching is constant. Fin and his friend Whistler find an old plane crash with the body of a friend who has been missing for nearly 20 years. The friend was a famous musician, and the story travels back and forth in time adding more to Fin’s background. There is evidence that the friend had been murdered. This book was a satisfying end to the trilogy, and many loose ends were connected and resolved. I would recommend the audio version if you do that, as it was very good.

maj 26, 8:19pm

>216 NanaCC: There's a film called The Magdalene Sisters that sounds like it might be based on this book, although it's about three girls instead of just two. A fascinating and infuriating story.

Redigeret: maj 26, 8:39pm

>218 lauralkeet: There actually is a third girl in the book, Laura, who was sent there by her father after his wife died. He has a farm and feels that he can’t care for her. She has a different status with the nuns and is treated much differently than the others, although she befriends the two girls and tries to help them.

Have you seen the movie?

maj 27, 7:20am

>219 NanaCC: I've seen the movie, Colleen -- I remember watching it on a plane over the Atlantic. I really liked it although the details are fuzzy, as you can see. Ha.

Redigeret: maj 27, 11:04am

>220 lauralkeet: Very few people on LT have the book, Laura. I knew nothing about it, but my daughter’s friend had just read it for book club and said she loved it.

I just checked IMDB, and the movie was from 2003, the book from 2016. I don’t believe there is a connection other than the setting.

maj 28, 7:24am

>221 NanaCC: Oh, that's interesting, Colleen. Usually it's the other way around.

maj 28, 9:33am

35. The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

Bonnie (brenzi) had reviewed this book recently, giving it five stars. It was just as wonderful as she said it was. It is 1886 at the start of this very accurate historical fiction which revolves around the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Esme Nicholls is six years old and sits under the sorting table at her father’s feet. She picks up slips of paper that fall to the floor and constantly questions her father as to the meaning of the words and why some are discarded. She starts collecting the discarded words and as she grows older realizes that most are words that women use. Not significant in the minds of the men responsible for the creation of the book. Esme goes around the market collecting words from the vendors and other “common” folk. The book includes the suffragettes, WWI and a story or two, or three, of love and loss. Most of the characters in the book are the real people including Dr. James Murray and several of the real contributors to the volumes of the OED. Esme is a fictional character who the author uses to imagine how her own questions of what happened to these lost words and how did they finally make their way into later updates of the OED.

My only complaint about Bonnie’s recommendation of this book is that when she said there might be Kleenex involved, she neglected to say how many. Highly recommended.

maj 28, 12:15pm

>221 NanaCC: Even if it's not an adaptation of the book you read I would really recommend the film, Colleen. It's excellent.

maj 28, 3:48pm

>224 AlisonY:, >222 lauralkeet: I will have to check out the film. I’ve known about the laundries, but putting a story to it made it even more disturbing than my limited knowledge of them. I did enjoy the book.

maj 28, 7:14pm

>223 NanaCC: Bonnie made me request this one from the library, Colleen. I can't wait to read it. I'll be sure to break out a new box of tissues though.

maj 28, 8:20pm

>223 NanaCC: I’ve been reading that. I’m having a hard time getting through it.

maj 28, 8:43pm

>223 NanaCC: Great review Colleen! Such a good book. I didn't want people to think it was a book that you had to sob your way through, hence no mention of multiple Kleenex LOL.

maj 28, 10:22pm

>227 dianeham: What is giving you a hard time, Diane? I’m sorry to hear that.

>226 lauralkeet: I think you will love it, Laura. Can’t wait to hear your comments.

>228 brenzi: Such a great book, Bonnie. I’m so glad I read your review. I love a book that makes me cry. It means that I’m really connected to the characters and whatever is happening.

maj 29, 1:01am

>229 NanaCC: It’s a very slow book for me, not much happening. I’m 65 percent done and nothing I’ve read has brought a tear to my eye. The Oxford dictionary is interesting, the suffragettes and the time period but the people themselves I don’t really connect with.

maj 29, 8:40am

>230 dianeham: We can’t all like the same things, so I understand. I cry over happy things and sad things. I cry at movies. Heck, I even cry at some commercials. This book hit all the right notes for me. I thought that Esme was a great character, and I loved her relationship with her father. That might not be your experience.

jun 1, 7:17pm

36. Conviction by Denise Mina

Anna starts her day as she usually does. She sits at the table with her coffee listening to a true crime podcast. She gets breakfast ready for her two kids and then her husband comes down to head to work. Only on this day he comes down dressed in casual clothes carrying a suitcase and announces that he is leaving with her best friend and taking the kids on holiday. He wants her to move out before he gets back. You would think that would be bad enough, but Anna’s life is about to get much much worse. Secrets and lies, murder and mayhem....a road trip with an anorexic washed up musician, who is the husband of the best friend, a true crime podcast that seems to involve someone she knew in her past life, and I found the book hard to put down. I tried the audio version of this book to start, and it just wasn’t working for me. Having seen comments from friends here on LT that made me feel like I should enjoy the book, I decided to try the print version. I’m very glad that I did.

jun 1, 7:39pm

I’ve started a new thread.

jun 1, 9:21pm

>232 NanaCC:
You just took a book bullet on my thread, and now I'm taking one from your Conviction. Never heard of it or the author, but it sounds terrific.

jun 1, 10:41pm

>234 Nickelini: I can’t remember who introduced me to Denise Mina, but she’s very good. Conviction is a stand alone, but she has a couple of series which are excellent. I’ve read the Alex Morrow series and loved it. I believe folks here think her Garnethill series is even better.