Saturday, 30 July 2011

Mid-Year Review continued, Part 2

The next few months will be great. I've been working full-time since January and while I've enjoyed it and the money has been very useful, I'm looking forward to getting back to part time at the end of August. I must say it's a bit harder to keep up and wasn't in my plans when I retired. Having said that, the past three years working back at Comox has been most enjoyable. I've also got six days of vacation time I have to use up before end of August so I plan to have long weekends up to September. That will provide me nice time to do some reading, maybe the missus and I will head down to Victoria or Coombs one weekend. Lovely, lovely.

Anyway, to get to my topic. Last post I highlighted one of the reading challenges I took on at the beginning of the year. That was the Reading Group Challenge from the Book Addicts Reading group at Goodreads. I have also taken on some Individual Reading Challenges, the first being to read 14 specific Mysteries by the end of the year. I tried to pick books by authors from my To Be Read list that were new to me. So far on the whole, I've enjoyed every one.

This is the list and where I am with it.

Anthony Berkeley's - The Poisoned Chocolate Mystery. - a nicely written British mystery that I gave 3 stars.
Mark Billingham's - Sleepyhead. Another British police drama. I gave it 4 stars. While there were some frustrations, it moved along nicely and had a satisfying ending.
C.S. Forester - Payment Deferred. This was quite different from his Horatio Hornblower books and quite tense. I gave it 4 stars.
Ariana Franklin - Mistress of the Art of Death. I've written about this novel previously. Suffice it to say, I discovered Ariana Franklin by chance and was thrilled with my find. This was a fantastic period mystery, set in England. Great characters, well-paced interesting and even exciting plot. I look forward to reading the remaining books in the series and have the next awaiting me on my TBR shelf. It is definitely one of my top reads of 2011 so far. It's unfortunate that Ariana passed away not too long ago, so the series is very short.
Nicholas Freeling - The King of the Rainy Country. I gave this Inspector Van der Valk mystery 3 stars. It wasn't my favourite of the year, but interesting enough to keep my attention.
Cyril Hare - Tragedy At Law. I am currently reading this mystery, an old fashioned British mystery and enjoying very much.

Patricia Highsmith - Strangers on a Train. This was a book I've wanted to read for a long time; it was after all made into a classic by Alfred Hitchcock and the plot line has been used in many TV mysteries. I ultimately found it too psychological, less story, but still enjoyed and was glad I'd read. I gave it 3 stars.
Iris Johansen - Deadlock. Still have to read this one, a standalone mystery adventure. The plot sounded interesting.
A.A. Milne - The Red House Mystery. Who knew that the writer of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories was also a mystery writer. I sure didn't. I found it an interesting parlour house mystery and gave it 3 stars.
Kay Mitchell - A Lively Form of Death. One that is still to be read. The plot sounded interesting; it's a Inspector John Morrissey mystery
Lynda Laplante - Above Suspicion. Lynda Laplante is most well-known for her Prime Suspect stories, but she is a prolific mystery writer. This story is the first of a new police procedural, with Detective Constable Anna Travis. I quite enjoyed and gave it 4 stars. I hope that in Canada we get the TV series based on the books.
Patricia Wentworth - Wicked Uncle. This is still on my TBR list. This is one of her Miss Silver series, a character compared to Miss Marple.
Josephine Tey - A Shilling for Candles. Also still on my TBR list. This story was the basis for Hitchcock's Young and Innocent.
Margery Allingham - Pearls Before Swine. My final mystery selection, also still to be read. This is the twelfth novel in the Albert Campion mysteries.

So there you have it, the 14 mysteries I chose for one of my Reading Book Challenges. Next on the list are my 14 Sci Fi books. I hope, if you enjoy a good mystery, you might dig one or two of these stories out and enjoy as much as I have.

Good reading.

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