Tuesday, 20 December 2016

2016 Top Ten Lists - #6

After our weekend of snow, it's been relatively balmy the past couple of days and been rainy overnight. So the snow has disappeared pretty well from our yard and driveway. Just the big piles left by the plows remains. We may end up with a green Xmas.. *touch wood*..

I'm now at #6 on my Top Ten songs/ books for 2016 list. Let's see what they are.

Number 6

Song Selection

Sophie Ellis Bextor - Crystallize
My #6 song selection comes from English singer, Sophie Ellis Bextor. Over the past few years, I've had various of her song on my usb. I enjoy her voice and the variety of her music. Murder on the Dance Floor is a particular favourite. Crystallize is a new song for her and quite excellent. (You can hear the song by clicking on the song title under her photo.)

Book Selection

My #6 book selection comes from Canadian mystery writer, Margaret Millar. I can't remember how I discovered her stories. I think one of her books, The Soft Talkers, was listed in the back of another mystery I was reading at the time. As you do, I googled her and discovered she was Canadian and her stories looked interesting, so I began a search for her books. She wasn't an easy author to find. I remember checking in my favourite mystery book store in Victoria, Chronicles of Crime, and was told that Millar's books were very hard to find. Luckily, over time, I've managed to find and also enjoy a few of her books. The Soft Talkers and How Like an Angel were both favourites. I read Beast in View in March and it was so good, well worth being in my Top Ten for the year. It was initially published in 1955 and won the Edgar Award in 1956 for best novel. My review follows.

"Beast In View was a true gem. I've enjoyed a couple of her other books in the past few years, when I've been able to find copies. The Soft Talkers was one of my favourites of last year. Beast in View is another 5-star read. It's such an interesting story.
I love how Millar develops her plots. Is it about Helen Clarvoe, who lives alone in her apartment, isolated from the world about her? Is it about Mr. Blackshear, Helen's financial adviser, bored with his work, who she asks to help her find the woman who made the distressing call to Helen and who begins to conduct an investigation on Helen's behalf? Or is it about Evelyn Merrick, the woman who makes the initial call to Helen and who seems to be making many calls to other people that have upset her?
I loved how it moved along, from the one character to the other, how the tension builds, how the story surprisingly makes a turn to the left. Excellent, excellent!! She is such a wonderful writer."

Tomorrow I start with my Top Five. How exciting!

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