Saturday, June 1, 2013

May Books List

May was a good month for books!  I found three new author that I really enjoy!  I read some stinkers, too, though. . . .

Books Read:

  1. The Black-Headed Pins: Constance and Gwyneth Little
    I just discovered these sisters thanks to Rue Morgue Press; they wrote 21 mysteries during the 1930's through the 1950's.  The mysteries are referred to as "screwball comedies".  I adored this mystery, and could certainly see Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell playing the leads.  I'll be ordering more, for certain!
  2. Aunt Dimity's Death: Nancy Atherton
    This came highly recommended as a "cozy mystery" with a slight supernatural twist.  It was okay, certainly  not good enough for me to want to read the rest of the series.
  3. The Yellow Streak: Valentine Willaims
    ( Published sometime in the late 19-teens, early twenties.)  Plot and writing style were dated, naturally, but it was enjoyable for just that reason.
  4. Who Killed the Curate?: Joan Coggins
    (Published in 1944)  Hilarious;  I loved it even though the conversations were a bit stilted.  The mystery itself was rather good, though, and all the clues were there for the reader to figure out along with everyone else.  The loopy Lady Lupin is a mix of Bertie Wooster and Amelia Bedilia, and her social gaffs as the new wife of a curate were laugh-out-loud funny.  Another find from Rue Morgue Press; I've got the second one to read soon.
  5. The Case of the Gilded Fly: Edmund Crispin
    (Published 1944) One of the few I've read from the "Golden Age" of detective fiction that really flopped for me.  I slogged through it, just to see if it came together at the end, but the solution was an impossibility, to my mind.  I find it interesting to note that it was published the same year as Who Killed the Curate?, considering the gentleness of that one and the crassness of this one. 
  6. Dead Men Don't Ski: Patricia Moyes  I loved this!  She instantly became a new (to me) favorite author. The mystery was tight, the writing good and the relationship between the detective and his wife reminded me of myself and my husband.  All around good book.  I'm super excited that I scored a stack of these at the used bookstore last time! 

Audio Books:

  1. A is for Alibi: Sue Grafton
    Dismal; It's as if Grafton wanted to make a female "hard-boiled" detective so she threw in as much drinking, cussing and sex as she could, and the result was an unappetizing book.  This series has a huge fan base, so  I stuck it out, thinking it would get better, but it didn't.
  2. Nemesis: Agatha Christie
    I've yet to read a Christie I didn't like, and, honestly, I don't think there are many more that I have not read.  People that poo-poo Christie novels have no place in my world.  She writes solid, interesting, gentle, cozy mysteries and that, frankly, is what I want to read.  This one was a well-plotted Miss Marple tale.
  3. Sherlock Holmes Stories (volume three): Sir Arthur Conan Dolye
    Holmes was my first literary crush; naturally I love re-reading these stories.
  4. Young Men in Spats: P G Wodehouse
    My husband and I both love Wodehouse and neither of us had read this one, so we listened to it together.  Great stories--especially the one about the fire!
  5. Mr. Churchill's Secretary: Susan Elia MacNeal
    A generally well-researched historical mystery; kept my husband's interest, too.  I'll admit to getting bored with it by the end, though; it just seemed to drag on a bit too long.  There are two more in the series; I may or may not read or listen to them.
  6. Venus in Copper: Lindsey Davis
    I read the early books of this series back in college.  I was startled to notice how many are in the series now and thought I'd start it up again, back at the beginning of course.  M. Didius is a likable scoundrel.
  7. Savannah Blues: Mary Kay Andrews
    The only chick lit I have ever completed; I was surprised at how good it was.  At least, it was really good until the romance began, but by then I was interested in the mystery, so I stuck it out.  I liked her enough, though, that I would consider reading more.  I just hate romance novels, and generally find the plot of chick lit novels less interesting than the back of the cereal box, so admitting that I read and actually liked this book, and might even read another, is a Really Big Deal for me.

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