Sunday, February 2, 2014

Reading in January and Pick of the Month

In January I read two science fiction novels in addition to my standard mystery fare. I was participating in Carl V’s The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience at Stainless Steel Droppings, which ended on January 31st. My reading included two vintage mysteries, and three e-books supplied for review from NetGalley. And all of the books that were not ARCs came from my TBR stacks (purchased before the first of this year).

These are the nine books I read in January...

Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (science fiction, part of the Old Man's War series)
A Case for Mr. Crook by Anthony Gilbert
Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
The Danger Within by Michael Gilbert
The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov (blend of science fiction and mystery)
Henrietta Who? by Catherine Aird
Hard Going by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Judgement Call by Nick Oldham


My Crime Fiction Pick of the Month is The Danger Within by Michael Gilbert. Published in 1952, it is an exceptional story of men incarcerated in a prison camp in Italy toward the end of World War II. The book also includes a mystery, featuring an amateur detective, a prisoner in the camp who is asked to look into the circumstances of the death of a fellow prisoner.

I was most impressed with the plot development and the detailed description of daily life in the camp. There is a large cast of characters. None of the characters are cardboard, by any means, but there is less emphasis on characterization and more on the story.

Check out other bloggers Crime Fiction Picks of the Month over at Mysteries In Paradise.

12 comments:

  1. TracyK: It looks like you had a good month of reading. The Danger Within sounds interesting. I have a non-fiction book on Canadian soldiers and airmen imprisoned in WW II that is near the top of the TBR list as I promised to read gifts promptly this year.

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    1. That non-fiction book does sound very interesting, Bill. I have problems reading non-fiction, which frustrates me.

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  2. Tracy, you read some good books last month. I'm gunning for "Ghost Brigades" by John Scalzi. The Michael Gilbert book sounds good too.

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    1. Great, Prashant, John Scalzi's books are really good (at least the two I have read).

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  3. Tracy - You did have a good reading month. And I'm glad you liked the Gilbert as much as you did. I've always thought his work really well-written, If you ever get the chance, I can also recommend his short stories.

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    1. Margot, I do plan to read more Gilbert, and I am considering trying some of his short stories.

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  4. Well done Tracy, looks like you had a great month. I ordered the Gilbert book and will hopefully get to it this year sometime! Bradley - I promise to try the first at least.
    SCI-FI - I will let you read them on my behalf - thank you!
    By the way you did better than me in January, numbers-wise I only managed 8. Someone has hidden my mojo!

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    1. Wow, Col, I cannot believe my numbers are higher than yours this month. Maybe your books were longer, or you were having a good time elsewhere. And I am sure you will get your reading mojo back.

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  5. Good month Tracy - 2 I've read (and the Gilbert you make me want to re-read), and the series there I want to resist!

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    1. Moira, it was a good month and I read many more books than I expected to. This month will be less because I am reading The Little Shadows right now and it is longer. I am loving it though, so I don't mind the length.

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  6. Sounds like a great book which I'd love to read. When I catch up with everything else!

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    1. I know what you mean, Sarah. I am pretty sure I cannot read all the books I want to in this year, yet I still cannot prevent myself from adding new books to the list.

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