Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Baker's Dozen of the Tiniest of Reviews

On my desk, I have a pile of books which I've read and not yet reviewed. Some have been there months. As I can barely remember the plots, I will just be giving very brief comments on what I felt about them. In alphabetical order:

1/2/3. M C Beaton - Agatha Raisin: There Goes the Bride/ Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body/Agatha Raisin: As the Pig Turns.
I'm still about 5 books behind in the Agatha Raisin series. These are numbers 20 to 22 in the series, which I read in effort to get up to date (and failed); there's only so many books you can read in the same series back to back. I went back to these for a comfort read, a sense of knowing what'll you'll get.
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars each.

4. Samuel Bjork - I'm Travelling Alone tr. Charlotte Barslund
I had such high hopes for this one. It was getting positive comments from other readers but for me it didn't flow. The chapters alternated between different characters and some of the chapters were deadly dull and held up the momentum of the main storyline. I like the police detectives so I will give the sequel, out in 2017, a go.
My Good Reads rating is 2 stars.

5. Andrea Camilleri - Angelica's Smile tr. Stephen Sartarelli
This is the seventeenth in the Montalbano series. For me, Montalbano's romantic entanglements with much younger women are becoming tiresome but that aside, this is another enjoyable outing.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

6/7. Lee Child - Personal/Make Me
Numbers 19 and 20 in the series. I have read about a third of the Jack Reacher books. My favourite is still Without Fail. Personal is set quite a bit in the UK so occasionally suffers from some over-explanations for non-UK readers which feels a bit clunky at times. The plot is ok and his female sidekick in this book is a little different to the usual model. I found Make Me to be quite drawn out. I did enjoy the companion book, Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me by Andy Martin - well the bits I could understand; it was a bit overly academic in parts. Read it after Make Me though!
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars each (and 4 stars for Andy Martin's book.)

8. Kati Hiekkapelto - The Defenceless tr. David Hackston
This is the second in the Anna Fekete series, which like its predecessor, The Hummingbird, was shortlisted for the Petrona Award. This is an excellent series which typifies the best of Scandinavian crime fiction with its focus on social issues.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

9. Anne Holt - Dead Joker tr. Anne Bruce.
This is the fifth in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. First published in 1999 and now in English in 2015. Thanks to the efforts of Corvus all 8 books in this series are now available in English. This outing is quite an emotional one for Hanne (and the reader).
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars.

10. Robert Karjel - My Name is N (apa The Swede) tr. Nancy Pick & Robert Karjel
I really liked this debut which introduces Swedish Security Police Officer Ernst Grip though most of the story is not set in Sweden but in Thailand, the US or an island military base. Quite a tense read with Grip having a major secret to keep from the Americans. Looks like it'll be a year or two until the sequel unfortunately.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

11. M R C Kasasian - Death Descends on Saturn Villa
This is the third in this entertaining series starring Sidney Grice, London's only personal detective, and his young ward March Middleton. In this entry things don't go so well for March and Mr Grice has to save the day and take over narrating duties.
My Good Reads rating is 5 stars.

12. Jo Nesbo - Midnight Sun tr. Neil Smith
After the chilly Blood on Snow, this warm follow-up introduces a likeable but criminal young man who is on the run and ends up in the land of the midnight sun. Contains the usual well-constructed set pieces.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

13. Kristina Ohlsson - Hostage tr. Marlaine Delargy.
My colleague Michelle has already reviewed Hostage. I too enjoy this series though I found this one a bit overlong at 500 pages.
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars.

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