Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Crime Fiction Pick of the Month July

I read the following Crime Fiction in July

XPD by Len Deighton

Dangerous Past by A F Ebbers

The Saint Zita Society by Ruth Rendell

The Marais Assassin by Claude Izner

A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark

One Major Mistake by Starr Gardineier Reina

And the Crime Fiction Pick of the Month is The Saint Zita Society by Ruth Rendell

You can share your Crime Fiction Pick of the Month here

Monday, 30 July 2012

2012 Bucket List Reading Challenge Complete

I signed for the Mini Cooper level to read 4 "bucket" list books of the 2012 "Bucket List" Reading Challenge. The aim is to read books you are dying to read. I completed the challenge here is my list
1. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
2. The Vault by Ruth Rendell
3. The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
4. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
5. Middlemarch by George Eliot
6. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Ebook Reading Challenge Complete

I signed up for the "Fun Size" E-Book Challenge (Read 10 E-Books ) level of the 2012 E-Book Reading Challenge hosted by The Eclectic Bookshelf and CD level (read 10 ebooks) E-book reading Challenge hosted by Workaday Reads. I completed the challenge. I read more than 10 ebooks but here are the ten I reviewed.

The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill
The Book of the Crime by Elizabeth Daly
The Burning court by John Dickson Carr
A Cold day for murder by Dana Stabenow
Dangerous Past by A F Ebbers
Fate by Amanda Hocking
I could Murder Her by E C R Lorac
Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler
The Notting hill Mystery Charles Felix
Shroud of darkness by E C R Lorac

A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark

Nina Peterson's murderer Ronald Thompson is to be executed by the state in two day's time. Steve Peterson after his wife's death had slowly rebuilt his world. He at last found love and comfort with Sharon Martin. When his world turns upside down again, Nina's killer is still at large and he has kidnapped Sharon and his son Neil. Will Steve protect his family this time? Who is this vicious killer and what does he want? Why is he attacking again after two years?

It is a fast paced book, things happen one after another. The kidnapper is very careless and leaves lots of clues. If others had been more careful they could have found out who he was and save the victims. Until the last moment people don't tie in the importance of clues they have, that builds up suspense. It is like watching a movie.

We get to know what the kidnapper is doing, we only don't know who he is? Only one problem. As soon as the kidnapper is mentioned in another setting you realise it is him. Wish Clark played a little bit with the 'Who' part. A Quick suspenseful read.

A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark was published in 1978.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Small Island by Andrea Levy

I picked up Small Island by Andrea Levy for the Orange July event. I don't think I have read any Orange Prize winning fiction before. Small Island won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2004.

The story is narrated by four key protagonists -Hortense, Queenie, Gilbert and Bernard. The story deals with issues of racism and immigration after the World War II in 1948. The contributions of Jamaicans to the 'Mother Country' in the war is highlighted. All the narrators say a before and present story. The story is narrated in a lighter vein many times bringing laughter but the issues are not sidelined. The story could have been sad and depressing but it is not. Instead it is funny and thought provoking. Gilbert's story though told in a humorous manner did no fail to make me angry at the way he was treated.

Hortense is a Jamaican who immigrates to London after World War II. Her life in Jamaica as a daughter of an important personality brought up by her cousins is interesting. I got immediately engrossed in Hortense story and I like her- golden face and a golden future. Her observations about life are funny. Coming to London she keeps saying 'Is this how English live?' She is surprised that people go out in what she thinks is a housecoat. She has a problem getting others to understand what she says. And Rats! And chips! It is hilarious.

Queenie is brought up in a farm in Hertfordshire. Her father is a butcher and she is a vegetarian. She lives in London. She lets rooms for lodgers in her house for income as her husband Bernard is missing even after two years of war. She forms a special bond with Gilbert and is kind and is ready to show Hortense the way about in London without any colour prejudice.

Gilbert is funny. Gilbert complains about English boiled food and prefers American fried food. But for all the fried food in the world, Gilbert understands America on 1940s is riddled with segregation and in many ways England is better. Gilbert faces racism as a RAF personnel in England and I am surprised he came back to England after the war. He feels Jamaica is really a small island and he needs a bigger place to stretch his wings. And I think it is because of Queenie with whom he forms a bond that probably makes him feel this place is not bad. Of all the characters, I like Gilbert the most.

I was least interested in Bernard's story. Maybe because it is at the end and I just wanted to finish it. I didn't expect what happened in the end. Michael Roberts for his brief appearance makes quite an impact.

This story is going to stay with me a long time. I would like to read Long Song especially after reading Andrea's reason for writing the story.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Night in Paris


I am posting some pictures from my trip to Paris in 2008. I am posting this for the Saturday Snapshot meme hosted by Alyce at At Home with Books and July in Paris event. 




Friday, 27 July 2012

Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler

Graham is just an engineer, okay a brilliant one, even an expert travelling home after finishing his work in Turkey during World War II. "But he was not dangerous. ..It was impossible that anyone would wish to kill him." When somebody tries to shoot him in his hotel room, he believes that "There must be some horrible mistake."

But "War is war.....the enemy is not trying to kill you in particular because you are Mr.Graham: the next man to you will do as well: It is all impersonal. " On his journey back home from Istanbul, abroad the steamer Sestri Levante, Graham discovers fear of Death. One minute he is an Engineer working overseas on a project during World War II. The next minute he is running away from Nazi assassins. Will Graham reach home safe from Istanbul? Who is his friend? Who is his enemy? Who can he trust? Who will put a hole in his head? Is travelling by ship the safest way to reach Paris? Will he lock himself in his cabin or pretend that there is nothing to fear?

Journey into Fear published in 1940 is a fast-paced thriller. I couldn't help imagining myself in Graham's place wondering what would happen next. An exciting journey! I haven't seen the movie but would love to.

This is my post for Crime Fiction Alphabet J.

Friday Memes

This week I am posting from Small Island by Andrea Levy

Friday Book Beginnings is a weekly meme where we share the opening line of our current read. Book Beginnings is hosted by the Rose City Reader.

Prologue
Queenie
I thought I'd been to Africa. Told all my class I had.

One
Hortense
It brought it all back to me. Celia Langley. Celia Langley standing in front of me, her hands on her hips and her head in a cloud.

Friday 56 hosted @ Freda's Voice is a weekly Meme where we share an interesting snippet from page 56 of our current book.

There were sixty pupils in the first class I had to teach. Sixty children fidgeting like vermin behind rows of wooden desks.

Olympic Read-a-thon

I saw Ellie @ Musings of a Bookshop Girl participating in the Olympic Read-a-thon being hosted by Random House of Canada and runs through the Olympic Games, from Friday 27 July to Sunday 12 August.

I signed up for it too. I am planning to read 1000 pages. Let's see.

DAILY PROGRESS

Day 1, Friday: 202 pages
Day 2, Saturday:30 pages started The Women's Room by Marilyn French
Day 3, Sunday: 70 pages reading The Women's Room by Marilyn French
Day 4, Monday:50 Pages reading The Women's Room by Marilyn French
Day 5, Tuesday: 194 pages finished Romeo and Juliet Manga Shakespeare
Day 6, Wednesday: 27 pages When Red is Black by Qiu Xiaolong
Day 7, Thursday: 100 pages When Red is Black by Qiu Xiaolong
Day 8, Friday:100 pages When Red is Black by Qiu Xiaolong
Day 9, Saturday: 83 pages Completed When Red is Black by Qiu Xiaolong
Day 10, Sunday: 50 pages The Great Impersonation by Oppenhiem
Day 11, Monday: 50 pages of Rites of Passage
Day 12, Tuesday: 290 pages Completed The Great Impersonation by Oppenhiem
Day 5, Wednesday:20 Pages Hypothermia
Day 6, Thursday: 32 Pages Hypothermia
Day 7, Friday: 50 pages Slice of Murder
Day 8, Saturday: 30 pages Hypothermia
Day 9, Sunday: 100 pages of Hypothermia
Total Pages: 1478

PAGE TOTAL:

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

The Hobbit has been in my to-read shelf ever since I read The Lord of the Rings. I have never read anything as fascinating or visual as the Lord of the Rings. I can still picture Frodo climbing the stairs of the Morodor to destroy the ring.

The Hobbit is the story of adventure of reclaiming Dwarves treasure from Smaug, the Dragon. Thirtheen dwarves and wise wizard Gandalf request Bilbo Baggins to join them in their adventure. Reluctantly Bilbo agrees and find himself in the centre of a great adventure. The Dwarves easily push off Bilbo to scout and look out for them. They get into trouble and Bilbo has to plan to rescue them.

On their way they meet many dangers and fascinating creatures. Trolls, Goblins, Wrags, Eagles are just a few among them. Some dangerous vicious creatures and some helpful creatures make their journey worth a tale for many years. In the beginning, the dwarves don't much care about Bilbo's talents, but later do realise his worth.

Depend upon the adventurers to do the one thing that is forbidden to be done. What a fascinating journey they have! I liked the lights in the forests bit reminiscent of the Will'o' wisp. Quite a uncomplicated straightforward book when compared to the complex The Lord of the Rings. A great adventure, a fitting prequel to the Lord of the Rings.

High Summer Readathon -Wrap Up

I finished two books, but I was hoping to read more. I made a very slow progress with The Tiger's Wife, I don't think it is the kind of book I should have picked for a Readathon. Small Island in comparison was a fast read, I made a good progress with it. Reading Dracula before going to bed is giving me nightmares. The Saint Zita's Society is a terrific read. Here are the details

The Marais Assassin by Claude (Finished) 89 pages
The Saint Zita's Society by Ruth Rendell (Finished)(288)
Dracula by Bram Stoker(303/479) 190pages
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht (85/336)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (99/438)
Total pages read 751

I participated in both the mini-challenges. It was fun participating in the Readathon. Thanks Michelle for hosting it.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Saint Zita Society by Ruth Rendell

The Saint Zita Society is Ruth Rendell's latest standalone released in July 2012. Ruth Rendell first introduces her characters. There is Dex, who sees evil spirits and get messages on his mobile from Peach- his God, Montserrat, the Still family au pair, who makes a point of knowing everything, who may even blackmail, Thea, who helps everybody not because she wants to but because cannot say no, Preston Still who is away all the time, Lucy Still who meets her lovers clandestine at home, Rabia, who lost her children and loves little Thomas Still as her own, Henry, Lord Studley's driver having an affair with both Lady Studley and Miss. Studley and a whole lot others. Next she establishes some facts, the banister is loose, Mrs. Grieves has a good view of Number 7, Dex wants to destroy evil spirits, Montserrat has a new boyfriend, Thea would date anybody as long as he is not ugly or gross. Then she sets the ball rolling, you do know how the ball will roll, or do you? We know something is going to happen, what will it be?

I was little disappointed with her last book The Vault because of rehashing her earlier story from A Sight for sore Eyes. The Vault wasn't bad, actually, it was quite good, she adds new story to the old one and brings in her trademark twists but it is still her old story. But Saint Zita Society is trademark Rendell. I like the way her stories deal with real situations, real characters and real issues. Her crime does not takes place in an isolated place, but in real society.
Wexford books among various things deal with racism and problems in a multi-cultural society. Many of her standalone stories deal with the issue of mental-illness, lonliness, isolation and security. This is a standalone and deals with these issues and also the differences between the Upper-Class and Lower-Class.

An exciting mystery that I enjoyed every word of it. I hope Peach will send me a message- ten free calls. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is a weekly meme hosted by Alyce at At Home with Books.

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

I see Bev @ My Reader's Block participating regularly in this Meme. Thought I would participate too. This is my first post for the Meme.
I am posting Photos of ruins of Tynemouth Priory taken during March 2007.

Friday Memes on Saturday

This week I am posting from The Saint Zita Society by Ruth Rendell

Friday Book Beginnings is a weekly meme where we share the opening line of our current read. Book Beginnings is hosted by the Rose City Reader.

Someone had told Dex that the Queen lived in Victoria. So did he, but she had a palace and he had one room in a street off Warwick Way.

Friday 56 hosted @ Freda's Voice is a weekly Meme where we share an interesting snippet from page 56 of our current book.

Montserrat asked her if she knew where the Yellow Pages were.

'No one uses phone directories any more,' said Lucy. 'This is the age of the cellphone or hadn't you noticed?'

High Summer Readathon Mini-Challenges

Nova at My Seryniti is hosting a Page 99 Test challenge.

I picked up The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht. Page 99 illustrates the kind of book it will be descriptive lyrical with tales from past. It does hold my attention. I want to know about Mother Vera. I would definitely pick it up to read.

Her hands, crossed in front of her, are the hands of a laborer; her expression seems to indicate that the photographer owes her money.

And

The view from the garden opened out onto green mountains above town, and the valley through which a bright, broad river still widens and then contracts around a bend with a red-steepled church.


Laura @ Book Snob is hosting a mini-challenge for participants of High Summer Readathon. To participate :Take one aspect of your book and show an illustration/picture/photo for it. Then explain it briefly so we know the connection to the book you are reading.

I am reading Bram Stoker's Dracula and part of the action takes place in Whitby.

Right over the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which was sacked by the Danes, and which is the scene of part of "Marmion," where the girl was built up in the wall. It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits. There is a legend that a white lady is seen in one of the windows.

Then as the cloud passed I could see the ruins of the abbey coming into view, and as the edge of a narrow band of light as sharp as a sword-cut moved along, the church and churchyard became gradually visible.

I am posting a photo of Tynemouth Priory ruins (taken in March 2007) which captures the essence instead of Whitby Abbey only because I visited Tynemouth and when I am reading the Dracula my mind pictures this place.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Dangerous Past by A F Ebbers


Suspense / Thriller
Title: Dangerous Past
Author: A.F. Ebbers
Date Published: 9/11/12 - ebook version

Synopsis:
Airline Captain Frank Braden and his wife Nicole are suddenly stalked by professional assassins who have a deadline to make their deaths look like an accident or a suicide. And the couple doesn't know why they are being targeted. They don't realize that they stand in the way of a deadly conspiracy. Little by little they are pulled into a dangerous web of intrigue by a murderous criminal network that deceptvely offers the pilot his wife's life if he will concede to their demands. This is a thriller that rocks the highest levels of Washington.

My Take

How desperate somebody should be to plant a bomb in an aircraft filled with passengers just to get one person out of the way? How lucky one should be not just to escape alive from this attack but other repeated attacks? Who wants Airline Captain Frank Braden out of the way before a particular day? What happens on that particular day that Braden should be dead before that? Or Braden really just suicidal as FBI believes him to be? We know there is a Dangerous Past and ghosts from the past are crying for blood.

So what really happened in the past? Most of the story is narrated in third person except for the Vietnam story. Braden narrates part of the Vietnam story to his wife Nicole. Another part of the Vietnam story is narrated by another important player from past. As the Vietnam part is narrated in first person, I was expecting immediacy, a sense of involvement and more action than it presented.

Mostly you know what to expect but Ebbers manages to throw a surprise now and then. I like the surprise in the climax. Initial Series of attempts on Braden and the last part where Braden tries to save his wife are action-packed and visual like watching a movie.


Author Bio
A. F. Ebbers, a journalism graduate of Ohio University was a reporter/writer for major newspapers, ad agencies, and in public relations for Cessna Aircraft Company. He also graduated from Army Flight School and flew for the Ohio and Kansas Army National Guards. Later he was called to active duty and served two flying tours in Vietnam. After retirement from the military, he flew for corporations and for regional airlines. A dual rated ATP pilot, he has written for numerous national magazines, Sunday supplements and trade and travel magazines and has written screenplays and short stories. Today he lives with his wife in the Austin, Texas area and, when not writing, enjoys tennis, flying and piano. Dangerous Past is his debut novel.

About writing. I write realistically about what I have experienced. Most of the places in this novel are real because I’ve been there: from Vietnam to Europe to Asia to Washington to Texas and most places in-between. I create characters using a combination of real and imaginary personalities. My motto for writing fiction is always write what you know.

Author Website

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I is for I Could Murder her and Izner

This is my post for Crime Fiction Alphabet - the letter I.

I am posting I could Murder Her by E C R Lorac and Claude Izner's The Marais Assassin.

I could Murder Her by E C R Lorac

A domineering woman, ruining the lives of her children, a woman whom everybody in the family feels 'I could Murder her' is dead. Mrs. Farrington has died from an insulin overdose. Did the old doctor give a wrong dose? The Doctor dies in an accident and the new doctor refuses to sign the death certificate. Did one of her family give her an overdose? There are indications to show that Mrs. Farrington was murdered.

Who murdered her? There are plenty of motives and all her family wants her dead. Inspector MacDonald is a no-frills, non-eccentric, sympathetic detective who solves the case and ties up all the loose ends giving us an enjoyable read. Read my views here.

The Marais Assassin by Claude Izner

Claude Izner is the pseudonym of two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefèvre both booksellers on the banks of the Seine in Paris. Victor Legris is a bookseller detective, in this fourth outing, he is working on a case too close to home. Victor's associate Kenji Mori's house is burgled and a not so expensive Goblet is lost. There seems to be nothing important about the Goblet, not ancient, not expensive just some emotional value. Who stole the goblet and why? The Goblet keeps changing hands. There are a spate of murders, some religious fanatic is killing of people for the Goblet. Read my views here. .

I Could Murder Her by E C R Lorac

A strange title isn't it? A domineering woman, ruining the lives of her children, a woman whom everybody in the family feels 'I could Murder her' is dead. Mrs. Farrington has died from an insulin overdose. Did the old doctor give a wrong dose? The Doctor dies in an accident and the new doctor refuses to sign the death certificate. Did one of her family give her an overdose? There are indications to show that Mrs. Farrington was murdered.

Who murdered her? There are plenty of motives and all her family wants her dead. There is the husband Colonel Farrington, Madge his daughter from an earlier marriage, Tony Strange, Mrs Farrington's son from an earlier marriage, Anne Strange, Tony's wife, Mrs. Farrington's daughter Joyce and her husband Philip and the twins, Paula and Peter. They all live together in the same house, under the eye of Mrs. Farrington who controls the purse strings. And by any chance, is it the case of an outsider? What does the open window and lost diamonds mean?

Inspector MacDonald is a no-frills, non-eccentric, sympathetic detective who solves the case and ties up all the loose ends giving us an enjoyable read. Lorac slowly builds up suspense and you anticipate that something would happen and something does happen, not something I was expecting. You can guess who the killer is, though there are some red herrings. I liked Inspector MacDonald better than Tey's Alan Grant, though they both represent the same kind of detective. I do think Grant is an eccentric though he is meant to be non-eccentric. But that is for another post.

I could murder her published in 1951 is the American title, the British title is Murder of a Martinet. I borrowed it from the Openlibrary

The Marais Assassin by Claude Izner

Bookseller detective in 1890s Paris, a Sherlock Holmes contemporary, sounds interesting? Victor Legris is the bookseller detective, in this fourth outing, he is working on a case too close to home. Victor's business partner Kenji Mori's house is burgled and a not so expensive Goblet is lost. There seems to be nothing important about the Goblet, not ancient, not expensive just some emotional value. Who stole the goblet and why? The Goblet keeps changing hands. There are a spate of murders, some religious fanatic is killing of people for the Goblet.

The pool of suspects is very small, but Izner does a good job keeping our mind away from them and focusing on the Goblet's journey. Victor, his associate Kenji Mori and their assistant Joseph are all involved in the solving the case.

I had some problem in the beginning in understanding the dynamics of relationship between the people introduced in the first few pages. Maybe because it is the fourth book in the series and the first book I am reading. Once I understood who is who, it's smooth sailing. There are a wide array of interesting characters from different backgrounds. There is some romance - Joseph and Iris, Mori's daughter, Victor and Tasha, and Kenji and Eudoxie. And some tension too. Will Kenji give his blessings to Joseph and Iris? Who is Tasha meeting in the sly? Can Eudoxie expect some love and warmth from Kenji? Since the detectives are booksellers, there is lot of reference to books, but mostly French books.

Claude Izner is the pseudonym of two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefèvre both booksellers on the banks of the Seine in Paris, says Wikipedia.

My post for Paris in July and Gaslight Reading Challenge, and counts towards various challenges.

Monday, 16 July 2012

High Summer Read-A-Thon -Starting line

I am signing up for the High Summer Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading blog. I am planning to read the following.

The Saint Zita Society by Ruth Rendell
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke

Finish the following books I have already started
The Marais Assassin by Claude Izner (222/311)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (95/817)
Dracula by Bram Stoker(113/479) ebook

Update on 22 Morning
The Marais Assassin (Finished) 89 pages
The Saint Zita's Society (Finished)(288)
Dracula by Bram Stoker(250/479) 137pages
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht (85/336)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (99/438)
Total pages read 698

I may be able to read some more today and tonight. Let's see!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Paris in July

Karen from BookBath and Tamara from Thyme for Tea are co-hosting the 3rd Paris in July event where the participants celebrate all thing French: Literature, Visual Arts, Cuisine, Movies...or anything French Inspired. I am signing up for it. I am planning to read some books and post some of my pictures from my Paris tour.

Here are my posts

Night in Paris

The Marais Assassin by Claude Izner


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Holcroft Covenant by Robert Ludlum

I picked this book for the Birth Year Reading Challenge. I decided to look for New York Times Bestsellers for the Year 1978 and Holcroft Covenant was second in the list. I read the three books in the Bourne series namely, Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum almost a decade ago. Ludlum writes great edge of seat thrillers, his books are as usual better than the movies.

Noel Holcroft is the son a Nazi father and an American Mother. Unable to bear the atrocities committed by Nazis, Holcroft's mother leaves his Nazi father and moves back to her home land where she remarries and creates a new life. Thirty years after the war, Noel is forced to think about his roots and do penance for his father's actions. Noel's father repents for Nazi atrocities and during his last days creates a plan to make good for some of his wrongs.

Noel is asked to form the Geneva covenant with hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from Nazi funds during the last days of the Third Reich to do good for thousands affected by Holocaust. To do this Noel has to get in touch with the first child of two other Nazis. How to find somebody who does not want to be found? Noel cannot withdraw from this mission, the covenant creators would kill him and his family. Noel gets a mysterious message from British Secret Service. All is not as it appears. Noel is an amateur but he is thrown into the games of professionals. He has to save himself and fulfil the mission. What is the truth behind the covenant? Will Noel find other members of the covenant? Will he form the covenant and do the penance?

The action takes place all over the world from Paris to Buenos Aires to Berlin to Geneva, UK and US. I like the "lessons" Noel learns to investigate and survive. It is an edge of seat action thriller with events following one after another, no time to really pause and think. Half-way through we realise that Geneva Covenant is not what it appears to be, but Noel doesn't know. There is a group trying to stop Noel start the covenant at all costs and another that wouldn't let him think of anything else and there is Tinamou, the assassin and the Sonnerkinder and of course the Fourth Reich. So many conspiracies and twists that after a point I lost track.

At 547 pages, The Holcroft Covenant is an enjoyable read with twists and turns. It count towards various challenges and my post for Crime Fiction Alphabet H.

Orange July 2012

Orange July 2012 is a event that celebrates Orange Prize for Fiction. All one has to do is to read at least one book that has won or nominated for Orange Prize. I saw Neer doing it, so jumped in too.

I read
Small Island by Andrea Levy



Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Top Ten Crime Reads

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise is collecting a list of our ten favorite crime reads so far in 2012. Here is mine


1.Escape the Night by Mignon G. Eberhart (1944)
2. The Retribution by Val McDermid (2011)
3. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (2011)
4. The Burning Court by John Dickson Carr(1937)
5. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton(2009)
6. V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton (2011)
7. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain(1943)
8. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo (2011)
9. Journey Into Fear by Eric Ambler(1940)
10. The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell (2009)
11. Zone Defence by Petros Markaris (2006)

Quarterly Update

Books Read

1. Clockwise (Clockwise, #1) by Elle Strauss
2. The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics by Stanislas Dehaene
3. A Question of Belief (Commissario Brunetti #19) by Donna Leon
4. Killing Orders (V.I. Warshawski, #3) by Sara Paretsky
5. Zone Defence by Petros Markaris
6. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
7. The Silent House by Fergus Hume
8. A Case To Answer by Margaret Yorke
9. The Yellow Snake by Edgar Wallace
10. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
11. Journey Into Fear by Eric Ambler
12. An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson
13. The Holcroft Covenant by Robert Ludlum
14. The Charing Cross Mystery by J.S. Fletcher
15. Shadows Over Paradise by Anne K.Edwards
16. First Love by Ivan Turgenev (novelette)
17. Candide by Voltaire
18. Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut
19. Second Form at St. Clare's (St. Clare's, #4) by Enid Blyton
20. The Scarlet Letters by Ellery Queen
21. Tom Brown's Body by Gladys Mitchell
22. A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow
23. I Am the Cat by Rosemary Kutak
24.Escape the Night by Mignon G. Eberhart
25. The Witches by Roald Dahl
26. The Tragedy of Z by Ellery Queen
27. Leave The Grave Green (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #3) by Deborah Crombie

Total Books Read: 26 (I am counting First Love and Candide as one book)
Total Ebooks: 13
Library Books: 11
Books Reviewed: 4
New Authors to me: 24
Mystery/Crime Fiction Read: 18
British Books: 9
Classics: 4
Young Adult/Children: 3
Non-Fiction- 1

Challenges Update

I went crazy and signed up in 36 reading Challenges. It is time to see how I fared in this journey. So here is the list.

Reading Challenges
1.Reading Challenge Addict(15/36)
2.Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge(14/16)
London Theme(6/8)
Cherchez l'Homme(8/8)
3.2012 E-Book Challenge(13/10)- Complete
4. Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012(24/12)-Complete
5.A-Z Challenge 2012(24/26) (Titles)
6.2012 Read Your Own Books Reading Challenge(1/5)
7.Back To The Classics Challenge 2012(5/9)
8.Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2012(6/6)-Complete
9.Off The Shelf 2012(1/5)
10.What's in a Name challenge 5(5/6)
11.Death by Gaslight Reading Challenge(5/10)
12.2012 Read 52 books in 52 Weeks(52/52)-Complete
13.Mixing It Up Challenge 2012(8/4)-Complete
14.Merely Mystery Reading Challenge 2012(11/12)
15.British Book Challenge 2012(12/12)-Complete
16.Getting Lost in a Comfortable Book(4/5)
17.2012 Bucket List Book Reading Challenge(4/4)- Complete
18.2012 E-Book Reading Challenge(13/10)-Complete
19. Free Reads 2012(14/15)
20. Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012(12/12)-Complete
21. Antonym Reading Challenge (6/6)-Complete
22. New Authors Reading Challenge (16/15)-Complete
23. 2012 A-Z Mystery Author Challenge(23/26)
24.Classics Challenge(5/7)
25. 2012 Color Coded Challenge(6/9)
26.Chunkster Challenge(3/4)
27.European Reading Challenge(11/5)-Complete
28.A to Z Reading Challenge( Authors)(23/26)
29.Eclectic Reader Challenge(11/12)
30.Criminal Plots II Challenge(6/6)-Complete
31. Birth Year Reading Challenge.(1/4)
32. Books Published in the First Years of My Life.(1/3)
33. Borrowed Book Challenge 2012.(10/10)-Complete
34. Support your Local Library 2012(26/24)-Complete
35. What an Animal (3/6)
36. Victorian Celebration 2012(2/4)


Considering that I have completed 15 challenges (Reviews are due), and many challenges are over-lapping, I suppose I am doing fine and I think I will be able to do it.