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Monthly "Reads" > october 2011 - sandi

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Sandi (sandin954) | 538 comments Had some really good reads this month and others that were just so so.

Here are my October reads:

Top Reads

The Detective Inspector Huss  Translated from the Swedish by Steve Murray by Helene TurstenThe Detective Inspector Huss: Translated from the Swedish by Steve Murray
Helene Tursten
An excellent police procedural set in Sweden featuring a very realistic female inspector. I really enjoyed the interplay between the different members of the police force and the plot was entirely engrossing.

The Fools in Town Are on Our Side by Ross ThomasThe Fools in Town Are on Our Side
Ross Thomas
The author effortlessly mixes espionage, small town corruption, and war time Shanghai into a highly readable crime novel.

The Hindenburg Murders (Disaster Series, #2) by Max Allan CollinsThe Hindenburg Murders
Max Allan Collins
I found this audio very entertaining. Using Leslie Charteris as the reluctant detective on the final voyage of the Hindenburg was inspired and the plot seemed entirely too possible. The narration was done by Jeff Woodman who performed all the different accents flawlessly.

Resolution  A Novel of Crime (Garnethill, #3) by Denise MinaResolution: A Novel of Crime
Denise Mina
An excellent conclusion to the Garnethill trilogy. Some of the best writing I have come across in crime fiction. The plots were believable, the characters almost too real, and the Glasgow setting endlessly fascinating.

Miernik Dossier by Charles McCarryMiernik Dossier
Charles McCarry
A very good espionage novel written in the early 1970's. The story is told through various agent reports, transcripts, journal entries, etc. and when I saw the structure of the book I was a bit hesitant but the plot unfolded smoothly and each character was fully realized.

Good Reads

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) by Mira GrantFeed
Mira Grant
For the most part, an entertaining mix of zombies, journalism, and politics. Some of the message parts of the novel did get a bit heavy-handed and the tech seemed dated but the plot clipped along at a fairly brisk pace and I was never bored while listening. The narration was done by Paula Christensen and Jesse Bernstein who, I thought, did pretty good jobs.

Reckless Endangerment  How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen MorgensonReckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon
Gretchen Morgenson
While not as good as The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine this was a pretty decent look at how Wall Street and Washington wrecked the economy with a special focus on Fannie Mae's role in the whole mess. Too many anonymous sources though.

Crimes in Southern Indiana  Stories by Frank BillCrimes in Southern Indiana: Stories
Frank Bill
Collection of brutally violent short stories set, like the title states, in Southern Indiana. I preferred the stories that were a bit less violent and while the author's writing style was a bit overdone for my tastes I will look for his first novel.

Instruments of Darkness  A Novel by Imogen RobertsonInstruments of Darkness: A Novel
Imogen Robertson
A very enjoyable forensic type historical mystery set in England during the Georgian era. The plot runs along two parallel paths, one in London during the Gordon riots and the other in the countryside of West Sussex, with flashbacks to the Revolutionary War so there was a lot going on but it was all handled nicely by the narrator of the audio Wanda McCaddon though the scene shifts were rather abrupt at times.

Bad Boy (Inspector Banks, #19) by Peter RobinsonBad Boy
Peter Robinson
This series gets back on track with this entry. While not up there with the best in series it was much better than the previous book. I really enjoyed seeing Inspector Banks go on a vacation and clear his head a bit before jumping right back into the fire.

OK Reads

The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam (Good Thief's Guide, #1) by Chris EwanThe Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam
Chris Ewan
One of those books that I would have not finished if I had actually been reading it instead of listening to the audio. The premise of a mystery writer who moonlights as a burglar sounded great but the characters were kind of flat and the plot was not all that engaging. The narration by Simon Vance was the highlight of the whole enterprise.

Dixieland Delight  A Football Season on the Road in the Southeastern Conference by Clay TravisDixieland Delight: A Football Season on the Road in the Southeastern Conference
Clay Travis
The author, an internet sports columnist, chronicles his adventures attending a football game at each of the SEC conference schools during the 2006 season. Learning about each stadium and the various traditions of each school was interesting but the writing was definitely targeted to a twenty-something male audience which became a bit tedious at times.

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club  True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life by Laurie NotaroThe Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life
Laurie Notaro
Collection of the author's newspaper columns which was touted as an amusing, funny listen. I almost quit after the first disc but it did get better and the narration by Hilary Huber was very good.


Marcy | 862 comments Great month, Sandi! The Fools in Town Are on Our side sounds very interesting. I also enjoy Laurie Notaro, but only some of the time. For me, the humor is sort of hit and miss.


Melodie (MelodieCO) | 2219 comments I really liked THE HINDENBURG MURDERS, too, when I read it. Have you read any of Max' other "disaster" mysteries? I really liked THE TITANIC MURDERS and THE PEARL HARBOR MURDERS. It's interesting how he works other writers in there as the protagonists. THE LONDON BLITZ MURDERS features Dame Agatha, whose books I never really cared for, but I didn't mind her in this story.


Sandi (sandin954) | 538 comments Marcy wrote: "Great month, Sandi! The Fools in Town Are on Our side sounds very interesting. I also enjoy Laurie Notaro, but only some of the time. For me, the humor is sort of hit and miss."

Hit and Miss is a good description for Laurie Notaro and all of the misses seemed to be on the first disc. I just did not see the humor in the stories that featured drinking to excess.


Melodie wrote: "I really liked THE HINDENBURG MURDERS, too, when I read it. Have you read any of Max' other "disaster" mysteries? I really liked THE TITANIC MURDERS and THE PEARL HARBOR MURDERS. It's interesting how he works other writers in there as the protagonists. THE LONDON BLITZ MURDERS features Dame Agatha, whose books I never really cared for, but I didn't mind her in this story. "

I listened to The Titanic Murders and enjoyed it too. There was an interview with the author on the final disc and it was fun to hear how much research he put into both The Hindenburg and Leslie Charteris.


Ann (AnnRumsey) | 5999 comments Great month Sandi! Your description of the Denise Mina book makes it very tempting!
Sandi wrote: "Resolution: A Novel of Crime Denise Mina An excellent conclusion to the Garnethill trilogy. Some of the best writing I have come across in crime fiction. The plots were believable, the characters almost too real, and the Glasgow setting endlessly fascinating."


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