Historical Mystery Lovers discussion

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Books & Reading > Non-historical mystery reads of 2015

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message 1: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
What are you reading in other genres? Tell us about it.


message 2: by Barry (new)

Barry (barryleon) | 14 comments The authors I read, in addition to those already mentioned, include Mo Hayder, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, David Ellis, Lee Child (yeah, yeah, I know), David Ignatious, John Sandford, James Lee Burke, John Connolly, Ian Rankin, Robert Galbraith (aka JKRowling), C. J. Box, Arturo Perez-Reverte', Robert Crais, Chelsea Cain, Gillian Flynn, Peter Robinson and Jussi Adler-Olsen. There are simply too many to list them all.

Most of the above-mentioned do not write in an historical context but almost all do write mysteries of one sort of another. Some are brilliant, some clever and all are entertaining. I am happy to discuss any author.


message 3: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
I recently read The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith and enjoyed the traditional who-dun-it feel to the story. What did you think of it, Barry?


message 4: by Barry (new)

Barry (barryleon) | 14 comments I was very surprised to have loved it. The characters were very interesting, the plot was well designed and fairly complicated and had a nice twist. I expected the book to be simplistic as she had previously written for children but that was certainly not the case. I will, assuming that I live long enough, read more of her work. There are so many books on my to read list that I cannot possibly get through all of them and yet, like most of us, I continue to add more.


message 5: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
Galbraith aka Rowling is an amazing writer. Even though the Harry Potter books are ostensibly for children, there is such depth to the stories and there is definitely a more adult layer to them.

It is truly incredible how she manages to make every character, event and item so pivotal to the story by the end. No detail is left hanging.


message 6: by Barry (new)

Barry (barryleon) | 14 comments I will read The Silkworm in the next few months.


message 7: by Chris (last edited Jan 30, 2015 09:33AM) (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments I'm with Barry on this - too many to list. I really liked The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm. I thought the Cormoran Strike character was fascinating!


message 8: by Barry (new)

Barry (barryleon) | 14 comments Yes, Chris, I completely agree. When I read a new author, it seems that I look for a truly interesting character and C. Strike is anything but run of the mill - Since he is missing part of a leg, perhaps I should have said, "hop of the mill."


message 9: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Hah! It was interesting to watch him cope, particularly in the second book. I liked the way she treated the disability. You don't see much of that.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 462 comments Recently I've been reading Louise Penny (straight mystery), and some science (The Sixth Extinction and Masters of the Planet).

I'm also rereading an old favorite (To Serve Them All My Days), and working on an Elizabeth George mystery (so far, not enough Havers).


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Hello, again!

I just introduced myself in the historical mysteries post, so I'll skip all that here and just launch into other favorite authors. I'd have to say my all time favorite authors are Dickens and Trollope, followed closely by Jane Austen. For contemporary writers, I really enjoy Kate Morton, Phillip Rock, Helen Simonson (Major Pettigrew's Last Stand), Bernard Cornwell, John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces, and some Ken Follett. I just finished Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen. I thought it was well written, but a bit slow. Last year I also tried Outlander (hated it!) and plowed through the Goldfinch (not a fan). I haven't read J.K Rowling's adult stuff, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter series, I thought the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke was much better written.

Thanks!


message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Oh! Bernard Cornwell, he's on my all-time favorite list. Has he written any mysteries that anyone knows of?


message 13: by Mark (new)

Mark | 23 comments Chris wrote: "Oh! Bernard Cornwell, he's on my all-time favorite list. Has he written any mysteries that anyone knows of?"

Closest is the Gallows Thief in mysteries in my opinion.


message 14: by happy (new)

happy (happyone) | 147 comments I think his sailing books could be considered mysteries

https://www.goodreads.com/series/1135...


message 15: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Oh thank you Happy! I haven't seen the "Thrillers" series by Cornwell.

Thank you, too, Mark. I just downloaded Gallows Thief the other day and am looking forward to reading it.


message 16: by Rlsalvati (new)

Rlsalvati | 11 comments I'm plowing through Bring Up the Bodies but I have to be in the right mood to handle the subject matter and the narrative style. In nonfiction, I recently finished Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. One of my 2015 goals is to finish the books that are languishing on my Currently Reading shelf, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation is one the library demanded I return before I could complete it.

My favorite author is Neal Stephenson, I'm itching to read Seveneves (coming out in May). I'm also a big Neil Gaiman fan.


message 17: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
Rlsalvati wrote: "My favorite author is Neal Stephenson, I'm itching to read Seveneves (coming out in May). I'm also a big Neil Gaiman fan. "

I haven't read in Neil Gaiman but I'll be reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman this month for a challenge.


message 18: by Shomeret (last edited Feb 01, 2015 05:39AM) (new)

Shomeret | 147 comments The Graveyard Bookis wonderful! I also recommend American Gods.

In addition to mysteries, I read a great deal of fantasy. My favorite author is Charles De Lint. He is also my most read author according to GR. I am about to start a novella by him that was recently published on Kindle called Where Desert Spirits Crowd the Night. It's about a character from his Newford series.


message 19: by D.G. (last edited Feb 01, 2015 05:39AM) (new)

D.G. Barry wrote: "I expected the book to be simplistic as she had previously written for children but that was certainly not the case. "

Just by reading this sentence I can tell you haven't read the Harry Potter books. :) They are anything but simplistic. Yes, books 1-3 are adventure for tweens but books 4-7 are very adult books. (I read the series just a few years ago so I didn't became a convert until way after the series was done.) Obviously the fantasy theme is not for everybody but she's a tremendous writter and you can see it in HP.


message 20: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
D.G. wrote: "Barry wrote: "I expected the book to be simplistic as she had previously written for children but that was certainly not the case. "

Just by reading this sentence I can tell you haven't read the H..."


I've read numerous books ostensibly written for children and very rarely would I describe them as simplistic. I think that children's book authors successfully convey many important themes and messages in seemingly innocuous, but actually very profound works.

Harry Potter is a prime example of this. Book #3 (my favorite) already deals with darker themes and issues and is decidedly the turning point where the series became for adults. Even books #1 and #2 focus on adult themes amongst the gross humor.


message 21: by Rlsalvati (new)

Rlsalvati | 11 comments Harry Potter is a prime example of this. Book #3 (my favorite) already deals with darker themes and issues and is decidedly the turning point where the series became for adults. Even books #1 and #2 focus on adult themes amongst the gross humor.

My 10 year-old is reading book 5 now, and I have very mixed feelings about his being this far in the series at his age. I read them originally with my stepson, as they were published, and Harry aged with my stepson. I loved the way the presentation of the themes and issues matured as the series progressed, and as the original audience aged.

I haven't read Rowling/Galbraith's adult series, but I keep hearing good things.


message 22: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
Rlsalvati wrote: "My 10 year-old is reading book 5 now,"

Yes, when the books first came out, Harry aged along with the readers. Now that the books are all available younger readers have access to them and there are some pretty dark and scary scenes in book #5.


message 23: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Barry wrote: "I was very surprised to have loved it. The characters were very interesting, the plot was well designed and fairly complicated and had a nice twist. I expected the book to be simplistic as she had ..."

Thanks for the recommendation!


message 24: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I understand your reticence about letting your 10-year old read the last few books in the series. They were tough even for me, LOL! (And I was in mid 30s when I read them.)

The Cormoran Strike series is great. Here's my review of the first book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... (no spoilers)


message 25: by Rlsalvati (new)

Rlsalvati | 11 comments Recently finished Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman. Very good, although I find short stories frustrating. I just get into the story and IT'S OVER! There is a Shadow story at the end for those of us who can't get enough American Gods


message 26: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 147 comments I don't normally read horror, but I read Odd Thomasbecause I don't consider ghosts inherently horrifying. I fell in love with Odd and now the series is coming to an end with Saint Odd. I'm sad to see that happen, but I wouldn't miss it. So that's my current read.


message 27: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1056 comments I just listened to The Crossing Places, the first in a current day mystery series and will be starting the second one, The Janus Stone soon. The protagonist is a middle-aged female archaeologist and the setting is the edge of a marsh in Britain. Quite atmospheric.


message 28: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
Finished listening to Homicide in Hardcover (A Bibliophile Mystery, #1) by Kate Carlisle - Cute cozy mystery. There weren't enough clues to figure out the culprit though.


message 29: by Meghan (last edited Mar 01, 2015 05:18PM) (new)

Meghan | 257 comments Just finished Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky and absolutely loved it. I need to ration my Némirovsky as she has a limited canon.

Currently working on The House at Riverton by Kate Morton which is very Downton Abbey-esque but was written back in 2006.


message 30: by Rlsalvati (new)

Rlsalvati | 11 comments Reading Fifth Business for my book club. Enjoying it enough that I will probably read the second and third volumes of the trilogy.


message 31: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1632 comments Mod
I'm reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King - pretty good so far.


message 32: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Meghan wrote: "Just finished Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky and absolutely loved it. I need to ration my Némirovsky as she has a limited canon.

Currently working on [bookcover:The House at Riverton|1278752..."


I agree!


message 33: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments I just finished The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I confess I picked this book up because of a new (my first!) book club I joined. This is not my usual pick, so I went into it without a lot of expectation. Surprisingly, however, I liked it. I thought it was well written, the tale of two women bound by the society they live in - one the daughter of a plantation owner, the other, of course, a slave. I wanted to keep reading and enjoyed the story, but I have to say that I don't generally like books in which not a lot of good things happen. Call me an escapist! I suppose the ending could be considered a happy one...sort of, but is the pay off after all the suffering of the whole book worth it? For me, no, but then, that's just the type of reader I am.


message 34: by Dorie (new)

Dorie (dorieann) | 56 comments I'm currently in the middle of the newest book in the Samuel Craddock mystery series by Terry Shames, A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge: A Samuel Craddock Mystery. I love mysteries set in small towns, and I also love stories featuring older protagonists. This series features both, so I'm in heaven.


message 35: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Meghan wrote: "Just finished Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky and absolutely loved it. I need to ration my Némirovsky as she has a limited canon.

Currently working on [bookcover:The House at Riverton|1278752..."

Hi, Meghan! The House at Riverton was my favorite of all Kate Morton's books!


message 36: by Meghan (last edited Apr 16, 2015 07:06PM) (new)

Meghan | 257 comments Michelle wrote: Hi, Meghan! The House at Riverton was my favorite of all Kate Morton's books!

It's the only one of hers I've read so far but it is fantastic.

Recent non-mysteries I've enjoyed are The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes and Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian , both of which were amazing.


message 37: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Hi, all! In the non-historical mystery vein, I've recently read The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd . I confess I picked this book up because of a new (my first!) book club I joined. This is not my usual pick, so I went into it without a lot of expectation. Surprisingly, however, I liked it. I thought it was well written, the tale of two women bound by the society they live in - one the daughter of a plantation owner, the other, of course, a slave. I wanted to keep reading and enjoyed the story, but I have to say that I don't generally like books in which not a lot of good things happen. Call me an escapist! I suppose the ending could be considered a happy one...sort of, but is the pay off after all the suffering of the whole book worth it? For me, no, but then, that's just the type of reader I am.

Also read The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout for a book club, too. While Strout has some nice bits of description and a well-turned phrase here and there, simply putting all of these together and calling it a novel doesn't work. This book is neither plot or character driven; it simply meanders around with no real purpose except, I suppose, to eventually reveal the childhood secret between the brothers, which isn't too hard to guess. None of the characters appealed to me. Bob was the closest to an interesting character, but his complete support and forgiveness of Jim at the end was just a bit too angelic to be real. And while I'm at it, I'll just say that Zack's throwing of a pig's head into a mosque to impress (?) his estranged father living in Sweden is just too out of character for this kid. Not an exciting read.


message 38: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 691 comments If you've been meaning to try the Lord Peter Wimsey books by Dorothy Sayers, the first three books are one sale for only $1.99. I posted the links on the Deal & Freebies thread. I haven't tried them myself but I'm taking advantage of the low price.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 462 comments That is an excellent series.


message 40: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Hi, all! Please check out my latest post in the "self-promotion" folder! www.goodreads.com/topic/group_folder/...

Exciting! Thanks!


message 41: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen (eab2012) | 249 comments I've got lots of books going right now. I'm basically trying to do anything I can to avoid packing. In non-mysteries, I'm reading Night of Sorrows and Arbella: England's Lost Queen


message 42: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 691 comments I've been reading The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1) by Bernard Cornwell in anticipation of the premiere of the new show on BBC America. I'm one chapter away from finishing the book and just discovered that the first season will apparently cover the first two books in the series. I don't think I can get the second book read by this weekend. Anyway, here's a promo for the show for anyone who is interested. It's about how England almost never was, having almost fallen entirely to the Danes during the time of King Alfred (later called Alfred the Great) and his dream of a united country. Historical events are told through the eyes of Uhtred, a fictional character.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa9u_...


message 43: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 691 comments I finished The Last Kingdom and will be moving on to book two, The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2) by Bernard Cornwell .


message 44: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1056 comments I just finished the latest Kubu mystery A Death in the Family by Michael Stanley (actually two people). The series is set in Botswana, current day, and a lot less cozy than #1 Ladies series by McCall Smith. I enjoy the setting in both series.


message 45: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 691 comments I finished The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2) by Bernard Cornwell and Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3) by Bernard Cornwell then decided to take a break and read some science fiction. I read Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1) by James S.A. Corey and am now reading the second book in that series, Caliban's War (Expanse, #2) by James S.A. Corey .


message 46: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 257 comments You've convinced me to check out The Last Kingdom!


message 47: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Veronica wrote: "I finished The Last Kingdom and will be moving on to book two, The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2) by Bernard Cornwell."

Loved this series!


message 48: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen (eab2012) | 249 comments Uhtred is tied for first place on my list of literary man candy.


message 50: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code, which was very good, and Embers, which was strange."

I bought The Violinist's Thumb for my husband last year, but neither of us have tried it. Will move it up on the stack now! Thanks!


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