Winter Reads (and my Christmas reading 2020)

Daily reading is one of my favourite ways to pamper and get some self-preservation! Here’s a round-up of my November/December reads, plus my Christmas reading (lots of good ones which I’ll reread in December). I very rarely buy books, preferring to borrow them from our wonderful Danish local libraries (I have lots of library tours on this YouTube series https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxIYCyTLBED9Cl9A30CHOtlnmwQxk-CTy )! I use eReolenGlobal and Libby apps to find/read/listen to books, plus Goodreads to track what I’ve read.

“‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas” by Jacqueline Frost

“‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas” by Jacqueline Frost (number two in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series). I read the first book in this series “The Twelve Slays of Christmas” last summer and really enjoyed it. This was another good, light and fluffy, cozy Christmas mystery. I listened on audiobook and it was perfect for pottering around! My rating: four out of five.

“I am half-sick of shadows” by Alan Bradley

“I am half-sick of shadows” by Alan Bradley (number four in the “Flavia de Luce” series). Some of the other Flavia de Luce books have tended to drag a little but this was just the right length and had some nice Christmas touches. My rating: four out of five.

“Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop” by Otto Penzler

“Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop” by Otto Penzler. This is actually a collection of Christmas stories, specially written over the years for the Mysterious Bookshop in New York. Very dated short stories, most of them rather weird. My rating: two out of five.

“Rumpole at Christmas” by John Mortimer

“Rumpole at Christmas” by John Mortimer (number 16 of the Rumpole of the Bailey series). Having worked in the legal world myself and being very familiar with the old gallery of characters, these stories ever fail to make me laugh. A collection of very short stories, just right for a quick read before falling asleep, or with a cup of tea at lunchtime. My rating: four out of five.

“Murder under the Christmas Tree: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season”, edited by Cecily Gayford

“Murder under the Christmas Tree: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season”, edited by Cecily Gayford. This was a random collection I found online. There was a good mix of classic authors (dead and alive!) and I enjoyed reading my first ever Ian Rankin story (the “Inspector Rebus” stories are set in my hometown, Edinburgh, Scotland). My rating: three out of five.

“Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” by Agatha Christie

“Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” by Agatha Christie (number 20 in the Hercule Poirot series). An evergreen which I return to almost every year. My rating: four out of five.

“Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales from the Queen of Mystery” by Agatha Christie

“Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales from the Queen of Mystery” by Agatha Christie. This was a collection of short stories, many of which I hadn’t come across before. All winter themed – some mysteries and some crimes. I listened on audiobook, the narration was good, and they were a perfect accompaniement for wrapping gifts and decorating for Christmas. Will no doubt return to them again. My rating: four out of five.

“Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding” by Rhys Bowen

“Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding” by Rhys Bowen (number 12 in the Royal Spyness series). An easy read – like all the others in the series – very light and fluffy. Just right for when your powers of concentration are low. My rating: three out of five.

“The Accordionist” by Fred Vargas

“The Accordionist” by Fred Vargas (number 3 in the series, “Les Evangélistes“). This was a book I picked up at the library because of a) it’s cover and b) the Paris setting. A new author for me, and I really enjoyed her slightly quirky take on a French murder mystery. It was good to be “back” in Paris! Will probably read more in the series. My rating: three out of five.

And if you’re looking for more book suggestions and reviews, my dear friend Sue (formerly a book seller, now a librarian) has a great book blog! http://bookaliciousbabe.blogspot.com/

LLAP! Hugs!

Diane

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