Daily reading is one of my favourite – and fast – ways to pamper and get some self-preservation! As you will quickly realise, I have a penchant for cozy mysteries and seldom read non-fiction. 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. I love listening to books while I work in the garden or do housework! This is a round up of books I read in the spring…
“Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d” (Flavia de Luce #8) by Alan Bradley. I’m so glad I finally got into this series: set in the 1950s England, the stories revolve around the world of a young sleuth, Flavia de Luce, who has a passion for poison… The books never disappoint though this particular one is definitely more melancholy than the others I’ve read. My rating: three out of five.
“The Inugami Curse” (Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #6) by Seishi Yokomizo. I quite enjoy locked-room mysteries and Japanese puzzle mysteries and this one is, apparently, a classic. I previously read “The Case of the Honjin Murder” by Yokomizo but this book was a very strange read – gruesome and totally over the top chain of events! My rating: three out of five. Will not read more from Seishi Yokomizo.
“A Galway Epiphany” (Jack Taylor #16) by Ken Bruen. I have a pet peeve about swearing. I will unfriend people on Facebook if they swear, I can’t abide spoken or written swearing. And yet I loved this audiobook by Ken Bruen which is full of expletives, a very dry and dark humour and liberal snippets of seething social commentary. Jack Taylor is an anti-hero, thrown out of the Irish Garda police, now working as a private eye but spends most of his time drinking his life away. This story involves two children, “a miracle”, an arsonist and a very strange order of nuns. Grimly hilarious. Loved it! And the narration is brilliant. My rating: four out of five.
“Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times” by Katherine May. This book is often portrayed as a book about finding “hygge” and looking within. I don’t read many books about hygge – I live in Denmark – the home of hygge – and actively practise hygge every day. It’s the way we live here. Many of the hygge books written by non-Scandinavians are not reflective of how I see hygge and this particular book really left me feeling rather deflated. It’s more of a personal diary about depression. My rating: two out of five.
“How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life” by Signe Johansen. See above for why I don’t usually read books on hygge! Again, I wouldn’t recommend this one. Not at all the hygge I know and love and practise daily in Denmark! The book reads like a coffee-table book. Emphasis on photos and recipes, very stylised. Comes across as being very scripted and the text is so teeny tiny that I actually gave up trying to read it… My rating: two out of five.
“Strip Jack” (Inspector Rebus #4) by Ian Rankin. I listened to this one on audiobook and have to say that I enjoy the audiobooks more than the books themselves. Always fun to be back home in Edinburgh and hear familiar places mentioned! Dry humour and bleak murder cases. My rating: three out of five.
“Resurrection Men” (Inspector Rebus #13) by Ian Rankin. Yet another Rebus which I listened to on audiobook (I must have been doing a lot of gardening at the time, ha ha!). Always good to hear the banter between Rebus and his colleagues or the criminals who cross his path. My rating: three out of five.
“The Devil’s Feast” (Avery & Blake #3) by M.J. Carter. I picked up this one at the library totally on a whim because the cover appealed to me and the setting was a murder at a grand dinner, hosted by a French chef in a gentlemen’s club in London in the 1840s. Started off well but was way too long and I lost my appetite (boom boom!) and was glad when it was finished. My rating: three out of five.
“The Moscow Sleepers” (Liz Carlyle #10) by Stella Rimington. I was curious to read a novel by Stella Rimington, the ex-head of MI5, the British Security Service. I think I expected a little too much, given her background. It was a quick and easy read but could have been a movie-script and the characters lacked depth. The prose rambled somewhat and was quite clunky in places. Not sure I would read more in the series but would no doubt transfer well to film! My rating: three out of five.
“The Monkey’s Raincoat” (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike #1) by Robert Crais. I picked up this book by chance at our free Book Exchange – how could I resist the title and a private investigator named Elvis Cole?! A fast read, set in the 1980s with a Miami Vice vibe. Short and punchy but, again, read very like a movie script. My rating: four out of five.
“Rumpole Rests His Case” (Rumpole of the Bailey #11) by John Mortimer. I have a soft spot for Rumpole, an elderly, rather portly, Barrister who defends his clients (most of them rather dodgy) before the magistrates of the Old Bailey in London. The descriptions of those around him, not to mention his wife (“She Who Must Be Obeyed”), and the scrapes Rumpole gets in to are priceless. Never fails to make me laugh out loud! This is a collection of short stories – take them one at a time, just right with an evening cup of tea. My rating: three out of five.
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/ Please check her out and say hi from me!
You can find my hygge books, magazines, tv programmes and music YouTube videos here…