As I’m not reviewing on a regular basis, I’ve decided to do a roundup of what I’ve read and some thoughts on them at the end of the month.
Books I have read:
In February, I read a total of 9 books, which I’m quite pleased with as I had a bit of a slump early in the month. All links to detailed book descriptions on Goodreads.
First up was Stiff, by Mary Roach. This is not a book for people who are squeamish! It was a fascinating look at what scientific things your body can be used for after death. The first half was very interesting, covering what is available now – for example donating organs. Unfortunately, the second half focused on historical uses – and that was a little too much for me! There was also a section on what is possible in the future (although the book was written in 2003). Overall I enjoyed it and gave it 3*.
Next up was my first short story collection of the month. Ellery Queen’s Book of Mystery Stories, by various authors. This was the longest book of short stories (25!) I’ve ever read. Most of the stories are written by authors who are not known for their crime stories. It was a mixed bag – but there were one or two authors I’d like to read more of. Overall 3*.
The third book I read was The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman. I admit I nearly gave up on this. I found the first half very slow. The second half was very good, it was just a shame it took such an effort to get there! Overall 4*.
Next up was Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie. After finding the start of the last book a bit of a slog, I went back to an old favourite. Not my favourite Christie by a long way, but some likeable characters and an enjoyable adventure. Overall 3*.
Then I picked up this month’s book group pick. The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar, by Maurice Leblanc is another short story collection, and the basis of the Netflix show Lupin. I really enjoyed the collection – it was pure escapist fiction – and there wasn’t a single story I didn’t enjoy. I gave it 5*.
Because I was enjoying the adventures of Arsene Lupin so much, I turned to another classic. Anne of Windy Poplars, by LM Montgomery is the 4th of the Anne of Green Gables series, and is mostly a collection of letters between Anne and her fiancee Gilbert. I really enjoyed the letter style, and found it perfect for dipping in and out of. One of my favourites of the series so far. Overall 4*.
I suddenly realised winter is coming to an end, so the next book I picked up was Seven Graves One Winter, by Christoffer Petersen. I was looking forward to spending some time in Greenland as I’ve never been. Sadly the first half was more of a political thriller than a Police procedural, which was not what I was expecting from the synopsis. However, I did enjoy the second half more, and gave it 3*.
Next up was All The Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew. I flew through this one. I was thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading – always the sign of a good book! I liked the use of multimedia to move the plot forward, and really liked the characters. A 5* book!
Finally for February, I completed another short story collection. Trouble in Mind, by Jeffery Deaver is a mix of standalone stories and ones with characters that appear in other full length stories. It was my first time reading this author, and I’m keen for more. There was only one character and story that I didn’t like. Overall 4*.
My favourite book of the month was:
Books I have bought/won:
The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar, by Maurice Leblanc – so I could read with book group.
The Fox, by Solveig Palsdottir – a prize from the publisher, Corylus Books.
All This I Will Give To You, by Delores Redondo – March’s book group pick.