If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

My 2012 Excellent Reads

I have been keeping a list of books I’ve read since I started high school. For the last eight years I’ve also added an indication of how good I thought the book was, using the following categories: Poor, Fair, Good and Excellent. Unfortunately, in 2012 I found it necessary to add a new category for books I didn’t finish because they were poorly written.

Of the books I read in 2012 I marked only thirteen as Excellent. I’m always looking for things to put on my birthday and Christmas lists, so often I am “behind” in reading current books because I am waiting to receive them as gifts. Amazon has a very convenient “wish list” to help my family’s shopping for books I think I will enjoy.

Without further ado, here is my list of the baker’s dozen in the order read, along with a few quick notes:

Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the struggle for the soul of a generation—Eboo Patel [Patel is a Rhodes Scholar and tells a compelling autobiography of his life and how anger can be transformed to good works.]

Blood Harvest—S J Bolton [A new author to me. She’s English and I plan to read more.]

The Brutal Telling—Louise Penny [2012 is the year I stumbled upon Louise Penny. You’ll see three of her other novels listed below. Of her seven novels I read, four I considered excellent, two good and only one did I rate as “fair.” That’s not a bad batting average, but surely shows the objective nature of my ratings, although I did notice that the book I didn’t like (A Fatal Grace) had a higher percentage of less-than-favorable reviews than the books I thought excellent.]

Negative Doubles—Marty Bergen [I’m a bridge player and read several bridge books a year. Only this and one other made my Excellent category.]

Bury Your Dead—Louise Penny

The Cruelest Month—Louise Penny

Match-point Play—Hugh W. Kelsey [This out-of-print book is the other bridge book I found excellent.]

The Hunter—John Lescroart [I am a fan of Lescroart’s. Over the years I have read eight of his novels (leaving me lots more to read) and have rated three as excellent, four as good and one fair.]

Die a Stranger—Steve Hamilton [Hamilton is an author I’ve stuck with. I wasn’t much impressed with some of his earlier works, but he writes about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and I live there. I’m glad I stuck with it because I’ve really enjoyed the last two I read: this one and The Lock Artist.]

A Trick of the Light—Louise Penny

Stolen Prey—John Sandford [I’ve read twenty-one of Sandford’s novels. His characters are like family so I may be prejudiced. Seven I’ve rated excellent and only a couple have I listed as fair.]

My Reading Life—Pat Conroy [A southern friend of ours read this book while visiting us in Michigan and as is her wont, left the book when she was done. I highly recommend this book for writers as well as those who have enjoyed reading Conroy’s books (or seeing them played out on the theater screen.)]

Her Last Scream—J A Kerley [Jack is an acquaintance of mine from my Kentucky days. His works are much better known in the UK than in the US. Of his last four books, I’ve noted two as excellent and two as good. You can find his books on Amazon. Corresponding with Jack at the end of the year, he told me his early works are just coming out as e-books. His UK publisher had to get the rights from his US publisher, who was sitting on them.]

~ Jim


E. B. Davis said...

I wish I had started such a list, Jim. So often I try to remember a book, but I forget the title and/or author's name. I have a file of author's names, but I haven't been good about keeping it up. That is one of the good things about having an ereader.

My list looks different than yours does. I must like a different flavor book. I wish I liked the Penny books, but after reading two I stopped. They just weren't for me.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

EB -- The great thing about books is there are so many different styles everyone can find their own favorites.

I remember when everyone was going gaga over the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. I couldn't get into them.

Who are some of your current favorite authors?

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Elizabeth Duncan writes a cozy in Wales that I've taken to. I love Sandra Parshall's series, Donna Ball's rescue dog series, Ellery Adam's NC series, Sasscer Hill's racing series.... There are so many I have a hard time keeping up with them all. I just picked up Margaret Maron's new book in her series, and Karen Pullen and Susan Boyer's first in series are terrific. I'm currently reading Janet Bolin's second in series. But I also discovered Maggie Toussaint's series in which the main character is an accountant--great reads. Lesley Diehl's series is awesome as is Michele Drier's, but then I also love Spenser Quinn's Chet and Bernie series, and two of Sheila Connolly's series. Then there's M.C. Beaton and Rhys Bowen, Lucy Burdette, Gayle Carline, L..L. Copperman, Jenn McKinlay, Elaine Orr and Susanne Young. I know I'm missing at least half the authors I read!

Kara Cerise said...

Thank you for your excellent reads, Jim. A number of books on your list caught my attention and I will put them on my wish list.

I don't rate the books that I read but sometimes I make a note if it has very good dialogue or pacing etc.

Gloria Alden said...

Excellent post, Jim. I've read all of Louise Penny's books and like them. I keep two notebooks for each of my book clubs and write down the books read with some comments about them in those. Also, for the last 4 or 5 years on the inside covers of my daily journal, I've been writing the names of the book and author, the date finished and my opinion of the book and why I felt that way. I'm not going to list all the authors I like. There are too many, but a long time favorite of mine, who is not writing mysteries any longer, is Jane Langton. I love her humor and her intricate plots and her characters. I've reread almost all of them at least twice because I find them so delightful.

Warren Bull said...

You've given me some new authors to check out. Thanks!