Monday 1 August 2016

Books read in July

Heavens above, has another month really come and gone? Apparently so. I was busy, so reading took a bit of a back seat and just four books were read. These are they:

37. The Ghost Fields - Elly Griffiths

38. Heirs of the Body - Carola Dunn

39. The Hanging Wood - Martin Edwards, book five in the Lake District series.

This one starts with a young woman, Orla Payne, committing suicide by jumping into a silo full of grain on her father's farm. Her brother, Callum, had dissappeared when he was fourteen and Orla seven. She has never stopped looking for him. At her place of work, a residential library, is a man who looks so much like Callum that Orla thought it might be him. Who is he? Hannah Scarlett is given a week to look into the disappearance of Callum. The case is and was complicated with many of the close-knit community involved and clearly keeping things back. Daniel Kind is also drawn into the investigation as he was a friend of Orla's. Hannah, now free, or free-ish, is reluctant to start anything with Daniel until she's sorted her head and heart out. But she certainly has no objection to working with him on this extremely difficult case. A good instalment of this excellent series, so glad I got back to it after a couple of years. I managed to follow the plot despite lots of different characters, all seemingly related by blood or marriage, muddying the waters and requiring a bit of concentration. Good writing, a bit of sexual tension, and a terrific sense of place.

40. Play with Fire - Dana Stabenow, book five in the Kate Shugak series.

Picking mushrooms out in the wilds of Alaska with friends, Kate Shugak finds a body in the ashes of an area that was burnt by a wildfire some months ago. A day or so later she's approached by a ten year old boy. Matthew Seabolt lives with his grandfather, Reverand Seabolt, a fundamentalist Christian. His father, Daniel, a teacher, disappeared at the time of the fire but no one reported him missing: the boy wants Kate to find him. It's clear that the body is Daniel Seabolt but he didn't get caught in the fire - he died of anaphylactic shock, completely naked. The authorities don't think the death is suspicious but Kate is convinced it is. Looking into the teacher's background she finds there are many questions but can she get the village community to answer any of them? Another excellent Kate Shugak outing. In this book we find out a lot about Kate's history... how she coped when she left her Native Alaskan community to go to college in the city for instance. All very interesting. The murder mystery is perhaps a little predictable, it's fairly clear what happened from early on but when the precise circumstances were revealed, at the end, I did find it quite shocking. From a fairly average beginning this series just gets better and better.

So that was my July reading. I'm not going to name a favourite as all four books were very much on a par quality-wise... all excellent, all well written, all just what I needed. Basically, because I was busy, I stuck to tried and tested crime series that I knew I would enjoy plus knew I needed to catch up on. I shall probably continue with that in August. I'm currently reading one of Laurie King's Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books, O Jerusalem! This is a series I've long neglected, which is a shame as the book is really good. Perhaps it's not such a bad idea if you get a bit jaded with a series to leave it for a year or two before you go back to it. That seems to have worked very nicely for me.



DesLily said...

well I could list a number of excuses why my reading has gone downhill this month but what good would it do? lol You, on the other hand, seem to be doing well even with puzzles in between and taking care of Peter!.. it must be because you are my "younger" sis! sigh lol.

Cath said...

Nah... I'm just in a lazy mood at the moment, Pat, and books and jigsaws are what appeal. LOL Peter's a lot more independant now so doesn't need quite so much looking after but we had our grand-daughter staying and stuff going on so four books was it. Enjoying the Laurie King book... really determined to get back to her books!

DesLily said...

yes, I enjoyed her Mary Russell series... I did them one after another but haven't gotten back to the last one.. I've only read 2 this month.. one more sitting and I'll have the 3rd done but it's august now.. geez. Kitty and Sciatica and anxiety have ruled my life all of last month.. getting a shot tomorrow hoping it helps the Sciatica. As of now I even get cramps in my butt and have to hold my knee to my chest to help it stop!.. not a pretty sight ! *snort*.. Glad Peter is better!! My cousins hubby had the same surgery 3 days ago.. it must be in the air!, I hope it skips me! lol

BooksPlease said...

Glad things are improving and I'm sure you had a good time with your granddaughter! The garden is taking up far too much of my time right now - everything has had gigantic growth.

All four books sound excellent - the only one I've read is the Edwards' book. I must get back to the Kate Shugak series, I've only read the first one and I'm also behind with Elly Griffiths' books.

Let's see what August brings.

Cath said...

Pat: It's so nice to get back to Mary Russell, but I don't have the next one so will have to grab that from the library.

Sorry to hear you've had a tough month. Hope the new kitty is helping to cheer you up a bit. Yeah... a *lot* of knee replacements about. Hope it skips me too but I doubt it. lol

Margaret: Thank you. It was lovely to have our grand-daughter here. Ah yes, the garden. We have a gardener who comes for 4 hrs twice a month now. He's keeping the grass cut and managing to do some other jobs but really the garden's a bit of a mess because my husband hasn't been able to do it and I haven't had heaps of time. Today we got a small veg bed dug though so a start has been made and he's so pleased to be able to do a bit again. And we've even had a few crops... carrots, onions, courgettes, beans, peas, fennel etc. Amazing considering the circumstances!

Peggy Ann said...

I've still to read a Martin Edwards! This one sounds so good. I must get to him!

Cath said...

Peggy: Yes, an author well worth getting to but I know how it is... so many books etc.

Debbie Rodgers said...

I have the first Kate Shugak on my Kindle. I'm going to have to try to get to it sooner rather than later!

Cath said...

Debbie: Be aware that that first book is not bad but not as good as subsequent instalments. It's worth carrying on.