13 books in twenty13

With thanks to Little White Dove I’ve joined the 13 books in twenty13 challenge. And here they are:

1. Unnatural Habits, by Kerry Greenwood

The latest in the Phryne Fisher series and another lovely romp through 1920’s Melbourne with a mystery solved. I love reading about the city in which I live, easily picturing the places described, walking, or indeed riding alongside Phryne in her red Suiza Hispano, through streets, roads, suburbs and places that I know, or know of. Gorgeous clothes, delicious food, 1920’s vernacular – a joy to read.

Finished: 7 January 2013

2. Heart and Soul, by Maeve Binchy

Nice, easy read about lives and families in modern day Dublin. Realised after I’d started that I’d read it before, but was very happy to settle in for an enjoyable read.

Finished: 13 January 2013

3. The Drop, by Michael Connelly

This was my first encounter with Harry Bosch. It’s set in modern day, bit I felt like I’d been drawn back in time to the 1930’s gangster era; the language is so different, lots of acronyms and Americanisms. The story line was good, but I don’t think I’ll be jumping in quickly for more.

Finished: 19 January 2013

4. Union Jack, by Val McDermid

I usually enjoy a Val McDermid, but this one had me longing for the finish. I found it a bit slow and bogged down in the “doings” of the setting.

Finished: 30 January 2013

5. In for a Penny, In for a Pound, by Tim Waterstone

An English publishing “saga” with some gauche moments like the Australian secretary being called Sheila(!) and saying “G’day” to her boss….purrlease!! Like a car crashed, I just had to read to the end.

Finished: 4 February 2013

6. The Vanishing Point, by Val McDermid

Back to the great and good of Val McDermid. Thoroughly enjoyed! Shall say no more….!!

Finished: 10 February, 2013

7. The Retribution, by Val McDermid

Another Tony Hill murder adventure. Love it!

Finished: 17 February, 2013

8. A Cotswold Killing, by Rebecca Tope

Bit too much thinking and mulling over the possibilities by the protagonist, so I found it a bit slow.

Finished: 28 February, 2013

9. Sweet Tea and Secrets, by Nancy Naigle

Let’s just say I won’t be reading another.

Finished: 5 March, 2013

10. Christmas is Murder, by Val McDermid

Two short stories, Christmas related. Great fun and a quick read at 3.00 in the morning on a hot, supposedly Autumn, night!!

Finished: 6 March, 2013

11. 1st to Die, by James Patterson

The first in the Women’s Murder Club and I found it an enjoyable read. Will be going back for more!

Finished: 13 March, 2013

12. The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel, by Jennifer Chiaverini

What my friend Mrs Mac would call a “nice read”. Sweet, but not too saccharine, and with the outcomes sometimes not what is expected.

Finished: 16 March, 2013

13. A Deadly Business: a Jack Susko mystery, by Lenny Bartulin

Thought I should try an Australian crime writer. Set in modern day Sydney, it had the feel of 1940’s 1950’s America. I found the bad language gratuitous and spoilt the reading.

Finished: 24 March, 2013

Well that’s my 13 books for 2013, but I think I’ll keep going with the list and see just how many books get read during the whole year! Indulge me!

14. The Summer That Never Was, by Peter Robinson

Murder mystery set in England. Characters are very well drawn, plot is great – loved it and looking forward to reading more.

Finished: 29 March, 2013

15. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder, by Shamini Flint

Thoroughly enjoyed this one too, set, obviously, in Malaysia, very interesting background, enjoyable characters, intriguing plot, and funny too!

Finished: 3 April, 2013

16. Mr Collins’s Last Supper, by Shannon Winslow

Delightful, and short, prelude to Shannon Winslow’s novels (see below) carrying one from where Jane Austen left the Darcys and Bennetts from Pride and Prejudice.

Finished:  April, 2013

17.  The Darcys of Pemberley, by Shannon Winslow

Fabulous novel, bringing us up to date on the lives and activities of all the beloved characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Mrs Winslow writes with such a feeling of Jane Austen, but with a little more spice!  A joy to read.

Finished:  April, 2013

18.  Return to Longbourn, by Shannon Winslow

Chronicles the adventures of Mary Bennett; one of my least favourite characters from Pride and Prejudice, by the end of this novel, I was cheering Mary on!  Delightful.

Finished:  April, 2013

19.  For Myself Alone, by Shannon Winslow

Inspired by the works of Jane Austen, Mrs Winslow has created characters and events worthy of that celebrated novelist.  Another delightful read.

20.  2nd Chance (Women’s Murder Club), by James Patterson

Total change of pace here; set in the here and now, and murder into the bargain.  Lots of intrigue and very enjoyable.

Finished: April, 2013

21.  Fields of Gold, by Marie Bostwick

Set in early 20th century, mid America, with all the factual troubles and dramas of that nation and world wide in that time, together with a cleverly plotted fictional aspect and an underlying quilt theme.

Finished: April, 2013

22. Old Pybus, by Warwick Deeping

Delightful story set in England. A gentle story of life and the times.

Finished: May, 2013

23. Between Heaven and Texas, by Marie Bostwick

The story of the early years of one of Marie’s more colourful characters, Mary Dell. Quilt based and so enjoyable. I do hope there will be one covering the next part of Mary Dell’s life.

Finished: May, 2013

24. Make Quilts Not War, by Arlene Sachitano

A murder mystery set in America’s foggy, set northwest, again with a quilting theme. Not quite sure why I keep reading these, as the main character and one of her so-called friends annoy me….still, having visited that area briefly, maybe I feel an affinity!

Finished: May, 2013

25. Tigers in Red Weather, by Lisa Klaussmann

Family drama, with a murder thrown into the mix, set in post WW2 America.  Interesting insight into how one family did, or didn’t settle into post war life.

Finished:  June, 2013

26.  The Lost Boy, by Camilla Lackberg

Back into the murder mysteries, set in modern day Sweden.  So enjoy reading Camilla Lackberg’s books.  This is, I think, the fourth or fifth in the series.  Makes we want to visit Sweden, just not Fjallbacka!  (The fishing village home of the protagonists)

Finished: June, 2013

27. The Lazarus Vault, by Tom Harper

Fabulous political thriller – loved it!

Finished:  July 2013

28.  Caroline Bingley, by Jennifer Becton

A “follow on” from the Pride and Prejudice novel by Miss Jane Austen.  A view on what happened to Caroline Bingley after the Bingleys and Darcys married.  A good read, but not as rewarding as the Shannon Winslow novels.

Finished:  July 2013

29.  Carlotte Collins, by Jennifer Becton

Another follow on from Pride and Prejudice.  Liked this one better than Caroline Bingley, but still not as good as Shannon Winslow.

Finished:  July 2013

30.  Absolute Liability, by Jennifer Becton

A fun murder mystery, this time set in modern day.

Finished:  July 2013

31.  Running Stitches, by Carol Dean Jones

This book is tagged “A Quilting Cozy” and I guess that sums it up.  I felt there were quite a few flaws in the story line which is set in a retirement village (remind me never to go to one!), but harmless enough mystery fun.

Finished: July 2013

32. Tie Died, by Carol Dean Jones

Yes, I downloaded two before reading one, so ditto from above!

Finished:  July 2013

33.  A Beautiful Place to Die, by Malla Nunn

A very scary but compelling look at a murder and its consequences in 1950’s South Africa.  Sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.  So much I didn’t know/realise, but am now sadly aware of regarding the regime of that time.  Excellent!!

Finished: August 2013

34.  Passions of Dr Darcy, by Sharon Lathan

Dr Darcy is the uncle of our Mr Darcy, and explores Dr Darcy’s life, most of which is spent in India.  Very racy and totally took me by surprise as I’d expected something more in the the Jane Austen line.  I felt some of the language and  wording was not “of the day”.  Nevertheless, an enjoyable (if long!) read.

Finished:  August 2013

35.  Gently Does It, by Alan Hunter

I really enjoyed the “George Gently” tv series (with the ever so handsome Martin Shaw!), so thought I’d give the books a try and picked up an omnibus.  This was the first in book in the omnibus and I did enjoy it.  Of course, it’s different to the series, but still very readable.

Finished:  August 2013

36.  The Drowning, Camilla Lackberg

Another from the shores of Sweden.  I do love Camilla’s writing and insights in Sweden life.  And I guessed “who dun it”, just missed out on the twist!  Great read

Finished:  September 2013

37.  The Suspect, Michael Robotham

Set in the UK, this psychological thriller is a nail biter!  Fabulous.

Finished:  October 2013

38.  Lost, Michael Robotham

Another great read – love this man’s work!!

Finished:  October 2013

39.  Meet me in Malmo, Torquil MacLeod

This Swedish crime novel has a woman detective at its core, and very good she is too!  Another great insight into Swedish life and law.

Finished:  October 2013

40.  Mrs Lincoln’s Dressmaker, Jennifer Chiaverini

Amazing account of the life and times of the Lincolns, events leading up to the Civil War and the fledgling beginnings of the United States of America.

Finished:  October 2013

41.  The Hard Way, Lee Child

Another Jack Reacher thriller!  And loved it.  Edge of the seat stuff!

Finished:  October 2013

42.  La Dolce Vita, Stephan Burgert

A real change of pace here; this is a book about alternatives to better health, happiness and longevity written by my gym instructor.  Very insightful and inspiring.  Some of what Stephan has written I have already adapted, but there’s a long way to go!!

Finished:  October 2013

43.  Daddy Long Legs, Jean Webster

Gorgeous book, written as letters by a ward to her guardian.  Sweet, funny, gentle read.  This is the basis for one of my favourite Fred Astaire movies, by the same name!

Finished:  October 2013

44. Flush, Jane Clifton

I heard Jane Clifton (a Melbourne comedienne) being interviewed about this book, not realising she’d written any books!  Decided to give it a go, and enjoyed the journey.  Nice to have something written about Melbourne town – easy to picture where the action’s happening.  See, the power of advertising!!

Finished: October 2013

45.  Cross and Burn, Val McDermid

I just love this woman’s writing!  Her use of language, the setting of the scenes, the personalities, fabulous plot lines……one could go on and on!!  Truly the Queen of Crime fiction.   Another fabulous read.  Makes me hunger for more.  Keep writing Val, please!!

Finished:  October 2013

46.  The Bat, Jo Nesbo

This is the first in the Harry Hole series.  Harry is from Sweden, but finds himself in Sydney, Australia solving a murder.  Interesting seeing an outsider’s view of this city and its people.  Could find myself reading more of these.

Finished:  November 2013

47.  The Raven’s Eye, Barry Maitland

Set in the UK, DI Kathy Kolla finds that a straight forward accident, is in fact, murder.  Will be reading more of these.

Finished:  November 2013

48.  Longbourn, Jo Baker

This is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the servants point of view.  Based at the Bennet household, it focuses on the servants’ stories, with the happenings of the Bennet family intervening.  Goodness, those servants had it tough!

Finished:  November 2013

49.  The Emergence of Judy Taylor, Angela Jackson

How the discovery of one thing can lead to a family’s world crashing down.  Not really my cup of tea.

Finished:  November 2013

50.  Cathedral Windows, Clare O’Donohue

A quilting based short story.  Sweet, filled in a couple of evenings.

Finished:  November 2013

51.  A Wanted Man, Lee Child

Another edge of the seat adventure!

Finished:  December 2013

52.  Tripwire, Lee Child

Back to back adventures with Jack Reacher – fabulous!

Finished:  December 2013

53.  Cooking the Books, Kerry Greenwood

A Christmas present from The Golfer.  Corinna Chapman, baker and reluctant investigator, has another couple of mysteries to solve, one on the set of TV soap (held in as much esteem as I hold them!), all with the help of her delightfully gorgeous Daniel (sigh!)

Finished:  December 2013

8 Responses to 13 books in twenty13

  1. Helen F says:

    You are doing well so far M, I have also read 3 this year

  2. This is a great idea! I may start too, a little late but I may be able to catch up.

  3. Maree says:

    you are flying though those books. I have only read 4 and it,s half way though the year. One was Anna Karenina . though , that ,s my excuse.

  4. Glendacust@gmail.com says:

    Just finished mrs Lincolnshire dressmaker.
    A wonderful read, historical , captivating and and an insight into the civil war and slavery
    Loved it and recommend it

  5. Glendacust@gmail.com says:

    That should say Mrs Lincoln ‘s Dressmaker!!

  6. Janet Lucas says:

    you and I have such a connection in what we like to read! I have written down a couple of your favorite authors to investigate further. I love the Jack Reacher series and I would suggest the Robert Crais series of Joe Pike and Elvis Cole……

  7. Glenda says:

    Wow what a collection!!!

  8. Janet Lucas says:

    happy to hear you like the Jack Reacher series…. hope you will give the Robert Crais series a try also… thanks to you I have read three Camilla Lackberg and one Jo Nesbo……love Camilla!!!! on to 2014!!!

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