Hmm. How did this happen? No, don't answer that. I think we all know what happened. An utter lack of self control on my part and inability to say no (saying no to adding new books to my reading pile is not currently in my vocabulary it would seem). So, reading projects aside, this seems to be where my summer reading is taking me at the moment (these books and my summer reading project that is). So, this pile is my 'in progress' pile.
Running top to bottom, and I think I have told you about some of these books already, we have:
Agatha Christie's A Murder is Announced, which is another brilliantly plotted Miss Marple mystery (the next up as I am reading them in the order they were published). The murder is literally announced and as announced happens at a country house party. I am hoping it might work for the Vintage Bingo Challenge, but I mostly picked it up because Agatha Christie is a reliably good mystery writer. How can you fail with Miss Marple?
The next two are for my Summering in The Netherlands jaunt. Simone van der Vlugt's Shadow Sister is going to be a tricky read, I can tell already. It's about a young teacher who is threatened by one of her students. She has a twin sister who narrates one thread of the story, while the teacher narrates the other. I won't say much about it now, but early on there is a small shocker and now I am trying to piece things together. I already told you a little about The Apothecary's House, which I need to get back to--the van der Vlugt nudged it aside temporarily.
A Florentine Revenge by Christobel Kent was sort of an accident. I ordered a used copy knowing I wanted to start reading the Sandro Cellini mystery series (set in lovely Florence, Italy) and didn't realize what I owned and thought was the first book is actually the second. So when this came in, I idly picked it up and read a few pages, got sucked in and just kept going. Oh well, Florence in the summer (though the story actually starts in December, so that's okay, too) is hard to resist.
I just noticed that the second (or is it already the third here in the US?) Alice Quentin mystery was just released and as I like to read mystery series in order and the new book sounded really good, I thought it was time to get going. Crossbones Yard is easy reading and another hard to put down story. I'm not at all sure what I think of Alice. She is a psychologist but has a slew of her own personal problems and is a little on the quirky side. I am not even sure I like her really, but I always find characters like that really intriguing.
Simone St. James's books have been enjoyable reads for me and Silence for the Dead, her newest (though I see there is a forthcoming new novel slated for release early next year already), I started a while ago. I was feeling a little so-so about this one, it wasn't moving as fast for me as her previous books, so it has been waiting for me to get back to it. I think I just need to get past the section I am at and hope that something stirs up in the story to motivate me once again.
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith is really very good and I want to get back to it, too. I just need more (always and ever more) reading time. And the second Cormoran Strike mystery just came out here last month.
And then there is Hannah Kent's Burial Rites that was on the Bailey's Women's Prize Longlist (how long ago was that now . . .) that prompted me to pick it up. Again it is simply the victim of too many good choices for reading material. When I pick it up to read I enjoy it immensely.
As you can see in the photo at the top I am at varying points in each of the books that are in progress. The idea is to finish as many as I can before starting any new mysteries (or thrillers or spy stories or novels of suspense . . . I seem to have a little bit of everything here), but that never stops me from amassing a new pile to draw from.
And here is my TBR pile for mysteries. A few are library books and you know how they have a way of pushing other books aside and cutting in line so I can make no guarantees that they won't simply muscle their way into my reading pile (you know how pushy some books can be. shocking, I know.). Most of these are thanks to award longlists, notably that of the CWA (if you click on the link and then go to the "Daggers" tab you can be tempted, too--but in no way must you hold me accountable for any additions to your own reading piles).
Up for awards (or in the case of the last book in this group the winner of one of the Daggers--they stagger the awards by the way):
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris was also recommended to me by the owner of a bookstore where I used to work (long since closed sadly). I see him at the gym and we often trade reading suggestions (he is a big fan of this genre so I always have books in mind to look up and request). That aside, I really must read Robert Harris this year. Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders by Kate Griffen is set in Victorian London and I am ready for a good historical/Victorian murder mystery! The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter was also longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, which is where it first caught my eye (and now is up for a CWA Dagger). The Siege by Arturo Perez-Reverte won the International Dagger (have read and liked Perez-Reverte and again am in the mood for a good historical mystery). And The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson won the Endeavor Historical Dagger (ditto of the sentence above).
That last book above is a library book and is joined by Game for Five by Marco Malvadi, which is an Italian crime novel set in a coastal resort. Purely as an aside I love Europa Editions books and love their World Noir imprint. Jack of Spies by David Downing just looked good.
And do you see that anthology called OxCrimes? It is edited by Peter Florence and has more than two dozen short stories by (most British or European) contemporary crime writers. Mysteries in short story format, how could I pass it up?
Whew. Yes, that is quite the load of books. I need to devote an entire week of reading to just my mysteries it would seem. Alas, I have several other books in need of attention, so I will not be able to spend all my time with these, but a few will be going with me to work and the gym. Has anyone read any of the books from the bottom pile? Any that should be read sooner than later? They all look good. Which is how I get myself in trouble it seems.