Books to take on holiday

Last year, Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise encouraged bloggers to recommend books to give for Christmas. I made my selections last November in a post that seems to have failed to migrate here from my old blog (so here it is!). In that post I made some recommendations for regular readers of crime fiction and some for those new to the genre (that is, general fiction with a crime element). On looking at this list again now, I think that any of these books could suffice for the summer holidays (or winter holidays in the case of Kerrie and fellow residents of the Southern Hemisphere) if you have not read them yet. So please go here for the list.

If, however, you’d like some fresh recommendations, I can perhaps point you to my ongoing list of my favourite books among those I’ve reviewed this year so far. The list is in no special order. If you are not a regular reader of crime fiction or aren’t particularly keen on crime fiction, Intuition and Turn of Mind are not in this genre and are both superb, readable novels. The rest of the books on this list are crime fiction, in the sense of being suspenseful reads concerning character, psychology, conflict (thanks, Bernadette!), atmosphere and, in most of them, a strong sense of place, rather than being about violent crimes or dwelling on descriptions of murders. Please do give some of them a try! Below are my one-line summaries of the books; links go to my reviews of them. Happy reading.

Frozen Moment by Camilla Ceder.
“Impressively rounded debut crime novel about small, isolated Swedish community.”
The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell
“Intriguing but in the end disappointing crime plot, yet very strong on character and atmosphere. Last in a well-regarded series.”
Death on a Galician Shore by Domingo Villar
“Second outing for Inspector Caldas in Galician fishing villages. Authentic atmosphere but crime plot rather mechanical.”
The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly
“The usual reliable read from a masterly author. This one is a Mickey Haller novel, a courtroom drama.”
Open Season by C. J. Box
“First of an excellent series about Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett and family. I’ve read/reviewed all the books to date this year, recommended.”
Intuition by Allegra Goodman
“Not only a highly readable novel but an authentic depiction of the realities of modern biology research.”
Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen
“Excellent police procedural that goes much further than that. So far (May), my best book of the year.”
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
“Gripping, well-structured and moving novel told from the point of view of a surgeon with Alzheimer’s disease. Very, very good.”
The Rage by Gene Kerrigan
“Excellent cops and robbers novel set in post-crash Ireland. Great plotting, pace and characters.”

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16 thoughts on “Books to take on holiday

  1. Thanks Maxine for sharing your thoughts., I’ve read only 3 out of 9. I’ve another 4 in my wish list, mainly due to my current book diet. Will investigate further on the other two as well.

    • Thanks, Jose Ignacio. Book diets are so hard to maintain, I thought I was doing OK this year but have been hit by a double whammy of meeting Karen recently (6 books) and the publishing season seeming to be getting well under way so lots of wish list books are now actually coming out….sigh ;-)

  2. I have read three and have started a fourth, Frozen Moment which seems very Sjowall and Wahlooish. I am still puzzling why Mercy and Frozen Moment [based on the first 60 pages] are not in the running for the Int Dagger.

    • Agreed, Norman, Mercy and Frozen Moment are very good in my opinion and beat out some of the “existing series” novels from the eligible list of titles. Of course we can’t know if the publisher submitted these particular two novels, or not…..

  3. What a lot of good books I have to look forward to then as I have only read 2 of these, though do have 3 more on my TBR pile (thank you) and another 1 on order. I read Villar’s Water-Blue Eyes this week in preparation for reading Death on a Galician Shore for the International Dagger shortlist – loved it.

    It’s nice thinking of you all gearing up for your holidays, freezing here at the moment and work is super busy but it’s nice to somewhere in the world people are having a sunny life :)

    • Ah, well, I didn’t say *I* was going on holiday, Bernadette ;-) But, as I seem to be too busy to read just now so can’t post a review, I thought I’d revive a perennial topic before everyone else starts on these lists. (Everyone in the N Hem, that is – for those in S H it is maybe audio format whilst skiiing?!). I am so glad you liked Water Blue Eyes, I loved that book, too.

  4. Maxine – Thank you for those excellent recommendations! You’ve reminded me of how much work I still have to do on my TBR list *sigh,* but that’s OK. Maybe one day I’ll actually have the time to read everything I want to read…

  5. Wow, a whole new blog answering set up! I have no photos nor do I have a camera for this purpose (Internet).

    I haven’t read most of these books, but most, including Mercy and Frozen Moment are on my TBR list with asterisks. My library doesn’t have them so I’ll have to wait forever or get through
    elsewhere.

    If I were going on anything but a virtual vacation, not likely, but — I’d recommend any Michael Connelly or Donna Leon or Andrea Camilleri book, well-done, easy-to-read and fun. The Fifth Witness
    is an excellent choice of a legal mystery. Connelly’s understanding of U.S. law and his ability to write with a light, humorous touch about so many legal issues makes his works well worth reading.

  6. Fortunately I have read several of these temptations already. I am still thinking about Box´ series, but as there are a dozen books already ….. :D
    Well, I´ll think about it while I read some of the books I own already.

  7. The Box books are incredibly quick to read, Dorte, if you do decide to try one. I do recommend starting with the first (Open Season), though, as the family story develops as an arc through the series. (As well as Joe’s chequered employment status.)

  8. I just finished the exciting political thriller Affairs of State, which I could not put down. Then I read your excellent review. I, too, would have liked to have read much more about Noria’s character. (I appreciated Manotti’s afterword.) Have your read her other novels?
    Also, I purchased Christopher Fowler’s first book in his series. Have you read it? (I had to sneak in another Camilleri purchase; it will be great for a hot summer day.)

  9. Thanks, Kathy. I did read one Christopher Fowler but it was not quite “me”. There are some good reviews of his books at Euro Crime website if you want to check it out, Karen and some of the reviewers are keen on his novels. Enjoy the Camilleri!

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