Reading and reviewing update for mid-March

61HRS_uk_hcs Roomsweptwhite_indexpage At the moment I am even more overwhelmed than usual with books – not that I am complaining, far from it.

  •  I am continuing with my attempt to read as many of the books eligible for this year’s CWA International Dagger as I can before the shortlist is announced, which is one vein of incoming novels. (Latest news on that front is here.)
  •  Then there is the crime-fiction alphabet, which has moved into its final and most challenging phase. 
  • I met Karen of Euro Crime last week, always a great experience, usually resulting in an influx of reading material. Our last meeting was no exception.
  •  And then there is the regular flow of books into Petrona Towers, from my own purchases online and in bookshops (often as a result of excellent blog reviews I read), as well as from various generous publishers and friends.

On Friday night I completed editing and “faffing with” my three in-draft reviews and sent them off to Euro Crime: The Rising by Brian McGilloway, Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer and At Close Quarters by Eugenio Fuentes. All three books are jolly good and I highly recommend them.


This weekend I have read two of the novels Karen provided, 61 Hours by Lee Child, and A Room Swept White by Sophie Hannah . I’ve been drafting reviews of those two books today (Sunday). I enjoyed them both but not quite as much as the three I reviewed previously.


Now, I have to decide what to read next. While I am desperately, eagerly anticipating the publication of Solar by Ian McEwan on 18 March (Thursday!), I think it will be The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell. I must also write something for the next letter in the crime-fiction alphabet, which is V. I know my author, but have not thought in detail about the post, yet.


As an addendum to this post, a couple of people recently have asked a question, or made an observation, that I hear frequently, which is how do I manage to read so many books. The answer is pretty simple:

  • Apart from work and domestic duties, I don’t do anything else (I rarely go out and I don’t watch TV for example).
  • The books I read are mainly crime fiction and so pretty easy to read.
  • I love reading, I can’t imagine anything else I would rather do with any spare time I have. So I do it everywhere: while travelling, in waiting rooms, before and after any event I do attend, and so on, as well as when I’m at home.