The past few years, I have co-hosted this readathon with Kate Howe and others and despite the fact that I am not co-hosting this year, I am still excited to take part.
Christmas and reading mysteries goes hand in hand for me and I tend to get through quite a few during Advent. This year the prompts are inspired by a country house mystery setting.
I occassionally make book lists on bookshop.org. I will get a small comission if you buy any of the books.
The first prompt is Study and I chose The Law of Lines by Hye-Young Pyun (translated Sora Kim-Russel) for it. There is never a shortage of Korean books on my TBR and over the last year, I have particularly loved some of the slow burn crime/thriller type books from Korea. I loved The Hole a lot, so I am curious and excited for this one.
My library has been shut since March, so no chance to borrow anything, so I chose to interpret this as reading a book from my own library and Kwei Quartey’s book has been waiting for my attention all year. It’s the first novel in the Darko Dawson series set in Ghana and it sounds absolutely fantastic. Quartey is a Ghanaian-American writer and he writes character-driven mysteries.
I have read a lot of Japanese crime fiction over the years, but I have not yet read anything by Keiichiro Hirano (transl. by Eli K.P. William) since this is actually the first book of his to be translated into English. A Man sounds intriguing. We follow Akira Kido, a divorce attorney whose own marriage is on the rocks. One day a former client shows up to ask him to investigate her recently deceased husband who seemed to have lived a lie. I don’t need to know anything more about this, this sounds 100% my cup of tea.
This will be the 3rd (of 4) Blanche mysteries. I am spreading them out because once I am done, I am done and I love them. Blanche is a Black woman, a housekeeper, raising her sister’s kids and just really trying to make ends meet, but mysteries just keep coming her way. I love her snark, her personality and quite frankly Blanche is one of the best female characters to ever been written. The books are not just fab for the mysteries, they are also brilliant for the observations on society and people in general.
I love mysteries and Argentinia has a great tradition of mystery writers. There has even been the term of Buenos Aires Noir thrown about. I am glad that Bosco is now more widely available and I cannot wait to read her novels. Most of her novels were originally published in the 1950ies and she was a bestseller at the time. This one is about a death in an elevator in a posh apartment building. Translated by Lucy Greaves.
It’s finally time to pick up Ovidia Yu’s mysteries. I have been wanting to read this Singaporean writer for a couple of years but things always happen and other books come along. I am a big lover of food based mysteries and I love Singapore, so it’s going to happen, I am reading this December.
When people think of closed circle mystery, they think of Manor House mysteries, but I wanted something else and The Investigation by J.M. Lee (translated by Chi-Young Kim) set in a prison sounded intriguing and very tense.
I love Sulari Gentill’s 1930ies set mystery series featuring Rowland Sinclair so much, it’s another one that I am spacing out so I don’t run out too soon. This is book 7 of 10. There are historical mysteries that are just fun to read but the historical bit is a bit on the sidelines and then there are those like this series where you find out loads about the historical period while a mystery is going on. I had no idea about the 1930ies in Australia before, I love in particular getting the Austrialian gaze towards Europe and the rise of Hitler (one of the books plays in Germany, that was tense) as well as the own issues of fascim in Australia at the time as well as all sorts of other societal contexts, I had zero clue about.
Book 5 of 8, as you can tell, I am reading a lot of series and I love Anna Lee Huber’s mysteries a lot (also her Verity Kent series). I class these books as comfort reads, when I want to just forget about the world, I pick one of these up and it never fails to do its magic. I emerge oddly comforted which may sound weird considering they are murder mysteries. I also like Huber’s ability to write about women who develop as characters throughout the series. She is really, really good at doing that.