Are you kidding? I'd never have any time to read them! I'm on the second first draft of the year, which means I've been writing since Christmas and I've read fifteen crime novels in that time . . . because I had to.
I had to read some because I said I'd blurb them if I liked them.
I read, liked, and blurbed:
- Judy Penz Sheluk's Skeletons in The Attic because what's not to love about a book with a dead-or-alive hook and an old house that's getting gussied up too.
- Susan Spann's The Ninja's Daughter: which I might not have, because I'm Rumsfeldian in what I don't know about Japanese history. Boy oh boy, I'm glad I did. I can still smell the food.
- Tammy Kaehler's Red Flags which I absolutely would have because when I had to read Simon Woods' Aidy Westlake motor-racing books I found out I loved this theme. And I loved this book.
- Cynthia Kuhn's The Semester of Our Discontent. An accurate enough portrayal of academic life to give me flashbacks to the bad old days of working in a university, but worth it.
Others I had to read because I was moderating the authors on a panel:
- Nancy West Smart But Dead Best. Title. Ever. And a masterclass on putting hard stuff (genetics) in a lighthearted story.
- Terry Shames The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake. I would have read this anyway; I've read every word Terry has written but this way I got to call it working.
- Triss Stein Brooklyn Graves. As above. Every word. And Triss's description of the next book sent me straight to the dealers' room.
- Carla Buckley The Good Goodbye. You know how you love Lisa Scottoline and Joy Fielding and yet somehow you manage not to have read an author who writes those books and does it so well you kind of hate her? That.
Or I had to because I was interviewing the author:
- Ann Cleeves Silent Voices
- Ann Cleeves The Moth Catcher
- Ann Cleeves (re-read) four of the Shetland novels.
Guess who I was interviewing.
Yet others I had to read because we were all on the Mary Higgins Clark shortlist together and ...well, I had to:
- Frances Brody A Woman Unknown
- Hallie Ephron Night Night, Sleep Tight
- Susanna Calkins Masque of a Murderer
- Lori Rader Day Little Pretty Things
And the rest I had to read I had to read because I'm breathing: Robert Galbraith Career of Evil,
Karin Slaughter Pretty Girls, and Harlan Coben Fool Me Once.
That leaves just one:- Charlaine Harris's Night Shift. I had to read it because what's the point of having it in your mitts two days before it's even published (because you bought it at Malice) if you don't show off on the plane home?
The woman in the seat beside me didn't care but one of the cabin crew was filled with envy. That's all I ask. I think Night Shift might be my book of the year so far. I'm in deep denial that this third installment is truly the end, though.
What have you read so far in 2016 that's made a big impression?