Sunday, December 11, 2022

Holiday Reading + Gift Ideas!

Happy Holidays, everyone! Brenda starting off this week's round of book recommendations.

As always, I'm in awe of the quantity of books my fellow Minds have read this past year and encourage you to look back to last week's posts and the ones following mine to get some great gift ideas --  or books for your own to-read pile. My list of suggestions is somewhat more modest in comparison :-) 

I started off the year with a file titled 'Books Read in 2022'. Alas, I only recorded two books and nothing else. Since I constantly have a book on the go and also belong to a book club, I admit that my record-keeping needs work, but happily I recall a couple of other novels from this past year that you might enjoy.

I know that you must be curious about what two books I dutifully recorded (and a good thing I did or I never would have remembered) so let's start there.

The first is Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I'd never read any of his books before and enjoyed the mystery although I wrote in my notes that while the writing is good, I found the two storylines confusing. Still, I would read another of his books without hesitation.

The second book to make my list (if two books equal a list) is The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly. Rene Ballard is the lead character with retired Harry Bosch pulled in as a consultant. Another good read in a series I consistently enjoy. If you haven't watched the Bosch series on Amazon Prime, it makes a great way to spend some holiday time as my husband and I did a few years back.

From there, I decided to read the entire Benny Griessel series by South Africa's Deon Meyer. I ordered the first four books and haven't gotten around to getting the last four, but have to say that the series is fabulous. I particularly liked book four, Cobra, and fully intend to read the last of the series in 2023. You'll have to wait an entire year to see how I do.

In the thriller category, I was fortunate enough to get a signed copy of The Island by Adrian McKinty when he was here as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. The first three-quarters of the book is non-stop tension ... well, maybe the entire book ... and not one to be read right before bed. If you like an original story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, this book is for you.

I also read State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hilary Clinton. The storyline gives many nods to Hilary's time as Secretary of State. If you have readers on your list who like political thrillers, this one has an interesting scenario with lots of tension. It's also created a lot of buzz with reviewers in both Canada and the U.S.

So, I'm currently immersed in the Tiger Woods biography called ... Tiger Woods ... by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. The mystery in this one is how Tiger came to be the man and athlete he became. The book is well researched with insights from many people involved in both Tiger's professional and private life over the years. This book is for the golfer or sportsperson on your shopping list.

Finally, I'd like to introduce you to my latest and the start to a new mystery/amateur sleuth/police procedural/thriller series -- Blind Date: A Hunter and Tate Mystery. I lived with this book the past year and am currently living with its sequel When Last Seen, which will be released April 1, 2023. Here is a review from fellow Criminal Mind Dietrich Kalteis:

When I settled back with Blind Date by acclaimed author Brenda Chapman, I only meant to read the opening chapters, but I ended up reading late into the night. It was that good. Blind Date’s the introduction to a promising new series. Get yourself invested in this well-paced and well-told mystery as true-crime podcaster Ella Tate gathers clues and attempts to solve a teacher’s murder.

Also available as an audiobook!

I'm delighted to say that Dietrich's book Under An Outlaw Moon won Crime Writers of Canada coveted Book of the Year for 2021 and is another great recommendation for under the tree. (Congratulations again, Dietrich.)

So, I'll be starting my file on 'Books Read in 2023' and hope to do a better job of it next journey around the sun. (I'm opening the file: 'List of New Year's Resolutions' as I type.)

Wishing you Peace and Joy.


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Dietrich Kalteis said...
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Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thank you, Brenda.

Brenda Chapman said...

Merry Christmas, Dietrich, and all the best in 2023!