I finished twelve books in March including a couple of five-star reads and several that came close. You can find details of my five favourite books below. Click on the book title to view the book description on Goodreads.
First up is crime novel, Poetic Justice by R.C. Bridgestock. A prequel to the popular series featuring DI Jack Dylan, it was the perfect introduction to the series for new readers such as myself. I described it as ‘gritty, atmospheric and full of drama’ and you can read my full review here.
Staying with crime, this time of the historical variety, and another prequel is The Road to Grantchester by James Runcie. Starting with the young Sidney’s traumatic experiences in World War 2 through to the discovery of his vocation as a parish priest, it introduces readers to the character they will meet meet in the first book of the series, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. I thought it was a terrific read and one which worked equally well as a character study of a young man affected by his wartime experiences or as an introduction to the series. You can read my full review here.
Another historical crime series now but unfortunately not a prequel but the fifteenth book in the series. The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear is the latest outing for the much-loved character, private investigator Maisie Dobbs. Set in London during the worst of the blitz in World War 2, it combines a intriguing, well-constructed mystery, an engaging leading character and convincing period detail. You can read my full review here and see why I’ve now joined the ranks of Maisie Dobbs fans.
For my next pick I’m moving from 1940s London to 1930s Malaya and The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo. I read this atmospheric, mysterious and magical novel as part of a buddy read organised by the publishers, Quercus, and it was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. You can learn nine other reasons why I loved the book here.
Finally there’s All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison which in a relatively new departure for me I listened to as an audio book. I’d tipped it to feature on the longlist for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019 but in the end it only made the supplementary Academy Recommends list. Set in rural 1930s England, I described it as ‘a book to lose yourself in and admire the quality of the writing and characterisation rather than expect a swiftly moving story line’. You can read my full review here.
What were some of your favourite books you read in March? Have you read any of my picks?