Warning: Those with a phobia or allergy to lists should probably skip this post, as it is full of such items.
My 2018 blogging in a nutshell:
- Total Number of Books Read: 236 (Same as last year)
- Number of posts: 218
- Number of reviews: 160 by 108 different authors, 57 of which were new to me.
- Total Number of Words (not including this post): 198,201 (Averaging 909 word a post)
- Number of Pages Read: 50116
In terms of favouring male or female writers, I would say I was pretty balanced this year, with male authors only taking a 6 book lead. Not something I purposefully did, but I’m glad I got things nearer even.
When it came to reading books from different countries I didn’t do too badly, reviewing books from/set in Austria, Australia, New Guinea, Singapore, Mexico, the West Indies, Denmark, France, Iceland, Norway and Singapore. Though unsurprisingly the majority of reading came from the UK and USA. I have Boris Akunin’s Black City (2018) and A Gentleman’s Murder (2018) by Christopher Huang winging their way to me as I speak, so I am at least guaranteed a couple of non-UK/US reads next year.
This year also continues to confirm my preference for mysteries published between 1930 and 1950, with the bulk of my reviews coming from this era. Interestingly I find myself reading fewer books from the 1920s. In fact I read more from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, than from the 20s. 2019 might see a few more hits from this decade if I get around to re-reading some Sayers, but if you think I am missing on some great book from this 10 year period do let me know. Though it goes without saying, no Crofts recommendations please!
One first for me though, that I haven’t done any binge reading of my favourite authors this year. The two authors whose works I most frequented were Agatha Christie, (unsurprisingly), and John Dickson Carr, (did not expect this, though I am sure JJ and Ben approve). Anthony Boucher, Christopher Bush and Constance and Gwenyth Little were the authors I next returned to most often, but after that I only really read 2-3 novels from any given author, even with some of my favourite authors such as Alice Tilton, Richard Hull, Delano Ames and Ethel Lina White.
And now for a few more lists…
Best Novels Published for the First Time in 2018
- Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott
- The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
- Gallows Courts by Martin Edwards
- Let me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
Some of my favourite reads from the year
(Yes I know I am cheating wildly by not containing myself to a Top 10, but I figured deciding on that could take me until December 2019)
Fear Stalks the Village (1932) by Ethel Lina White
The Deadly Dowager (1934) by Edwin Greenwood
Murder Isn’t Easy (1936) by Richard Hull
The Beast Must Die (1938) by Nicholas Blake
The First Time He Died (1938) by Ethel Lina White
The Case with No Conclusion (1939) by Leo Bruce
The Left Leg (1940) by Alice Tilton
The Nine Dark Hours (1941) by Lenore Glen Offord
The Puzzle of the Happy Hooligan (1941) by Stuart Palmer
Till Death Do Us Part (1944) by John Dickson Carr
A Voice Like Velvet (1944) by Donald Henderson
The Case of the Gilded Fly (1944) by Edmund Crispin
The Deadly Percheron (1947) by John Franklin Bardin
Death Knocks Three Times (1949) by Anthony Gilbert
Was 1944 a golden year for crime fiction?
A Murder is Announced (1950) by Agatha Christie
Night of the Jabberwock (1950) by Fredric Brown
The Devil’s Caress (1952) by June Wright
The Case of the Four Friends (1956) by J C Masterman
The Colour of Murder (1957) by Julian Symons
Ordeal by Innocence (1958) by Agatha Christie
For Old Crime’s Sake (1959) by Delano Ames
The Asking Price (1966) by Henry Cecil
The Whispering Wall (1969) by Patricia Carlon
Murder by the Book (1989) by Jennifer Rowe
Worst read – French Farce (1937) by Edwin Greenwood (Did not take me any time at all to decide on this point. I still feel sick just thinking about the book).
Most Viewed Posts
- Magpie Murders (2016) by Anthony Horowitz
- Country House Mysteries – Some of my Favourites
- Agatha Christie’s Most Memorable Victims and Villains
- Let Me Lie (2018) by Clare Mackintosh
- The Sentence is Death (2018) by Anthony Horowitz
- Reprint of the Year Award Choice No. 1 – The Devil’s Caress by June Wright
- The Return of: Country House Mysteries – Some of my Favourites
- Bodies from the Library (2018) ed. by Tony Medawar
- Gallows Court (2018) by Martin Edwards
- Reprint of the Year Award 2018: Let the Voting Commence
Weirdest Search Terms for my Blog
- Best looking Poirot victims [Never thought about Christie’s work from that angle!]
- Inspector Alleyn Troys van [Not sure Alleyn ever owned anything so Plebeian as a van]
- Conclusion of dump witness [Included solely for its unfortunate typo]
- Famous antagonist in murder mystery [Nice and specific isn’t it?]
- How did linus and burno meet [I have no idea?]
- What forced grifgfin to become a bandage caricature [Again not a question I feel my blog can answer]
- Name of the plane in death in the clouds [I have actually read this one, but got to admit this is not a detail I logged]
- To destroy the taste of red wine [Once more a question outside the remit of my blog, I feel]
- Anything goes escorts [I feel the person who clicked on my blog based on this search term was immensely disappointed]
Not a weird one but a very frequent search term involves searchers wanting an explanation for the ending of Let Me Lie. This is clearly confusing a lot of people. I only wish I could receive a £1 for every such search term, so I could then afford to go on the Orient Express. Queries over Let Me Lie, are then shortly followed up by numerous questions concerning the Magpie Murders.
Books I am looking forward to reading in 2019
- The Cambridge Companion to Sherlock Holmes
- The Sussex Murders by Ian Sansom
- The Middle Temple Murder by J S Fletcher
- Murder in the Mill Race by E C R Lorac
- Deep Waters ed. Martin Edwards
If there are other 2019 reprints you’re looking forward do let me know.
Plans for 2019
As I mentioned in an earlier post I am taking part in two reading challenges next year, over at Bev’s blog My Reader’s Block. But other than that I don’t have any specific goals in mind, other than keep doing what I am doing, (though this does include about 2 re-reads a month). Unambitious perhaps but I don’t like my reading to feel too pressured.
On a crime fiction, though non-reading note, I am also going to attend my first Crime Writer’s Association conference in April, which I am looking forward to. Though having told my friends and family about it, I now have a shopping list of requests for certain authors’ signatures!
So well done on getting to the end! All that is left to say is Happy New Year (in 11 hours or so)!