My reading for the 7th Canadian Book Challenge, which I summarized in my last post, involved 18 books of which 2 were non-fiction and 16 were crime fiction.
An unexpected and probably the most significant statistic from my reading for the Challenge is that I read 9 mysteries by men and 9 mysteries by women.
I was not making a conscious decision to achieve gender equality but I have been striving to have more gender balance in reading. Still I do not expect equality next year. I do not want my reading driven by statistics. I have enough serious work reading in my life. For personal reading I want to pick books that look good to read.
I think the equal number of female and male mystery authors I have read reflects the strength of current female mystery authors.
The settings for the books involved 5 provinces and 2 territories inside Canada and 4 countries outside Canada. My coming post on the Arthur Ellis Award shortlist for the Best Canadian Mystery Novel will touch upon Canadian mysteries set outside Canada.
There is no doubt my favourite of the 16 mysteries was The Gifted by Gail Bowen. It was the best fiction I read in 2013. It is among the best in the Joanne Kilbourn - Shreeve series.
Next would be Stranglehold by Robert Rotenberg. The 4th in his series involving Toronto police and lawyers involved fascinating personal stories and a strong mystery.
Third would be Miss Montreal by Howard Shrier. I thought there was an excess of violence in his earlier books featuring Jonah Geller. In Miss Montreal he kept his sleuth hard boiled while keeping the body count down At the same time he explored several important societal issues.
Of the new to me Canadian authors I especially enjoyed John Brooke's book, Walls of a Mind, featuring Chief Inspector Aliette Nouvelle which was set in southern France. She is a very interesting character and I want to learn more about her.
It is a good time to be reading Canadian crime fiction.
- Bill Selnes
- Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
- I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.