o/t: 2015’s leisure reading

I’m not sure of the point of end-of-year posts but, for what it’s worth, here goes.

Overall, this was a fairly good year for my leisure reading. A couple of the books that I read for the purpose of providing cover quotes aren’t here (although at least one other is; go figure), but I think the list is otherwise complete apart from an abandonment or two.

The links are to my usually pretty scrappy notes about the books on Goodreads.

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson
Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie
K by Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Obstinate Murderer by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
The Blood Spilt by Åsa Larsson
No Good from a Corpse by Leigh Brackett
The Cry of the Owl by Patricia Highsmith
A Sleeping Life by Ruth Rendell
Murder in the Latin Quarter by Cara Black
Murder at the Nightwood Bar by Katherine V. Forrest
After by Francine Prose
The Killings at Badger’s Drift by Caroline Graham
Bedelia by Vera Caspary
Waverly Place by Susan Brownmiller
Invisible Girl by Tess Hudson
Call Me Princess (2011) by Sara Blaedel
Some Die Eloquent (1979) by Catherine Aird
Scales of Justice (1955) by Ngaio Marsh
The Mystery Girl (1922) by Carolyn Wells
The Girl at Central (1914) by Geraldine Bonner
Lumen (1999) by Ben Pastor
Anything Once (1920) by Douglas Grant (i.e., Isabel Ostrander)
The Devil’s Arithmetic (1988) by Jane Yolen
Plum Lucky (2008) by Janet Evanovich
Speak of the Devil (1941) by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cocaine Blues (1989) by Kerry Greenwood
The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh (1989) ed Douglas G. Greene
The Devil’s Footprints: A Novel (2007) by John Burnside
A Hank of Hair: An Exquisite Danse Macabre (1964) by Charlotte Jay
The Forbidden Garden (1962) by Ursula Curtiss
Death of the Demon (trans 2013) by Anne Holt
The 7th Woman (trans 2014) by Frédérique Molay
King’s Ransom (1959) by Ed McBain
The Pledge (trans 1958) by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Death Rites (trans 2008) by Alicia Giménez Bartlett
Something in the Shadows (1961) by Vin Packer
Miami Purity (1995) by Vicki Hendricks
Intimate Kill (1985) by Margaret Yorke
Spring Fire (1952) by Vin Packer
The Murder Farm (trans 2006) by Andrea Maria Schenkel
A Double Death on the Black Isle (2011) by A.D. Scott
Dover Goes to Pott (1968) by Joyce Porter
Vixen (2003) by Ken Bruen
The Spy Game, by Georgina Harding
Fever Moon, by Carolyn Haines
The Case of the Stuttering Bishop, by Erle Stanley Gardner
The Girl Who Had to Die, by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
What You Left Behind, by Samantha Hayes
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson
Murder in the Gunroom, by H. Beam Piper
Whose Body?, by Dorothy L. Sayers
Mr. Fox, by Helen Oyeyemi
A Watery Grave, by Penny Kline
A Wrongful Death, by Kate Wilhelm
The Inspector Barlach Mysteries: The Judge and His Hangman and Suspicion, by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
The April Robin Murders, by Craig Rice and Ed McBain
Nightfall, by David Goodis
The Distance by Helen Giltrow
Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo
The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine
Slipknot by Priscilla Masters
Nothing More than Murder by Jim Thompson
Stranger at Home by George Sanders (i.e., Leigh Brackett)
Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz
The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham
The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Confabulist by Steven Galloway
The Devil and the Detective, by John Goldbach
The Shell Collector, by Christopher Golden
A Thousand Cuts, by Simon Lelic
A Man Lay Dead, by Ngaio Marsh
Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street, by Heda Margolius Kovaly
The Chinese Orange Mystery, by Ellery Queen
Death of a Ghost, by Margery Allingham
The Devil’s Feather, by Minette Walters
The Blackbirder, by Dorothy B. Hughes
Perversity, by Francis Carco
A Curious Tale of the In-Between, by Lauren DeStefano
Junkie, by Jonathan Craig
The Room with the Tassels, by Carolyn Wells
Sin in Their Blood, by Ed Lacy
The House of Anxiety, by Georges Simenon
The Stone Maiden, by Velda Johnston
The Gun, by Fuminori Nakamura
August Heat, by Andrea Camilleri 
To Love and Be Wise, by Josephine Tey 
The Case of the Late Pig, by Margery Allingham
The Case of the Lamp That Went Out, by Augusta Groner
The Executioners, by John D. MacDonald
To Catch a Thief, by Craig Rice
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, by Susan Elia MacNeal
Cop Hater, by Ed McBain
The Invisible Circle, by Paul Halter
Red-Headed Sinners, by Jonathan Craig
The Explanation for Everything, by Lauren Grodstein
Calibre, by Ken Bruen
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton by Philip Kerr (despite the subtitle, this is a mystery novel with Newton as Sherlock)
Love, the Painter’s Wife and the Queen of Sheba by Aliette Armel
The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick
Dante’s Wood by Lynne Raimondo
Blood from a Stone by Dolores Gordon-Smith
The Master Key by Masako Togawa
The Unbelievers by Alastair Sim
In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward
Trespass by Valerie Martin
Mendel’s Dwarf by Simon Mawer
Newton by Peter Ackroyd
Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant
Border Crossing by Pat Barker
Vanish in an Instant by Margaret Millar
A Deadly Paradise by Grace Brophy
City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley
Spider Webs by Margaret Miller
Appleby’s Other Story by Michael Innes
Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman
Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story by J. Jefferson Farjeon
The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace
The Circular Study by Anna Katharine Green
Wife or Death “by Ellery Queen” (in fact by Richard Deming)
A Dram of Poison by Charlotte Armstrong
The Panda Theory by Pascal Garnier
Bad Intentions by Karin Fossum
The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Man who Went Up in Smoke by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
Without Mercy by Renate Dorrestein
The Treasure Hunt by Andrea Camilleri
Shadow by Karin Alvtegen
The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martínez
The Door by Magda Szabo

Innocent Victims by Minette Walters
Sunfail by Steven Savile
Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catriona McPherson
The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
What Lot’s Wife Saw by Ioanna Bourazopoulou
The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly
Going It Alone by Michael Innes
Cross and Burn by Val McDermid
Without Conscience by David Stuart Davies
Danger Point by Patricia Wentworth
The Quincunx by Charles Palliser
In the Forest by Edna O’Brien
Dancing with the Virgins by Stephen Booth
The Blackstone Key by Rose Melikan
Surfeit of Lampreys by Ngaio Marsh


If I have the counting right (which I may very well not have), there are 90.5 books by women writers and 46.5 books by their shoddier, smellier, lurching, knuckledragging counterparts.

There are 29 books in translation, which is probably too low a ratio but, hey, I’m human.

11 thoughts on “o/t: 2015’s leisure reading

  1. You have been extremely busy, I can see! How on earth do you manage to read so much, watch so many movies AND write on top of it all? Well done and here’s to an excellent 2016!

  2. Nice list. I’ve read exactly 4 from your 2015 stash….Bruen x 2, Vicki Hendricks and Jonathan Craig’s Junkie. Maybe more to follow next year. Have a great one!

  3. That’s a great year of reading, John. I’m looking forward to more Highsmith this year – Carol (The Price of Salt) made my 2015 highlights. And I really must get started with Dorothy B Hughes…I just know I’m going to love her work. Wishing you all the best for the year ahead.

  4. Happy New Year! That’s an impressive list of books. I haven’t read many of them, but there are a lot that I would like to investigate. I loved The Quincunx and really must read it again one day!

    • Good to see you here, Helen! I really enjoyed The Quincunx, but the book’s so enormous that the idea of a reread is . . .intimidating. Besides, as I realized gloomily while prowling the shelves this evening, I have at least four other 800+-pagers that I’ve bought but not read.

  5. Whoa!! All these books and a blog and writing a new book AND regular life, besides? I don’t think that qualifies you as human.

    Hey, I wanted to wish you all the best in 2016 – blog-wise and otherwise. 🙂

    • Well, the “regular life” part unfortunately gets a bit shortchanged. 🙂

      And the very best to you too for 2016. I’m looking forward to reading all your posts in the coming year.

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