TBR Thursday 272 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 272

(A reminder of the People’s Choice plan. Once a month, I shall list the four oldest books on the TBR, then the next four, and so on, and each time you will select the one you think I should read, either because you’ve read and enjoyed it, or because you think the blurb looks good. And I will read the one you pick within three months! If I begin to fall behind, I’ll have a gap till I catch up again. In the event of a tie, I’ll have the casting vote.)

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OK, time for the next batch of four! Still working through books acquired in 2015, but finally getting close to the end of them! As usual, I’m planning three months ahead so the winner will be a May read. A crime week this time, but still quite varied, I think. The Cuckoo’s Calling keeps lingering simply because it’s so long. (OK, I cannot tell a lie – it’s also because I think Cormoran Strike is a really silly name.) I read and enjoyed a later book in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series, so bought the first in the series, Last Rituals, intending to catch up – that clearly went well! I’m ashamed to say that Soft Summer Blood is a NetGalley book – don’t know what happened to make it linger since I’d enjoyed a couple of Helton’s other books. And A Meditation on Murder was acquired on the recommendation of a blogger who has since disappeared without trace from the blogosphere.

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…

Crime

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Added 12th September 2015. 498,822 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.87 average rating. 561 pages.

The Blurb says: After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

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Crime

Last Rituals by Yrsa Sirgurdardottir

Added 3rd November 2015. 8,980 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.59 average. 314 pages.

The Blurb says: At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim’s family isn’t convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Guðmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn’t long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student’s obsession with Iceland’s grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts. But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems … and no one can be trusted.

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Crime

Soft Summer Blood by Peter Helton

Added 3rd December 2015. 55 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.67 average. 224 pages. 

The Blurb says: It all seemed so simple: a murder; an obvious suspect; a shaky alibi: DI McLusky never had it so good. Until a second killing challenges all his earlier assumptions. With every new piece of evidence McLusky brings to light, the case becomes more complicated. Does it have its roots in a disappearance eighteen years earlier, or is it firmly based in the present?

Meanwhile, DI Kat Fairfield and DS Jack Sorbie are tasked with finding the daughter of a prominent Italian politician, who has disappeared while on a student exchange programme at Bristol University. Neither is overjoyed to be lumbered with a routine missing person’s case while McLusky heads a high-profile murder investigation. Until they find a dead body of their own…

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Crime

A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood

Added 5th December 2015. 1,499 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.99 average. 358 pages.

The Blurb says: Aslan Kennedy has an idyllic life: Leader of a Spiritual Retreat for wealthy holidaymakers on one of the Caribbean’s most unspoilt islands, Saint Marie. Until he’s murdered, that is. The case seems open and shut: when Aslan was killed he was inside a locked room with only five other people, one of whom has already confessed to the murder.

Detective Inspector Richard Poole is hot, bothered, and fed up with talking to witnesses who’d rather discuss his ‘aura’ than their whereabouts at the time of the murder. But he also knows that the facts of the case don’t quite stack up. In fact, he’s convinced that the person who’s just confessed to the murder is the one person who couldn’t have done it. Determined to track down the real killer, DI Poole is soon on the trail, and no stone will be left unturned.

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VOTE NOW!

(Click on title and then remember to also click on Vote, or your vote won’t count!)

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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

67 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 272 – The People’s Choice…

    • I went through a real phase of reading her stuff although her latest series gradually got too gruesome for me! But for some reason this one slipped through the cracks – I’d be quite happy if it wins!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. To my own surprise, my choice here is A Meditation on Murder. I think its cosy nature appeals at this moment and the fact that readers seemed to have enjoyed it. I have read Last Rituals some years back but can’t offer any comments now unfortunately. I had never been a reader of crime until several years ago and I started with Nordic authors, and read a lot of their books. I think I was intrigued by the icy and dark landscapes and the psychology that seemed to grow out of that more than the crime really. However, that interest seems to be out of my system now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I went through a major phase of reading Nordic crime a few years ago too, and then gradually lost interest – not just with the Nordic stuff but with contemporary crime generally, as you know. Buy Sigurdardottir was one of my favourites at that time. A Meditation on Murder does sound good, and although I believe this was his debut, he’s now pretty successful and has a sizeable loyal fan base, so I’d be quite happy if it wins! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve enjoyed the Strike series on TV and bought the audio of the latest…which I sent back. I found it repetative and rambling. It seems I’m in the minority though… Anyway, I went for A Meditation on Murder which reminded me of Death in Paradise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, dear! I’m afraid when I see a page count that high for a crime novel, my heart always sinks – it quite often means lots of rambling. A Meditation on Murder does sound good, and was indeed the book behind the Death in Paradise series, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would go for a Meditation on Murder, as the blurb made me think of Death in Paradise as well, which I have always liked in a low-key kind of way. If you think the first Galbraith book is long, I read somewhere that the latest was around 900 pages, which seems a rediculous length for a thriller, she could really do with an editer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 900 pages is just ridiculous for a crime novel – ugh! And yet the books get a pretty high rating – it can’t all be Harry Potter fans surely? 😉 A Meditation on Murder is indeed the book behind the Death in Paradise series, which I kept meaning to watch but never got around to, as usual. It does sound like fun though… 😀 I registered your vote – thank you!

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  4. A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood gets my vote (I don’t see the widget you had last time, maybe it’s something on my end though). I’m very curious to see which one will win this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a feeling that some browsers don’t show the poll – iPhones, maybe? I must remember to put a note on future posts. But I’ve registered your vote for A Meditation on Murder – sounds like fun! I’d be quite happy if it wins…

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  5. You’ve got some good ‘uns here, FictionFan! I’d actually be happy if any one of them won. That said, though, I voted for Last Rituals. I think that series is a good one, and I’ve a soft spot for this particular novel because one of its settings is a university. Can’t help it – I’m biased towards that. I hope you’ll like it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’d be happy with any of them this month too which is a nice feeling! I do like Yrsa Sigurdardottir and am kicking myself that I never followed through with the Thora books, so I’d be quite happy to see it win… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I went the cozy route, so A Meditation on Murder got my attention, though I was afraid to vote because some of the ones I have vote for turned out to be terrible. 😔 Some book blurbs sound better than the books turn out to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, happily You, The People seem to be getting better – the last couple you’ve picked have been great! 😀 A Meditation on Murder sounds like fun and since then he’s developed a loyal fan base, so I’d be quite happy if it wins…

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  7. I was going to vote for A Meditation on Murder when I noticed The Cuckoo’s Calling is by Robert Galbraith. That’s the pen name of J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series and a really fine writer. I think my mom read that one and enjoyed it, despite its length, so that got my vote. Besides, what else can one do during the long winter besides curl up with a long book?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Cuckoo’s Calling certainly got loads of praise and the later books have been just as successful, so I’d be quite happy if it wins – though with the length of it, it could be long past winter before I finish it… maybe next winter! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there’s a whole series of them now, although this was the first before the TV series was created, I think. I haven’t watched it – I watch so little TV these days – but the books do sound entertaining. I’ll be quite happy if it wins! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve enjoyed the Galbraith books I’ve read – haven’t read the latest one yet. But for some reason I decided to vote for Soft Summer Blood – and I see I’m the only one so far, ha ha! I don’t know, it sounds like a good police procedural.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I’m delighted you voted for Soft Summer Blood – no book yet has ever had zero votes and I was beginning to get a bit worried! It’s picked up a couple more now… 😀 I have enjoyed other of his books in the past so I’d be quite happy if it wins, though it doesn’t seem likely…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I voted for The Cuckoo’s Calling. I have read that one and the next in Galbraith’s series and I enjoyed both of them. I haven’t read any of the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yrsa Sigurdardottir can indeed be gory! There’s a murder method in one of her books that has left me so emotionally scarred I can barely bring myself to use a vacuum cleaner at all now… 😉

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  10. I voted for Cuckoo’s Calling only because I read it for my book club recently and I’d be curious to get your take on it. It got mixed reviews in our group. (at least I wasn’t the only one who’d never read anything by Rowling before, which in some ways might have been a good thing)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved the Harry Potter books, although they got very long in the end too – she needs a strong editor, I think! But the Cormoran Strike books do always sound interesting and I’d like to at least try them some day, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        • They’re surprising addictive. When they were coming out I was working in a school and even the most reluctant readers were willing to pick them up and get involved, so I have a major soft spot for them for that reason. But I enjoyed them as actual books too!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, some phone browsers don’t seem to show the poll – I must remember to put a note on future posts. I’ve logged your vote though – thank you! The Death in Paradise book does sound like fun, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins. The Cuckoo’s Calling series seems to get a very mixed reaction – I will read it one day whether it wins or not but I wish it wasn’t so long…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Don’t let the name of the hero of the Cuckoo’s Calling put you off – it’s a good read that moves along nicely with a bit of action & a good plot. The Meditation on Murder book on the other hand, I personally found very dull. After a promising start it spent the rest of the book rehashing the same very obvious facts about the murder over and over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I must admit I loved the Harry Potter books, even the long ones at the end of the series, so I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy her writing style. Haha, it’s funny that the name Hercule Poirot doesn’t bother me, but Cormoran Strike does… 😉 Oh, that’s a pity about A Meditation on Murder, but I do find that fault happens quite often at the cosier end of crime…

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  12. For once, none of these strike me as particularly appealing – I like university-set novels but Last Rituals sounds a bit too grim for me! I voted for Soft Summer Blood instead – still vaguely university-themed but perhaps a bit less dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Based on other books of hers that I’ve read, Last Rituals is indeed likely to be grim and probably gruesome! The other Peter Helton books I’ve read, on the other hand, tend to be – not exactly cosies – but definitely at the lighter, more entertaining end of crime fiction. I’ll be quite happy if it wins, but it’s not looking hopeful at the moment…

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  13. I’ve enjoyed the Strike & Robin series, so I’ve voted for The Cuckoo’s Calling. However, you really need to enjoy reading about the character, that is what makes the series interesting. And yes, I made it through the 944 pages of Troubled Blood as well without even thinking it was too long (which wasn’t the case for the longer HP books). Wouldn’t be sad if Last Rituals wins either, Iceland is a great setting for crime fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel there’s a 50/50 chance that I could love or hate The Cuckoo’s Calling but the only way to be sure is to try it sometime, whether it wins this month or not! I must say I think the idea of a 944 page crime novel – or any novel – is ridiculous. It’d have to be as good as Dickens to hold my attention for anything like that long, and with all due respect to JK Rowling, she isn’t Dickens…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I used to read vast amounts of contemporary crime so always had loads sitting on the TBR. And then quite suddenly I got fed up with it, and turned to vintage crime instead, so loads of books have been left lingering. The Nordic ones are usually very good, but grim and gruesome – too much for me, quite often.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s been awhile but I remember reading the Galbraith book and liking it. I’m pretty sure it was Cuckoo’s calling that I read. I HATED J.K. Rowlings adult novel, abandoned it after a few pages, whatever large tome it was, but this series seems to have really garnered an audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, that one is on my TBR too – the oldest unread book I own! I don’t think I’ve seen any really positive reviews of it. But her detective series does seem to have a lot of fans – not sure it’s going to win, but I will read it one day!

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