What are you reading? WWW Wednesday

What have I been reading this past few weeks, and what’s coming up next on the book pile? To show you lovely readers, I’m getting involved with the WWW Wednesday meme over at the brilliant Taking on a World of Words blog.

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Here we go!

What am I currently reading?

I am super excited to be half way through Nine and Death makes Ten by Carter Dickson. A classic golden age impossible crime mystery, that takes the award for my favourite title for a crime book.  Set against the backdrop of WWII aboard the ‘HM Edwardic’, the ship is forcibly on blackout in protection against attacks. This so far has created a literal and figurative darkness over the artificially lit cabins, making way for a ingenious impossibility related to a set of bloody fingerprints that match no one aboard the ship. 

I am also at the start of contemporary crime novel Tana French’s The Trespasser. Having read many glowing reviews I wanted to give this book a go and it’s brilliant so far. The black female lead, the caustic Antoinette Conway, is super refreshing and very well written.

What did I recently finish?

Just closed the last page of a The Japanese Golden Dozen. A very curious and enigmatic collection from the 1970’s by golden age crime writer and anthologist Ellery Queen. I found this treasure on my last London second hand bookshop walk. The book catalogues and translates some of the best detective fiction writers from all over Japan. There are some misses (and shockers!) but a lot of hits in this collection, my review of this will be up in my next post.

What do you think you will read next?

Well… this week I found possibly my best hall of golden age impossible crime novels from a single secondhand bookshop visit. Dropped in on the off chance and got myself 8 titles! These books are all penned by golden age writer John Dickson Carr, who produced over 80 novels in his time, almost all of which have impossible crimes or elements (also under the pseudonym Carter Dickson, see above). I am a big fan of Carr and a few of these are considered classics so I’m pushed for choice! On the contemporary crime front I have also ordered to my local library Sarah Hillary’s first novel Someone Else’s Skin. And keen to get on Sara Paretsky’s feminist crime series with her first book Indemnity Only.

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Spoilt for choice!

What’s on your to read pile, and what top books have you read lately? Anything you want to recommend me?

24 thoughts on “What are you reading? WWW Wednesday”

    1. Thanks Laurel! Your right, what could be better than seeing all those dull greens spines in a row! I have a feeling someone must have collected them and left the collection behind and I found them all together!

      Glad you are into Paretsky, any that you would recommend of hers?

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  1. Oooh, fun topic! This would be nice to return to every few months.

    Currently reading: Below Suspicion by John Dickson Carr. I’m about 2/3 of the way through it, although I won’t have time to finish until this weekend. I picked it up to take a chance on a less popular book, and I have to say that so far I’m mystified as to why people don’t like it.

    Recently finished reading: Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr (you’ll notice a pattern with my authors…). It is definitely a must read for Carr fans, although probably not a great intro for someone new.

    Up next: Nine-and Death Make Ten by John Dickson Carr. Funny coincidence, eh? You have to understand something though – I change by TBR pile frequently. In fact, if you look at this post from October, it was towards the top of my pile then: https://thegreencapsuleblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/rating-john-dickson-carr-the-middle-ground/
    I keep moving it back because it is one of the few classic Carr’s that I have left, and so I’m waiting until I hit a real dud before reading it.
    Next in line is The Corpse in the Waxworks and then The Demoniacs, but for all I know, I might not get to those for months. I have a real temptation to try out The Problem with the Wire Cage and Seeing is Believing instead.

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    1. Thanks Green. Really great to see what you are on right now and whats coming up.

      Glad you are liking Below Suspicion, it’s funny how Carr seems to polarise people more than other golden age writers (?), so that books that are only pretty good really go down in ratings compared to those that people love. For example I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read much about Till Death Do Us Part as it’s easily one of Carr’s top works. Well I hadn’t heard much about it until I got to this blogging community at least, where it is really well respected! I have never seen Christie so polarised for example? Maybe it’s to do with the fact that its focused so much on the impossible crime too, and that of course is the hardest of all to get right, as you explored you Solutions/Puzzles posts recently. Maybe this requires a post of it’s own.

      Read you Castle Skull review last week, sounds like a treat for the seasoned Carr reader, macabre abounds!

      And look forward to hearing what you think of Nine and Death Makes Ten, I’m really enjoying it so far. And feel your pain of having limited top Carr’s left. I am not there yet, but dread the day! I have Problem of the Wire Cage here as well, and have always heard terrible things about it, so would be interested in your thoughts on that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What am I currently reading? I very much doubt that I’m allowed to tell you that.
    What did I recently finish? I definitely can’t tell you that.
    What do you think you will read next? I have no idea, so I can’t tell you that either.

    Yeah, I may not make a feature of this kind of thing… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. False Weapons, definitely. You get more out of it if you’ve read the early Bencolins, but it’s one of Carrs most plotted early plots — there’s a plot-palooza going on there, and it’s glorious so see him weave his way around and through the conventions of the form. You’ve done well for a haul there; might have to checj out that tour of yours next Tuesday…

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      2. Thats perfect thanks JJ. Ironically I got this set from a second had book shop Wimbledon called Copperfields which isn’t on my list! It usually doesn’t bring much but I thought I pop in on the way home from there on the off chance and bang! Must have been an old collection someone dropped off. Always worth a shot! But the tour is must indeed, and much more likely to bring up some quality stuff. If you interested there is still a few Carrs I left behind in Copperfields as well.

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      3. The Demoniacs, a really nice penguin copy of He Who Whispers (which I very nearly bought) and a pulp edition of Nine and Death Makes Ten, under the ‘Murder in the Atlantic Title’. I think there was something else but I can’t remember. Their is a new green penguin section in the shop where I left the first lot, and the Murder in the Atlantic is on the first shelf as you walk in, under one labelled ‘Agatha Christie’. If you are there for a good browse I have now and again found some classics right at the back of the shop in a little room which has all vintage fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for setting it up Sam, it was a lovely format to write for and hope to come back to it more regularly.

      The second hand book shop is a place thrive, about 50% of my time goes to them! (Well maybe not that much but I probably wish it was.) I read a list of esoteric words for ‘Emotions You Can’t Explain’ that someone sent me recently. One of them was ‘Vellichor’ which means ‘The strange wistfulness of used bookshops’, definitely feel that emotion regularly.

      I made a post of my fav second hand book shops in London if it’s of interest!:
      https://thereaderiswarned.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/my-top-5-second-hand-bookshops-in-london/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice haul indeed! I found a copy of The Bowstring Murders the last time I went hunting. The only Carr in the building and one I didn’t have at that.

    Reading now: The White Priory Murders

    Just finished: Till Death Do Us Part

    Up Next: Not sure. The Chinese Gold Murders? Lament For A Maker? Another Carr?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still in the midst of it at the moment. I’m enjoying it! Definitely early Merrivale.

        Good! I’ve not blundered in buying Chinese Gold Murders!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Aha! I knew I had read a review of it recently, I couldn’t remember where. So I bought it based on your recommendation. I’m looking forward to reading it!

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    1. Haha great! It was TomCat who got me onto it as it features on his locked room list. He recommended the Chinese Maze Murders as well, which I managed to find on a second hand shop recently. Will hopefully review that at some point too.

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      1. Brilliant! I really enjoy reading these blogs; it seems everyone knows each other. And I’ve not been steered wrong yet with recommendations. I ordered 4 locked room mysteries just yesterday based on recommendations.

        Liked by 2 people

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