Can I just say that I adore murder mysteries?! I'm not even sure why, but man... love them! Crime dramas, murder mysteries, all things related... right up my alley.
Anyway! So I wanted to summarize what I've been reading this month, which includes a lot of murder mysteries! :D I have read 5 books, so far, toward my goal of 52 in 2012 - good progress!
The first book I read was called The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman. It was an ok read, but I probably wouldn't read it again, nor recommend it. The recipes included at the beginning of each chapter look interesting and I might have to try some of them, but as for the book itself... It's the story of a group of 12 women who get together every Christmas for a cookie swap. Each member bakes 12 dozen of her cookies - one dozen for every other member and an extra dozen to go to a charity. So they each talk about their cookie recipe, why the chose it, and how it kind of relates to the year they've had. There are a bunch of little side stories going on, secrets, which made it not that interesting. They have a strict list of rules, and the whole concept really makes me want to try something similar in real life! :)
The next 4 books I read were from Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series: Still Life, The Cruellest Month, Dead Cold, and The Murder Stone. I became interested in reading Louise Penny's works because she's a local author and her novels are based here in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. It's particularly refreshing to read about a landscape and terms I am familiar with. I think she is a magnificent writer, I've loved every book so far. I'm currently reading The Brutal Telling, which is also really good. Possibly even the best so far! Each book has at least one murder, which is solved by the Chief Inspector of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, Armand Gamache, and his team. The murders all take place in, or have something to do with the residents of, Three Pines - a fictitious village in the Eastern Townships - and I think every murder so far has had some sort of connection to a particular house in Three Pines, "the old Hadley house." I won't describe the stories because I would be tempted to give away spoilers because I tend to gush about books I enjoy, and I don't want to do that because I really recommend these books to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery that isn't gorey or graphic! There is some swearing, and Québecois terminology that might be lost on some people, but if you can overlook these small things, I think you'll really enjoy the read!