MRM Reviews in the spotlight reviews About MRM Advertising with MRM Contact Us MRM Home Image Map

Friday, February 24, 2012

Decisions, decisions.

One of the biggest problems I have with a Kindle TBR pile of 100+ books  is deciding what to read next once I have finished a book.  First world problems, I know....but I tend to agonize over it, scrolling back and forth through my home page and archives, waiting for lightning to strike when I see just the right book.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately if you're standing under a tree on the golf course), lightning rarely strikes.  I end up with several possible choices that I debate with myself about.  I try to keep the debate internal, as this usually happens on my commuter train, where talking at all is a major breach of etiquette and talking to myself would lead to people abandoning seats.  It would be so much easier if I were the sort of reader who liked to rip through books in a series one after the other, but at least for me that leads to diminishing returns. 

I recently made an exception by reading the first three books in Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak/Danny Boyle series in order after getting them for 99 cents each.  I was so caught up in Grabenstein's Jersey shore world and in the interplay between Ceepak and Boyle that I did not want to stop reading.  I adored "Tilt a Whirl" and "Mad Mouse," but by the time I got to "Whack a Mole" I had become so accustomed to Grabenstein's plotting style that I knew very early on who the culprit was.  I still enjoyed it, but if I had waited a couple of months to read it I probably would have enjoyed it more.

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to put off the decision by reading a short story or two.  Mrs. MRM got me a digital subscription to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine for Christmas, and it has been perfect for those times when I can't decide what book is next.  Of course then I have to choose the short story, but somehow it is easier when the time commitment is shorter.   Sort of like a one night stand instead of getting married (but don't tell her I said that!).

But then the short story is done and I am back to square one.  Should I choose something different than the last book I read?  That is what I usually do, as I like to mix things up to keep it fresh, but sometimes I might prefer a similar author so I have a fresh basis for making comparisons.  Should the book match my mood or possibly change it?  Do I want an escape, some gritty realism, or perhaps a bit of both?  An author I know, or take a chance on someone new?   Sometimes it comes down to just randomly tapping on one of the many choices and heading off on a new journey.  Maybe next time I'll go with the parent-of-young-children dartboard approach and let my 2 year old pick for me...ha! 

Decisions, decisions.

Leave a comment and let us know how you decide...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras - Must Read Mystery Style

Image Credit: syvwlch
MRM is taking a trip to the Big Easy in honor of Fat Tuesday!  Join us as we explore some great mysteries set in steamy New Orleans.  Pull up a chair, grab a slice of King Cake, and enjoy the ride.

I can't think about New Orleans without thinking about Julie Smith's Skip Langdon mysteries.  Her Edgar Award-winning New Orleans Mourning isn't available for Kindle, but it is a perfect read for capturing the glitz and glamour of Mardi Gras, while reminding us of the sinister potential lurking underneath the masks.  If you're looking for a Kindle read, try the darker New Orleans Noir, a short story collection edited by Smith.  Part of the indie publisher Akashic Books geographic "noir" series, this collection explores the seedy underbelly of the city, both pre- and post-Katrina. 

If you're looking for something a little closer to the cozy arena and a great Kindle value, try Barbara Colley's Maid for Murder. The first book in her Charlotte LaRue "maid for a day" mysteries, it is set in the high class, historic Garden District of the city. 

Eric Wilder's $.99 short story Wild Magnolias lets you drop into the Mardi Gras party if you only have time for a quick visit.  Wilder takes you on a wild ride with PI Wyatt Thomas, the star of his French Quarter mystery series that debuted with Big Easy

Of course, no discussion of New Orleans mysteries is complete without mentioning James Lee Burke and his intensely moving Dave Robicheaux series.  Pick one, any one, and enjoy the vivid experience of Lousiana through Burke's eyes. 

So, that is our peek into Mardi Gras Must Reads.  I know we've missed many great ones, so leave us a comment and let us know what you think should be on the Must Read list for Fat Tuesday!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Must Read Monday: Favorite Freebie Finds

Part of the fun of finding free mysteries for Kindle is uncovering the gems that I might not otherwise have read.  Over the course of the past year or so my five favorite freebie finds were:

  • Lisa Turner's A Little Death In Dixie, a gothic police procedural set in Memphis, Tennessee populated with a wealth of complex characters.
  • Stephen Carpenter's KILLER (A Jack Rhodes Mystery), a gritty novel in which best selling mystery writer Jack Rhodes discovers that the details of the murders he has been writing about in his books match with details from murders that happened before his books were written.  Given this premise the reader is never quite sure how much to trust the narrator, ratcheting up the suspense another notch.
  • Lee Goldberg's Watch Me Die, a hilarious and fast paced mystery featuring security guard turned sleuth Harvey Mapes.  This one is particularly of interest to anyone who loves old pulp mystery paperbacks or 70s and 80s TV private investigators.
  • Loren Estleman's Amos Walker: The Complete Story Collection, the first time all of the Walker stories could be found in one place.  I had to pinch myself when I found it was free.
  • L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories, a terrific collection of dark short stories from heavy hitters like Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, and Duane Swierczynski.
None of these are free now, but they are all more than worth it at their regular price.

So what have your favorite freebie finds been?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Must Read Mysteries' Must Read Blog

Welcome to MRM's latest effort to bring the best of the mystery genre to the web.  We would like to use this forum not only to highlight great e-book offers, but also to offer indie authors a forum for sharing their work.  We're planning some great posts, including author interviews and cameos, and perhaps some fan features where you get to share your Must Reads!  Let us know if there is anything else you would like to see, if you would like to be interviewed, or if you have an idea for a guest post of your own.

If you'd like to learn a little more about Must Read Mysteries, take a minute to read author Esri Allbritten's MRM interview.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *