November has been a veritable box of delights but, perhaps surprisingly, another Scandinavian crime free month apart from watching ‘The Killing III’ of course!  Instead I have roamed in my reading from Australia to Japan to the US, with an intermittent circumnavigation of Europe. There’s been a mixture of religious conspiracies, serial killers, a history of London crime, a couple of brilliant police procedurals and more. So here’s the round up of Raven’s reads this month on the blog and beyond…

At the top of the month I read Miles Corwin- Midnight Alley, a writer of LA police procedurals featuring Jewish detective Ash Levine and snapping at the heels of Michael Connelly and Joseph Wambaugh. I also reblogged my review of The Killing Season by the same author which is a true account of the lives of LA police officers and a perfect read for fans of the excellent ‘Southland’. Don’t get me started on ‘Southland’ as I’ll talk about it endlessly!

Following on from Corwin,  I not only read Simon Toyne- Sanctus/The Key but also discovered this unassuming author’s secret talents here in An Interview With Simon Toyne. All I can say is keep your eyes on next year’s Strictly line-up. No, but seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed both books and am eagerly anticipating the concluding part of the trilogy next year.

Next up was Ethan Cross- The Shepherd/The Prophet a couple of violent serial killer thrillers with an incredibly enigmatic psychopathic killer who more than made up for the slight weaknesses in the plot.

Then a quick trip to Oz with a gritty little debut in the shape of Luke Preston- Dark City Blue. I thought this was entertaining, sharp and full of promise for the future and it’s definitely vying for top read of the month…but more of that later.

Then in quick succession, a fascinating factual account of seven centuries of London crime Max Decharne- Capital Crimes and a startling little Japanese crime novella Fuminori Nakamura- The Thief which impressed me with its sparsity of style but engaging plot.

Last, but not least, on the blog was Peter May- The Chess Men (Lewis Trilogy 3) the last book in the accomplished Lewis trilogy but perfect for new readers as May effortlessly includes enough back story to keep one up to speed. An intriguing murder mystery, but full of human turmoil and fractured friendships. Wonderful.

Outside of the blog I have also read Simon Kernick’s ‘Siege’– a high octane thriller with more than a nod to Die Hard; Sara Gran’s ‘Come Closer– a strange little tale of the supernatural; Alex Grecian’s ‘The Yard’ an historical thriller set in the aftermath of Jack The Ripper, marred slightly by some loose Americanisms, and finally,  Agnes Desarthe’s ‘The Foundling’ a bijou but perfect French tale of life in the shadow of loss.

A good month indeed and the winner for Raven’s book of the month is…..

Peter May- The Chess Men (Lewis Trilogy 3)– a brilliant conclusion to a highly enjoyable trilogy, and a very creditable second place to debut author Luke Preston- Dark City Blue.-bonzer!