A couple of times a year I like to talk about some of the books I've enjoyed. This has been a tough reading year for me. Normally I move from title to title with relative ease and enjoy the majority of what I read, this year I have had a lot of false starts and books for whatever reason I just couldn't get past the first few chapters. Last year I easily met my 50 book challenge on Goodreads, whereas this year I'll be lucky to come in at around the 50% mark.
So the books that make into my reading round up are even more special because they are the ones that I not only completed but also completely enjoyed.
Truly Dead by Anne Fraiser
This is the fourth book in the Elise Sandburg series. I am a pretty big fan of this series and it was this book that broke me out of my reading slump in the middle of the year. I wouldn't always say it was important to pick up a series from book one but in this case there are some elements of the story that won't otherwise make sense. If you are a pure crime fiction lover this might not be for you either as there are black magic elements to the story line. Personally for me it helps to enhance the rich cultural elements of the setting. In addition to the crime action there is the continuing will they won't they relationship between Elise and her partner. If you are looking for something a bit different and special I would recommend this series which starts with Play Dead.
Guiltless by Viveca Sten
This is the third in this series. Viveca is a Swedish writer so I'm always impatiently waiting for the next book to be translated. I also believe that this series has been made into a television show in Sweden which I would love to watch but would definitely need subtitles. The characters in her stories are so engaging and this is the reason I really got into the books. In the interest of being honest the ending of her first novel left me feeling a bit bleugh but the quality of the characters drew me into the second and I have not been disappointed. I think you could pick up this series in any of the books. If you do start from the beginning and like me don't love the ending I would urge you to continue reading the series.
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
I dove right into this series in book nine through my audible subscription and really enjoyed it. Again this series has great characters who I think are easy to relate to. I enjoyed the story and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had not accurately guessed who the killer was, which is always a treat. I am now working my way through the previous books whilst waiting for number ten to come along. I can't believe I hadn't crossed paths with this series before this year.
These are my top three of the second half of 2017 and it is only at this point I realise that they are all written by women. Christmas is the season of buying books and bringing the joy of new worlds and adventures into other peoples lives and for me I gain real joy over picking titles for my nearest and dearest.