45. Out of the Woods but not Over the Hill - Gervase Phinn
46. A Cook's Year in a Welsh Farmhouse - Elizabeth Luard
47. In the Bleak Midwinter - Julia Spencer-Fleming
48. Travels with Macy - Bruce Fogle
49. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter - Tom Franklin
50. Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley
Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they're found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters' diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred's death, the English hamlet of Bishop's Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint's tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there's never such thing as an open-and-shut case.
Not much to say about this other than it was hugely enjoyable. It was delightful to return to the village of Bishop's Lacey and see once again how brilliant Flavia is at using chemistry to solve the various murders that crop up in the village. Her family and the cast of other village characters make the books come alive and they are just a joy to read. Can't wait for the next one now.
51. A Fountain Filled With Blood - Julia Spencer-Fleming.
Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, Millers Kill, New York, is about as safe as it gets. That's why Episcopal minister Clare Fergusson is shocked when the July Fourth weekend brings a rash of vicious assaults to the scenic town. Even Clare's good friend, police chief Russ Van Alstyne, is shaken by the brutality of the crimes - especially when it appears that the victims were chosen because they were gay. But when a third assault on an out-of-town develo0per end in murder, Clare and Russ wonder if the recent crime wave is connected to the victim's controversial plan to open an upscale spa in Millers Kill. But not all things in the tiny town are what they seem and soon, Clare and Russ are left to fight their unspoken attraction to one another, even as they uncover a labyrinthine conspiracy that threatens to turn deadly for them both...
Oh, how I do love Clare and Russ. I think I may be reading these books as much for the progression of their relationship as for the actual crime element. The crime element is very good though, both books so far have had a long, really exciting scene towards the end to do with the landscape and conditions in New York State. I really love that real connection to the setting and love that I've found another author who does that. Others that spring immediately to mind are Craig Johnson, Nevada Barr, James Lee Burke (in the USA anyway). But Clare and Russ are fascinating. They're hopelessly attracted to each other but trying very hard not to be - Russ because he's married and Clare because she's a church minister and because Russ is married! It's absolutely fascinating. Great books, book four has arrived but book three has not. Wish it would hurry up!
52. Notes from a Big Country - Bill Bryson
So, that's my reading for July. Pleased that I managed four non-fictions this month, I knew it was achievable if I put my mind to it. Favourite book of the month? Probably Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin, but the two Julia Spencer-Flemings ran it a close second and so did Travels With Macy and Notes from a Big Country. To be honest it really was a reading month full of quality books.