Hi everyone and welcome to halfway through March!

It’s about that time of year again when I like to remind people to take a minute of their time and write to one of your favourite authors just to thank them for the enjoyment they have provided you.

Hours of entertainment. Adventures they have taken you on. Worlds they have allowed you to escape into. Many authors pour their hearts and soul into novels. It’s nice to take a minute just to thank them personally for doing that.

I’ve spoken to so many authors in the past who have told me how touching it is to receive an e-mail from a stranger like that. Positive reviews are one thing but there is something they really appreciate by that personal touch. You’d be surprised how many of them will reply to your e-mail as well.

Speaking of – I just stopped writing the newsletter to send one such message to Catherine Steadman. She didn’t have a website so I reached out over Twitter. You may recognize the name as she is an actress as well as an author.

I just finished reading The Disappearing Act by Catherine. This is the third book she has written. I actually purchased it last year upon release but it got lost in the shuffle. This was an excellent book if you are a fan of psychological thrillers. All of her books are, actually.

In short, this is a thriller about a big-name actress called Mia Eliot who travels to the USA to audition for a couple of roles. She beats another woman at the audition called Emily. Emily asks her to hold onto a few personal items for her briefly – then Emily disappears.

A few days later Emily shows up at Mia’s apartment to collect her things….only the woman who is there to collect her stuff isn’t actually Emily.

This one was great and kept me guessing throughout. I really enjoyed the prior two novels by Catherine, but this one was on a whole other level. Great stuff.

The new novel in the Gray Man series came out a few weeks ago. It’s called Sierra Six and normally I drop everything to read it. However last year I started to re-read the series. I decided rather than jumping back and forth, to continue with my re-read so I have started Dead Eye, which is the fourth book in the series.

I don’t think I will binge the entire series; probably just jump back and forth for a while.

I read The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart and I’m going to add that one to the recommendations section. Read more about it there.

Excited that Nine Lives by Peter Swanson is out today. I’ve listened to all his thrillers and love them. I’ll start listening to that one shortly.

I listened to The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. Her two prior thriller novels were fantastic. This one wasn’t as good.

It was billed as another “locked room mystery” but it went at a slow pace, and felt more like some sort of family drama than a thriller. Pity as The Hunting Party and The Guest List were both phenomenal.

With about 25% left in the book, I ended up changing the narration speed to 1.5x just to get it finished. It’s a shame as the book takes place in France, and the audiobook has various narrators doing French accents, etc. That really added to the experience but the thriller aspect was completely missing.

I’ve watched the first few episodes of Pieces of Her on Netflix, based on the novel by Karin Slaughter. Really enjoying it so far. Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way but hopefully get back to it soon.

Speaking of, my current audiobook is by Karin. I’m listening to Pretty Girls. It’s a long audiobook at about 20 hours so it will keep me busy – that’s for sure. Only a couple of hours in but enjoying it so far and planning a long walk after I hit “send” on the newsletter just to get more listening time in!

Each month we give away 5 prizes to 5 random subscribers of $25 each in the form of Amazon gift certificates. To win all you have to do is be a subscriber. Nothing more! When we go to hit “Publish” we take a list of all of our subscribers, throw them into a random draw and those are the winners.

Our winners this month are:

Diana G. from Corvallis, OR
Jennifer from Farmington, MI (Email begins with msu)
Katherine W. from Grecia, Costa Rica
Robert E. from Sacramento, CA
Jeannie from South Jordan, UT

All of you have been e-mailed. If you don’t see anything, check your junk folder or contact me.


Quote of the Mid-Month

‘’Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.’’

 – Mark Twain

Thanks to Alvin for that quote.  Feel free to submit your own quotes to site@orderofbooks.com or just hit reply.  It can be just general quotes about books, author quotes within a novel or even character quotes.

Book / Series Recommendations

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart

If you’re a fan of sci-fi books such as Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, then you should really enjoy this one.

The story takes place in the future, at a hotel where people visit and then time travel from there to another period in the past. That’s a vacation in the future. Traveling back in time.

The protagonist in the book is January Cole.  She is the head of security, and she is really going to have to be on her toes as weird things are happening.  Clocks running backward, corpses from the future that only she can see, baby dinosaurs showing up out of nowhere.  

All this at the same time as numerous billionaire guests arrive to compete in a bidding war to privatize the hotel.

Be sure to read The Warehouse by him as well – another great novel.

Bryant & May: Peculiar Crimes Unit by Christopher Fowler

Joyce wrote in to recommend this series, stating:

“I would like to recommend the Bryant & May series by Christopher Fowler.  They are funny, fast paced & one always learns lots of obscure facts.  LOVE-Love-Love this series”

The series began back in 2003 with Full Dark House and is still going strong today.  Bryant and May are two cranky yet brilliant aging detectives who tackle peculiar crimes.  

Marcus Didius Falco Series by Lindsay Davis
Caroline wrote in to recommend this historical mystery series.  The series has 20 novels in it although unfortunately appears finished now.

Here is what Caroline wrote:  “I have to say that sometimes you get a pleasant surprise via a lengthy series. I know I did when I just recently completed the Marcus Didius Falco series of 20 books by Lindsey Davis.”

“Set in ancient Rome, each book approached his profession as an informer (known as a private eye now) from a unique angle so they were exciting to read. Chock full of sparkling dialogue and “laugh out loud” comments by Marcus, not only was I always entertained, I learned a lot about ancient Rome from geography to dining habits and social interactions.”

If you’re a historical mystery fan, check this series out.

March Charities

While I appreciate all offers of donations to show your appreciation for the site and newsletter, I’d much rather you do that by supporting some great causes.  Each month I pick a few select charities broken down by our most popular countries that you can support instead.   Thanks!  And please note you’re not restricted to the country you reside in of course – pick any you wish to support!

Ukraine: Hospitallers
USA: North Shore Animal League
Texas: Equality Texas
Africa: SCI Foundation

I rotate this list each month.  Feel free to suggest a charity – hit reply.

Facebook Question of the Month

Each month I ask readers on our Facebook page a question, then list the responses here.

Unfortunately, this month I forgot all about it!  I thought I would use this as an opportunity to ask YOU for any suggestions for a question of the month.

In the past, we have asked a variety of questions such as top female protagonist series, top horror books, top short series, and much more.  You can see the full list here.

Any thoughts on what to pose as the monthly question?  E-mail site@orderofbooks.com or just hit reply.  Thanks!  Ideally, a question where we get a list of books or book series in response.

March 2022 Book Of The Month (16th-31st)

A Sunlit Weapon by Jacqueline Winspear

The 17th book in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear arrives next week.

It is called A Sunlit Weapon and takes place in October 1942.  

A female pilot hires Maisie to investigate after she goes through issues delivering a Supermarine Spitfire.  First, she is shot at from the ground then two days later, another pilot crashes at the same location.

I know we have a lot of Maisie Dobbs fans out there.  Pre-order now.

10 More Notable Books Releasing Mar 15-31

  1. A Safe House by Stuart Woods
  2. What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline
  3. The Shop on Royal Street by Karen White
  4. The Match by Harlan Coben
  5. The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery
  6. Fallen Creed by Alex Kava
  7. Eve of Destruction by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  8. The War of Two Queens by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  9. Nine Lives by Peter Swanson
  10. The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

Random Top 10 of the Month

10 Of My Favourite Books

Thought this would be a fun one – picking 10 of my favourite books.  This isn’t a top 10 or anything like that – just 10 books that I really enjoy and recommend.

  1. Replay by Ken Grimwood (My favourite of all time)
  2. The Warehouse by Rob Hart (Dystopian future)
  3. The Store by Bentley Little (Horror)
  4. Run by Blake Crouch (Survival)
  5. The Day Before Midnight by Stephen Hunter (Action)
  6. Stay Close by Harlan Coben (Mystery / Thriller)
  7. One Second After by William R. Forstchen (Dystopian)
  8. The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke (Thriller)
  9. Brilliance Saga by Marcus Sakey (Sci-fi lite)
  10. The King of Torts by John Grisham (Legal thriller)

Your Thoughts:

This month’s question:

If a book you haven’t read is adapted to TV or movie, will you go out of your way to read it first?

I mean it depends on the genre of course.  I expect it would have to be a genre you are interested in.

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter for example.  That was released on Netflix on March 4th.  As it is a genre I am a big fan of, I decided to read the book first.  Regardless of how good or bad an adaptation is – it’s always fun for me watching the book “come to life”.

I also feel it adds to the book somewhat; reading it and picturing particular scenes play out on TV.

A friend recommended The Expanse TV show to my wife and me.  I’m not a big fan of this type of sci-fi.  So even though it is based on the books by James S.A. Corey, I’m not going to read those prior to watching the show.

I feel a lot of that depends on whether it is a book or a series as well.  If it’s a one-off standalone novel?  Sure there’s a good chance I’ll read it first.  But when it is a 10+ book series?  It has to be something I am REALLY interested in.

What are your thoughts?  

E-mail us your feedback to site@OrderOfBooks.com  or just reply in the comments, and we’ll pick the best comments and feature it in next months newsletter.  Five people will also randomly win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

Order of Books » Newsletter » March 2022 Mid-Month Newsletter

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