Hi everyone and welcome to May!

Hope everyone had a good month and read a lot of books.

I finished off The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May. Superb series, and I really enjoyed it. While each book is technically a mystery novel, the series is so much more than that and really about the characters.

I really enjoyed his ability to introduce new characters who hadn’t been mentioned before or were barely mentioned in passing, and make you care so much about them. The writing for these was incredible as well. I’ll certainly be reading more books by Peter.

I finished listening to The Night Shift by Alex Finlay. I really enjoyed their first novel, Every Last Fear. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book as much purely due to the narration.

There were three narrators and one of them just wasn’t suited for narrating a thriller. I looked up the reviews on Audible and saw many people had the same complaints. It almost felt like she was talking down to the listener at times.

So it’s quite interesting as I don’t know how to feel about this book due to that. First time I have experienced that when listening to an audiobook. I think it was an okay thriller? Although there were some weak plot points that really bothered me.

If you’ve read the books let me know your thoughts. I tried to look at Goodreads but it is full of “omg 5 stars ps thanks for the ARC in exchange for an honest review” which always turns me off.

It’s funny what motivates you to read a certain book sometimes. Back in 2010, I spent some time compiling a list of spy thrillers and the like as it’s my favourite genre. One of those was a debut author – Tom Wood, author of the Victor the Assassin series.

I actually bought his book way back then but hadn’t read it yet. I’d see his name in passing or when new books come out and it’d remind me that I’d have to read it. Yet something else would always come up.

A reader, Mike, wrote in reply to one of the mailbags a couple of weeks and said:

“One author whose new books I would buy blindly is British writer Tom Wood and his Victor the Assassin series. Wood doesn’t write often, but he is up to 9 in the series. ”

I’ve no idea why – but just that one e-mail was enough to put me over the top. I opened the book up on my Kindle to remind me to read it, and as soon as I finished The Lewis Trilogy, I started it.

Wow – was this ever worth the wait! After the incredible opening, I actually stopped at 14% just to write Mike a quick note thanking him for motivating me to start it. I am only about halfway through it so far but really enjoying it.

One thing I am really enjoying is the author goes into detail about Victor traveling around local cities etc. He’ll mention that Victor stops at a fast food place, and what he eats there.

It reminds me of Remote Control, the first book in the Nick Stone series by Andy McNab. In that one, Stone visits Burger King, etc. and the author describes what he gets. It just helps ground the character I feel and gives you something to relate to.

Funny story about the McNab series; he often refers to the character wearing a G-Shock watch. I ended up going out and buying a G-Shock watch purely due to all the mentions in that series of it. A few years later, Nick ended up wearing a Traser watch – and this was due to Traser sponsoring McNab to mention that watch in his books.

Just thought that was kind of neat. You never really hear of authors and sponsorship deals like that. As long as it isn’t too in your face, I don’t really have a problem with that.

Anyway, I just thought it was amusing that I bought the watch he kept referencing BEFORE there was a sponsorship deal.

Each month we give away 5 $25 Amazon gift certificates to random subscribers.

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:

Barbara M. from Westminister, CO
Steve S. from Antelope, CA
David C. from Winnsboro, SC
Eileen H. from East Berlin, PA
Harriet N. from Topeka, KS

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


Quote of the Month

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

 – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Submitted by Joanna.  While I primarily read on Kindle, I still have a few books sprinkled around my house.  There’s just something about them that really adds to a room I find.  Submit your own quotes; just hit reply.

Book Recommendations

In this section, I give 5 random book recommendations.  They can be old books, they can be new.  But either way – I recommend you read them if the type of genre they are in appeals to you.   Feel free to e-mail suggestions to site@orderofbooks.com as many of the suggestions each month are from our readers.  If you wish to add a description for the book around the same size as the ones below that’d be great too!  I should note we also have a huge backlog of recommendations so if you don’t see one that you recommended then don’t worry – it’ll show up eventually!

The Investigator by John Sandford

It’s always a risk when an author starts up a new series featuring a new character. John Sandford did just that with a female protagonist as he started up the Letty Davenport series. Letty is the adopted daughter of the infamous Lucas Davenport.

I wasn’t sure how this book would be received but I am glad to see everyone loves it. I received a lot of e-mails about it so wanted to recommend it this month – the first in a new series. And if you like it, go ahead and read the Lucas Davenport/Prey series if you haven’t already!

Here’s one of the many e-mails I received – written by Jim:

“I have been a fan of John Sandford since his first ‘Prey’ book. His main character in those books is Lucas Davenport. At some point, Lucas and his wife adopted a young girl who had a rough childhood. Letty Davenport is now a young woman and out for adventures of her own. Her first story, ‘The Investigator’, is very good. Timely, fast paced, and funny in places. Just like many of Sandford’s books. She shares a lot of characteristics with her father and I am looking forward to the next chapter.”

For more details or to purchase it, check out our John Sandford page.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

This standalone novel by Matt Haig has been recommended quite a few times by readers.

The most recent recommendation was by Pat, who wrote:

“I just finished reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and thoroughly enjoyed it. Nora is a thirty-five-year-old who feels her life has been a waste and decides to commit suicide. But at the moment just before death, she enters the Midnight Library.”

“Every decision (e.g. giving up competitive swimming) that she considers has led to this unsatisfactory life is written in one large book. She is able to enter the life she would have had if one of those regrets was not true (she becomes an Olympic champion) and may choose to continue her life in that “book”. The end may be a bit predictable, but the journey to get there was uplifting. We don’t need to be tied to and mired by our past decisions; the future is all there for us. An easy read but not simplistic.”

Visit our Matt Haig page to check it out.

The Fiona Griffiths Series by Harry Bingham

A few readers have wrote in over the years to recommend this series by the UK author Harry Bingham.

It takes place in Wales and has six novels in the series featuring Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths.

If you’re a fan of UK detective books, then be sure to read this excellent series.

For more details, see our Harry Bingham page.

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner

Ruth wrote in to recommend this standalone author by the award-winning author Susan Meissner. Here is what she wrote:

“The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner is a book worth reading. Your interest is kept from page one. The story takes place in San Francisco in the early 1900 before the famous earthquake and after the earthquake. The flavor of the time period is authentic and you get a good background of what happened to the people and their homes when the earthquake struck.”

“The story is about a young woman who came to New York from Ireland to find a better life for herself. New York was too hard so she answered a letter from a man from California who was looking for a wife to take care of his child, a comfortable and handsome man. I will tell no more. But only that you can’t stop reading it and wished for it to continue even when the story ended. I’m sure all your readers will enjoy this one.”

Head to our Susan Meissner page to order.

Mark Sava Series by Dan Mayland

This is a spy thriller series that I haven’t had the chance to read yet. There are only four books in it though and it appears they are all on Kindle Unlimited which is a bonus. I’ll check this one out at some point.

Edward wrote in to recommend it and here’s what he said:

“Hello, I wanted to let you know that I read Dan Mayland’s Mark Sava books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was first attracted to the books because Mark Sava is a CIA operator, and the first book takes place in Baku, Azerbaijan, which I was particularly interested in.”

“I know little of that area and could not think of a better way to learn more than by reading this first book, The Colonel’s Mistake. True to form, the story described Baku, the nation’s capital, highlighted the association with Russia and the country’s vast oil and gas reserves. All woven through an interesting and exciting story of spycraft, deceit, and double-crosses. I enjoyed the characters, which I thought were flushed out in good deep detail and with personality.
I could not wait to start the second book, The Leveling, which took place in and around Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Another exciting and action pack story with additional insights about the country, its food, and language, and further development of the main characters. ”

“If you are interested in these areas and are looking for a good read, look no further than these Mark Sava books by Dan Mayland.”

Now that is quite the recommendation. I love seeing that sort of passion. I feel that way about the Victor the Assassin series at the moment. Visit our Mark Sava page for more details.

May 2022 Book Of The Month (1st-15th)

Bad Actors by Mick Herron

The Slough House series by Mick Herron is a very popular series among our readers, and I’m happy to say that the 8th book in the series arrives this month. Bad Actors is released on May 10th.

As of last month, this is actually a TV series called Slow Horses on Apple TV.

This series has been on my list to read for years and I’ve unfortunately never got around to it but the TV show based on it will hopefully motivate me to bump it up the list.

If you’ve never read this series, be sure to check it out as many of our readers love it. And if you are already a fan of it, then pre-order the latest book!

10 More Notable Books Releasing May 1-15

May 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 or topics that you can support instead.   Thanks! 

Books: Children’s Book Project
Cat Rescue: Little Mews
Grieving Families: Dougy Center
Emergency Shelter: ShelterBox

Audiobook Arena

We have a lot of audiobook fans and invite book listeners to write their own column every month, or just write in a few audiobook thoughts.  Want to discuss audiobooks or a favourite narrator?  Hit reply and write and we’ll feature your column in a future newsletter!

By The Artographer

I’m a huge fan of audible books …  really helps the time pass when I’m Knitting/Crocheting and absolutely, when I’m on a Treadmill.
Before bedtime or when I want some quiet “physically inactive” time, my preference is reading definitely Reading.


By Sandra

Regarding audio books….  

I have just started listening to audio books.  I prefer having an actual book and turning pages, the ability to easier check back on something if I want to and visibly see how far I am in a book.  My sister is a big audio fan and I have started that genre based on her recommendations.  I also have some other hobbies that don’t require my full attention so with an audio book, I can enjoy two activities at the same time.  I also utilize audio books when the weather is warmer and I’m walking or working outside.  I limit myself to listening only if I am walking or working and that forces me to get out there and the walk or work is more enjoyable.

My sister recommended the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt and I am working through that series with both audio and hard cover books from the library.  I prefer to go in order so I use whichever one is available next but I am willing to skip around too if neither is available.  This series allows for that.  She also recommended books by Charles Martin but I haven’t made it to him yet.

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked if you read the book descriptions prior to buying the book by authors on your “blindly buy” list.  The replies are later in the newsletter.

This month’s question is a nice general one:

What are your favourite book genres?

Feel free to also list what your favourite authors are within those genres.

For me – it’s spy thrillers.  I can’t get enough of them.  Even books that stray somewhat out of that – such as the Dewey Andreas series by Ben Coes.  That’s more ex-military, lone badass than it is a spy thriller series but I love any sort of book or series like that.  I always like to recommend the John Wells series by Alex Berenson as no series has had me emotionally react due to stress like that series.

I also absolutely love standalone psychological thrillers.  They’re quick reads normally and page-turners.  Shari Lapena is one of my current favourites.

Those are my two top genres.  I do read a lot of other genres but those are the ones I enjoy the most.

What about you?  What are your favourite genres?

E-mail us your feedback to site@OrderOfBooks.com  or just reply to this e-mail, 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.

Reader Mailbag

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Order of Books » Newsletter » May 2022 Newsletter

2 Responses to “May 2022 Newsletter”

  1. Sheila Stone: 2 years ago

    In another book group I belong to there has been a lengthy discusion about personal preference for authors who write in first person versus third person. Until someone brought up the subject, it had never occurred to me that readers would have a preference. I reviewed the last 25 books I have read and it appears I don’t have a preference. We are evenly split in my other group (33% 1st person, 33% 3rd person and 34% no preference). I would be interested to find out if this split is typical. S
    G…I look forward to your newsletters every month.I am so grateful for all of the recommendations I have received from you and your other readers. I listen to about 300 books a year so I am always looking for additional authors. Well done, sir.


    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      We actually ran a poll here on the website on that at one point. The answers were:

      First Person: 22.7%
      Third Person: 21.4%
      Depends On The Book: 51.5%
      I Don’t Care: 0.04%

      Thank you for the feedback it is much appreciated. That is a lot of listening I am jealous 🙂


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