Hi everyone and welcome to halfway through May!

Hope everyone is having a good month so far. I’m a big sports fan, so with NHL & NBA playoffs as well as the success of my Glasgow Rangers in the UEFA Europa League – most of my time has been occupied watching and enjoying all of that.

Don’t worry I’ve managed to get some reading in!

I finished the first novel in the Victor the Assassin series by Tom Wood. This was EXCELLENT. If you are a fan of spy thrillers, be sure to try that series out.

There are 9 novels and 2 short stories in that series and I expect I will have it completed within a month or so, assuming the rest of the books are as good as the first one.

I read the psychological thriller The Family Holiday by Shalini Boland. I’ve mentioned Shalini before – I find that her novels are either huge hit, or huge miss.

This one was a huge hit. It’s the story of two families who do a house swap for vacation. Although do yourself a favour – don’t read the book description. I happened to read it there and it spoils something that happens at about the 90% mark of the book! I’m really glad I didn’t read that beforehand.

It was one of those books that are great for most of the way through, then the ending just comes off very rushed and abrupt. Despite that, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also read Unthinkable by Brad Parks which I’m going to write about in the recommendations section.

I actually read both of those in under 3 hours. I enjoyed both that much. That’s why I love the psychological / standalone thriller genre so much. They just consume me and take over my life – and I have absolutely no problem with that!

My wife read and loved The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. Glad she enjoyed that one as I really liked it too. The one problem with it I find is that it starts really slow. When you get to the 10% mark of the book though it starts to pick up and then really gets going.

If you’re a fan of books like Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, be sure to read that.

I listened to Nine Lives by Peter Swanson. I’ve listened to all his thrillers. To be honest this was probably his most disappointing one Nine people receive a piece of paper with nine names including their own on it.

Then they start getting killed one by one.

Some classic tropes in the book. The problem is I think it was meant to be a “whodunnit” but the book didn’t really establish that. I’m hesitant to say too much but it was more a case of listening to the story as opposed to trying to guess who was behind the murders.

Then when you find out who is behind it – well it wasn’t anything really shocking. And it’s not like you can go back and really appreciate the mystery knowing who the murderer was.

Great author but that one isn’t one I’d recommend.

That’s about it for me. I’m in a good reading spot right now where I don’t have a book on the go on my Kindle OR via audio. So that’s going to be my relaxing Sunday – starting books on both different mediums! Looking forward to that.

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:

Beverly J. from Fresno, CA
Al M. from Toronto, Canada
Rob W. from Blue Ridge, CA
Geoff from Anacortes, WA
Theresa P. from Spokane, WA

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

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

C.S. Lewis

Submitted by Alvin. 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

In this section I give book or series 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!

Unthinkable by Brad Parks
Nate Lovejoy is a stay at home dad to two young kids. His wife is a big time lawyer. Nate is at home alone when the doorbell goes. He answers the door and is tranquilized. He wakes up in a mansion owned by an organization.

This organization apparently has a leader who can predict the future. The leader has predicted that Nate’s wife is going to come up with some big breakthrough in a lawsuit she is currently working on against a coal company. While in the short-term this will be a good thing, it will result in what will essentially be the end of the world, with over a billion people dying.

It’s the trolley dilemma. Nate can save over a billion people. He just has to kill his wife.

I’ve enjoyed every Brad Parks book I’ve read so far, and this one is no exception.

Gilded Newport Mysteries by Alyssa Maxwell

This is a cozy mystery series recommended by Mary. There are 9 books in the series with the 10th released later this year. They take place in historical times.

Here is what Mary wrote: ” I have been reading a series of Gilded Newport Mysteries. The author is Alyssa Maxwell. These stories include many well-known people including the Vanderbilts and Astors who had mansions in Newport, R.I. Emma Cross, a cousin of the Vanderbilts, helps to solve the crimes. The books take place at the different mansions.I have read three so far and highly recommend them. I always wanted to go to Newport to see the mansions along the Riverwalk and now I have another reason to visit.”

I know we have a lot of cozy mystery fans out there, and a lot of historical fiction fans, so this is the perfect crossover!

Defectors by Joseph Kanon
Joseph Kanon generally writes spy thrillers in historical times. This was a “Must Read” book by various publications. I haven’t read any Kanon yet but heard a lot of good things.

Roderick wrote in to recommend this particular novel. He wrote: “Talking of spy novels, the best I have read for some time is Defectors by Joseph Kanon. Simon, a publisher, goes to Moscow in 1963 to visit his brother Frank, who defected from the US some years before.”

“Kanon is a brilliant writer. He writes scenes full of tension, his characters are rounded and believable and the plot twists and turns like snake.”

For more details visit our Joseph Kanon page.

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

Facebook Question of the Month

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

This month I asked readers their favourite authors in the spy thriller genre. Here were the responses:

May 2022 Book of the Month (16th-31st

In The Blood by Jack Carr

One of the most popular book series in the last few years on our site is the James Reece series by Jack Carr.

Fans of that series will be looking forward to the fifth novel in this series, which is released May 17th, 2022.

The first novel in this series, The Terminal List, is going to be a TV show on Amazon Prime starring Chris Pratt.

If you’re a fan of lone badasses like Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp etc then this is a series for you.

Pre-order the book now, or check out this very popular book series and read the first book prior to the TV adaptation.

10 More Notable Books Releasing May 15-31

  1. King of Midnight by Lara Adrian
  2. Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay
  3. Countdown to Midnight by Dale Brown
  4. Every Cloak Rolled in Blood by James Lee Burke
  5. Sound of Darkness by Heather Graham
  6. Midnight Dunes by Laura Griffin
  7. Sparring Partners by John Grisham
  8. The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery
  9. The Island by Adrian McKinty
  10. Nightwork by Nora Roberts

Random Top 10 of the Month

10 Most Popular “Inspector” Pages Visited Last Month

We have a big list of book series with the word “Inspector” in them. I thought it would be fun to highlight the 10 most popular series in alphabetical order with that word in them this month.

  1. Inspector Banks (By Peter Robinson)
  2. Inspector Chen (By Qiu Xialong)
  3. Inspector Elunder (By Arnaldur Indridason)
  4. Inspector Gamache (By Louise Penny)
  5. Inspector Lynley (By Elizabeth George)
  6. Inspector Montalbano (By Andrea Camilleri)
  7. Inspector Ramsay (By Ann Cleeves)
  8. Inspector Rebus (By Ian Rankin)
  9. Inspector Rutledge (By Charles Todd)
  10. Inspector Wexford (By Ruth Rendell)

Your Thoughts:

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 post 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 » OrderOfBooks.com May 2022 Mid-Month Newsletter

2 Responses to “OrderOfBooks.com May 2022 Mid-Month Newsletter”

  1. Ann: 2 years ago

    Hi Graeme,

    I love to read thrillers (mystery, spy, historical, psychological) and police procedural types (Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin) but some can be very intense and draining so I usually move between them and epic historical novels (Ken Follett, Edward Rutherfurd) or ‘easy reads’ (James Patterson, Helen Forrester).

    Kind regards,



    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

      All responses will be listed in the June 2022 newsletter or on the website. Five random contributors will win a $25 gift certificate for Amazon as well – good luck! They’ll be e-mailed just before the newsletter is released and mentioned in the newsletter.



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