Read Me -- MIRALY'S Book of the Month blog.

3 TO KILL by Manchette

What a genius. In a short space, he cuts to the chase. In few sentences, he explores the depth of a man, relates his history and his mind. As a master of brevity, he creates a story driven by exciting plot, surprise around every corner, yet also explores the contours of each character and where they’re coming from, and where they’re going. 

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY by Arthur C. Clarke

Masterful. What an exposition. He masterfully blends three seemingly separate stories, distanced from each other by millennia and species — ape, human, AI — and draws a line that connects them all, coming back full circle, to the origin and future of consciousness. 

THE LAST DETECTIVE, by Peter Lovesey

An old book, but a new discovery. Excellent pace, exciting story. A real joy to read, couldn't put it down.

Lovesey's writing is simple, grammatically correct, and uses a good number of different and useful words. His storytelling is very clear and straightforward. For these two reasons -- use of familiar but good words in correct sentence structure, along with clear and descriptive storytelling -- the book is a great, great read.

For me, personally, the Detective Diamond series is a good successor to Andrea Cammelleri's series.

COLONEL SUN, by Robert Markham

Because he explains more and leaves less out, he’s sometimes not as confusing as Fleming. But that also makes him less fast-paced. It’s true, the book doesn’t move at the exciting, fast-paced clip of Fleming. This is a leisurely story told leisurely.

There’s a sense of wit/comedy and societal criticism in the dialogue as well, which is nice, but that’s when one realizes that is not Fleming’s Bond. This Bond is too concerned with the world. Fleming’s is laser-focused on his job.


A masterful exposition of the inexplicable despair that seems to have become the hallmark of post-industrial society.

Skillfully written; skillfully told. Suffused with a haunting sense of allegory and metaphor. 

CONCLAVE, Robert Harris

As always, great storytelling. Good character exposition through the story, a good pace keeping the reader interested and excited, especially about what could be a boring story. Harris is always enjoyable, and a very skilled writer of stories.

However, at the end, the inclusion of a Muslim plot felt a little forced, and it was a bit disappointing, as the ideologies of the religion were not fleshed out well. It was disappointing to see a writer as respected as Harris disparage Muslims without really offering the reader, through the voice of one of the character's, an articulation or a viewpoint that did not present Muslims as violent terrorists. Just a little sympathy would have been enough to not show Muslims as a homogeneous group of villains; this surprising lack of sophistication in the writing was a personal turn off for all the author's work entirely.


A well told story, with a good pace. It draws you in and stays with you. A good mystery, with an evocative atmosphere. Set in an interesting place and time; the reader learns something of the way the characters lived.

The social rules of the time may seem out of step, and may make the reader take a step back while reading.

MR AMERICAN, George MacDonald Fraser

A whirlwind of storytelling. It is remarkable how Frazer draws us into the life of the character, and all his ups and downs. The book is long, but it reads so easily, like you are simply listening to someone tell you a story. It is a wonderful feeling, so personal. And, despite all its ups and downs, the book is eminently hopeful about life, even unto the end, reminding one of Eliot's remark that "the end is where we start from".