My Recent Reading Round-Up – Feb 2023

February 20, 2023
Category:Blog | Books
JD Kirk

Last year, I fell out of the habit of reading a bit. I think I was so caught up in writing, and dealing with various real world issues that had sprung up, that reading fell by the wayside.

Fortunately, I got my reading mojo back last year, after Kelsey at the Highland Bookshop suggested I try Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice. I devoured the book – a gripping, slow-burn survival thriller set in a Anishinaabe community in the far north of Canada – in a couple of days, and then jumped straight into another book – The Girl on the Train – this time on Kindle.

Since people are often asking me what I’ve been reading, I thought I’d start doing a semi-regular round up of the last few books I’ve read, so here’s what I’ve been making my way through in February so far, and some choice for what I might read next. Feel free to suggest others.

The Satsuma Complex – Bob Mortimer

 I’ve always been a fan of Bob Mortimer, from my teenage years watching Shooting Stars and The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer to his recent autobiography. I also met him once, albeit very briefly, and he was a very nice man indeed.

I really wanted to love this book, and for the most part I found it very enjoyable. It did very much feel like Bob took ‘write what you know’ a little too literally, though, and if you’ve read his autobiography you’ll recognise a lot of him in the main character.

But, it’s a crime thriller (sort of) by Bob Mortimer, and is a fun, easy read, full of the sort of flights of fancy you’d expect from the man. If you’re not a fan of Bob’s, there’s probably not a lot here for you, but if you like his sense of humour, then it’ll be right up your street.

Get it on Amazon or

The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie

I’ve read a few Agatha Christie novels before, but those were a loooong time ago, and I’m fairly sure they were mostly Miss Marple books.

My mum and I used to love Sunday nights watching David Suchet as Poirot on ITV, and I felt it was high time I started making my way through the books featuring the inscrutable Belgian detective and his little grey cells.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the first Poirot novel, and how can I possibly have anything bad to say about it? It’s Agatha Christie, for God’s sake!

Get it on Amazon or

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

This book, from Nebula and Hugo award winning author, T. Kingfisher, is essentially an expanded retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s story, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’.

It’s as creepy and atmospheric as the original, which I vaguely remember from my teens, but with enough additions that it felt, to me at least, like its own unique thing.

Be warned, though – between this and The Last of Us currently showing on TV, you might never look at mushrooms in quite the same way again.

Get it on Amazon or

Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill

Given the rise of ChatGPT and other AIs at the moment, this book about an entire world full of artificially intelligent robots turning on their human masters feels a little too close to  possible reality at times.

It’s the prequel to the brilliant Sea of Rust, which I read a few years back over a couple of nights. This one took even less time – I started at around 6am today and read it on and off until around 2pm, when I finished it. It’s a great little read, and you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy it. I’d happily read stories set in this world forever.

Get it on Amazon or

So, what’s next? At the moment, it’s a toss-up between The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi and The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Let me know what you think I should go for in the comments!



  1. Lynn

    My word we have beena busy bee. I’m reading Simon Mc Cleave at the moment. Not been wellhave some teeth out so not been up to par.

  2. Carol

    Lucy Foley very readable

    • Kate Carmichael

      At the moment i have been reading Denzil Mayrick his Dci Daley n Ds Scott are very gid. His stories keep u in suspense sometimes going back in forth in years in one novel.

    • Judith

      I’m binge reading dci Logan. I started the series two weeks ago.

  3. Maureen Webb

    Solace House by Joy Ellis. A great read

  4. Nancy Gossard

    Louise Penny ‘s Gamache series. The Three Pines series on Prime piqued my interest. The description of their meals is almost reason enough to read them.

  5. Carol Owens

    Louise Penny – Inspector Gamache of he Surete de Quebec, a memorable character. She is a complete writer: writes up to the intelligent reader; her width/ depth adds to the story, whether Greek mythology or remote quotations.
    The books are on Kinde and available on Scribd audiobooks for free.

    • Karen Deans

      I’ve read the Lucy Foyles The Guest list. Really enjoyed it.

  6. John Roberts

    I would recommend the new Stuart MacBride book from a fortnight ago. I finished reading last week. I’m now on to book 5 in the Grimm series. I’m very behind in the series but love his books just as much as yours!

  7. Laurie Samson

    Just discovered Caimh McDonnell (Dublin Trilogy and McGarry Stateside series). Great mysteries with plenty of action and lots of humor. For example, the above mentioned trilogy is a seven book series, and should be read first. Would highly recommend!

  8. Ruth Hussong

    Louise Penny is a must! Am reading Dalgliesh at the moment and can hardly wait to get to your new DCI Logan and Gatword’s new book!

  9. Diane Pekarcik

    Kate Rhodes’ DI Ben Kitto thrillers based in the Scilly Isles. The first one is Hells Bay. Her previous Alice Quentin series is also very readable.

  10. David Walford

    Yes, I agree with Kate Carmichael – the Denzil Meyrick books are well worth a read. They can get a little complex, but there’s gentle humour and some great descriptions of the Scottish coast. He’s good on writing engaging characters too. But not as laugh-out-loud funny as you. And yes, I’ve read every one of David Gatward’s and Alex Smith’s too – and enjoyed them immensely.

  11. Sue

    Besides the Logan and Hoon books by a certain IF Kirk, I like anything from Joy Ellis, David Gatwoods Harry Grimm and Jackman and Evans books. I the Tom Thorne books by Phil Bellingham.

  12. Eden

    Dear JD Kirk

    I’m just posting this here as it’s the 1st place I saw I could write something, and I don’t want to spend my precious time looking all over for a possibly more correct place to say what needs to be said, after all, if the internet is everywhere for everyone all the time, does it matter where our voices are heard? Ok, yes heards not literally literal, but it flows, work with me here!


    I’d like to thank you for adding more email to my already overflowing inbox that never seems to drain away. As a writer, I hope you take no offense that when I started to read your email, I just couldn’t get past the 1st line or so, everything else just blurred into insignificance and my attention shifted elsewhere.

    I realize that’s the last thing an author wants to hear, but I’m very sorry to say you’ll have to grin and bear it, as I don’t think I’ll need to read the rest, wanna know why?!


    I’m so excited as I never even noticed sneaky old Amazon popped that baby in while I was cheating on you… reading Helen Fields! It’s ok though, she knows all about you and understands she’s just a fling while I waited for the next Logan book to hit my iPad like a stunned mullet!

    Anywhos.. gotta fly, I have to let Helen know your back and finish her last book, I can’t just leave her high & dry, the last 100 pages getting read will stop her weeping become too much, I’m apparently a hard reader to lose…

    But don’t worry, don’t let that concern YOU in the slightest, you’ll never get rid of me, that’s a promise, not a threat, perhaps, just keep popping these books out and you’ll never have to find out …. 😉