It has been a year, oh what a year…. and I don’t really have much else to say on that note. Now we’re finally winding down and in many places across the country it seems we might be able to celebrate a semi-normal Christmas which is a great way to see out the year. I hope you are all organised and ready for a relaxing break, with some fabulous books on your reading list.

I have been reading this year but my reviews have fallen far, far behind. Lucky for us, not all of our AWW reviewers have had that issue this year. Let’s take a look at what has been read and reviewed to close out the year that was.

The November-December round-up sees 66 Reviews of 45 Books by 43 Authors logged. This tells me that we won’t have many authors making the list more than once but there’s going to be a few books with multiple entries, and I can’t wait to see what they are.

There weren’t any huge standouts for attention this round-up. The most attention came in with 6 reviews each for both The Shearer’s Wife by Fleur McDonald and White Throat by Sarah Thornton, both released within this round-up window.

The Shearer’s Wife by Fleur McDonald released in November and is one of the few books I actually managed to review over the last few months. I won’t share a quote from my review, because I can’t pick one, but if you want to check it out you can find it at Review: The Shearer’s Wife.

Brenda on Goodreads manages to sum up quite succinctly how I feel about this book, and series: I loved The Shearer’s Wife, which is nothing less than I expected from Aussie author Fleur McDonald. Dave Burrows is a down to earth character, getting on in age now (sorry Dave 😊), but still with all his smarts keeping him in touch with criminals and locals alike. He has plenty of empathy, is prepared to walk the fine line to help someone in need and dearly loves his wife Kim. I hope the author continues to write Dave’s story for many more years to come. Highly recommended.

Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf says: The Shearer’s Wife is a rivetting rural crime story, easy to read yet full of heart, mystery and suspense. Although part of a series it reads as a stand-alone!

Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out highlighted one of the themes: One of the main issues explored in The Shearer’s Wife is the effects of PTSD. After the trauma of losing her father in a horrific car accident, and then her brother from a brief battle with cancer just six months previously (in Starting From Now) Zara is struggling, but unwilling to admit it. McDonald’s portrayal of Zara’s emotional state is thoughtful and sensitive, and addresses the general reluctance of people to seek help.

Mrs B’s Book Reviews closes with: With plenty of mystery, intrigue, suspense, secrets and suspicion, The Shearer’s Wife is another explosive rural crime novel from bestselling author Fleur McDonald. 

White Throat by Sarah Thornton released in December and was also reviewed 6 times. Most of these reviews are featured on Goodreads.

Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews says: White Throat is a thrilling contemporary crime mystery exploring highly topical issues. I certainly look forward to reading more of Sarah Thornton’s intense and resourceful, authentically flawed and emotionally fallible lead.

Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out says While White Throat could be read as a stand alone, I recommend you don’t miss out on the experience of also reading Lapse, as both are well crafted, exciting, and entertaining reads. I’m already looking forward to the next.

Darry Fraser’s The Last Truehart gained a bit of attention with 2 reviews and an interview coming in. This is one that I have on my kindle waiting for me to pick up.

Mrs B’s Book Reviews has penned an interview with Darry Fraser and you can check it out at: A Tea Break with Mrs B: Darry Fraser

Denise Newton Writes enjoyed the novel and she says: There is romance, but I would describe this novel more as an historic crime or mystery story. Set in Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Sydney in the late 19th century, it gives a vivid portrayal of the two colonies during this time. 

Brenda reviewed at Goodreads and she says: The Last Truehart is the latest historical fiction novel set in Australia’s colony days by Aussie author Darry Fraser and I enjoyed it very much. Before federation, when each state (as we know them now) was separate, the rail line gauges were different, hence changing trains at the border of NSW and Victoria was necessary. I enjoyed Bendigo Barrett’s character (named after the town he was born in – Bendigo in Victoria), Stella’s character as well as Danielle’s. The Last Truehart is one I have no hesitation in recommending.

Death in Daylesford by Kerry Greenwood is the 21st in a long running series that gained some very positive reviews.

Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out closes with: Greenwood’s writing is wonderfully descriptive, with the era coming across in all the details of the setting and styling, she excels at showing, not telling. I’m a fan of the Phryne’s quick wit, and dry observations, the author has a great sense of timing, and and an ear for natural dialogue. 

Brenda and Carolyn also reviewed on Goodreads.

That’s probably enough for today but there are so many other great crime novels reviewed and if you want to check out all of the crime novels that have been reviewed you can head to the AWW Books Reviewed page and search by Genre. It will put all of the reviews at your fingertips.

We would love to hear about the great crime reads you have enjoyed recently, and I’m off to see what else I can catch up on so that I can get some reading done.

Have a great evening and a reading filled weekend.