The Tales Of Beadle The Bard - J. K. Rowling
Gideon's Day - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's Week - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's Night - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's Month - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's Staff - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's Risk - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's Fire - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's March - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
Gideon's Ride - J. J. Marric (aka John Creasey)
TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ THUS FAR in 2009: 10
03 were books I'd read before
07 were first time reads
The Tales Of Beadle The Bard is a little book of five fairy tales with a historical backstory comments by Dumbledore. Each tale is a mixture of JKR's imagination, Aesop's wisdom and the occasional darkness of the Brothers Grimm. It was a fun, little, quick read - not a book I'll bother reading again and I felt it lacked depth (but then given its size that's understandable). If you're a JKR completest then you'll want this - otherwise, I'm not sure I'd recommend it.
The Gideon books are set in London in the 1960s and are all based around Commander George Gideon of Scotland Yard, known affectionately both to his face by his friends/equals and behind his back (if it can be behind his back given he knows about it) as Gee-Gee. They fall best into the category of 'Police Procedurals' and came about when a senior Met policeman friend of Creasey, tiring of the books of the day that showed the police force as bumbling idiots compared to the talented amateur, suggested he wrote a series showing what the police force were really like. Creasey agreed, as long as his friend allowed him into the Met to see first hand.
The books are very enjoyable, they are gritty without being overly so, they hold the attention, the characters are real and develop over the course of the books and they are honest - the police don't always win. And we don't just see Gideon at work, we also see his home life, meet his wife (Kate) and five of his six children and also follow them through and see the grow-up. And no one is perfect; they make mistakes, they do things they regret, all the characters are very human.
Some of the books are based around a single case, or a day of cases, others dip in and out of several cases and not all of them get resolved by the end of the book. They show a different world in many ways from today, in attitude, in respect, in the whole system, but at the heart of it the crimes are still generally the crimes of today (less the cyber crimes and identify theft, that kind of thing). Crime is crime, there were awful crimes going on in the 60s, there were tragic crimes, there were crimes of opportunity, criminals who get caught and those who don't; fighting within gangs, etc.
There are still a dozen plus books in the series to read and I'm really enjoying them.