The Puzzly – The ISOTCM Book of the Month – April 2012

And so, with all due reverence, a deathly silence falls for the announcement of the April Puzzly – the In Search Of The Classic Mystery Novel book of the month “award”. I think I’ll leave the quotation marks around the word “award” until a time at which the Puzzly actually becomes something tangible, rather than a vague sense of goodwill and appreciation.

Just to remind you, this is part of the Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme over at the Mysteries In Paradise blog and if you want to see what other people have been recommending, then why not pop over there? After you’ve read my post of course…

Anyway, in April 2012, I’ve got through nine books, although at one point I was seriously concerned that it would be significantly less than that – bizarrely at least one of my fellow bloggers has been suffering from reader’s block as well, but I have a cure – a decent book from a favourite author! Worked a treat. More on that in a mo.

The books I’ve read, in order, were:

On top of that, I also attempted on at least three occasions to force my way through A Morbid Taste For Bones by Ellis Peters, but have now officially given up on this book. Why in heaven’s name is this series so popular when Doherty and Tremayne, to name but two, write such better historical mysteries – they’re actually readable, for a start!

So, the Puzzly for April… tricky one this. A few of them can be eliminated straight away – read the reviews and you’ll see which – but it comes down to one of four. Honourable mentions to The Cadaver Game, Suffer Little Children and The Devil’s Hunt but I think it has to be The House of Crows. One of Paul Doherty’s finest mysteries that I’ve read so far, full of atmosphere, history and a cracking plot, and, most importantly for me, it was the book that booted my reader’s block up the backside with the first line of the book. I think it’s due to be out as an ebook soon, but until then, treat yourself to the first four Brother Athelstan mysteries – The Nightingale Gallery, The House of the Red Slayer, Murder Most Holy and The Anger of God , as they’re fantastic as well – infinitely better than that Cadfael bloke. I’ve every confidence that Kate Ellis and Peter Tremayne will be gracing the shortlist again in the not too distant future though. So far everything I’ve read in the Wesley Peterson and Sister Fidelma series has impressed me and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so.


  1. Well, in this particular case, I think I saw the solution coming! Never managed to get through more than a few of the Peters/Pargeter books – my mum used to read them though so I did once get to meet the author and get her to sign a copy of her then latest volume, so that was nice (I think it was THE HOLY THIEF but can’t swear to it).


  2. I have to say that the appeal of the Ellis Peters books is lost on me as well. I made it through one (The Rose Rent)–barely. I still need to read a Paul Doherty book…he’s on the long TBR list…..


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