The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book of the Month – August 2013

And so Golden Age month draws to a close. A meme that I never really meant to start, but I read two or three books in a row right at the start of the month and then was reluctant to stop. It’s given me a chance to revisit some old favourites and try out some new authors. But of course, this is the round-up post for the month, so it’s time to pick the best of the bunch.

In total, I read thirteen books this month – better than the average month, worse than the average August. So, which of them was the best? Probably the easiest pick ever.

The books in question were:

There is one overwhelming conclusion that I’ve come away with this month – there’s a reason why the “great” authors have this accolade. Christie, Queen, Carr and Doyle wrote by far the most readable of the books this month, with only Crispin coming close. Others may be better constructed mysteries, but I’m not one who wants to have a notebook by my side while to keep my thoughts straight while reading.

He Who WhispersBut on the other hand, most of the mysteries in this selection from the greats were not their best. With one obvious exception. So this month’s Puzzly goes, extremely obviously to people who have read it is He Who Whispers by John Dickson Carr. A true classic, possibly his best Gideon Fell book. Go and read it now.


  1. I have read nine of the thirteen books and I agree fully with your choice. I am sure the remaining four. will not be better than this gem.


  2. It’s been a long time since I read He Who Whispers (one of my first Carr books). But I do know that those early Carr novels (early to me, that is) were excellent ones that made me continue to seek out his other books. Great choice!


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