The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – October 2013

As October draws to a close, and my least favourite “holiday” Hallowe’en is here – hurrah. So an evening of keeping  the front lights off and disconnecting the doorbell, hoping that local “Trick or Treaters” are civilised. If anyone has any need to check on my opinion of this tradition in the UK, then do check out this video from Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

Of course, I wouldn’t actually do that – but I’ll be THINKING it!

Right, enough grumbling, on with the show – it’s time for the October Puzzlies! Hurrah!

As always, this is part of the Mysteries In Paradise Book Of The Month meme. This month was one of the most difficult decisions but in a very good way – it could have been a four-way tie. Ten books this month to pick from, which were:

Right, book of the month? Um…

Cutting it down to four is easy – Brett, Tremayne, Jecks and Finnis. The Edwin Drood Murders came close and if I knew (or liked) Dickens more, then it would have been a contender. But I don’t, so it’s not. Evil Under The Sun loses out due to the fact that I couldn’t shake the similarity to that other better Christie novel – see the review for what I mean, and Nick and Tesla was just a little bit too far off the beaten track to be a contender. So…

Badger’s Moon was an excellent entry in one of my favourite series – one of my favourite Fidelma books, in fact, but I’ll disqualify it due to the fact that I’ve given the Puzzly to Peter Tremayne before for Smoke In The Wind.

Both The Strangling On The Stage and Shadows In The Night were excellent reads – some of the most entertaining mysteries that I’ve read in ages – and they are both highly, highly recommended but… you know, if you asked me again tomorrow, I might change my mind. This is probably the hardest Puzzly pick that I’ve ever made, but I think this month, the Puzzly goes to The Crediton Killings by Michael Jecks. I’m so pleased that I’ve got so much more of this series to go. So Michael gets the grand prize of the cover being my background for the next month – with the added bonus of using the new cover as well as the old.

Anyway, next month, more of the same. I’ve less reviews lined up, so expect some more classics, including a couple of classic Agatha Christie novels. Evil Under The Sun got a big reaction from readers, raising a couple of interesting points about clueing, so let’s see how she fares in some of her other “great” works.

Oh, and also, as it’s a very special November – 50 years since a very important thing happened – so I’ve a couple of things towards the end of the month to tie in to that. And no, it’s not Kennedy being shot in the head…


  1. Steve, if it makes you feel any better, I hate Halloween as well. But if I speak much more about it I’m liable to sound like Old Man Potter, or that cranky elderly neighbour who won’t give you back your ball if you hit it into his yard.

    (Although let’s be honest, is there any more futile “holiday” than Valentine’s Day?)


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