Ah, January, that hangover of months. But it’s over now, so it must be time for the Puzzly – that’s the In Search Of The Classic Mystery Novel Book Of The Month award.
It’s been a slightly odd month – only one new author, which didn’t go particularly well, and one new series from another author who I’ve encountered before – everything else was from established series. Oh, and I went on a bit about Sherlock (which generated a bit of debate) and the new series of Death In Paradise.
But the Puzzly is just for books and audiobooks – so what was the best of this month?
Nine books and one audioplay this month. The candidates are:
- The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver
- The Sign Of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- A Case Of Spirits by Peter Lovesey
- Calamity Town by Ellery Queen
- The Ordeals Of Sherlock Holmes by Jonathan Barnes
- Gallows Lane by Brian McGilloway
- A Maze Of Murders by C L Grace (or Paul Doherty to his friends)
- The Leper’s Bell by Peter Tremayne
- The Dark Palace by R N Morris
- The Abbot’s Gibbet by Michael Jecks
Hmm – tricky one, as there was a lot of good stuff this month. There’s a couple I can write off immediately – The Sign Of Four for one. Honours go to The Abbot’s Gibbet – especially after the nice tweet that Michael Jecks made after the review – The Leper’s Bell and A Case Of Spirits. I’ve very tempted to bend the rules again – after The Axeman Cometh by Nev Fountain – and award the Puzzly to an audiobook. The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes, written by Jonathan Barnes and performed by Nicholas Briggs as Holmes and Richard Earl as Watson, is a truly exceptional piece of work – and there’s 20% off this weekend with the code sherlock20 at bigfinish.com this weekend.
But this is predominantly a book review blog – and there was one classic style mystery that stood out. An almost perfect evocation of the Golden Age style, leading the reader along from beginning to end, fairly clued and a real page-turner. So this month’s Puzzly goes to Peter Lovesey for A Case Of Spirits.
So that’s two authors out of my hit list of thirty for the year – with a couple more on the way, looks like I’m on target. Let’s see how it goes.
As ever, keep up with my fellow bloggers Book of the Month picks over at Mysteries In Paradise.