The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book of the Month – August 2014

August was a busy month for me, the newly crowned 69th best official puzzler in the world – probably a bit late to write the promised post on the World Puzzle Championships, but maybe I will next week sometime. Anyway, that took a fair chunk of my reading time, but, as it was the school holidays, I still managed to get through eight books – not bad.

But it’s the end of the month, so it’s time for me to pick the best of them – and provide one lucky author with a free advert via my wallpaper for the next month. Who will gain this literally priceless opportunity?

The books in question were:

Tricky one this – might have to do it by elimination, although that only wipes out one, really. Surprisingly, it’s the Ruth Rendell one, with it’s extraordinarily bizarre behaviour from a number of characters to make the plot work. I’ll knock out Sleeping With The Crawfish as it’s a good read but not much of a whodunit and The Queen Of The Night as Paul Doherty’s won the Puzzly enough times and this wasn’t close to his best. No to The Cuckoo’s Calling as well, due to the plot point that is STILL annoying me. And despite the poop jokes (which I’m still laughing at), no to Mr Monk On Patrol, for reusing (sort of) a plot from the TV show.

The Skin CollectorFive down, three to go. Getting a bit difficult now… No to Michael Jecks (sorry, Michael) as despite this being a great book, he’s won it 2 1/3 times already. Despite really enjoying Strangled Prose, The Skin Collector wins due to the fact that I was literally carrying it around, reading bits and pieces wherever possible. And despite being a thriller, most of the twists are fairly clued.

So that’s the Puzzly sorted out for another month. Off to order another book from Joan Hess and to get on with the Ross Macdonald book that Sergio recommended.


  1. I do want to know more about the World Puzzle Championships. Please do a post.

    Your list for August was varied. I wish I was further along in the Lincoln Rhyme series … as usual I have only read the first one. Glad to hear that the series continues to hold up well.


    • The second one, The Coffin Dancer, is possibly my favourite of the lot – I spotted a lot of important stuff and still missed what was going on. A great thriller. And as for variation, if I didn’t vary my reading like I do, I’d probably get rather bored…


      • Seconded for Coffin Dancer one of the best mystery/thriller books I have read. If you want to venture outside the Lincoln Rhyme cannon I also very much enjoyed “The Devil’s Teardrop”, although most of his books are worth reading. Having said that, I feel that sometimes Jeffery Deaver tries to hard with his signature twists and they result in plots that seem a little strained in order to fit them in.


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