An utterly rubbish month for reading this month both in variety and in quantity – only six books and of those, five were written by the same author. And no, it wasn’t Paul Doherty, but the master of the locked room John Dickson Carr himself. I’d started My Late Wives for the Past Offences Book Of The Year Challenge (1946) and then a discussion with Sergio over at Tipping My Fedora escalated quickly into a joint review for The Crooked Hinge. And then I just fancied a Carr month, inspired by Sergio’s Top Ten Carr poll, the results of which are available now. Still can’t believe how low She Died A Lady came, but it’s in good company – all of the top ten are excellent reads.
Luckily, the quality of the reading material was top notch, with one obvious exception (which was kind of the point of the joint review) but even that was an entertaining car-crash of a novel, rather than a boring one. But how am I supposed to pick the Puzzly when most of the books were written by the same person. Let’s find out…
So the six books this month were:
- My Late Wives by Carter Dickson aka John Dickson Carr
- Murder In The Afternoon by John… er, Frances Brody
- He Wouldn’t Kill Patience by Carter Dickson aka John Dickson Carr
- The Crooked Hinge by John Dickson Carr
- The Emperor’s Snuff-Box by John Dickson Carr
- The Man Who Would Not Shudder by… yup, it’s John Dickson Carr again
Hmmm… in the past I’ve awarded the Puzzly to a classic author (Carr got it for He Who Whispers) when the non-classic selection didn’t leap out at me. There’s no denying that The Emperor’s Snuff-Box is the best mystery book on that list – it’s a classic that probably should have been on my Top Ten contribution for Sergio (maybe I should ask him to change it again…) – but the non-Carr novel, Murder In The Afternoon is a great read as well, one of those books that this blog is supposed to be hunting out – a well-constructed mystery within a modern novel. So the Puzzly for this month is going to Frances Brody for Murder In The Afternoon. Looking forward to the next in the series, and I promise I won’t wait as long this time.
This month is Ruth Rendell month on the blog, as I work my way through a selection of her prodigious back catalogue – I will explain why eventually… Any recommendations, especially of non-Wexford books would be appreciated.