It’s February already. So much to look forward to – a week off work is rapidly approaching, I’m going on a trip with my good lady wife to Amsterdam, and, of course, the zombie apocalypse is a month closer than it was last month. Should be good to watch when it finally happens. And there’s some important reading planned as well – more on that later.
But these posts are all about looking back at my reading for the last month, and, of course, awarding the Puzzly for the best read of January. I’ve got nine books – and a cookbook – to choose from – which will it be?
The books in question are:
- The Shadow Collector by Kate Ellis
- A Meditation On Murder by Robert Thorogood
- Shake Hands Forever by Ruth Rendell
- Blast From The Past by J E Fishman
- The Picture From The Past by Paul Halter
- A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie
- Dear Miss Demeanour by Joan Hess
- The Blue And The Grey by M J Trow
- Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by Steve Hockensmith & “Science Bob” Pflugfelder
You can add in the Mystery Writers Of America Cookbook, a return to the Sherlockian Shorts with A Scandal in Bohemia and The Norwood Builder, and Doc In The Box took a look at the return of Broadchurch, the final season of 24 and the first episodes of Series 4 of Death In Paradise. Busy, busy…
So, Book Of The Month. Well, there are some great reads there, in particular The Shadow Collector by Kate Ellis – I’ve finally set up an index page for Kate’s work and my reviews of the majority of it. The Shadow Collector is one of her finest, which puts it up against some stiff competition, but the Puzzly has to go to a book that totally hits the target for this blog. A modern novel with a properly constructed, well-clued mystery which, like all of the best mysteries, has a solution that depends on a single misconception that, unlike some of Dame Agatha’s work (“the murderer has to be a woman, so we’ll completely ignore that chap in the trousers. Can’t be him…”) isn’t obvious until it’s revealed. Yes, this is basically Death In Paradise month on the blog, and the Puzzly goes to Robert Thorogood – series creator and author of A Meditation On Murder. I was delighted to see that one of my readers (hello, Penny!) read it and loved it without having seen the television show, so even readers who aren’t immersed in the characters already will enjoy the book. That’s high praise indeed.
Next month, I’m taking part in Readathon 2015, a schools’ project to raise money for children’s charities and to encourage students to read a little bit more in a good cause. I’m doing it in part to raise money but also to show students in school that teachers (in particular male teachers) enjoy reading too. Don’t worry, I’m not going to hit you guys for sponsorship, but if you want to donate, then you could pop over to their Just Giving page. The Readathon runs from February 5th to March 5th and I’m aiming for ten books. There’s a poster in school that I needed to make so say what I’m reading, so, as I need to choose the books in advance, I’ve decided that to make it a little easier for me, I’ll be returning to some of my favourite authors – so the intention is to read the following:
- Bryant & May and the Burning Man – Christopher Fowler
- The Serpent Amongst The Lilies – Paul Doherty
- The Devil’s Acolyte – Michael Jecks
- Murder Is Easy – Agatha Christie
- A Pocket Full Of Rye – Agatha Christie
- A Dark And Twisted Tide – Sharon Bolton
- The Shroud Maker – Kate Ellis
- The Frozen Shroud – Martin Edwards
- Captain Cut-Throat – John Dickson Carr
- Think Of The Children – Kerry Wilkinson
Ten’s a bit of an ask, but coupling favourite authors with some not-too-long books and the half-term break should help. Wish me luck!
If you want to check out my fellow bloggers Books Of The Month, then do pop over to Mysteries In Paradise – I’ll even remember to attach the link this month!