So August has been and gone, so it’s back to school for little old me. Multitudes of young people to be educated in the ways of Mathematics – such fun. I mean that, by the way, I absolutely love my job to bits. But, of course, one thing that I can do more of over the summer break without teaching to get in the way is read. Read and read and read. And this month, that equated to twenty books (including a couple left over from last month), plus a few more Sherlockian shorts, an interview and a film review. Busy busy.
But, of course, it’s time as ever for the Book Of The Month – the Puzzly for August 2015. But that’s a lot to choose from.
The twenty books in question were:
- Last Bus To Woodstock by Colin Dexter
- A Fête Worse Than Death by Dolores Gordon-Smith
- Upon A Dark Night by Peter Lovesey
- Dancing With Demons by Peter Tremayne
- Killing The Beasts by Chris Simms
- Appelby’s Answer by Michael Innes
- The Chessman by Dolores Gordon-Smith
- Everyone Lies by A D Garrett
- Monk’s Hood by Ellis Peters
- Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie
- Herring On The Nile by L C Tyler
- Murder On The Blackboard by Stuart Palmer
- A Killing Kindness by Reginald Hill
- Death Of An Avid Reader by Frances Brody
- The Murder of the Maharajah by H R F Keating
- Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves
- Kissing The Demons by Kate Ellis
- Headline Murder by Peter Bartram
- Savage Moon by Chris Simms
- A Dying Fall by Henry Wade
A few themes this month – there are a couple of obscure Golden Age novels there (one extremely obscure – rather proud of being the author of the only review of A Dying Fall on the whole of the interweb – but the predominant theme is police procedurals. I’m heading to the book launch of The Starlings by the Murder Squad and friends so I’ve reviewed a book each by them (two in the case of one of them). Apologies to Martin Edwards – First Cut Is The Deepest ought to appear before next weekend. But there were other police procedurals as well – Peter Lovesey, Colin Dexter (Morse’s first appearance on the blog) and Reginald Hill. The Dexter and Hill books also formed part of Past Offences #1980book for Crimes Of The Century, along with The Murder Of The Maharajah. And it was also a privilege to review Headline Murder, the first book from Peter Bartram. But which one gets the Puzzly?
A couple of books stood out – Upon A Dark Night by Peter Lovesey was a cleverly constructed mystery, Everyone Lies was something different with the forensic evidence side of investigation coming to the fore, Appointment With Death was a Christie that I’d forgotten how good it was, Silent Voices was a great introduction to the Vera Stanhope series and Savage Moon was a interestingly different procedural touching on my favourite UK myth (?), the Alien Big Cat.
But the Puzzly? It goes to Dolores Gordon-Smith for The Chessman. I still need to get round to reading a Freeman Wills Crofts novel that she spoke about so eloquently at The Bodies From The Library conference but it did inspire me to check out her Jack Haldean series. The Chessman is the latest from Severn House and it’s an absolute cracker – very reminiscent of the Golden Age while still feeling original. I’ll be back to the series very soon, but in the meantime, congratulations to Dolores on the Puzzly and The Chessman will be the wallpaper for the next month.
Coming up in September – probably far fewer books as term starts, but first off will be First Cut Is The Deepest by Martin Edwards, The Starlings by The Murder Squad and Death Comes To Cambers by E R Punshon. After that? Who knows…
If you’d like to see what my fellow bloggers liked this month, then take a look at Mysteries In Paradise‘s collection of their posts.