My Fifth Blogiversary – My Most Commented On Posts

5th BirthdayThe 20th of December. The day that Richard I was captured by Leopold of Austria on the way back from the third Crusade. The day It’s A Wonderful Life was first released in New York City. The day that Cardiff was made the capital city of Wales. The day that “psychic” Uri Geller and UK television legend Lesley Judd were born. And the day, five years ago, that In Search Of The Classic Mystery Novel first graced the internet.

Since then, there have been 824 posts – an average of one every 2.2 days – consisting of 616 book and audiobook reviews, 52 film and TV reviews, 47 Puzzlies, 9 Top Fives and a bunch of rambles about all sorts of bits and pieces.

So a big thank you to everyone who’s popped by, to the publishing houses who’ve sent me bits and pieces to look at over the last few years and a big hello to all of the authors that I’ve met or liaised with over the past five years. And, for newcomers, here’s the posts that have caused the most discussion over the years – the most commented on posts.

I’ll admit, I’m terrible at leaving comments – just not enough time, especially when wrestling with Blogspot hosted sites, which seem determined not to let me leave a comment using my pseudonym – if you get one from classicmystery that gets past the security check, then that’s me. But lots of people find the time to comment on my posts for which I thank you all. So, without further ado, the most popular posts are:

The interest here goes without saying. A book that got an absolute kicking amongst the mystery reviewing community. There’s a second one on the way, Closed Casket, in September 2016 and I will take a look at it. It will be interesting to see if Hannah has adapted her approach, although some of the gushing reviews that appeared in the national press (some from people who seemed to only know Poirot from the television) might mean we’re going to get more of the same. This book has generated my own little slogan – Puzzle Doctor, Reading Books So You Don’t Have To – that applies nicely to a couple of recent books as well, The Pit-Prop Syndicate and Hangman’s Curfew.

One of my earliest posts, and probably in need of a bit of an update (and reformatting). But Poirot always catches people’s eye, although the Miss Marple Top Five has had significantly more views overall – maybe her fans are just a bit quieter.

A request for suggestions as to a “starter” Christie novel for a 12-13 age group for a school library project. Loads of differing ideas flew in, but at the end of the day, the project never happened for timing reasons. A shame – I might still come back to this…

He Wouldn’t Kill Patience by Carter Dickson

A great book, in my opinion, but the multiple comments are mostly me and Sergio discussing the appropriateness of an off-hand flippant rape comment (which has been removed from the recent ebook version, according to Santosh). Oh, and we also reveal that I’m not an 8 year-old girl…

That man again… A joint review with Sergio for this so-say classic Carr. It provoked a lot of opinions, mostly, I think, veering towards my disdain rather than Sergio’s love of the book. Why not read the book yourself (if you can find a copy) and add to the debate (preferably on my side of the equation).

OK, a number of the comments are links to this from my other reviews – I really want people to read this – but the rest are basically people agreeing about how much they love this book. Has there been any negative reviews of it yet? And why haven’t you read it yet?

Hardly his finest work so why all the comments? Well, it’s mostly people talking about The Demon Of Dartmoor and translations in general, in particular whether or not to use Google Translate. And hardly any comments on the book itself.

Lots of people chiming in on Ronald Knox’s Decalogue of rules for a mystery novel. My thoughts continue in a second post, but I never got round to coming to a conclusion due to so much variety within the genre. Still think that when people refer to a book as “written in a Golden Age style”, they just mean like Dame Agatha.

Not Carr’s finest work, but it did inspire a fascinating discussion on the odd catchphrases of Carr’s (and other peoples’) sleuths such as “Archons Of Athens!” – a phrase that seemingly only exists to be uttered by Gideon Fell.

After this, the comment numbers merge into one a bit, so I’ll leave it here. Off to blow out my candles on the blogiversary cake and to give myself the bumps.

Soon on the blog – more from Jill McGown, classic crime from the British Library and Dean St Press, the latest book from L C Tyler (and possibly my second interview!) and a shocking New Year Resolution – for a hint at that one, you need to read this post!

So, thanks for reading for the past five years and stick around – I intend to.


  1. Great post. The Crooked Hinge is my next Carr novel to read so once I’ve reviewed it, I will read your post and see which side I end up on. Seems as though there are lots of other good posts for me to catch up on, so thanks for bringing them to my attention. Looking forward to reading your interview and will be on tenterhooks waiting to find out what your New Year Resolution will be (though I doubt you’ll be giving up Golden Age crime novels!).


  2. Congratulations on five years and thanks for all your work – following ISOTCMN was one of the things that motivated me to get blogging, and it’s always a pleasure to swap opinions with someone who knows their stuff so well. Look forward to many more posts, and another five years, to come!


  3. Congratulations chum – a terrific run and hope 2016 continues it in the usual fine style. Glad to see our Carr carousing generating so much chatter! Have a great Christmas too, while you’re at it 🙂


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