The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – March 2016

And so March draws to a close, the month of the Great Hercule Poirot survey – I do hope you had your say in it, but if not, then come back in a couple of days’ time for the Best Miss Marple Novel survey – haven’t decided the format just yet.

On top of the survey, it’s been a healthy month for book reviews for me. Ten books in total and I still haven’t bought a book so far this year, although only two books this month were from my TBR pile. Many thanks to the kind publishers who keep sending things my way and apologies for any that I haven’t got round to yet.

Apologies for not having time to write a review of Rowan Atkinson in Maigret Sets A Trap – briefly, very effective atmosphere and performances, although the underlying plot was a thriller rather than a mystery, which made it missing a surprise or two – the final twist was pretty obvious as soon as the final murder happened. Also, some of the dialogue – mostly the background info rather than the main story – was a bit clunky. But it was gripping and looked magnificent, and Atkinson did a good job in the lead. Looking forward to the next one.

In the meantime though, let’s not forget about the Puzzly for March 2016.

The candidates are:

Both Beloved Poison and A Friar’s Bloodfeud were great reads, The Bungalow Mystery was well worth a look and I still haven’t decided on Someone Else’s Skin. But it comes down to two old favourites, both tales about London and its history. Paul Doherty’s The Great Revolt is actually set in that history, with one of London’s most important events, the Peasants’ Revolt erupting around Brother Athelstan as he struggles to stop a cunning murderer. Meanwhile Christopher Fowler’s Bryant & May – Strange Tide, the return of Bryant and May in more ways than one, uses the history of the city to illuminate the tale of present day murder. Both outstanding reads and no easy way to choose between them but a) Paul won the Puzzly for the last Brother Athelstan tale, The Herald Of Hell, and b) there’s every chance that he’ll win it for his next book, the return of Hugh Corbett in  The Dark Serpent, especially because… no, not yet – so congratulations to Christopher Fowler for another Puzzly for Bryant and May.

Be back next month for more new books – I’m taking part in the blog tour for May Day Murder by Julie Wassmer, there’ll be reviews for the latest from Sarah Hilary and Susannah Calkins, and at least two from blog favourite Michael Jecks – an old one, The Death Ship Of Dartmouth, and his latest, Rebellion’s Message. And I might just get a move on with the Ellery Queen bibliography

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