May 2016 – a pretty busy month for the blog, especially given the lack of Agatha Christie polls. Almost managed Blog Bingo for visits to the site from Europe – a new game that I’ve developed. Apparently Estonia, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzogovina aren’t interested in my views on crime fiction. Which is interesting (a bit) as I might be reviewing some translated Estonian fiction next month! So that’ll tick one box off…
Anyway, not a bad month for a term-time month. Thirteen books in total, although only eight authors, which has something to do with my new obsession – John Rhode.
So, the books this month –
- Death In The Tunnel – Miles Burton (aka John Rhode)
- Death At The Boston Tea Party – Deryn Lake
- Death In Harley Street – John Rhode
- The Severed Streets – Paul Cornell
- The Motor Rally Mystery – John Rhode
- Die Of Shame – Mark Billingham
- Nothing But The Truth – John Rhode
- Distress Signals – Catherine Ryan Howard
- Rat Run – Caro Ramsay
- The Twenty-Third Man – Gladys Mitchell
- Mystery At Greycombe Farm – John Rhode
- Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? – Paul Cornell
- Death At The Dolphin – Ngaio Marsh
I think I’ll do a joint Puzzly this month – one for Golden Age and one for modern.
So, Golden Age first of all. Well, it’s not going to be Marsh (a post that I’ve updated with a little more thought) or Mitchell, so it’s a question of which Rhode. I’d love to pick Death In The Tunnel, as that’s the one that people can most readily get their hands on, but to be honest, it’s probably the weakest of those that I’ve read. It’s perfectly good, just that the rest are better. I’ll go for Death In Harley Street, partly because of the originality of the solution and partly due to the fact that there are some mildly affordable copies out there.
As for the modern one, there have been a few disappointments – decent reads, but not the author’s best work. It comes down to two outstanding books – Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? by Paul Cornell and Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard. Both are outstanding gripping reads, so I’ll go for a tried and tested way of deciding the winner – i.e. Paul Cornell won it before for London Falling, so this month, it’s going to Catherine Ryan Howard for her debut twisty-turny thriller, Distress Signals. A great, extremely readable, thriller than never goes where you expect it to. A stunning debut and well worth your time.
So, next month, it’s Bodies From The Library, so expect some more Golden Age bits and bobs, with a bunch more Rhode/Burton. Next up is Sharon Bolton’s latest, Daisy In Chains, and then The Secret Of High Eldersham. And you never know, maybe another stab at Marsh… or maybe not. Let’s see…