20 Books Of Summer

20booksfinalI tend to shy away from challenges in the blogosphere, as I have a bad habit of getting distracted by a bright new shiny book, but I saw this over at Cleopatra Loves Books – it originates at the 746 Books blog – and figured that it’s a bit of a no-brainer. The challenge is to read twenty books over the summer (technically the 1st of June to 5th September). Given that in the same period last year, I read forty eight (!) books, I think I should be able to manage it. But why (other than a reason to show off!)?

Well, some there are some authors that I’ve read a while ago and then, effectively, forgotten about. There are other authors who I’ve read a lot of, but haven’t got round to their latest books. And there are other authors that I’ve been meaning to try for a while. And by making a hit-list, this should help me focus my reading. So these are the twenty that I’m committing to reading before the summer is over, most of which are sitting in my massive TBR pile.


Call Mr Fortune by H C Bailey – because the talk at Bodies In The Library 2016 inspired me to see what the stories are actually like…

The Mystery Of The Blue Train by Agatha Christie – because it’s a Poirot that I haven’t actually read. I know it’s not supposed to be much cop, but I really should take a look at it.

The Polo Ground Murder by Robin Forsythe – the lovely folks at Dean St Press always send me more things to review than I ever have time to read, so I’ll try and rectify it a bit over the summer.

The Telephone Call by John Rhode – Rhode demonstrating his stunning inability to create a gripping title. No idea what’s beyond the front cover but let’s face it, that’s a dreadful title. Note, there’s going to a load of Rhode, as regular readers will be aware, but I thought I’d better stick to one book per author for this challenge.

The Verdict Of You All by Henry Wade – because I found a cheap copy of it on eBay. What better reason?

The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club – I bought this at last year’s Bodies From The Library so it’s about time I read it.


The Sinking Admiral by the Detection Club – I bought this at this year’s Bodies From The Library so it’s about time I read it.

Underground Airlines by Ben H Winters – if you haven’t read The Last Policeman trilogy, then you’re missing out. This is a new thriller from the author that I’m really looking forward to.

Watching The Ghosts by Kate Ellis – I’m a massive fan of Kate’s work and while I wait for the paperback of the new Wesley Peterson book, I’ll have to dip into the last unread Joe Plantagenate book…

Death Invites You by Paul Halter – the latest translation of the French locked room maestro, just in time for Paul Halter Day over at The Invisible Event.

The Vault by Peter Lovesey – it’s been too long since I met up with Peter Diamond again, especially since the previous book, Upon A Dark Night, was an outstanding read.

White Nights by Ann Cleeves – finally getting round to the second book of the Shetland not-a-trilogy.

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – because I’ve heard so many good things about this series and it’s been sitting on my Kindle for a couple of years now…

Mad About The Boy? by Dolores Gordon-Smith – because hearing her talk about Chesterton at Bodies In The Library 2016 reminded me how much I enjoyed The Chessman.


The Malice Of Unnatural Death by Michael Jecks – goodness only knows what I’m going to do when I run out of books in this series of books set in early fourteenth century Devon. Teeming with both character and plot, each one is a treat.

Dark Serpent by Paul Doherty – the return of series sleuth Hugh Corbett, last seen in The Mysterium, this is the book that I’m most looking forward to this summer. I’ll explain why when I review it.

The Council Of The Cursed by Peter Tremayne – rather embarrassed as to the long neglect that I’ve given to this excellent series of mysteries. Here’s a chance to rectify that.

Capacity For Murder by Bernadette Pajer – it’s been far too long since I’ve looked at this series of mysteries set in the early twentieth century, focussing on that new-fangled electricity thing.

Dancing For The Hangman by Martin Edwards – well past time that I took a look at this one, Martin’s favourite of his own books (I think that’s right).

Holmes On The Range by Steve Hockensmith – I’ve reviewed a couple of this series on the blog, so it’s time to go back to the beginning.

So rather a mixed bag there – sometimes I think my blog should have more of a focus of certain types of crime book, but that’s twenty books, all of which I’m looking forward to immensely and all have their own different charms. I’ll pop back and update the links as the summer goes on (if I remember). Now, which one will I start on..?


  1. You’ve picked a good selection and there are many I am looking forward to reading your view on, particularly on the novels by H. C. Bailey, Robin Forsythe, Henry Wade, the Detection Club and Kate Ellis. I think I have the Wade one in my TBR pile and I am also soon to try an Ellis novel for the first time. Hopefully will be reading The Sinking Admiral also. Read The Floating Admiral a while ago, but I can’t remember anything about it. Think it was good though.


    • Cheers, Kate. Currently on The Floating Admiral and am admiring some of the odd writing styles – the Coles use some dreadful metaphors and give Rudge some horrible thoughts… I wonder what their own work is like, but this chapter isn’t inspiring me.

      Liked by 1 person

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