November 2016 draws to a close with only one month left of what could hardly be described as one of the finest years in recent memory. But there’s still plenty of things to look forward to, especially the awarding of the Puzzly for November. So that’s good news at least.
It’s been a busier month than some, with twelve books in total.
- The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley – the British Library reprint with added Brand and Edwards, a true classic that everyone should read.
- The Black Friar by S G MacLean – the sequel to the excellent The Seeker, but, to be honest, a bit of a disappointment.
- Come Death And High Water by Ann Cleeves – an early effort from the author, very much in the vein of a classic mystery. I enjoyed this one a lot.
- A Pilgrimage To Murder by Paul Doherty – another outing for Brother Athelstan in the wake of the Great Revolt. Excellent as ever, but the killer was a bit obvious.
- Some Hidden Thunder by Jeffrey Marks – the third Ulysses S Grant mystery, perfectly fun but not as strong as the first two.
- The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths – another outing for Max Mephisto and DI Stephens.
- A High Mortality Of Doves – more on this in a bit.
- The Death Of The Red King by Paul Doherty – half thesis, half novel on the death of William II
- An April Shroud by Reginald Hill – a real disappointment from one of my favourite authors
- The Sorrowful Woman by Alan M A Friedmann – a bit of an odd sort of cosy set in the world of antiques.
- Dispensation Of Death by Michael Jecks – Baldwin and Simon run headfirst into royal intrigue.
- The Unicorn Murders by Carter Dickson – an oft overlooked outing for Sir Henry Merrivale.
One of the easiest Puzzlies ever this one. If it hadn’t been for the winner, Dispensation Of Death would have walked it, but this month the Puzzly goes to Kate Ellis for A High Mortality of Doves – an evocative portrayal of immediately-post-war Britain with an dark and clever mystery woven throughout the tale. One of the best books I’ve read in ages, and probably Kate’s finest book, which is saying something indeed.
Right, next month? A few new books first of all and then? Who knows, apart from an allegedly rubbish John Rhode book, for reasons that will become clear.