February draws to a close, as SNOWMAGEDDON hits the UK meaning – well, not much here in the Midlands, anyway – but it’s time for another Puzzly award, my Book Of The Month award. It’s been a productive month for me, and, on top of my end of series Death In Paradise review, I got through nine books, not bad for the shortest month. And first off, many thanks to Kate Ellis, Catherine Ryan Howard and Michael Jecks, friends of the blog one and all, and, more importantly, who sent me review copies of their latest books when I was cheeky enough to ask.
There are a few more new releases next month – not just Michael’s Pilgrim’s War, but a few others too – but in the meantime, here’s the books from this month.
Cue For Murder by Helen McCloy – McCloy seems to be my weak spot, as I’ve never quite got on with her books, but there’s much to admire here, just a shame about the fairly guessable murderer.
Look For Me by Lisa Gardner – tense modern thriller with interesting leads and structure, and a decent mystery in the tale.
Force Of Nature by Jane Harper – an impressive thriller, not quite up to the standard of her debut, The Dry, but worth your time.
The Mechanical Devil by Kate Ellis – the Queen of the police procedural/archaeology crossover delivers another cleverly plotted mystery with endearing lead characters.
Invisible Weapons by John Rhode – a strong (if not quite top drawer) re-release from one of my favourite authors, if you can look past the bizarre cover.
Scorched Earth by David Mark – the return of Aector McEvoy, a dark, sometimes violent, thriller but a real page-turner, another strong entry in a strong series.
The Dead Don’t Bite by Douglas G Brown – a new Golden Age author to me, but not one that I’ll return to. Great set-up, but other than that…
The Dice Are Dark by Brian Flynn – a late release from Flynn, not up to the standard of his best, but still extremely readable from a book so late in his canon.
The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard – as with Force of Nature, a clever mystery/thriller. I enjoyed Distress Signals, her debut, slightly more, probably due to me guessing the final twist of The Liar’s Girl a bit too early for my liking.
And… drumroll… the Puzzly goes to… tricky one, as there are four or five to choose from, but I think the book that just edges it is… well, because Kate has won it before a couple of times, and the previous book from the author, Find Her, got edged out a year ago by Nev Fountain’s outstanding Painkiller, the Puzzly goes to Lisa Gardner for Look For Me. Definitely time to check out out some of her earlier books.
Anyway, next month, we’ve got a non-mystery book for the second time ever (same author though), at least three new releases, and, as ever, more Rhode, Flynn and probably Bush…