So it’s October 31st, the traditional holiday of turning all the lights off and pretending not to be home. Bloody Hallowe’en. But as it’s the end of the month, it’s also time for my Review of the Month, along with the awarding of the Puzzly – my book of the month award.
Eleven books in all, not a bad haul for October, and it includes the first half of my Countdown To Review 1000, where I try ten Golden Age writers that I’ve yet to experience. The last five, plus the 1000th review will be coming next month…
Anyway, the books in question were:
- The Ladies Of Locksley by Francis Vivian – a well-written Golden Age detective novel, not as strong as The Singing Masons though.
- Dead End by Rachel Lynch – a perfectly readable modern police procedural
- A Voice Like Velvet by Donald Henderson – an inverted mystery – sort of – but lacking in any real mystery or surprises. A fun read though.
- The Colour Of Murder by Julian Symons – others seem to like it, but not my cup of tea.
- Where There Was Smoke by Brian Flynn – entertaining nonsense about the toppling of a criminal conspiracy
- Situation Vacant by Miles Burton – a long way from his best work.
- Puzzle For Wantons by Patrick Quentin – a bright, breezy and clever mystery.
- The Sunshine Corpse by Max Murray – too detached from reality for my liking, but interesting all the same
- Corpse In Cold Storage by Milward Kennedy – Not. Good.
- Dead On Time by Clifford Witting – an entertaining mystery with a clever method of murder.
- Death In The Quarry by G D H & M Cole – a pleasant surprise. A little meandering but much better than expected.
It’s been a bit of a disappointing month with few true classic mysteries. Luckily there was one that stood head and shoulders above the rest. Best of the rest was definitely Dead On Time but Puzzle For Wantons walks away with the Puzzly for October.
Next month, the last five Countdown books, the actual 1000th review and then? Who knows? Well, actually I do, as I’ve got a pile of titles lined up. But more on that next month…
I see two titles I suggested yet to come. I do hope you will have the good taste and discernment to love them! 😉
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Bravo for Wilson & Webb! They are IMO the best of the American mystery writers from the post WW2 era. Better than Helen McCloy who held that honor with me for several years. I think for me it would be a toss-up between Witting and Quentin. But not having yet read PUZZLE FOR WANTONS I can’t tell you if I agree.
For Halloween I am going as the Complete Works Of Ngaio Marsh.
Admit it, you’re terrified.
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