The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – December 2018

A quick Puzzly for this month, as a) I’ve not got a lot of time to write is, as me and Mrs Puzzle Doctor are heading away over New Year and b) I’ve also got the Review of 2018 to write. So do bear with me is I dispense with subtle humour and pithy witticisms and just get on with it. Off we go.

After the classic crime marathon of the previous two months, it was time to start catching up with new releases – work was still slowing me down but hopefully that’s under control. A mystery project that I’ll tell you about soon – no, not Brian Flynn – was also taking up a bit of time, but I managed to finish that yesterday so hopefully back to normal in January.

Anyway, the books in question were:

Forgotten Murder by Dolores Gordon-Smith – a Golden Age homage to the Sleeping Murder sub-genre of mysteries.

The Godless by Paul Doherty – another complex and, in this case, terrifying mystery for Brother Athelstan.

A Snapshot Of Murder by Frances Brody – murder in 1920s Bronte country

The Boy Who Lived With The Dead by Kate Ellis – Albert Lincoln returns to the site of a failed investigation to find the killer of a woman in a cemetery.

Death Takes A Partner by John Rhode – a late entry into the Dr Priestley canon and it’s passable, but a long way short of his best.

The Christmas Card Crime edited by Martin Edwards – a strong collection of Christmassy mysteries

The Case Of The Missing Minutes by Christopher Bush – an involving mystery revolving around an unbreakable alibi but containing much more depth than that.

The Short Stories of Paul Doherty – well, it’s not a book but it should be, so I’m going to count it. Strong short stories that I’ve collected from various sources.

Eight books – not bad, as at time of writing, there’s actually four days left of December to read more, but they’ll have to count for next month.

The Puzzly comes down to two old favourites – Paul and Kate, both friends of the blog, and for good reason. Top quality crime fiction every time and writers who I will basically drop everything for their latest books. Well, it comes down to a mental coin toss – The Boy Who Lived With The Dead is a stunning continuation of A High Mortality Of Doves and I’d heartily recommend these, but do READ THEM IN ORDER, but I’m going to give the Puzzly to Paul Doherty for The Godless, with one of the most terrifying villains he has created and a teasing mystery – how could a single masked man destroy a boat in the middle of the Thames?

Anyway, next month, more new reviews, including the latest from L C Tyler. But be back tomorrow for the Review Of The Year…

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