Oh good, it’s Hallowe’en, the annual day where little children play dress-up and older children (and a few adults) use it as an excuse to either extort with menaces or just throw eggs at houses and cars. It’s safe to say I’m not a fan of it. US readers, it’s not the same over here as for you guys – we don’t spend nine billion dollars celebrating it…
So let’s talk about something much less depressing – it’s Book Of The Month time. Hurrah!
Thirteen books in total – actually fifteen, but I haven’t got round to reviewing two of them yet, and one was a re-read – and they were…
- Murder In The Bookshop by Carolyn Wells – it ticked a box on my Golden Age bingo card, but not a good read.
- The Pocket Detective 2 by Kate Jackson – another great little collection of puzzles. The ideal Christmas present.
- The Triple Bite by Brian Flynn – reviewed to celebrate the re-release of the first ten Brian Flynn novels. Oh, if you’re enjoying them, do put a review on Amazon – it helps the publicity.
- The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie – an odd thriller but with a great misdirection at the heart of it.
- Dark Queen Waiting by Paul Doherty – the second in Paul’s latest series, a locked room mystery set amid the aftermath of the Wars of the Roses.
- The Skeleton In The Clock by Carter Dickson – much better than I remembered from the first time I read it, but still let down by one particular aspect of the solution, along with the motivation of the murderer being a bit bland.
- Patrick Butler For The Defence by John Dickson Carr – a caper-style mystery let down by almost every aspect of the book. Not good…
- Puzzle For Players by Patrick Quentin – a great theatre based mystery. One of the most well-plotted mysteries I’ve read in a long time.
- The Mirador Collection by Brian Flynn – a very satisfying late title from the finest crime writer in existence, although the plot does contain one of the biggest coincidences I’ve ever seen.
- The Body On The Train by Frances Brody – another well-researched historical mystery for Kate Shackleton.
- The Gold Watch by Paul Halter – a game of two halves, one very clever, one not so much and linked in a very odd way…
- The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer – a brilliant Holmes pastiche, definitely worth reading for fans of Conan Doyle.
- Black Agent by Brian Flynn – a re-read for this late-ish title (37 out of 53), with Bathurst tackling a murderer who seems obsessed with killing girls who wore one particular dress – and also stealing bowls of beef dripping in the process. It’s an entertaining read, but it’s let down a bit by the motivation from the murderer, and the fact that it isn’t really clued very well.
Book of the Month? Well, it could be The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, but as that’s less of a mystery, and as ever, Paul Doherty’s book in in contention, but I’m going to give it to the other contender – Puzzle For Players. I’m really enjoying the Peter Duluth stories and looking forward to reading more and more of them.