The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – November 2019

It’s been a bit of a difficult November in the Puzzle Doctor household. On top of a hectic month both at work and with the competing brass band that I’m part of, we had to say goodbye to Jessie, our oldest cat. She’s been part of our family for the best part of fourteen years, and she passed away peacefully, but it’s obviously been much more of a priority than reading. I only read six books this month, but there have been nine reviews as I was reading faster than I could review at the end of last month. Anyway, the books in question were:

The Helm Of Hades by Paul Halter – the second and highly enjoyable collection of short stories by the modern locked room aficionado.

The Black Spectacles by John Dickson Carr – a masterful exercise in deception from the master himself.

The Burning Court by John Dickson Carr – another masterpiece from Carr, complete with a lecture on poisoning and a divisive final chapter.

Death In Shallow Waters by Miles Burton – stupid policemen aside, this is an entertaining read, let down by an unsurprising ending.

Suicide Excepted by Cyril Hare – lots of people like this. I didn’t…

This Is The House by Shelley Smith – not perfect, but an interesting locale and sleuth. It does contain, however, my least favourite action on behalf of a murderer.

Left-Handed Death by Richard Hull – very entertaining, just a shame that there’s not much of a twist. Or that I spotted it. One of the two…

Case Without A Corpse by Leo Bruce – the second Sergeant Beef mystery, not quite top notch, but pretty close.

The Poker Game Mystery by Peter Bartram – another entertaining mystery featuring Colin Crampton, reported on the Brighton Chronicle.

I tend to always make Book Of The Month a new read rather than a classic, but let’s face it, I read The Black Spectacles this month. No contest…

So, for December, I’ve got just four more books to go to complete Bev’s reading challenge. Hopefully something from my advent calendar will help out…



  1. I’m very sorry about Jessie, PD. Cats allow us to bring them into their lives, pretend we’ve domesticated them, and give us that rare brush against the leg for providing them with food and cleaning their litter boxes. Losing them is the price we pay for all this heaven. I’m going to go hug Sonny and Mimi now. My thoughts are with your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad to hear about your cat. Our elder cat is 14 now, but her companion made it to 22.

    There can’t be many months where Black Spectacles wouldn’t win. Maybe if you read it at the same time as And Then There Were None …


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