So, it’s April. March has been and gone, and we’re all wondering what’s going to happen next. So, and forgive me for being serious for a moment, can I just send out a message to all of you out there – I hope you’re safe and well, and doing the best that you can, both for yourselves and, if possible, for others. This is a difficult time for everyone, and all we can do is our best and be sensible. My thoughts are with you all, and will be in the months to come.
So what am I going to do? Well, I’m still teaching, at least remotely, so my days are kept busy in a weird way. And I’m going to keep on blogging – this is the wonder of having a massive TBR pile. #FlynnOnFriday is going to get derailed soon, as obviously, I can’t go to the library, so that Running Nun will have to keep running a while longer. And if you haven’t heard, Bodies From The Library has been sensibly cancelled – I would post my talk here, but I hadn’t come close to writing it…
But this is Book Of The Month post, so let’s take a look at my reading this month.
- Body Breaker by M W Craven – another top-drawer mystery/thriller from the award winning writer of The Puppet Show. Outstanding stuff.
- Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson – interesting thriller, but I wasn’t convinced about the core premise. Clever stuff, though.
- The Ring Of Innocent by Brian Flynn – a solid, entertaining murder mystery, from late in the author’s canon, which bodes well…
- Cyanide For The Chorister by Charles Wogan aka Brian Flynn – the last of three Sebastian Stole mysteries and, to be honest, this could be a Bathurst tale. The best of the three.
- Men For Pieces by Brian Flynn – I do seem to read a lot by him, don’t I? Another late-ish title and another strong mystery and I missed the killer. Again.
- The Davidson Case by John Rhode – beautiful complex plan by a killer, let down by the fact that Priestley doesn’t spot the truth after five seconds… And far from being humdrum, in case you were wondering.
- The Art School Murders by Moray Dalton – an enjoyable classic murder mystery from possibly the second best rediscovered author out there, let down by… something that would be a spoiler.
- The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben – interesting characters, but perhaps not enough plot to fill the page count? Still, a decent page-turner.
- Such Bright Disguises by Brian Flynn – an inverted mystery, with some real sense of claustrophobic terror as the plot starts to fall apart. Something a little different from Flynn and it works a treat.
- Death My Darling Daughters/Death And The Dear Girls by Jonathan Stagge – much, much better than my first encounter with Stagge, this is one of the best classic mysteries I’ve read for ages.
- Untouchable by Robert Innes – a locked room novella (although a long novella), this is great for the plotting and writing, but let down by an implausible solution to the impossible crime.
- The Ebony Stag by Brian Flynn – a treasure hunt, a surprisingly violent death and another good surprise killer from Flynn.
- The Assassin In The Greenwood by Paul Doherty – a re-read and very enjoyable it was too. Just what I needed.
Thirteen books – not bad, not bad at all. But Book of the Month – can I give it to Mike Craven again? The Puppet Show and Black Summer were joint winners in June last year (and would have won separately if I’d read them in separate months and Born In A Burial Gown won it in January… Yes. Yes I can. While some of the other books are perhaps purer mysteries – Death My Darling Daughters in particular – this was the one I was carrying around with me to read more in a spare minute. So not a classic mystery per se, but a damn fine book all the same. And there’s a new book, The Curator, coming soon. Not soon enough, but soon. Special non-existent prize by the way if you can tell me any other author on the blog who’s won Book of the Month for all their novels…
And it’s actually fourteen, but I’m saving one for a day or so, as I’m doing some linked reviews – one book that I should have read an age ago, one book that any self-respecting crime fiction historian should have read and one new release that I’ve been looking forward to for ages. That’s not too hard to work out… See you soon and stay safe.