So August has passed us by, and a return to school beckons. Thankfully, my school is doing everything within reason to protect us teachers, but I’ll admite, it’s an anxious time for us teachers. Whether that’s going to translate to me reading more or reading less, I don’t know. So if the blog goes quiet for a period of time, it’ll probably be due to a lack of concentration, nothing more. Hopefully…
So, my August reading consisted of sixteen books, two of which I’ll get round to reviewing soon. But it also was a month of some very well reviewed new releases. A month in which I find that my thoughts on some books simply don’t align with the masses. But more on that later…
The books in question were:
- Artists In Crime by Ngaio Marsh – nope, still not seeing the appeal.
- Hymn To Murder by Paul Doherty – a new release that was not trumpeted to the high heavens, but was considerably better than a number of titles that were.
- Prisoner’s Base by Rex Stout – interesting enough, but not enough to convince me to rush back to Stout.
- The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard – a well-reviewed new release and fully deserving of the praise it received. An original idea, very well-executed.
- Double Detection by Belton Cobb – a new author to me, and definitely one for me to look into further.
- After The Fire by John Pilkington – a new historical mystery writer to me, and while there are issues with the plot, the historical picture being painted is very strong. I’ll definitely be back soon.
- Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz – the magnificent sequel to Magpie Murders.
- Death To Slow Music by Beverley Nichols – an interesting title from another author new to me. Again, issues with parts of the plot, but a well-written story.
- The Case Of The Seven Of Calvary by Anthony Boucher – a very clever plot, bogged down a little in places with some verbosity, but definitely worth your time.
- Knife Edge by Simon Mayo – perfectly fine thriller, but hardly the modern classic that some reviewers seem to think it.
- Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi – again, perfectly fine but not the modern classic that some people take it to be, primarily due to plot holes you could drive a bus through.
- Death And The Professor by E & M A Radford – an earlier short-stories-with-a-link tale, a classy tribute to the Golden Age
- The Killings At Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah – “Poirot” is back…
- The White Lady by Paul Halter – a new release, but not his best work.
Book of the Month – I thought it would be a tricky one. So much good word of mouth about two of the new releases but at the end of the day, they disappointed. Three of the new releases though, were outstanding. The Nothing Man is a cracking thriller, Hymn To Murder is an outstanding historical mystery (and he’s written over a hundred of these – is there any author so prolific whose work hadn’t waned by this point) but the winner of the Puzzly was an easy choice.
Moonflower Murders is simply brilliant. When I heard Anthony Horowitz was doing a sequel to Magpie Murders, I was dubious – it seemed a perfect one-off novel, with little scope for more. I was very, very wrong. If anything, Moonflower Murders is even better than the first book – it’s an amazing piece of work, a book that pays perfect homage to the Golden Age of detection twice over. And I had a lot of fun writing the review.
Next month, another book with excellent word of mouth – Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club. Should you believe the hype? Stay tuned…