The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – October 2021

October is at an end, thank goodness. The seemingly unending countdown to turning the lights down, closing the curtains and pretending not to be home so that little scrotes don’t pester me for sweets with menaces is gone for another year. I’m writing this on October 31st, so hopefully my new porch will be spared having eggs thrown at it. Yes, I’m a grumpy curmudgeon when it comes to Hallowe’en – the US has given us a lot of good things, but Trick or Treating isn’t one of them.

Ahem. Back to the point. It’s been a much better month for reading than “Six Book September”, so that’s hopefully I’m back on the wagon, bookwise. I’ve also made an attempt at an accurate bibliography for Belton Cobb – not sure why as some of his late books are laughably bad – I guess it’s the “laughably” bit that helps. Anyway, the lists online are in the wrong order or missing the odd title, so I’m trying to get it right. I’ve only made six revisions to the page so far… No worries about November, as I’m off for a week away later with little internet to distract me, and I’ve loads of new titles to tempt me. This month, there were eleven books in total, so let’s get on with the round-up.

Those books were:

With regards to the classic mysteries in that pile, only one of them has stuck in the memory. Oh, actually, that’s not true, I’m still mulling over Bryan and Kitty’s conversation in Suspicion In Triplicate about them having girlfriends and boyfriends respectively and trying to work out if it’s platonic or they’re swingers. No, the classic mystery I enjoyed most this month was Eight Faces At Three by Craig Rice, the first J J Malone mystery and definitely worth your time.

The best reads this month were all historical mysteries, something I used to obsess about but since finding Paul Doherty, Mike Jeck and Len Tyler’s series, I’d sort of stopped looking for new ones. However this month, while playing Kindle Roulette, I read two outstanding historical whodunnits, The Devil In The Marshalsea and Midnight at Malabar House. It’s not easy to separate them – they are both great books – but I’m going to give the Puzzly for this month to Vaseem Khan due to the more overt attempt to marry the classic mystery tropes to the historical richness of detail.

Next month, some new titles from regular authors on the blog in Frances Brody and Peter Bartram, more Belton Cobb and John Rhode and quite possible more from Vaseem Khan and Antonia Hodgson as well…

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