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

December is all but over and while I might finish my next read before the end of the year, I’m off for a few days away in an internet-free cabin with my better half, so I doubt I’ll have time to post a review – sorry, Dolores. That’ll be in January, along with all sorts of other delights, I’m sure, but as I’ve also got my 2021 Review for your delectation, I thought I’d do the Puzzly 2021 a bit early. And would you believe it, for the end of the year, it is the genuinely hardest book of the month ever.

So the books in question this month are:

Until I read The Appeal, there was no question as to who would get the Book Of The Month. Anthrax Island, with a classic locked room mystery buried inside an action movie, was streets ahead of anything this month – hell, probably this year. And then came The Appeal, another fair-play classic mystery with a unique format. As I said in my review, just as much Ellery Queen as Agatha Christie, it’s just as engrossing and just as puzzling. Two outstanding books, but I’ve got to choose one of them and there is absolutely nothing between them.

So I’m going to take the coward’s way out and award another joint Puzzly. Congrats to both authors and go and buy their books. D L Marshall has a second out now, and Janice Hallett’s new book is out early next year – reviews for both will be coming soon.


  1. I agree with you regarding The Five False Suicides. There are just too many ideas in the pot often confusing. Also it seems to end abruptly. What happens after that?


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