The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – April 2022

Apologies for the delay in the round up of April’s reading. I was just sitting down to write it yesterday morning when a gang of marauding pagans tied me to a maypole and I’ve only just gnawed my way free.

April was supposed to be “Awesome April” after “Mediocre March” and, for the most part, it was. A good collection of mystery novels and nothing that wasn’t enjoyable. Actually, that’s not quite true, I did spend the last couple of days of the month struggling with the second book in a cosy mystery series that I quite liked the debut entry in – but book two leans much more into the cosy and when there hadn’t been a whiff of murder at the 30% mark, it went in the (electronic) bin…

But the books I finished were the following:

Oh, and I also heaped loads of praise on Scream (5) and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? and wondered whether Unforgotten Series One was supposed to contain a surprising murderer or was an amalgam of Play For Today episodes with a weak whodunnit tacked on…

Book of the Month – well, I’m discounting the short stories and novella – sorry, Mike – but Poe and Tilly are back in The Botanist this month so, let’s face it, that’s probably the book of next month. I think it’s going to have to be one of the classics this time. I think Swan Song just edges it over Sudden Death, mainly due to Crispin’s writing. I think it’s his best book – The Moving Toyshop always disappointed me by the prosaic solution to the moving of said toyshop. This one builds a satisfying mystery with a clever mystery, distinct characters and a clever solution. Any readers of classic detective fiction really should seek this one out – there are plenty of reprints of it out there – and then read the rest (apart from The Glimpses Of The Moon).

Next month – The Botanist will be up against E C R Lorac, Steve Cavanagh’s The Devil’s Advocate and something else from Crispin, probably, all while I read a lot of books 31 to 40 from a certain Mr Flynn. Oh, and the marvellously titled Death Of A Weirdy by Glyn Carr…

4 comments

  1. I think Glimpses of the Moon is worth reading, even allowing for it not being anything like his best work; it’s a pity his editor didn’t persuade him to cut a great deal of the last two chapters, most of which is just expressing his poor opinion of hunt saboteurs. And although Swan Song is really good, I slightly prefer Buried for Pleasure.

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  2. I’ll need to figure out some day why I don’t hate Glimpses of the Moon nearly as much as others—Jonathan O above excepted—seem to. Maybe because I listened to it as an audiobook rather than reading it? That does give one the gracious out of simply spacing parts that drag or don’t appeal. Picking my absolute favorite Crispin would be tough (I also like Buried for Pleasure a great deal and, also at odds with others, it seems, Holy Disorders). Despite Moving Toyshop being the first I read, it’s not anywhere near the top of my list.

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