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

It’s been a funny old month for reading. It’s come in fits and starts, starting slow, loads done in the middle of the month and then hardly anything over the last week or so. Not sure of the reason for the first slow patch – end of term probably – but the last week or so has been due to my dear old Dad being in hospital. For those of you out there who have any sort of belief, do put in a good word for Bob the next time you’re talking to the man/woman/whatever upstairs. Looks like he’s slowly on the mend, but every little helps.

But you’re here first and foremost for the books, so what did I manage this month? Eleven books, all in all, which is pretty good on recent form, but generally low for a normal July – not going away for more than a weekend probably had something to do with that. But let’s take a look at those eleven books.

Those eleven were:

Book of the Month is actually quite a tricky one. I can eliminate a few quite quickly – I really hope the spirit of Edward Grierson wasn’t waiting on tenterhooks – but picking the one that I most enjoyed is a little harder. Enjoyment is always an important part of how I choose the Puzzly and some of the books I enjoyed the most had their flaws. Bring Her Home, for example, was a hugely entertaining and gripping read, but the villain couldn’t have advertised themselves more if they were wearing a black and white stripey jumper and wearing a domino mask. Honourable mentions go to Devil’s Table and Come To Paddington Fair but it comes down to choosing between Realm Of Darkness, the latest Hugh Corbett mystery, and The Last Party, the latest from Clare Mackintosh. Very different books so… stuff it, it’s going to a coin toss. Heads for Paul D, tails for Clare M.

The coin is spinning and the result is…

HEADS! So by a gnat’s whisker, Paul Doherty wins his umpteenth Puzzly for his historical mystery, with a beautifully told tale with multiple mystery strands, some of the impossible crimes, dovetailing into another gripping medieval mystery that, quite frankly, kicks the arse of any Cadfael tale.

But read The Last Party as well…

Next month, loads of new releases – hopefully I’ll get a chance to read them all. I’m already one behind…


  1. I’m sorry to hear about your Dad (though glad he seems to be on the mend). I will definitely keep him on my prayer list.

    Your sum up of the Grierson book brought on a hearty chuckle. I’ve only read one of his (A Crime of One’s Own–set, apparently in “a charmingly old-fashioned library and bookshop” [was that a thing?]). I read it long before blogging when I merely handed out star ratings. It garnered a middle-of-the-road three stars. I’m guessing it was better than Reputation for a Song…but who knows, I may have been more generous when I was younger and less experienced in the mystery field.


    • Thanks, Bev. I’m not heading back to Grierson for love nor money. He wrote about crime, not mystery or detection (or even entertainment). Just not my thing at all… Even Brad agreed with me for once 😉


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