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

It’s been a funny old month for me. Well, not funny per se, more stressful, particularly as the start of term approaches, but other things have meant that It hasn’t been a particularly relaxing summer. At least I’ve got the luxury of reading to fall back on. There have been a load of new releases this month, some of which I haven’t got round to yet and some more to come next month – apologies, dear author, if you’re waiting for a review. I’ll get there, I promise.

So twelve books in total, almost all in the first half of the month, with school preparation really cutting into my reading time – oh, and the coma that The Documents In The Case induced didn’t help either. And no, that’s not the last time I’m going to have a pop at that one. So what were the twelve mystery novels – sorry, eleven mystery novels and one notably mystery-free book – were they and, more importantly, which was the best?

The books in question were:

The Bookseller Of Inverness by S G Maclean – engrossing historical thriller, a fine start to a series. Definitely more of a thriller than a whodunit, but there is that element in it.

The Piccadilly Murder by Anthony Berkeley – not the book that will convert me to Berkeley, but just a book that proved he could write an excellent mystery if he put his mind to it.

Inspector Burmann’s Black Out by Belton Cobb – one of the weakest “murder during a black out” mysteries that I’ve read, mainly as it only uses it as an excuse to limit the suspects and nothing else. And the mystery itself is far from Cobb’s cleverest.

Death Of A Weirdy by Glyn Carr – why does anyone let Abercrombie Lewker anywhere near a mountain as it always ends in murder? And why doesn’t anyone try and republish these mysteries?

Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard – a clever multi-layered almost Nolan-esque thriller, full of clever ideas and a genuinely exciting climax.

A Cornish Recipe For Murder by Fiona Leitch – a fun cosy, let down by a very straightforward mystery plot. Will probably go back to the series at some point.

The Twist Of A Knife by Anthony Horowitz – the author finds himself the prime suspect in the murder of a vociferous critic of his latest play. An outstanding mystery.

The Lost Man Of Bombay by Vaseem Khan – another excellent historical thriller, this time in post-independence India in the third Malabar House book.

Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson – a clever meta-mystery – a little too clever for my tastes, but a lot of people will enjoy it.

The Documents In The Case by Dorothy L Sayers & Robert Eustace – the literary equivalent of paint drying on a wall. One of the single most tedious books that I’ve read.

Serpent’s Point by Kate Ellis – another engrossing Wesley Peterson mystery. Kate has a gift for creating complex plots that hook the reader from page one, and this is no exception.

Blackstone Fell by Martin Edwards – see the above description with “Wesley Peterson” replaced by “Rachael Savernake” and “Kate” by “Martin”.

Book of the Month? Who gets the Puzzly? Damned if I know. Oh hang on, it’s my job, isn’t it? Right…

A load of great books this month – and The Documents In The Case too. I think… ooh, sorry Kate & Martin but it’s going – just – to The Twist Of A Knife. But I strongly, strongly recommend Serpent’s Point and Blackstone Fell as well, and depending on your tolerance for slappable narrators, Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone.

Next month… more new releases including a book that hasn’t been released in the UK yet.

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