Two thousand. That’s a pretty big number. That’s, if I can trust Google, the same as the total number of episodes of Doctor Who, Star Treks the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, Babylon 5, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Game of Thrones and Leverage. And that’s a lot. It’s also the same as the number of posts on this here blog. Not that I’m saying I put in the same amount of time preparing it as the producers of those shows did (well, maybe the last season of Game of Thrones) but it’s nice to put down such a mark in my little corner of the blogosphere.
I was mulling over what to do for this post – should I review a favourite author, should I review a favourite book… Actually, should I not notice the anniversary was a pretty likely option as I only noticed this about two posts ago, but I thought I’d go all self-indulgent and take a look at the previous centenaries of the blog. Sometimes I did something special, sometimes I didn’t bother and sometimes I didn’t notice at all. So feel free to skip this indulgent waddle down memory lane if you like, but if not…
Well, that was an original title, wasn’t it? And it’s not the most substantial article, just an announcement that I was going to be having a major dive into Paul Doherty’s work, an author who I’d recently discovered thanks to my blogging buddy Sergio, and an author whose work I still look forward to with bated breath.
200: The Probability Of Murder by Ada Madison
An interesting one this, as the author had sent me a copy of the book following my review of the first book in this cosy series. She hasn’t been in touch since – I do hope she wasn’t disappointed with my comment about the murderer being a bit obvious. I’ve never been back to this series – my dives into the US cosy genre has become far less frequent – but I think I’ve got book three upstairs somewhere so maybe one day…
300: Mrs, Presumed Dead by Simon Brett
I don’t think I noticed post 300 coming around – that’s going to be a theme – but it’s nice to highlight this one. The Mrs Pargeter books are by far my favourite of Simon Brett’s mysteries – whisper it quietly, but I’m not a fan of the Charles Paris books – and this is one of my favourites.
400: The Seventh Hypothesis by Paul Halter
One of the best of the Paul Halter translations. Some of them have been a bit lacking – The Vampire Tree, The White Lady, to name two – but when Halter is on form – this, The Madman’s Room, The Demon of Dartmoor, to name three – his books really are first rate
500: Gallows Lane by Brian McGilloway
Again, reading the review, it looks like I noticed it was post 500 at the last minute, but it was a police procedural that I enjoyed. McGilloway seems to be a highly rated author these days (and presumably when this came out too) and I’m not sure why I never went back. Definitely one to rectify.
600: Top Five Underappreciated Books
Obviously I noticed the anniversary this time, so I went through the Stats page of my blog to find the best books that had the fewest views. Now I’m feeling bad that I never revisted two of the authors I mentioned here, especially as I have two of their books upstairs…
700: Top Ten Crime Novels Of The Last Decade
And another Top Ten list, this time full of recommendations of modern authors, all of whom I returned to over the years.
Now I’m sure this says something psychologically weird about me, but I decided to “interview” myself, giving a bit of an insight into my thinking behind the blog. Oh dear…
Another anniversary post, this time looking at historical mysteries and their popularity or lack thereof from various sections of the reading community.
1000: It’s Competition Time! Again!
It’s been a while since I did this – a competition with actual prizes. Maybe I should have a go at doing another one of these… Oh, the answers to that competition are here
1100: The Burial Hour by Jeffrey Deaver
Now it gets to the point where I stop noticing anniversaries and just get on with the reviews. The Lincoln Rhyme books by Jeffrey Deaver were books that I was still reading in my pre-blog hiatus from generally reading crime fiction. I don’t think this is the strongest in the series, but it’s still lots of fun.
Another competition, but this time the answers coincided with the anniversary post – I really wasn’t trying at this point… The original competition is here.
1300: Night Exercise by John Rhode
Nice to see John Rhode, one of my blog obsessions making it into this post. Bit of a shame it’s for this one though, as this rare standalone just isn’t up there with his best work.
1400: The Eight Of Swords by John Dickson Carr
I could almost say exactly the same thing about this one, apart from it not being non-series. Nice to see Carr here and this was better than I remembered it being, but it’s still not first-rate work from him.
1500: The Triple Bite by Brian Flynn
Brian Flynn, Brian Flynn… nope, don’t recall. Maybe it’ll come back to me later…
1600: The League Of Matthias by Brian Flynn
OK, I’m vaguely recalling now. Brian Flynn… no, maybe I need a bit longer.
1700: The House Of The Hanged Woman by Kate Ellis
Another author I discovered (for myself, not in general) through the blog. I love Kate’s books, always a highlight of my reading year, and this book, part of the Albert Lincoln trilogy is excellent.
1800: The Case Of The Painted Ladies by Brian Flynn
Oh, Brian Flynn! I remember now. Unless this is your first time here, you’ll know the Brian Flynn story – there’s thirty-five of the fifty-three books available now from Dean Street Press, and there should be more on the way next year.
1900: The Hanging Tree by Paul Doherty
And as I said, I’m still reading Paul Doherty’s books ten years later. Another highlight of the year, a new book from Paul, and this one, a Brother Athelstan mystery, is a fine example of his work.
2000: My 2000th Post
Which is this post obviously…
So what have I achieved over the past almost-twelve years? Well, I expect you’ll think that getting Brian Flynn back in print (and getting myself in print, for a few pages of each of those books at least) is my crowning glory, and you’d be one third correct.Yes, I’m incredibly proud of that and I’m still on the lookout for the next author to champion. But there are two other things as well.
First of all, the blog has shifted my reader’s block, one of the things that I started the blog to do. I read a lot – more when I’m not engrossed in the latest Assassin’s Creed game or revisiting Skyrim. I’ve found a load of authors that I might not have done pre-blog and despite basically only reading crime novels, I feel my reading has broadened. Oh, and my interest in medieval history, thanks to Messrs Doherty and Jecks…
But also I’ve made lots of similarly minded friends along the way. Whether it’s my fellow bloggers, especially my book group, or people who comment on the blog or authors who have shared a kind word with me online or in person – or in one case, waved at me from the stage when they were about to interview Ann Cleeves… I’m not the most social person in the world, but thanks to people reaching out to ask questions, recommend books or to thank me for a recommendation, I feel that my circle has expanded so much thanks to you all. So do keep doing it, it’s much appreciated.
Oh, and if any authors want to use my name in one of their books, well that’s still a first that I haven’t achieved yet.*
And just in case you’re wondering – I’m not finishing any time soon. There are far, far too many books to read…
*Not counting Paul Doherty using something that resembled my name for an utterly deplorable character in one of his books, but he swears it was a coincidence…
Congratulations Steve, this is a real achievement. I may have lacked your staying power but it was your blog that got me started way back when – and I’ll always be grateful. Keep it up!
Ah, I remember fondly those early days as blogging buddies…
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Congratulations! This was a very neat concept for post #2000, as it gave some entry points into your back catalogue. I also especially liked #600 and #800.
Just seen this post now. Well done on reaching such a big milestone. I will have to start posting posts for individual short stories to catch up lol It is very interesting seeing how you have celebrated your various milestones or forgotten them. I have done that the odd time too. Looking forward to seeing what you post about in your next 2000 reviews!
Technically, it’s 2000 posts – it’s almost 1500 reviews and that anniversary’s coming soon…
I very much enjoyed post 800 of you interviewing yourself. I’ve printed off a couple of the puzzles that I hadn’t seen before – I assume all the prizes have already been claimed LOL!
Yes, the competition prizes have all gone. Oh, hang on, no, one hasn’t because it was won by an old friend who lives not far from me and I just assumed I’d pop round to see him at some point. Five years later…
That is quite amazing, very well done! And I for one enjoy this trip down Memory Lane and am glad to hear that you are not thinking of giving up yet.
Thanks so much. I’ll be keeping going for a good while yet. Thanks for all of the retweets of the reviews.
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An outstanding milestone, many congrats on continuing to provide so much amusement and direction to so many people. You’re one of the blogs that got me blogging, and it makes me very happy to see this corner of the internet in such hale health. Long may it continue!
Ah, it’s lovely to see my children grow up. Bit galling when their blogs are far more detailed, insightful and better researched than mine though…
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Congratulations on the impressive milestone. Yours was the first GAD blog that I discovered in a browser search four plus years ago. That was back when I only knew Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie … completely ignorant of the breadth of GAD fiction (e.g., embarrassed to say I had never heard of John Dickson Carr, etc. back then).
Your posts and reviews have been not only a great education on GAD but an introduction to many authors who I otherwise never would know existed including Flynn, Doherty, Rhode/Burton/Waye, etc. Keep going as long as you have the energy and inspiration as all of us benefit from your insights.
Thanks, Scott. I’ll keep going for a good while yet – it still is the primary factor that keeps me reading. There’s a slight worry that without it, I’d slow down and let things drag. Plus, no review copies!
What a terrific milestone! And a lot of years of good blog-reading for your fans. I’ve gotten many a suggestion for books to add to my TBR mountain range from your reviews. (Don’t ask me if I’ve managed to read them all yet….) And thanks for taking the time to mention my blog in your 2000th post–though you did forget to capitalize it. 😉
Congratulations, and to many more!