The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – February 2023

Two months down, ten to go. Blimey, this February seems to have gone on forever. Despite that, I only managed to read seven books. Currently going through one of those phases where I just can’t get started on a book – almost the opposite of last month. Ah well, let’s have a look at the seven books. If nothing else, it means there’s less competition for the Puzzly…

The Wilderness Retreat by Jennifer Moore – a closed circle in an isolated location thriller. Not at all bad, but it did seem to go on too long.

When You See Me by Lisa Gardner – a great thriller (if not a mystery) continuing the story of Flora Dane. Some of the strongest character work you’ll see in thrillers.

Dark Queen Wary by Paul Doherty – the fourth Margaret Tudor mystery/historical thriller. Definitely a series of Paul’s that needs to be better known.

Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter – in which Morse guesses theory after theory until one of them is sort-of correct.

Villainy At Vespers by Joan Cockin – some nice bits, but crikey, it goes on a bit. Well, a lot…

The Wrecker’s Curse by Jo Silva – it probably won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I really enjoyed this. There’s probably one fake-out too many at the end, but it works with the tone of the book.

Murder Of An Owl by Glyn Carr – not a real owl, but a boy scout. Which is probably worse. Another classic whodunnit up a mountain.

So, who gets the Puzzly? Well, it probably should go to Dark Queen Wary, but I did enjoy The Wrecker’s Curse a lot and it felt like a fresh voice in crime fiction. Very curious to see where it’s all going…


  1. Hi Puzzle Doctor,a sad day for Christopher Fowler fans; He’s just passed away.I’m going to reread The Burning Man ,as it’s my favourite of the Byrant and May novels.


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