It’s the end of the month which means it is time for me to decide which book I’ve read this month is the best. When I first started doing Book of the Month posts I did not realise how tricky such a task would be, as this month I have read a bumper crop of strong novels from the Golden Age period. Consequently, although I will (eventually) reveal which book grabbed the title of Book of the Month, I have also devised some subcategories to showcase some of the great books I have read this October:
Best Surprise Killer: Murder in the Telephone Exchange (1948) by June Wright.
A subtle narrative trick, which Christie herself would have been proud of, makes spotting this book’s killer a fiendish task (a task I completely failed at).
Funniest Book: Death of a Fellow Traveller (1950) by Delano Ames (and to be honest the difficulty I had getting this book also makes it qualify for the category of Hardest Book to Get a Hold Of).
Ames’ series couple sleuths are great from start to finish as they investigate, frequently making you laugh out loud, especially when Dagobert’s maverick behaviour causes chaos.
Best Victim: Penelope Passes or Why Did She Die? (1946) by Joan Coggin.
Often in GA detective fiction, the victim is not likeable, frequently being greedy or cruel, but I was impressed with how underhand and Machiavellian the horridness of Coggin’s victim in this novel was.
Best Setting: The Mamo Murders (1952) by Juanita Sheridan
Set in Hawaii, this is a great detective novel, which utilises its’ setting effectively with the murders that occur including the crime scenes and the motivations behind the deaths. Sheridan’s knowledge of the location shines throughout.
This trio of novels which I have reviewed this month have been consistent in their strong narrative style which is fast and hooks you and Haynes’ characters are well written. In particular the crime in The House at Charlton Crescent is a mystery which does not reveal itself until the very end and in my opinion is the best out of the three mentioned.
So now for the final category, Book of the Month, which goes to….
Delano Ames’ Death of a Fellow Traveller. As well as being hilarious, Ames’ zany duo (who go beyond the bright young things couples which preceded them) play around with the very nature of detective fiction and thriller genres and the mystery posed is a good one, with the killer well-hidden until the end.
To see other people’s favourite books of October head over to the Mysteries in Paradise blog.