I haven’t read as many books as I normally do this month, but the quality of the books has been fairly high overall. This being the case I have three separate award categories for this month’s Book of the Month.
Had a few re-reads this month so I decided to give them a separate category of their own. The two main contenders were The Human Flies (2010) by Hans Olav Lahlum, which I reviewed yesterday and Edmund Crispin’s The Moving Toyshop (1946). If you’ve already read yesterday’s review then it won’t surprise you that it was The Human Flies which won this group due to its wonderful characterisation, engaging plot and exploration of a number of interesting issues such as human trauma and disability and detection.
Best Contemporary Crime Novel
Due to being asked to create an 11 weeks course on Northern crime fiction, a lot of my reading this month has been focused in this area and this opportunity has given me the experience to try a lot of authors I have heard of, but which I have not got around to reading. My top three from this group are The Scent of Almonds and Other Stories (2015) by Camilla Lackberg, Ann Cleeve’s Murder in my Backyard (1991) and Kate Ellis’ The Death Season (2015). It was a tough choice deciding between these three but in the end I chose Ellis’ novel, as I was impressed with the way she juggled a number of plot lines, yet managed to interweave them into a convincing and exciting narrative.
Best Golden Age Detective Novel
Although I could technically place Crispin’s novel in this category also, I felt it only fair to pick from Golden Age novels which I had only read for the first time. With this rule in place it was an easy decision to select The Chimney Murder (1929) by E. M. Channon, which had first rate characterisation and I particularly enjoyed how Channon explored the issue of gender and gender roles within families.
Over To You
What has your favourite read been this month?