August has been a month of quite a number of good reads for me, so much so that aside from choosing a book of the month, I have also created a further three categories. It was a tough decision deciding on my book of the month but in the end I went for June Wright’s So Bad A Death (1949). Maggie Bryne is a brilliant amateur sleuth with her combined sincerity of feeling and sarcasm. The mystery presented is an unusual and complex one for readers to get their teeth into and the solution is very satisfying. Wright is adept at creating realistic and engaging characters and is good at making scenes tense or suspenseful.
Here are a few other good reads I have had this month:
Best Translated Detective Fiction Novel: The Mystery of the Three Orchids (1942) by Augustus De Angelis
This was another great read by De Angelis, set in a fashion house in Italy and once again he is brilliant at creating mounting tension and tantalising readers with cryptic remarks. This is a fast paced mystery from the Golden Age era and I look forward to reading more of De Angelis’ work.
Best Mystery by an American Author: The Leavenworth Case (1878) by Anna K. Green
This is definitely a classic detective novel which deserves its’ reputation, containing many tropes later crime writers would go on to use. The mystery itself revolving around the death of man in his study, is well constructed and there are plenty of avenues for the reader and detectives to investigate. The characters are well drawn and complex and consequently there is the added challenge of reading them and interpreting their behaviour correctly, as Green is good at throwing in red herrings in this area.
Favourite Re-Read: Murder Must Advertise (1933) by Dorothy L Sayers
I have had a few re-reads this month from authors such as Agatha Christie and Gladys Mitchell but I have to say Sayers’ novel was the most enjoyable one. It is just one of those books that really works for me on a variety of levels such as characterisation and narrative style and I also enjoyed seeing new aspects of the book that I hadn’t seen when I first read it.
Also don’t forget to give my quiz on Crime Writers and Their Others Jobs a go. Answers will be going up in a couple of days time.