It is the first Book of the Month post of the year and on the whole I would say it’s been a pretty good month in terms of reading, getting through 19 books. I’m doing this post a little differently from how I normally do it. Usually I only mention the cream of the crop, the books you need to rush out and buy even if you’ve still got your curlers in and wearing your pink fluffy slippers. However this time round I want to use my Book of the Month post to chart my progress in a reading challenge I have signed up for: Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge. In this challenge I have to connect the books I read via a clue. For example if I had read And Then There Were None (1939) and then read E C R Lorac’s Black Beadle (1939), the clue to connect the two could be that they were both published in the same year. There are different levels to this challenge and I signed up for the hardest level: 12 books. So below are my reads from this month and the clues which link the books together. But don’t worry at the end I’ll still be awarding my Book of the Month title to my favourite read.
Book 1: The Danger Within (1952) by Michael Gilbert
Book 2: The Patience of the Spider (2004) by Andrea Camilleri
Book 3: Two Bottles of Relish: The Little Tales of Smethers and Other Stories (1952) by Lord Dunsany
Book 4: The Valley of Fear (1915) by Arthur Conan Doyle
Book 5: Here Comes the Chopper (1946) by Gladys Mitchell
Book 6: Essex Poison (2017) by Ian Sansom
Book 7: Death Points the Finger (1933) by Will Levinrew
Book 8: The Widow’s Cruise (1959) by Nicholas Blake
Book 9: Death in Cyprus (1956) by M. M. Kaye
Book 10: 1222 (2007) by Anne Holt
Book 11: Miss Christie Regrets (2017) by Guy Fraser-Sampsom
Book 12: No Tears for Hilda (1950) by Andrew Garve
Book 13: The Master of the Day of Judgement (1921) by Leo Perutz
Book 14: The Murdered Banker (1935) by Augusto De Angelis
Book 15: The Eames-Erskine Case (1925) by A. E Fielding
Book 16: Death and Letters (1950) by Elizabeth Daly
Book 17: Grim Pickings (1987) by Jennifer Rowe
Book 18: Three Bags Full (2005) by Leonie Swann
Book 19: The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra (2015) by Vaseem Khan
So first of all hooray as I think I have reached my 12 book target and part of me is wondering how long I can make this chain last.
But out of this assorted mixture of reads, which was my favourite? Well I am probably cheating but this month I have decided to have two joint winners which are Jennifer Rowe’s Grim Pickings and Michael Gilbert’s The Danger Within. Both had interesting and well developed mysteries to solve, with some sneaky clues thrown in along the way. The choice of setting in Gilbert’s book, a prisoner of war camp, was also used really effectively and certainly gave the story an original twist.