It’s not been a bad month for reading, clocking in 14 mystery books out of 20 reads overall. It has also been a very varied reading month, (by my standards anyway), as I have taken some time to delve into more modern crime fiction. Equally my reading has also taken me around the world, from Australia to Iceland and Austria. Whilst there were a few weaker reads this month, the vast majority made it over the 4/5 rating, which is never a bad thing.
Although there were quite a few titles/authors jostling for second and third place, there were two clear joint winners, of which one is a modern title, whilst the other is from the 1930s – a pleasing balance in my opinion. But what are the titles you ask?
The first is Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s Why Did You Lie? (2016). Scandinavian crime fiction is not usually my thing but this has to be one definite exception. Three separate narratives take place, in each death is not far away from the central characters and what deaths they are! They’re not gory or overly graphic, but they are definitely complex and unnerving. I was immediately absorbed into the baffling series of events which Sigurdardottir unfurls upon her reader with a gripping narrative style and excellent pacing, whilst emotionally engaging you at the same time. Like Christie, she also shows real skill in misdirecting and fooling the reader and I equally enjoyed her take on Christie’s And Then There Were None (1939). Definite must read for everyone!
My second Book of the Month winner is Murder in the Basement (1932) by Anthony Berkeley. Murder this time is found in the cellar of a recently wedded couple’s new home, yet this is no ordinary case for Chief Inspector Moresby, as identifying the victim, as well as the killer is far from easy. The investigation eventually comes to focus on an all boy’s school, whose staff are far from harmonious with one another. One of my favourite elements of this story is how we are introduced to the school milieu through an incomplete manuscript our novelist and amateur sleuth began when he was temporarily working there. As well as this story within a story feature, which produces a lively narrative, the social comedy and characters are also well done. It’s just a pity this book is not so readily available, but at least it is something to keep your eyes peeled for.
Any Other Business
Before you rush off, now you know who has won the much coveted Book of the Month prize, don’t forget to check out my post looking at some of my favourite country house mysteries, as well as post asking for your help for what books to next get for my TBR pile.
Oh and one last thing, until the 2nd April (so this Monday) I am having a sale on my vintage book box subscriptions – Coffee Crime (though tea or hot choc are also available). If you don’t want to miss out click here.