Book of the Month: July 2018

Looking back over this month’s blogging, it seems I’ve been a very busy bee. I’ve managed 20 posts: 1 interview with Tony Medawar on Bodies from the Library, (which I’ve heard is flying off the shelves), 1 post on GAD fiction and the North of England, (thank you to everyone who gave me extra titles), 1 post on 2 Francis Durbridge TV drama series, 1 post on the latest issue of CADs, oh and 16 book reviews. Not quite got the same ring as the 12 days of Christmas, but then it would be a bit weird to include it in a round up post in the middle of the summer wouldn’t it?

On the whole I’d say the quality of my reading was consistently high, though there was the odd clunker. Despite this though there was one clear winner for the accolade of Book of the Month and this was my first read of July, Death Knocks Three Times (1949). Probably impossible to fault, this book has brilliant characters, (Gilbert has a lot of expertise in presenting very well-crafted spinster characters), an intriguing plot with many a clue cleverly concealed, a satisfying solution and an atmosphere which certainly has its dark moments.

However, there were a number of contenders jostling for second place and what surprised me was how varied these titles were. Firstly there was The Black Shroud (1941) by Constance and Gwenyth Little, though these two authors are firm favourites of mine so their high place on the list is not unexpected. Yet who would have thought a football themed mystery would be a similarly strong contender? But I did indeed really enjoy The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939) by Leonard Gribble. Another non-surprising second placer, is Alice Tilton’s The Cut Direct (1938). I don’t think I have read a bad book by her. I began this paragraph with one writing team of two sisters, so I will close it with a married writing team, Douglas Stapleton and Helen A. Carey, who wrote The Corpse is Indignant (1946). The lead sleuth may say words like, ‘cornsidering’ and ‘jess’ (instead of just), but the puzzle in this book is absolutely brilliant and well worth sampling, as are all the other titles I have mentioned. I have definitely been spoilt this month in terms of my reading quality and I can only hope August’s will be as good.

I hope everyone else has been enjoying the sunshine and more importantly getting in plenty of reading time and even more important than that, having books which are really good reads to enjoy in the aforementioned reading time.


  1. Thanks for the overview, and you have had a strong cluster of novels this month. 😊 I’m glad to say a copy of “Death Knocks Three Times” is bobbing its way to me… 🤓

    Liked by 1 person

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