Book of the Month: May 2019

I feel like I have spent most of this year apologising for the reduced number of reviews on the blog, but this month will be different; in that I won’t be apologising. But yes, I only made 8 reviews this month and it was a rather mixed bag of books to boot as well!

Nevertheless, I decided to have two separate categories this month: a favourite re-read and a favourite new read.

For the first category the accolade goes to Cyril Hare’s Suicide Excepted (1939), without a shadow of a doubt. I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this book, as although I was blown away by the solution when I first read the story, I did wonder whether some of the awe would be lost on a second read. Is this a book whose merits are based on more than its’ ending? On the whole I say it does have such merits, with brilliant flicks of humour and Hare has a good flare for misdirection.

Moving on to my favourite new read the winner is an author who has surprised me a great deal, as whilst I didn’t get wowed by This is the House (1945), I really enjoyed Shelley Smith’s An Afternoon to Kill (1953). This is a great example of a novel using the story within a story device, well and I love how Smith cleverly plays with the reader through familiar tropes. It goes without saying that I would strongly recommend reading both of these books.

Finally, I am going to end my book of the month with a few new acquisitions…


  1. Thanks for the summary of the month. 😊 I intend to keep ‘Suicide Excepted’ to be my final foray into Cyril Hare, so there will be a number of other novels to get through before I arrive there. Good to hear that it withstood the test of a re-read. I liked rather than loved Shelley Smith’s ‘This is the House’, and that title was more of a puzzle mystery than ‘An Afternoon to Kill’. I have ‘Afternoon’ on my Kindle, but it feels more like suspense than puzzle, and I think my initial foray into this genre should be ‘Fear Stalks the Village’ instead. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I am eagerly anticipating the day you finally try Fear Stalks the Village. It could be the beginning of a long era of suspense filled reads… or you never touching such works ever again. It’s 50:50 at the moment.
      How many Hare novels do you have left to read?


      • Quite a few Hare novels left. I’ve thus far only read “Bare Bodkin” and “English Murder”.

        I was intending to comment that Ellis’s “High Mortality of Doves” had vanished from your TBR pile – I see my guess that it was standing trial was correct. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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