Book of the Month: May 2020

It has been a bit of a slow month on the blog, clocking in a mere 10 reads. Although one of these was a non-fiction title, which took ages to plough through. So perhaps I should not berate myself too much.

9 of my reads were from authors I had tried before, and 6 were from the 1940s. The only new-to-me author was E. P. Fenwick and her book Two Names for Death (1945). Unfortunately, I had quite a few “meh” reads this month, even from authors I have really enjoyed in the past. Though the least recommended read of the month has to go to Edgar Wallace’s The Face in the Night (1924), which achieves the feat of being both deadly dull and overly action focused.

When it came to deciding which read to make book of the month, I narrowed it down to two books: What Dark Secret (1943) by Juanita Sheridan and Anthony Gilbert’s Don’t Open the Door! (1945). Sheridan is an old favourite of mine and I was intrigued to read this non-series title, which predated her Lily Wu novels and to see how it compared. It certainly has it’s laugh out loud moments and Sheridan delivers a strong level of maturity in her depiction of her characters’ relationships.

However, in the end I decided to go with Anthony Gilbert’s novel, as I felt this title was more surprising and harder to predict. I love how Gilbert can take tropes which are familiar and even well-worn yet use them in such a way that they come across as fresh. You certainly have to keep your wits about you to avoid making the wrong assumptions!

My TBR pile is looking a little less podgy, despite a few new additions to the pile shown below:

I hope everyone has had a good reading month and here’s to June’s books. The blog is also turning 5 at the end of June, so keep your eyes peeled for the special post I have planned. Just need to write it now…


  1. Is this at long last to be the post “Ngaio Marsh, Every Book Ranked”?


    My mystery reading has almost stopped in the last couple months — reading textbooks and history, just one mystery — but with sitting out on the deck weather returning I hope to remedy that. Are you getting to the Red Widow Murders soon? That’s on my shelf.
    I am curious what you make of Jezebel too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have not got any immediate plans to read TRWMs, but I’m sure I will get to it some time this year looking at the size of my TBR pile. I am keen to read DOAJ, but I have been waiting for the right time and mood, as I really want to like it.
      And as to the 5th anniversary post you’ll just have to wait and see…


  2. Always happy when a Gilbert wins the Book of the Month award. That book has long been on my wishlist but Gilberts are very hard to come by. I seem to have liked that Wallace more than you. Was stumped by the last reveal of identity. Looking forward to that post in June.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just wanted to simply say that I have been reading your blog for several years now and have enjoyed many hours of while reading your posts. Not to mention, discovering new books and authors. Wish you the best and please keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, you talked me into buying Don’t Open the Door (under the title Death Lifts the Latch). Like I really need any more books, but a recommended Anthony Gilbert is worth getting when I can find it.

    Liked by 1 person

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