Book of the Month: August

It has been a busy month, one way or another. A couple of weeks into August and my broody hen had the joys of 7 of the 9 eggs she was sitting on, hatch. Those with multiple offspring will no doubt be able to commiserate with her on the trials of keeping your eye on several children at once!

August was also something of a sad month for me, as a week after the highs of new life, we had the lows of death. Our oldest goat Clover, aged 17, had to be put to sleep. It was not something I had been expecting and it definitely felt like the end of an era, as she was the last pet from my childhood.

Consequently, I did lose my reading mojo for a bit nearer the end of the month and ended up reading a non-mystery themed book: Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (2018) by Kathryn Harkup. Very good book, in case anyone was wondering. Somehow though I still managed 11 reviews for the blog.

I mostly read familiar authors in August, though surprisingly two of those authors delivered a more disappointing read. I have enjoyed the work of Celia Fremlin and Doris Miles Disney in the past, but my reads from them this month, (Uncle Paul (1959) and Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate (1970), respectively), did not live up to expectations, despite beginning with much promise.

In contrast three new-to-me authors provided a first class read, which leaves looking forward to reading more by them and in fact it is this trio of writers who comprise my top 3 reads of the month. I allotted joint second place to…

Post Mortem (1953) by Guy Cullingford

…. and Murder in the Family (1940) by James Ronald.

Both of these texts develop an unusual and interesting premise and they balance plot and characterisation effectively. It is a shame these two writers are not better known. However, given their latest reprint, this is not a problem for the winner of my Book of the Month…

Margot Bennett’s The Man Who Didn’t Fly (1955)

This book was definitely a success for me, so much so, that I have been tracking down other works by this author. Bennett poses an unconventional puzzle in her mystery, one which is very much rooted in the characters and their story. Even better this novel was reissued by the British Library in July, so I can whole heartedly recommend a book which won’t break your bank balance or take years to hunt down!

September is looking to be a good month reading wise, as there are three books being released which I am looking forward to getting my mitts on, and of course I still have Anthony Horowitz’ Moonflower Murders to read, which was published last month.

Given that 600 odd books are being published on the 3rd September, which titles is everyone else looking forward to?


  1. Kate, I’m so sorry to learn about Clover! I’ve been hearing his adventures for years, and I know he was a much-beloved member of your family! My deepest condolences!

    In honor of Moonflower Murders being published (and hopefully winging its way over to me as we speak), I’m finally reading The Sentence Is Death. Thus, September will be a big Horowitz fest for me before I spend October fittingly all-Christie, all the time!

    See you at the Christie festival!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you’ve been revising for the IACF quiz lol
      I look forward to seeing what you make of TSID. I remember enjoying that one. Horowitz is a strong plotter, but not at the expense of characterisation.
      And yes Clover was a wonderfully belligerent goat at times, once pretending to die so she could avoid being caught, but she (both sexes confusingly have beards!) was a lively character and I’ll definitely miss her.


  2. God bless you! I am so sorry to hear about Clover. I understand the devastation of losing a beloved pet. And, oh, all those wonderful years and memories you have had with her! Makes the loss so hard to bear! So so sorry, know you are so sad and will miss her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am very sorry to hear about Clover. That is a lovely picture of the broody hen with two chicks.

    I will have to get a copy of The Man Who Didn’t Fly. My first husband was a pilot and although all that is far, far, far behind me, I still have a soft spot for airplanes (reading about, looking at, not flying in) and this does sound like a good book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to hear about Clover’s passing on – all the more so given how she’s been around all this while. 😞

    I’ve read the Bennett novel, off the back of your review. It was an interesting take on the typical GA mystery – and, in retrospect, much more tightly clued and plotted than it might have appeared at first. 🧐

    Lovely photo of mother hen and chick! 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

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