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?