Book of the Month: October 2020

Whilst the number of the books I have wrapped this month has run into the three figures, the number of books I have actually read haven’t even made it into double figures. I could have tried to squeeze two more reads in before midnight, but I don’t think many murders happen in the Mr Men books… In fairness I did do three other posts for the Friday Fright Night meme, which entailed some polls and even a checklist so you can see if you are living the heroine in jeopardy lifestyle.

The quantity of my reading might have been small but in comparison to last month I think the quality was higher and in the end I decided to award two winners for the accolade of Book of the Month.

The best classic crime novel I read was….

This is one of the latest reprints from Stark House and it is now a firm favourite of mine. It has the unusual setting of an anthropologist working in a museum; a setting which is importantly incorporated into the plot in a very striking way. Ruth Sawtell Wallis proves herself adept at cranking up the tension and in this suspense tale she leaves the reader highly unsure of which characters they can trust. I would also say Wallis’ unorthodox approach to mystery writing can be seen in the ending she bestows on this book.

And secondly, my best modern crime read of the month was…

Victoria Dowd is a new author to me but is definitely one I will be keeping an eye for new releases. She delivers a very gripping country house murder mystery and this should appeal to all who love a well-plotted mystery, which is good at utilising red herrings and playing around with tropes of the genre effectively. You best buy some knee pads before reading this book, as a precaution, as the likelihood of having the rug pulled from under your feet several times is high!

In other news if you enjoyed the quiz I made for the International Agatha Christie Festival last month, then you are will want to make a beeline for their Youtube channel tomorrow, as a new quiz will be made available, (with a new prize on offer naturally).

Finally, don’t forget there is also only one month left to buy your Coffee and Crime Advent calendar purchase.

Not sure what I will be reading next. I haven’t made my mind up yet, but what books are you looking forward to reading in November?


  1. Thanks for the wrap-up for this month, and sorry to hear that a national lock-down seems imminent… 😣 Hope all is well, and remains well, at your end.

    The Stark House reprints don’t quite sound like they’re up my alley, but I’m looking forward to see what Victoria Dowd comes up with next. 🧐

    I’m currently halfway through a translation of Jacquemard-Senecal’s ‘Eleventh Little Indian’, and will probably begin Catherine Aird’s ‘Stately Home Murder’ next. 🤓

    Liked by 1 person

    • Both your current and next read sound interesting, the first one because I have never heard of it before and the second because it has been ages since I have read anything by Aird. I became a little disenchanted when reading her later work, but I think her earlier novels are better.


      • I got the impression Catherine Aird wrote largely within the Golden/Silver Age tradition for much of her career, unlike Ruth Rendell, who moved away from puzzle plot to focus on characterisation and socio-political commentary. But looks like I might need to tread with care! 🧐

        ‘Eleventh Little Indian’ I found to be an amusing homage to Christie, though I fear JJ might feel quite antagonised by my take! -dodges bullets- 🕺🏻🔫

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think the earlier books stick to the GAD/Silver age tradition more, but when you get to her books from the early 00s, the puzzle aspect is much weaker. Perhaps they just become more run of the mill police procedurals.


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