Book of the Month: February 2021

It has been a pretty good month for reading, 18 reads and 12 reviews. It was nice to have some fun with covers from the Dell imprint, in the run up to Valentine’s Day and I also shared an article I wrote on Juanita Sheridan’s Lily Wu. This month’s Death Paint’s a Picture theme was Artistic Equipment and based on votes cast for next month’s theme, March’s topic is going to be modes of transport, so stay tuned for that post. I should also not forget to mention that last week I shared my top ten reads from the Dean Street Press, a list which managed to surprise me as well as my readers.

In keeping with other recent Book of the Month posts we are going to go back in time to see which titles won the accolade of Book of the Month, in previous Februarys. I am enjoying reminding myself of past winners and I hope you are too.

Starting back in 2016 my February book of the month winner was…

This was a wonderful laugh out loud mystery and it is one of the high points in the Elsie and Ethelred series. I can highly recommend it!

The same can be said for the 2017’s February champion as well…

Juanita Sheridan’s Lily Wu series is a firm favourite of mine and this is the last book in the quartet of novels written. It is a fascinating series for many reasons, not least because of its young female Asian sleuth. Although out of print, there are still a few copies of these books in circulation in the second-hand market.

Meanwhile my relationship with the winning author for February 2018 is a little more complex…

This was the first book I read by Henry Cecil and I loved it. So much so that I bought a few more of his books – only to find that I did not get on so well with them. It is annoying when this happens, and it is hard to pin down precisely why these other stories clicked less well with me.

Despite a rocky start with an unfortunate choice of editor, the stories in this collection were very deserving of the title of Book of the Month in March 2019…

Margaret Manners’ ‘Two for Tea,’ Juanita Sheridan’s ‘There are no Snakes in Hawaii’ and ‘Dea rMr Macdonald’ by Christianna Brand were my top three reads in this collection.

Finally, last March in 2020 the winner was…

This was my first encounter with the work of Ruth Fenisong and it definitely whetted my appetite for more, with the author demonstrating considerable skill in depicting the psychology of her characters.

With the time machine safely back in the closet, it is now time to reveal February 2021’s Book of the Month. There were two contenders for this title, and I gave my decision much thought and in the end, for the magnificent dying message clue, and for the entertaining suffering she puts her characters through, I decided upon…

This is Victoria’s second book, which only came out this month and I warmly recommend you pick up a copy, as well as one of her first novel, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder (2020).

So what books have you been reading this month?


  1. On my fourth Patricia Moyes reread in a row: Murder a la Mode, Death on the Agenda, Dead Men Don’t Ski, (and now reading for the third time) The Sunken Sailor. Before that Ellery Queen The Lamp of God. Also four Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness, Five Red Herrings, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, and Have His Carcase one I definitely hadn’t read before

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I have re-read any crime novel four times, though I will be re-reading a book for the third time later this month. I have fond memories of Have His Carcase, though that may be influenced by my memories of the Edward Petherbridge adaptation.


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