I’m Back!!

So did you miss me?

I’m picturing me more like this…

… and hopefully a lot less like this!

I have had a busy month working on my talk, which is now all done and dusted, with a swish PowerPoint to boot. Pausing the blog was definitely the right move, as I ended up having 9 medical appointments this month also. (I think they should start some kind of loyalty reward scheme, free book or chocolate for every 10 appointments…)

Before the blog went on holiday I set you a challenge to see how many of these adorable detectives you could find on my blog:

So to provide that all important moment of closure, as no doubt you have all had many sleepless night, here are the list of novels I have reviewed which also had a furry sleuth added to them:

  1. She Shall Have Murder by Delano Ames
  2. Glass on the Stairs by Margaret Scherf
  3. There’s Trouble Brewing by Nicholas Blake
  4. Bodies in a Bookshop by R. T. Campbell
  5. Death’s Bright Dart by V. C. Clinton Baddeley
  6. Death in High Heels by Christianna Brand
  7. Death by Appointment by James Corbett
  8. Death in a Bookstore by Augustus De Angelis
  9. Murder is a Collector’s Item by Elizabeth Dean
  10. The Patient in Room 18 by Mignon G. Eberhart
  11. Now I Lay Me Down to Die by Elizabeth Tebbetts-Taylor
  12. Murder in the WPA by Alexander Williams
  13. Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert
  14. With a Bare Bodkin by Cyril Hare
  15. Murder by Inches by Stanley Hopkins Junior
  16. The Bank with the Bamboo Door by Dolores Hitchens
  17. Murder Isn’t Easy by Richard Hull
  18. The Shop Window Murder by Vernon Loder
  19. Fatal in my Fashion by Pat McGerr
  20. The Face on the Cutting Room Floor by Cameron McCabe
  21. Murder to Music by Margaret Newman
  22. Murder on the Blackboard by Stuart Palmer
  23. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers
  24. The Vet it was that Died by Marguerite Silverman
  25. Fatality in Fleet Street by Christopher St John Sprigg
  26. Death in the Dentist’s Chair by Molly Thynne
  27. Murder in a Bookshop by Carolyn Wells
  28. Murder in the Telephone Exchange by June Wright
  29. Stop Press – Murder! by Peter Stirling
  30. Beginning with a Bash by Alice Tilton

The common theme between them all was that murder takes places in a workplace setting. The cats have now left those particular review posts, no doubt hot on the trail of another mystery.

The blog might have been having some time off, but I couldn’t go a whole month without doing any reading at all. So over the coming days I will be posting my thoughts on July’s reads. To give you a sneak peek, here are some snapshot sections from some of the covers:

I also read a three in one title, but the cover was not overly suited to the above puzzle so for this one I have removed all the vowels from the three titles and the author’s name.

TH THNG BYND RSN

CH F  CRLSS VC

BLTTD T

Author: LSBTH HLDNG

This is not a conventional book of the month post, but I thought I could still share with you some of my July Books of the Month from the past.

Back in 2016 the best novel of the month was The Sinking Admiral (2016) by the Detection Club, which is a hilarious read with thoughtful nods towards Golden Age of detective fiction. I also gave out a rare non-fiction Book of the Month prize to Megan Hoffmans’ Gender and Representation in British ‘Golden Age’ Crime Fiction (2016). This is a really interesting book, and it is a shame that its price puts it out of the budget range of many of the people who would enjoy reading it.

Rarity is another factor which can put books out of the reach of readers, and this is the case for my July 2017 Book of the Month, Mind Your Own Murder (1948) by Yolanda Foldes. I really enjoyed this WW2 set mystery, with its unusual premise. I have been dying to talk to someone about this book, but it seems unlikely short of it being reprinted.

This month in 2017 also saw honourable mentions go to Family Skeleton (1949) by Doris Miles Disney, A Dying Fall (1955) by Henry Wade and Francis Beeding’s Death Walks in Eastrepps (1931).

It is hard to knock the winner of 2018’s July Book of the Month, which was Anthony Gilbert’s Death Knocks Three Times (1949). Brilliant characters, plot, clues, solution and atmosphere.

The winner of the July 2019 Book of the Month was a surprising choice (for me), as it was A Judgement in Stone (1977) by Ruth Rendell. Rendell’s writing is not usually my cup of tea, but this non-series novel by her is one of the few exceptions and I loved the way it builds up the tension.

Finally, last year saw July’s Book of the Month prize be split between Death of Jezebel (1948) by Christianna Brand and Elisabeth Sanxay Holding’s The Death Wish (1934). The puzzle factor of the former and the gripping suspense of the latter were significant factors in their win.

So what books have you read this month? And all importantly, what are you looking forward to reading next month?

9 comments

  1. Yaaaay! Welcome back! My WordPress feed has been very quiet without you posting six reviews a week — looking forward to catching up on what you’ve been reading in the meantime.

    And, yes, medical appointments should be like coffees: have nine, get one free. No, hang on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well your wordpress feed is definitely about to get busier! As tempting as it was to fry everyone’s inboxes by posting 11 reviews in one day, (and thus live up to Brad’s exaggerated claims about my blogging), I am going to be good and just do one per day. It has definitely been weird not blogging for a whole month, as it was an activity I was so used to doing. Have you found it strange when you have had your blog holidays?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Much like you, my “blog holidays” are more a metter of necessity than choice — when certain life things demand attention, the optional fun around the edges has to go. So, the short answer is…no. It’s always nice to get back into it, but stopping doesn’t feel weird at all. And it gives everyone a break from my nonsense, too, so serves a double purpose 🙂

        Like

  2. Welcome back, Kate! 🤗 Yes, we missed you… Hope the med appts went ok, and that things are better now.

    I read one of the novels you read on blog break, and I recall not especially enjoying it. And so I’d be curious to see what your take is.

    I almost nearly managed to snag a copy of Yolanda Foldes’s novel – but failed to in the end. 😑

    Liked by 1 person

    • Problems still ongoing but it is nice to be back to the blog.
      I am interested to discover which book you didn’t enjoy and of course very sympathetic about your near miss on the Foldes book. Though well done for even finding a copy out in the wilds. I haven’t seen one for years.

      Like

      • Hope the problems get resolved soon… 😕

        The book I wasn’t so sure about was the one by Laverne Rice. As for Foldes, I spotted a copy but needed a friend in the UK to receive it for me. 🤔 And by the time he replied, it was gone! 😨

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh no! That is such a shame! I hope another copy appears soon.
          Your comment is well timed as I have just put up my review of Laverne Rice’s book. It has some good ideas in it, but the execution of it is flawed in placed.

          Like

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