Book of the Month: May & June 2022

I decided at the end of May to not do a Book of the Month post, as I had read so little and aside from Martin’s excellent The Life of Crime (2022), my reading had been quite “meh”. So I thought it best to roll over until June and thankfully last month gave me some stronger reads.

Over the last 2 months, I managed to read 12 books, 11 novels or short story collections and 1 non-fiction title. I also reviewed This Deadly Isle, which is a map featuring golden age detective novel locations around the UK. Three books stood out for me in June, and they conveniently slot into three separate categories:

Best Re-Read: For Old Crime’s Sake (1959) by Delano Ames

Best New-to-Me Classic Crime Read: The Case of the Shoplifter’s Shoe (1938) by Erle Stanley Gardner

Best Modern Mystery: Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone (2022) by Benjamin Stevenson

However, out of these 3 I decided to award the accolade of Book of the Month to Benjamin Stevenson’s novel. This is my first experience of his work and I hope there is more to follow. In my opinion he is one of those rare breed of modern mystery writer who understands how to construct an engaging puzzle, with clues, for his readers to solve. I was particularly impressed with how he executed the central premise of his title as well as effectively used backstory in his novel, avoiding the pitfall of info dumping.

I am not sure what July holds reading wise, although currently I am charting new waters (for me) with Jonathan Latimer’s Headed for a Hearse (1935).

What books are you looking forward to reading in July?


  1. Reading Austen Allen The Loose Rib (1932). Got lined up Death is My Bridegroom by Dominic Devine, having just finished re-read of his previous book The Fifth Cord

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  2. Great selection – will read that when in paperback.

    Just finished Max Murray’s The Voice of the Corpse (enjoyed that one) and plan next to read James Ronald’s The Dark Angel aka Six Were to Die, and Theodore Roscoe’s Four Corners short story collections.

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  3. I do intend to look up Stevenson when I can manage. Shoplifter’s Shoe I think I have read but don’t remember it much, at least not from the title but most ESGs are good reading. Glad you had so many good reads this month.

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  4. July is catch up month I think. I have been slipping on what I am reading. First up is to finish rereading Bleak House. I have several others on the go that need finishing. I do want to fit in a QPQ.


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  5. I’m planning to read The Man In The Shadows by Caroll John Daly and probably some Anthony Gilbert. I do think you will enjoy the Latimer, particularly if you like a combination of quite disparate elements.

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    • I am 70 odd pages into the Latimer so far and on the whole I think I am enjoying it, even if the milieu is not my usual stomping ground. Which Gilbert books do you plan to read?


      • I recently bought several paperbacks from Grant Thiessen Books when he retired but I’ll probably start with The Bell Of Death which has been on my shelf for a while. Latimer and Daly are both rather far from Gilbert but they are all entertaining and not imitations of anything else being written. I like that in a book

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        • Finished reading the Latimer last night. Not a perfect read but a lot better than I was expecting, given that I don’t as a rule enjoy hardboiled stuff. Hopefully have my more detailed review up in the next week or so. I would definitely try more by him. Hope your Gilbert reads turn out to be good.


  6. I so need to try Erle Stanley Gardner, thanks for the reminder.
    In my mist of plans for July, one fits here: Daughter of Time, which I am sure you have read, possibly several times. I have read book 1 in the series and was stunned by the awesome writing and the richness of vocabulary

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    • I have only read that title by Tey the once I think. I have read all of Tey’s books I think and re-read quite a few. I stopped re-reading though as I found I was enjoying them less. Not sure why. However, if you happen to find it I think you might enjoy The Franchise Affair. It has an interesting crime setup.


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