Book of the Month: April 2023

April was a busy month, and May is looking to be a busy one too – hence another late post. One of my biggest posts of April looked at the revival of the green penguin crime series and it was interesting hearing from others as to which authors and titles they would like to see back in print.

I managed 12 reads in April, including another issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and one audio book – a novelty for me. I decided to listen to Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy (1934) when it came to re-reading this book for book group, as I was a little short on time. Audio books is not a format I gravitate to naturally, as I don’t take in information as well that way and I find I can’t so easily pause and ponder something. You are always stuck at the speed of the person reading the text, so it was a bit of a challenge to have to listen to this book over 6 hours rather than just reading it in 2-3. Nevertheless, listening to Three Act Tragedy reminded me of what didn’t work quite so well in that read. Hermione Lytton Gore a.k.a. Egg still very much got on my wick and the slowness of the plot combined with the excess of sleuths both seem to be quite pronounced through the act of listening to the story.

Of the remaining 10 reads:

  • 3 were titles from the Adrian Monk mystery series, written by Lee Goldberg
  • 3 were from new-to-me authors (including Goldberg)

In keeping with some previous months, I have decided to have separate categories for the Book of the Month award.

Best Mr Monk Book: Mr Monk in Trouble (2009)

This was a tough decision to make as all three Mr Monk mysteries were very good reads, but I think the historical aspect of this case, as well as the tight dovetailing on the mini mysteries gave this one the edge.

Best Read-Read: Evil Under the Sun (1941) by Agatha Christie

This was another Christie novel that I re-read in April (the third being Nemesis (1971)) and with this one I read a physical copy. What impressed me the most with this re-read was the amount and variety of cluing and red herrings that Christie creates and develops in this story.

Best New-To-Me Read: The Sunday Pigeon Murders (1942) by Craig Rice

It was another difficult choice, as I also enjoyed I, Said the Fly (1945) by Elizabeth Ferrars. However, I felt that the ending for Ferrars was less well executed. Rice’s book demonstrates her comic writing well and I think you easily become invested in the characters and what will happen to them next, as they get into one pickle after another. The premise to The Sunday Pigeons Murders is unusual, presenting an interesting variant on the typical amateur sleuth murder mystery.

As to what May will bring, I am as usual rather undecided. So far, I have returned to the work of Dolores Hitchens, which I hope to post about soon, and I am currently revisiting Virginia Rath’s mysteries. It has been nice this year getting back to some authors that I have not read for a while, as well as discovering new series. I think it is highly likely I will read at least one Mr Monk mystery in May and probably re-read another Christie, but as to other authors I have no fixed plans.

What authors or books are you hoping to read this month?

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