May has been a somewhat busy month – lots of students preparing for their exams plus the small matter of finally exchanging contracts on our new/old house. New to us, that is, but old in every other sense of the world. We know it was standing in 1841, but I’m choosing to assume that it was at least four years old at that point, as Georgian sounds much classier than Victorian, doesn’t it?
For a while, reading was pretty thin on the ground, but the half-term break, plus a few days in Bangor with my better half – I highly recommend the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, by the way – enabled me to catch up a bit. A grand total of eight books isn’t too bad for me, but what is amazing is that more than half of them are genuine, honest-to-goodness, new releases! I don’t know what’s come over me. But will one of those releases run off with the Puzzly for May 2014?
The books in question were:
- London Falling by Paul Cornell
- Petectives by Robert J Smith
- Bryant & May and The Bleeding Heart by Christopher Fowler
- Belladonna at Belstone by Michael Jecks
- The Dying Hours by Mark Billingham
- The Cinderella Killer by Simon Brett
- The Bones Beneath by Mark Billingham
- The Burglar Who Liked To Quote Kipling by Lawrence Block
More of a selection of thrillers that whodunits, this month. And I did break my one-book-per-author-per-month for Mark Billingham, but I got my hands on a review copy of The Bones Beneath before realising that I hadn’t read The Dying Hours. Whoops. If I restricted it to whodunits, then, as would often be the case, Michael Jecks or Christopher Fowler would have walked off with it – Block hides too much information from the reader to be fair and much as I enjoyed the return of Charles Paris, it irks me when the murderer is revealed because someone tells the sleuth who it was they saw kill the victim.
But it’s Book Of The Month, not Whodunit Of The Month, and, despite the stunning climax of The Bones Beneath, it’s got to be London Falling by Paul Cornell – an outstandingly fresh blend of the supernatural and thriller genres. The sequel’s in the shops now and I’ll get round to reviewing it when I can get my hands on a copy. So that’s my wallpaper sorted out for the month – roll on June!
As ever, you can check out my fellow bloggers books of the month over at Mysteries In Paradise.