So what can I say about me? Or, more to the point, what can I say about me and the blog that you’d find interesting?
Well, I’ve read detective fiction since very young, starting with the Famous Five and progressing to the proper stuff. I’ve got very eclectic tastes in the mystery genre, but first and foremost, there needs to be a mystery – a fairly-clued one would be a bonus, but a villain who is only unmasked in the final chapters, preferably at a gathering of the entire non-murdered portion of the cast, is essential.
One of my particular interests is the neglected regions of the Golden Age – at the time of writing, my twin obsessions are John Street aka John Rhode aka Miles Burton and Brian Flynn, the second of those being an author who has been almost totally lost to time. I have a vague plan to try and correct that, but for the meantime, occasional reviews will have to do.
The other primary interest is the historical mystery, in an attempt to get the general reading populace to look beyond Brother Cadfael and discover some much better historical mysteries – not every historical mystery needs a young monk/novice falling in love and running away from the monastery/nunnery. Particular favourites are Paul Doherty (who was nice enough to dedicate Dark Serpent to me) and Michael Jecks, although there are many others.
What makes this blog a little different from some others is my determination not to spoil books for others. Obviously I won’t name the killer in a review, but I’ll go beyond that and try not to mention any significant plot developments that occur more than a quarter of the way in. The author chose not to put them in Chapter One for a reason. Hence I’d like to think that you can read my reviews and then still enjoy the book as the author intended. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new release or an old chestnut that most people have already read, the rule is simple – no spoilers!
Away from books, I’ve always liked logical puzzles in any shape or form, hence my membership of (and twice captaining) the UK team at the World Puzzle Championship four times so far. Feel free to check out the UKPA website.
I have a mathematical brain, having a couple of degrees in the subject and now spend my non-reading or puzzling time imparting the subject to a captive audience at school.
I do hope you enjoy my somewhat random thoughts.
If you want to contact me directly – for general queries or review requests – then my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
My review policy is simple – if I am sent a copy of a book to review, electronic or physical, then I will only write a review if I have positive things to say about it. If not, then I simply won’t post a review, but will email you with my reasons. This has only happened on a couple of occasions, usually because I wasn’t the target audience. If I bought the book, even for a pittance, then I’ll review it regardless of what I thought of it. I think that’s fair.
I’d appreciate it if any significant part of the blog was regurgitated anywhere, then do credit me on it – please don’t take the blame for my thoughts. The one exception is blurb writers – feel free to spread my thoughts all over your book covers or websites!