Welcome to my Spell the Month in Books for May. With only three letters in the month, this is going to be a pretty short post!
Once again, I couldn’t resist including an Agatha Christie book. The film adaptation of the novel I have chosen is one of my favourites. I’ve also included a book from a lovely series of hard-to-get and forgotten mystery novels, brought back to life by the British Library Crime Classics series. And blimey, who knew I’d still be having problems finding paperbacks on my shelf beginning with a ‘y’?! Anyway, without further ado, here are my choices for this month.
Murder in Piccadilly – Charles Kingston
Bobbie Cheldon’s ideas of love and marriage vary greatly from the woman who captures his heart in a Soho nightclub. Whereas he is looking for the perfect marriage, Nancy the dancer is much more interested in the money that Bobbie will inherit from his wealthy uncle. But there is a problem – Bobbie’s uncle isn’t going to hand over ten thousand pounds a year to make Nancy’s life more comfortable, just because she thinks it’s a great idea! But there may be a solution, and it leaves the way open for murder. Chief Inspector Wake of Scotland Yard has to untangle all sorts of scandalous Soho shenanigans in order to get to the truth.
This was my first British Library Crime Classics purchase and since then I have gathered a number of them and have really enjoyed all the ones I have read so far. It’s wonderful, being able to gain access to stories through the British Library Classics editions that you struggle to get hold of otherwise. I’m gradually working through the collection. In fact, I remember mentioning that I fancied collecting them, and, come Christmastime, found myself unwrapping half a dozen of them from my kids. If you enjoy Golden Age mysteries you may well love these books.
Appointment with Death – Agatha Christie
The American Lady Boynton is a widow, ridiculously wealthy – and also a hideous human being. So when she is discovered by members of her dysfunctional family, sitting there, surveying her surroundings, and with a puncture mark on her wrist as the only sign that she has been murdered by a lethal injection, there are plenty who are in the frame as suspects. Even Poirot thinks she was a dreadful woman, but he has just 24 hours to discover her killer.
I really loved this novel, for its characters, its plot and for the many possible reasons the truly hateful Mrs Boynton could have been murdered. It kept me guessing at every turn. I remember reading this book when I was in my twenties, and being thoroughly absorbed by it, so much so that I dreamt about the characters for weeks. I’ve also watched the film of the book starring Peter Ustinov several times. I re-read it more recently after watching the film adaptation starring David Suchet on countless occasions, and was fascinated by the differences between the original novel (and the Ustinov film) and the TV film starring David Suchet as Poirot. For me, the changes in location, plot and the motivations driving various events are just brilliant, but I won’t spoil it for you. I do believe, however, that you will get very different experiences from reading the book and watching the more recent Suchet film (and if you happen, like me, to like John Hannah, then you’ll definitely get an experience from watching the film!)
You Let Me In – Lucy Clarke
Since Elle rented her house, things have seemed strange. There is a weird atmosphere, and she has this really creepy feeling that someone is watching her. She tries to convince herself that it’s her writing job, her imagination, that is causing the problems. But as threats come in that are all too personal, and she becomes more and more paranoid, everything about her new home becomes a prison she can’t escape. Just who has found a way into her head and is doing this to her?
I still can’t tell you from personal experience what I think of this book, as it’s stuck in my TBR pile, and likely to be there for some time yet. But I bought it because it sounds creepy, and brilliant, and I can definitely tell you that I’ve read some fantastic reviews about it from book reviewers on Instagram. I’m very much looking forward to reading it.
There you go – short(ish) and sweet! Or at least short and crime-filled. 😊 Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned this time round, or do you have any crime books that you’d love to recommend to others? Do feel free to pop them in the comments, if so.