A new month brings a new blog post in which I spell the month in books. There was no post for June, due to various reasons, but I’m back again now!
This is a short month – in letters, anyway, so I have just four books for you. As usual, I’m putting my own crime spin on this book challenge, and there are a couple of my favourite detectives in this month’s haul. So, without further ado, let’s see what I’ve got in my bookstack.
Jewel that was Ours (The) – Colin Dexter
I’ve said before that I love Inspector Morse, whether it’s the novels or the TV series. This novel is no exception.
Oxford is used to having international visitors, and 27 American tourists is just par for the course. But then one of them turns up dead in his hotel room. To all intents and purposes, it looks like a terrible accident. Yet an antique has been taken from the man’s pocket, and no one seems to care. No one except Morse. When two days after this dreadful occurrence, a naked and battered body is found in the river, Morse is determined to prove that there’s a link between the two deaths.
It’s great to ‘watch’ Morse at work, solving the crimes while negotiating his way around the visiting Americans. Morse’s feel for the respectable and the rumbling irritability that often lurks within him always make such quietly amusing contrasts as he goes about his detection. Oh, and if you’ve never watched the Inspector Morse series, I thoroughly recommend it. It’s not for those who want a fast-paced detective programme, but if you like your detecting to be somewhat more cerebral, and if you love the idea that Oxford – including its university – is the setting, then this is for you.
Under the Dragon’s Tail – Maureen Jennings
When an abortionist is murdered, it comes as no great surprise to Murdoch, because she was a greedy woman who held her ‘clients’ in contempt. She may have been very discreet, but she left too many people who crossed her path angry at their treatment. Then a boy is found murdered in the abortionist’s kitchen. Why? Murdoch doesn’t know, and what’s more puzzling and disturbing is that he isn’t sure if he’s on the hunt for two separate killers, or whether there’s a link between the murders and he’s searching for just one. But who could want an abortionist and a boy dead?
Victorian/Edwardian surroundings, progress and inventions fascinates me. I recommend Murdoch Mysteries to anyone who loves a cozy mystery and a great detective story with strong characters.
Love Lies Bleeding – Edmund Crispin
I have a set of half a dozen Edmund Crispin novels involving the English professor and amateur sleuth, Gervase Fen, on my shelf, and I am sad to say that I have not yet had the opportunity to read any of them. However, I have started this one and I can say that the humour woven into the Gervase Fen books has already had me sporting a wry smile while I’m reading, and sometimes laughing out loud.
Professor Fen has been invited to hand out the prizes at Castrevenford school’s Speech Day. But trouble isn’t very far away, as the night before he is due to fulfil his engagement, two staff members end up dead. Gervase Fen is asked to put his sleuthing powers to work and find out what happened, and all kinds of shenanigans ensue!
This is a classic Golden Age mystery, with the added quirkiness and comedy not always found in all Golden Age mysteries. If you like a light-hearted tone in your mystery, then Gervase Fen might be the sleuth for you.
You Let Me In – Lucy Clarke
Finally, after using this book in previous Spell the Month in Books posts (who’d have thought I’d have such difficulty finding a crime book on my shelves beginning with a ‘y’?!), I have managed to read the novel! I can most definitely say that I’m glad that I did.
Elle hasn’t felt right since she moved into her rented house. She has the creepy feeling that someone is watching her. Everything about the atmosphere feels – strange. But she convinces herself that it’s her own imagination because she’s a writer. And she’s likely to have strange imaginings because of that, isn’t she? As paranoia and terror takes over, she knows someone is out to get her…
I absolutely loved this! I have no intention of spoiling the story, but I will say that if suspenseful books are for you, then this is a book you definitely have to read!
So, there we have it, the first post about crime, mystery and dark books for the second half of the year (where is the time going?!). Next month my Spell the Month in Books post will be a bit longer. August has more letters! 😁 If you try any of these books, or you’ve read them, do feel free to let me know in the comments. As always, my disclaimer: this post contains a few affiliate links if you’re an Amazon US user, but only to books I’ve personally read and recommend.
If you want to tell me what you’ve been reading, or are planning to read this month, you can tell me in the comments, or find me on Facebook or Instagram. And if you’ve read one of my books, I’d love to hear from you! New ones are in the pipeline. More on those very soon…
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