September 2014: Pick of the month

Mystery_of_Fu_ManchuKerrie hosts a book of the month page at Mysteries in Paradise.

I had a respectable month’s reading, which made a nice change – it’s been a busy year so far.

Michael Hallowell’s Invizikids (2007) is an oddity – an analysis of the phenomenon of invisible friends. The author’s contention that we should take them more seriously is possibly a bit much, but the first-hand accounts are absolutely fascinating. I never had an invisible friend myself so I was intrigued to read about the helpful ‘real’ children, Gef the Talking Mongoose, and animated talking furniture encountered by others.

Anthony Horowitz’s The House of Silk (2012) is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche-by-the-numbers, enjoyable but not particularly ground-breaking.

Margery Allingham’s Hide My Eyes (1958) is a lovely bit of suspense from one of my all-time favourites.

Hillary Waugh’s Prisoner’s Plea (1963) is an off-duty police-procedural in which a Chief of Police takes some leave to investigate a possible miscarriage of justice.

Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac’s Vertigo (1954) is a compelling suspense novel marred by an unsympathetic narrator.

Ron Kitchin’s Stumped is a roller-coaster noir set in contemporary Ireland, bringing together crooked politicians, transvestite farmers, nasty gangsters and a bewildered academic.

Sax Rohmer’s The Mystery of Dr Fu-Manchu (1913) is the thriller which launched the career of an immortal villain. In my politically-correct 21st-century way I found the propagandic elements a bit too much.

Pick of the month? Hide My Eyes.

About pastoffences

Past Offences exists to review classic crime and mystery books, with ‘classic’ meaning books originally published before 1987.
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2 Responses to September 2014: Pick of the month

  1. Ed says:

    I have been re-reading a number of Allingham’s books, and they stand up really well to re-reading. I must reread Hide My Eyes as well. Reading your review of Vertigo, I did not realise that Hitchcock’s movie was based on a book. I am not really surprised though, since I think that was the case with many of his movies.


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