A Year in Review


Since it is more than probable that I will not post any other entry in A Crime is Afoot before next year I would not like to miss this opportunity to give you a flavour of what 2021 has been like reading wise.

The 2021 highlight was the possibility that Bodies From The Library provided me to attend, via Zoom, their 2021 conference, what lead me to read the following books:

      1. Howdunit A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club, 2020 Conceived and Edited by Martin Edwards
      2. When Last I Died, 1941 (Mrs Bradley # 13) by Gladys Mitchell
      3. The Rising of the Moon, 1945 (Mrs Bradley #18) by Gladys Mitchell
      4. The Saltmarsh Murders, 1932 (Mrs Bradley # 4) by Gladys Mitchell read in 2020
      5. The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye, 1928 (Anthony Bathurst Mysteries Book #3) by Brian Flynn read in 2019
      6. The Murders near Mapleton, 1929 (Bathurst Mysteries Book # 4) by Brian Flynn read in 2020
      7. Murder en Route: An Anthony Bathurst Mystery, 1930 (Anthony Bathurst Mysteries Book # 8) by Brian Flynn read in 2020
      8. The Fortescue Candle, 1936 (Anthony Bathurst Mysteries # 18) by Brian Flynn
      9. Tread Softly, 1937 (Anthony Bathurst Mysteries # 20) by Brian Flynn
      10. The Grindle Nightmare, 1935 by Q. Patrick
      11. Black Widow (A Peter Duluth Mystery #8), 1952 by Patrick Quentin
      12. Death’s Old Sweet Song, 1946 (Dr. Westlake #8) by Jonathan Stagge
      13. The Cases of Lieutenant Timothy Trant s.s. collection (2019) by Q. Patrick currently reading
      14. Hunt in the Dark (2021) s.s. collection by Q. Patrick, which I’m planning to read next

I would love if this experience could be repeated next year, via Zoom, since the possibilities I have to physically attend the Bodies From the Library conference in 2022 are slim.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading (only one book by author, with the exception of John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson):

      1. The Judas Window, 1938 (Sir Henry Merrivale # 7) by John Dickson Carr, writing as Carter Dickson
      2. The First Time He Died (1935) by Ethel Lina White
      3. Mr Splitfoot, 1968 (Dr. Basil Willing #12) by Helen McCloy
      4. The Eye of Osiris, 1911 (Dr Thorndyke Mysteries #3) by R. Austin Freeman
      5. The Seventh Guest (1935) by Gaston Boca (transl. John Pugmire)
      6. The Lying Voices (1954) by Elizabeth Ferrars
      7. He Who Whispers, 1946 (Dr Gideon Fell # 16) by John Dickson Carr
      8. The Robthorne Mystery, 1934 (Dr Priestley #18) by John Rhode

I want to make special mention of an author I have recently discovered whose oeuvre I look forward to reading soon

Roger Ormerod (1920 –2005) was a rather prolific British writer of ingenious and densely plotted crime novels which were published in the UK and the US. He lived in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, and amongst other things worked as a civil servant and as a Social Security inspector – backgrounds which he made full use of in his fiction, as he did with his hobbies of painting and photography. He wrote, if my information is correct, at least twelve standalone books; six novels in a series featuring Philipa Lowe and Oliver Simpson; 16 books in a series featuring private detective David Mallin; and 13 in his Richard and Amelia Patton series, for a total of 47 books published between 1974 and 1999, that I have identified.

Last but not least, I do want to thank Jason Half his kind invitation to take part in the Mitchell Reading Group. The December 2021 title has been Groaning Spinney (1950). For further information visit Jason Half blog, Post #1, Post #2, Post #3 and, coming soon, Post #4. This experience has enable me to realise multiple aspects of the book that, otherwise, I would have overlooked.

6 thoughts on “A Year in Review”

  1. José Ignacio – excellent post. Which book from the impressive list for this year was your favorite and why?

    Best wishes for health and success in 2022.

    1. Thank you Scott. It’s very hard for me to choose only one. John Dickson Carr, Carter Dickson, Helen McCloy, Gaston Boca, Ethel Lina White, Elizabeth Ferrars, John Rhode and R. Austin Freeman are wonderful, not to talk about Gladys Mitchell, Brian Flynn or Patrick Quentin/Q. Patrick/Jonathan Stagge. I look forward to reading more of them in 2022. All the best to you for the New Year.

  2. Hello José and Happy New Year! What a wonderful list and end-of-year post. Thank you so much for being a contributor with the Gladys Mitchell reading group as we read Groaning Spinney (and thanks for mentioning the project here). Your summaries of the sections were excellent, and if you post your writing on your blog, I will be very happy to promote the article on my site too. Thank you for trying so many Gladys Mitchell titles this year — she’s a challenging author, but her writing can be rewarding if you like her style. All best wishes — Jason

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