Weblog (home)


Pattern of
the Month

On the Needles
(...and Off the Needles)



About the
Idle Hands

Archive Entries for July 2019

« June 2019 | Main | August 2019 »

Wednesday July 31, 2019

Books in July

  • The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux BOM-TheMysteryOfTheYellowRoom.jpg
    First written (in French) in 1907, this has been reissued, and is lauded as "genre defining" as one of the first locked room mysteries. It was highly influential on the members of the Detection Club, and John Dickson Carr and Agatha Christie both refer to the book in their own novels, through the mouthpiece of their characters:
    'And here is The Mystery of the Yellow Room. That - ah, that is really a classic! I approve of it from start to finish.' ..... 'All through there is truth, concealed with a careful and cunning use of words.' ..... 'Definitely a masterpiece, and, I gather, almost forgotten nowadays.' [Hercule Poirot, The Clocks, 1963].
    All I can can say is that I cannot agree with the blurb "as readable now as when it first appeared" as I found it a great struggle to read - although I suppose that quote may be true in either a positive or a negative sense...
    Gaston Leroux, is probably better remembered today as the author of The Phantom of the Opera, probably due to the film adaptations and the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

  • Our House by Louise Candlish [Read by Deni Francis and Paul Panting]
    BOM-OurHouse.jpg This is a really terrific book, well worthy of the Crime and Thriller award for 2019. I think it's not unfair to say that the premise of the story - well, it's opening, and the title - seems preposterous - except the author completely draws you in and it all becomes totally believable - and speaking as one who is very attached to her home - truly dreadful.
    There are many crimes involved here - some criminal, some highly criminal, and some (many) personal betrayals. And then there is the final twist at the end where the characters believe they are at last "doing the right thing", which leaves the reader to imagine the inevitable yet more devastating consequences.

  • RuthRendell.jpg Weeds
    This is a Ruth Rendell short story, read by David Holt, and produced by Rosemary Watts.
    It's only 15minutes long but the real skill of short story writing is all displayed here.
    Rodney Hithe's having a "charity weed hunt" in his immaculate garden - but the discovery of an adventitious poppy sparks horrifying consequences. We are outdoors on a beautiful sunny day bu there is some kind of foreshadowing of sinister events to come. And when they do, we are left to resolve and understand the clues (which we do completely).

Posted on July 31, 2019 at 11:29 AM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)