My first book post in a month. There's a reason for it of course... on the 9th. September I received the sad news that my brother had passed away. It wasn't unexpected, he'd been in poor health for years and had taken a definite turn for the worse over the last year or so. But, regardless, it's always a difficult time and I haven't felt very much like blogging.
I'll do a brief review of the final book I read in September and then a quick rundown of the other books I read last month.
Inspector French and Sir John Magill's Last Journey was Freeman Wills Crofts' 6th. book about the cases of Inspector French of Scotland Yard. It qualifies for Bev's Calendar of Crime challenge under the November category of 'Family relationships play a major role'. I also read it for the European Reading challenge 2019 for the country of the UK... I thought it particularly appropriate as it takes place in three countries of the United Kingdom - England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Inspector French receives a visit at Scotland Yard from Detective Sergeant M'Clung of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland. M'Clung is investigating the disappearance of Sir John Magill who supposedly took the ferry from Scotland to Northern Ireland to stay with his son, prior to a business meeting the next day, but did not turn up. The missing man was retired, having made his money in linen in Belfast and handed the business on to his son, Malcolm. He was working privately on an invention though, and the police wonder if his disappearance is something to do with the plans for this invention. They hope for the best but suspect the worst and when a body is discovered in the grounds of Magill's son's home an investigation is launched that is wide ranging and very complicated indeed.
I've read a couple of books by Freeman Wills Croft this year, The Hog's Back Mystery and Antidote to Venom. I must admit that I enjoyed both of those more than Sir John Magill's Last Journey. I somehow or other got rather bogged down in all the travel times and schedules, there's so much of it, plus rehashing of clues, and possibly because my concentration has not been what it should be I got bored with it all. Nevertheless it was a well written crime yarn, I like Inspector French very much and the setting of three UK countries was a bit different... you don't see many vintage crime books that touch on Northern Ireland.
Books read in September:
54. The Resistance Man - Martin Walker. Mainly read in August. An excellent 'Bruno, Chief of Police' instalment involving a train robbery in 1944.
55. Blue River, Black Sea - Andrew Eames. Non-fiction, travel book, wherein the author travels the length of the Danube. My 18th. book for Bev's Mount TBR challenge. Not bad but dragged a bit. Took off when he went walking in Romania towards the end.
56. Melmoth - Sarah Perry. A little disappointing.
57. Lost in a Pyramid - edited by Andrew Smith. Vintage weird short stories based on pyramids and mummies. Patchy, but did have several good stories.
58. Inspector French and John Magill's Last Journey - Freeman Wills Croft. See above.
Looking at these five books I realise that 54, 55, and 57 were mainly read in July and August. Melmoth was read in the first week of September and John Magill towards the end. Other than Bruno I would call it a not very inspiring reading month. It could be said that losing someone is bound to affect your mood but this doesn't apply as only the final book was read after my brother passed away. Nearly all got threes on Goodreads, which is very average for me as I tend towards overmarking rather than under. I'm hoping October might be a bit better readingwise.
Autumn seems to have arrived while I was not paying attention. My favourite time of year for curling up with a good book. Happy reading!