What are you reading? WWW Wednesday

Swept up in the madness of moving house these last two weeks, it’s been interesting to look over my current book collection (as I boxed and unboxed it) and to work out what to read next. So to get back in the swing of things I am taking part again in the wonderful WWW Wednesday meme over at Taking on a World of Words.

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Here we go!

What am I currently reading?

I am a third of the way through So Pretty a Problem by Frances Duncan, one of a series of five classic detective novels from the 1950’s, reissued by Penguin last year under their Vintage label. I was introduced to Duncan’s works by golden age expert TomCat in his recent reviews of the re-prints. So Pretty a Problem is the impossible crime of the five books released so far, so of course I jumped at it. The story sees Duncan’s series detective, retired tobacconist and hopelessly old school romantic, Mordecai Tremaine trying to solve the impossible murder of infamous painter Adrian Carthallow.

The opening is wonderful, beginning with a sharp sound waking Tremaine from his beach dozing, and Helen Carthallow running out exclaiming ‘Please. Come Quickly. Please. I’ve killed my husband.’ The murder scene paints a different picture, but no one else could have been present at the time the gun was fired.

What did I recently finish?

I am making my way through the works of one of my favourite Golden Age Detective novelists, the marvellously erudite Edmund Crispin. Last week I closed the last pages of Swan Song from 1947, one of his three impossible crime novels. Set against the back drop (and satire of) Oxford university and the city opera house, the story tells the death of Edwin Shorthouse who is murdered in his locked and watched dressing room. Swan Song is an absolutely wonderful book with Crispin at the top of his lyrical and comedy form. My review of this will be up in my next post.

What do you think you will read next?

This is a really tough choice. Moving house has brought out so many books from the pile into view, and many of them are calling to me! I will definitely be reading Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie and re-reading He Who Whispers by John Dickson Carr, in preparation for the imminent head to head, spoiler loaded, face off of these two master works over at JJ’s and Brad’s blogs The Invisible Event and Ah Sweet Mystery. It’s going to be a great site to behold.

I also came across a lovely copy The Chinese Maze Murders. Part of the fascinating Judge Dee Chinese mystery series, penned by  Dutchman Robert Van Gulik in 1951. After enjoying my first encounter with Judge Dee, I am looking forwarding to seeing how this series develops

What’s on your to read pile, and what top books have you read lately? What is your WWW list?

 

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12 thoughts on “What are you reading? WWW Wednesday”

  1. Okay, I’ll do it properly this time…

    What are you currently reading? The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers; it’s not great, a little too cutesy for my tastes, and curiously without any real conflict or difficulty. Frankly, it’s difficult to know what she was intending with this…

    What did you recently finish reading? The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino; equally not great, but I’ve just done a post about this and shall spae anyone having to read about why I don’t like it twice.

    What do you think you’ll read next? Perhaps The Search for My Great-Uncle’ Head by Jonathan Latimer, as part of the #1937book for Crimes of the Century at Past Offences. Or, I too have recently acquired The Chinese Lake Murders, which Les Blatt said was the best place to start with Judge Dee, so maybe that. Or, yeah, Death on the Nile or He Who Whispers, since Brad and I are supposed to be talking about them. I’m not very good at planning ahead, I’m afraid…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, April. Probably the middle. Or the end? I haven’t reread either of the books yet, so it’s unlikely to be the start. That’s the best I can do at present.

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  2. What are you currently reading?
    The Demoniacs by John Dickson Carr. I realized that it had been a while since I read a historical Carr book, and I decided to go for one of the less reviewed ones. I only have about 5 chapters left and I’m really enjoying it. It definitely isn’t an impossible crime. To an extent, the story doesn’t focus too heavily on the crime that does occur, although it certainly plays a key role in the plot. That last sentence probably doesn’t make much sense, but I stand by it.

    What did you recently finish reading?
    The Four False Weapons by John Dickson Carr. As you can see from my review, I really enjoyed it.

    What do you think you’ll read next?
    I’m about to go on such a glutinous binge. My current stack (not to say it won’t change) has me diving into The Plague Court Murders, followed by The Bowstring Murders and Mad Hatter Mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really glad you are enjoying The Demoniacs, I really know very little about it too. There is a penguin copy at a book shop near me so I’ll pick that up at some point soon. (And the last sentence did make sense).

      I’m super excited to get onto the four false weapons at some point very soon as well. You have got a marvelous stack ahead of you!

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  3. Hmmm… I know it’s not Wednesday, but… I recently finished Ruth Rendell’s ‘No Man’s Nightingale’, which wasn’t especially fairly-clued. This was slightly disappointed as I’ve heard her Wexford novels pay homage to Golden Age puzzles – perhaps that refers mainly to the earlier titles?

    I’ve just started Alexander Williams’s ‘The Hex Murders’, recently reprinted by Coachwhil – thanks to recommendations by Curt Evans and John Norris.

    My parcel containing Leo Bruce’s ‘Cold Blood’ (recommended by Kate) and John Dickson Carr’s ‘Below Suspicion’ (recommended by Mr Green Capsule) should arrive soon. Alternatively, I should be picking up from my local library Julian Symons’s ‘Plot against Roger Rider’ and Ian Sansom’s ‘Westmorland Alone’ (again recommended by Kate).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, my local library has a good collection of novels, and a good inter-library loan system. 😀 I think I might try one of the early Wexford novels before making a more decisive assessment of Ruth Rendell.

        I’ve been working my way through ‘Galileo’, and have 3 more episodes to go. It by the least gives me a stronger visual impression of the characters before I plunge into ‘Midsummer’s Equation’ – though if I recall correctly from the movie, Utsumi doesn’t appear.

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