Back at the start of 2020, I decided to give the British Crime Classics Challenge a go. My aim was small, to read one British Crime Classic each month, to give my library trips some sort of goal. Normally I just wander around until something takes my fancy.
Of course, then 2020 happened and the library closed. I still managed to average one a month until the last month, when I’ve been distracted by other books (Poldark) and Christmas preparations.
I have, however, discovered at least one new-to-me and must-find-more author, Michael Gilbert, whose Death in Captivity and Smallbone Deceased I thoroughly enjoyed. Of all the books I’ve read this year, these two are among the top ranking.
Of the rest of the crime classics I’ve read, they feature so strongly in my memory that I can’t immediately recall them. I know there was the Lois Austen-Leigh which I didn’t particularly rate, and The Strange Case of Harriet Hall which was weird and felt unfinished. Oh, and The Division Bell Mystery, which I do remember enjoying, with all its political intrigues.
So those are the top three, I think, and the bottom two. The others fit somewhere in the middle:
The Case of the Gilded Fly, Mr Campion and Others, The Cornish Coast Mystery, Coroner’s Pidgin, Mystery in White, Murder in the Mill-Race
Actually, looking again at the list, which I’ve just pulled from my records, Mystery in White joins the Austen-Leigh and The Strange Case of Harriet Hall at the bottom.