I thought I would be in the mood for a more recent Crime & Mystery novel, like Willow Walk, or a few others, but now that it’s time for That Exciting Next Pick, I suddenly want to do the Maigret title on my Summer Reading Jamboree list.
speaking of Lists, this is one of the few titles left for me to read, from H. R. F. Keating’s list, in the form of a book, called Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books, which I have looked to for suggestions since around 1988 (obviously this list has nothing on it that is published later than about thirty years ago; call them “vintage”). I never did find, or order from anywhere, Mr. Splitfoot, by Helen McCloy, though I did settle for a book by her called The Imposter; worth noting that that ”replacement book” started wonderfully, but lost its mojo by about half-way. similarly, a book called The Whipping Boys, by Guy Cullingford, has stood in as a worthier substitute for a hard to get, and pricier, rarity called Post Mortem, which is the book by Cullingford (“Guy” ain’t a guy, by the way—Cullingford is a woman) that Keating recommends.
so those are the elusive titles, plus Appleby’s End by Innes, and another Maigret title, actually. any Maigret title will have to work hard to outshine The Stain on the Snow (aka Dirty Snow), a Simenon stand-alone that I also read because it is on Keating’s list.
Keating’s “100 Best” List made me read my favorite Mystery of all time (so far): The False Inspector Dew, by Peter Lovesey, so I’ll always be grateful for that. of course, I love that Fredric Brown makes the list, with his first published novel, The Fabulous Clipjoint, which is excellent. another huge favorite that Keating put me on to all those years ago is The New Sonia Wayward (aka The Case of Sonia Wayward), the Michael Innes masterpiece that I have read...very funny, very clever. special thanks to Keating for picking The Cellar at No. 5 (aka The Party at No. 5) by Shelley Smith, which I adored, and have recently sent on to Tannat. I love getting steered to obscure books that are worth knowing about.
so, maybe one day I’ll have read all of Keating’s picks, accept no substitutes. soon, I will be one book closer. it has been a very rewarding Quest For Bookworms.