Reviews of books in this genre:

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by

Technically, this was released as The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu (although the hyphen was later dropped). The US market had the alternative title. Needless to say, the author was also known by another name (Sax being his pen name). It follows the tale of (Denis) Nayland Smith but is narrated by his friend Dr. Petrie – Read the rest of this review

Don Quixote by

When you’re counting down the chapters, the hours and minutes until it finishes, you know a book isn’t floating your boat. This became a battle of attrition that, by rights, I should have given up on. As an audiobook it has a running time of over 21 hours and this is only part one. The story nominally – Read the rest of this review

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by

This isn’t a novel but rather a collection of stories, each one a different tale covering the investigation of a mystery by Holmes. They were originally serialised in a magazine, which explains some of the cross and back references (that come across as a bit of self-promotion). They’re charming enough tales, but a little uncomplicated compared to – Read the rest of this review

The Thirty-Nine Steps by

I was familiar with the story, having seen Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 adaptation, but while there are plenty of similarities, the book is markedly different. The book is, naturally, a little slower but this is balanced out by some nice touches as we dig into how our protagonist, Richard Hannay, evades the police and his other pursuers. – Read the rest of this review

The Prince by

This is one of those books that has a reputation, and one I’ve been meaning to read for a while. It was originally published in the 16th century, partly based on the author’s observations of the various wars to control the city-states that made up Italy at the time. Unlike the chivalric code, as espoused – Read the rest of this review