Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted now by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. For my take on this week’s topic, here are ten books that I absolutely loved but because of one thing or the other when writing about them, I couldn’t go beyond a few lines.

So in alphabetical order, according to the titles:

The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy by James Anderson

Was so charmed by this country-house mystery with a whiff of espionage that I immediately ordered an omnibus edition.

The Crime of Laura Sarelle by Joseph Shearing

Found this Gothic novel to be absolutely unputdownable. Read it in one sitting.

Death and the Pleasant Voices by Mary Fitt

Another suspenseful country-house mystery.

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore

A deeply moving book that deserved much more than the pithy lines I wrote on it.

Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane

This faction provided an interesting account of growing up in Ireland with its legends and troubles.

The Schirmer Inheritance by Eric Ambler

There were so many things I wanted to discuss in this lesser-known Ambler.

Seven Keys to Baldpate by Earl Derr Biggers

Strangers meet in a winter motel and almost all of them are hiding something. The mix of humour and mystery was delightful.

Shares in Murder by Judah Waten

A very impressive police procedural based on real life cases.

The Washer of the Dead by Venita Coelho

This collection of short stories absolutely blew-away my mind.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

A classic in every sense of the word. Really really wanted to write a long post on it but found my words to be inadequate…


Have you read these books? How did you find them?

26 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

  1. I loved the Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy, and 7 Keys to Baldpate is one of my all time favorites (I even have a DVD with the 3 versions. Death and the Pleasant Voices sounds intriguing…going to have to look for it now.


    1. Wow 3 Versions! That’s really something! Now feel like seeing them. Which version is the best?

      Cosy is real fun, isn’t it? Have you read its sequels?

      Think I had borrowed Fitt from Open Library. A real good find.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did read all of Anderson’s books and enjoyed them all. It’s been a while so I’ll have to watch each of the Baldpates again to let you know which I like better…a pretty good way to spend some time these days!


  2. Neeru, I also enjoyed The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy. Did you read the others and what did you think?

    Of the others the ones I want to read are: The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, The Schirmer Inheritance by Eric Ambler, and the book by Shirley Jackson. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is on my Classics List.


    1. No Tracy, I am keeping the Omnibus edition for a rainy day:) Have you read the sequels? How did you find them? Have heard that the second one is even better than COSY.

      JUDITH HEARNE made me cry. I have a feeling that you’ll enjoy Ambler, esp its description of post-war Europe. The account of Greece was very evocative. Looking forward to your views on CASTLE.


      1. I have read the second of the three books (eight years ago) and I liked it a lot. I have not read the third one yet but I have it somewhere. I could reread the first two some day also.


  3. The only one I’ve read is We Have Always Lived in the Castle – such a great book! Have you read her other most famous one, The Haunting of Hill House? I loved it too – it’s maybe more traditionally spooky than We Have Always… but has the same kind of feeling of the traditional scary story being subverted.


    1. That image of Constance covering her face with her shawl will always haunt me, Fiction Fan.

      I have read The Haunting of Hill House and liked it but it hasn’t stayed with me CASTLE has. I want to read more of Jackson. Have you read her other books?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think Castle is the better of the two too. I haven’t read any of her other books but I’ve read some of her short stories – a bit mixed, I felt. Sometimes they felt like ideas for stories that hadn’t been fully worked out, if that makes sense. But some are great.


  4. I read the Anderson books when they first came out. Isn’t the sequel called The Affair of the Mutilated Mink? And there is one other that came much later… (can’t recall the title). I’m sure I still have all three. Great fun. Thoroughly enjoyed the only Joseph Shearing book I’ve read and it was a corker! Has a weird title that might make me people pass it over — Aunt Beardie. But it’s fantastic and utterly engrossing. Amazing ending! The fact that it was based on a real criminal case from 18th century France flabbergasted me. The ghost stories by the same author writing as Marjorie Bowen are top notch. You ought to check them out. Speaking of ghost stories… Thanks for including a volume of them by a writer I’ve never heard of. Any relation to Paolo Coelho? I’ll have to find that book and gobble up those tales.

    I may be scolded for this but I attempted to read Jackson’s novel and I couldn’t get into it at all. Maybe I was just in a foul mood the day I tried it. It was only a few years ago believe it nor not. My tastes have changed for sure over 40 years. I do love her short fiction so I don’t know why I was so put off by the novel. I was really irritated by the narrative voice I remember. Perhaps I should give it another chance. Sometimes the second chance works and I get through the book. But there are other times I’ve given a book a second try and I hated it even more! Such a curmudgeon.


    1. That’s great, John, I only came to know of Anderson a couple of years ago. I read Joseph Shearing only last year and have the book you have mentioned on my TBR list this year because it fits in a challenge. Am glad you rate it pretty high. Will be reading more of this author under her various psuedonyms.

      Venita Coelho is an Indian writer. I don’t know whether there is a family connect with Paulo. The stories are not your basic ghost stories but much more substantial, commenting on socio-system of India. As an Indian woman I found them most thought-provoking. Hope you like them too. The introduction which discusses the various legends regarding ghosts in India is very interesting.

      I remember that a few years ago when I had written about CASTLE, you told me you’d be reading it soon. Am sorry it didn’t work for you but I say Give It Another Chance. There is a character whom I much admire for her quiet strength.

      I wish there were more ‘curmudgeon’ 😃 like you John. Love your honest opinions about a text.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.