The Secret Adversary - Book Review

I did not receive a free book or any payment for this book review.

I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.

If you want further info on this book please click on the Title or picture of the book.

The Secret Adversary 


Agatha Christie

Shelfari Description

Tommy and Tuppence, two young people short of money and restless for excitement, embark on a daring business scheme, Young Adventurers Ltd. Their advertisement says they are 'willing to do anything, go anywhere'. But their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, plunges them into more danger than they ever imagined.

My Thoughts

This is the second book Agatha Christie had published and is so remarkably different from her first which featured Poirot.  Just as you fall in love with the precise Belgian detective who has experience in this field, we also fall in love with the two inexperienced "detectives" here.

It is the way Christie writes the characters of these two sleuths that make this such an enjoyable read.  You are with them all the way as they have clever thoughts and make stupid mistakes but then isn't that what would happen if we ordinary people decided on a whim to go into this type of business?  Of course they do have help from a few other sources and then there are the notable "baddies" as befitting the time setting of this story.  

I had read this many years ago but got caught out on who was the elusive Mr Brown and I think that this is also an indication of her good writing that I was not going on what I may have remembered from the previous reading but was going by what I was reading this time.

I am looking forward to reading the next Tommy and Tuppence Adventure and I do think that the title Young  Adventurers was the correct one for the author to chose for this couple as they should never be compared to the detective she had already created; just enjoyed for the characters they are.

Below is a link to a list of her novels on Shelfari
Books by Agatha Christie

Below is a link to her books on Amazon
Amazon's Agatha Christie Books

Below is a link to her page on Amazon
Amazon's Agatha Christie Page

If buying through Amazon via the links above I do not get any commission - I am NOT an Amazon affiliate.


Why We Worship 13

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

We have already looked at the omnipresence of God so today I wanted to consider the 

Omniscience of God

                This simply means that God is 


 This includes the past, the present, and the future, and everything within these times.

 It includes what has actually happened and will actually happen but it also includes what could have happened and what could happen in the future depending on how we exercise our free will.

                       So he knows what will happen and he knows what "could" happen.

There was never a time when God did not know everything and there never will be a time when God does not know everything.

Does this not give us a great security because we have a God who knows all things about us, about everyone else and about the universe.

Read through 1 John chapter 3 yourself to get the right context for this verse.

1 John chapter 3 is written by John to people he refers to as:

  • Children of God  v. 1 & 2
  • Little children  v. 7
  • My brethren  v. 13
  • My little children  v. 18
  • Beloved  v. 21

He is writing to people who are saved but perhaps have not had enough time or opportunity to have learnt many things about their heavenly Father.
Throughout the chapter he is assuring them that they are in God's family and are loved by himself and God.
Nowhere is he trying to scare them with the thought that God knows all things and will hold anything against them.
He is in fact stating that God knows all things so even when they do not think they are good enough God knows their salvation and the truth they are standing on.

How could He not be the rock for us to hold on to.

Do you agree?


How far would you go for a Biscuit? - A Dose of Encouragement

How far would you go for a Biscuit?

Would you go to the kitchen cupboard?

   Would you go to the corner shop?

      Would you go to the supermarket at the other side of your town?

                                            Probably yes!

On Saturday we went 45 mins by car to the other side of Belfast just to get a certain type of biscuit.  We went to Ikea for their Pepparkaka Ginger Thins.

(I'm just wondering if they would be willing to pay me for this great advertisement for their biscuits hmmm?)

Saturday was Fred's birthday and our son and daughter-in-law had invited us to come for a birthday meal and Suzie had promised Fred cake.

So by Friday I was wondering what else we were going to do before going to see them in Belfast.

I decided that this was a good opportunity to go to Ikea and stock up on their biscuits.

The first reason being that I can have 3 of these biscuits with a cup of coffee in the afternoon and not use up too many calories as opposed to the chocolate biscuits that Fred likes.  The second reason is that I love to dunk these biscuits in my coffee and the third reason was that we had run out of them at home a few months ago.

So really we were not driving all that distance just for the biscuits but using the opportunity to go a little bit out of our way when we were already going to Belfast.

This got me thinking!

We went out of our way for something I wanted, but how much do we actually go out of our way to do something for others?

We did something for someone just the previous week which took a couple of hours of our Saturday because we had to drive a distance again and we were happy that what we did had helped to make this other person happy.  But many times we can look on making an effort for others as taking up our time and energy when we should be thinking of things that others need help with or that would add a little joy to their lives.

It is so easy to go on each day with our lives and have them centre around us and God but not around others.  Yet Jesus set us a clear example of  how his days on earth were centred around God and others before himself.  Look at how tired Jesus was at various times.

I often think of the example King David showed of kindness

2 Samuel 9:1
Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

David went on to find Mephibosheth and when he was brought to David at the palace he was afraid not expecting David to show him kindness


2 Samuel 9:7 
So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”

Was David just returning kindness because Jonathan had been kind to him?
David and Jonathan had been good friends and Jonathan had been an honest, supportive friend who showed great loyalty to David and also respect to his father King Saul just as David had.

Whether it was only because of his friendship with Jonathan or because of his personal relationship with God we know he followed through on this statement of kindness.

What is the difference for us?

Well we have the instruction from Jesus himself when He was asked about the greatest commandment

Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

What better reason to show love to someone than because it is what God wants of us.

What better way to show love to someone than to show kindness.

What better way to be able to share the love of Jesus and the message of salvation with others than to show kindness and be a friend who is proven to be trustworthy and dependable by their words and actions.

We drove home on Saturday night smiling and feeling very happy because we had spent a lovely evening with Daniel and Suzie,  but we also went home the previous week happy because we had put a smile on someone else's face and made her happy.

There should definitely be room in our lives for both of these types of days and for a lot more of them than there has been recently.

I am thankful that God wants us to help others.

Have you also noticed that in the helping of others our lives are enriched as well as theirs?


Why We Worship 12

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

Oh I have such a problem this week!

There are just too many verses in the Bible that I want to share because today I'm thinking about how good God is.

I will pick this one especially as I featured another one of them a few months ago in an earlier post Thankfulness, Goodness, Love.

When we think about this we probably tend to compare the goodness we see in the acts of others toward us or toward other people, with the Goodness of God.

But we really cannot do this as the goodness of God is perfection because He knows what is best for everyone and our goodness toward each other can never be perfect. 

Thankfully, because we learn from God then we can reflect some of His Goodness in the acts we do too.

                Thank you God!

     We see almost the identical sentiment spoken in    

Psalm 100:5

For the Lord is good;His mercy is everlasting,And His truth endures to all generations.
and we can all shout together


How to Organise your DVD's

Or maybe I should say

How many Dvds can one Room have?

Now I know that some people buy Dvds watch them and then sell them on ebay.
I buy them on Amazon or ebay and we watch them but we do not generally get rid of them.
Most of them are kept, especially the boxsets and they are stored in The Office

So this was the first thing I tackled in Fred's Office.   

Firstly because he would not ever consent to sorting them.
Secondly because he would not have done it properly - ie. in an organised fashion, noting what collections were complete and which series or episodes we had watched.

We had a little notebook which the kids & I had started some years back trying to keep track of the Dvds we were watching, who was watching and where we have got to in each series etc.

You see our problem was that in a family of five who were not always together it was hard to keep track of what we could watch depending on who was there.  Then it was the combinations of the five of us and what some of us could watch after Fred had gone on to bed (the kids and I are night-birds but Fred is not).  After that it was which series and which episode so we could end up wasting a lot of time looking through to see which episodes had been watched or not.

Nice little notebook and we kept it up to date for quite some time but then the same as everything else we got lazy about it.

I had a look through the apps for my iPad and found a free collections app to try out.
BUT!!! It would only take one collection and if you wanted more collections then the paid version was required.
I took Dvds as my one collection and I started to put in my box sets but after filling in several of them and then trying to put in further details I found that the app just did not give me the flexibility I needed just for the more general info and definitely would not be able to go into the finer detail I would need for noting which series of each set had been watched, which series I still needed to get, which sets had not been started yet etc.

So I came to the decision that a 
 was the only way to go.

At first I was disappointed as I thought I would have preferred to have that info in an app and so be able to access it easily via the iPad anytime I was out shopping but on second thought I realised that this would not be a great advantage as I rarely buy Dvds in the shops but mostly online so the spreadsheet would be fine for checking for that.

Hence a lot of time this week was spent getting this set up and filled in and some sort of logical system and Colour Coding thought out to suit me.

Of course this is only one section of the spreadsheet as it is quite long, it is in Alphabetical order and this only shows from A - F so is about one one quarter of my list of box sets.

As you can see from the Key I am noting which
  • series are still to be bought
  • series are bought but still to be watched
  • series are watched
  • titles are started/ongoing
  • titles are all bought and all watched
  • titles are all bought but not started yet
  • titles are not all bought and not started yet

I have also included the years of production and the initials of the members of the family who have watched them.

The only thing I think has not yet been included is exactly which episode was the last one watched in each of the incomplete Series.  That will simply be done by typing in the number of the last watched episode in the coloured cell of the correct series, and then can easily be changed each time.  Some of that info will come from the little notebook before I scrap the used pages and keep the rest of the notebook for something else and for some of them I will have to guess roughly and look at some episodes to see what I remember and don't remember.

I think I have mentioned that I have the app "Things which has now been changed to "Things3" and it is even better for projects now as well as for lists so I am now thinking of putting this info into it as well.
However it did cost me money - it was the first app I ever got because my husband Fred insisted I did so as soon as he bought me my first iPad - and it is even more expensive now and so as I am always thinking of cost as well as best suiting my needs I would still recommend a spreadsheet for this.

Do you remember from my Not the Office!! Post just how bad the 2 bookcases with the Dvds were because they had so much else piled on top and in front of the Dvds and the Dvds were all mixed up?

Well if not here is a reminder

Now those two bookcases look like this

I am so pleased with them but Fred is not so pleased because some of the things I moved away have to be sorted out by him!!!

Now of course the inventory of these two bookcases has been made so much easier as well so a good few days work overall and I am very happy with the way things are going around here.

Do you have as many Dvds to keep in order?

Have you made a list of your collection in an app or spreadsheet?


I was going to miss the Butterflies - A Dose of Encouragement

When we lived in Belgium there was a strange type of bush that grew up high in the summertime at the front of our house.

So we never bothered to find out what type of bush this was.

Because we were renting the house the owner was responsible for the borders, shrubs and trees and all we had to do was cut the grass.

One day in July 2009
Fred and I were sitting in the house on our own when I saw a butterfly go past the front window.  Then just a few mins later I saw another one and then another and another.  I remarked to Fred that I had seen four of them and thought that was unusual.

Then when I saw another I walked over to the window to have a look to see if it was simply the same butterfly flying past different times or had we got a few hovering around.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw not one, not 5 but loads of butterflies all the same type sitting on that strange bush.  I called to Fred and we both opened the window and stepped out onto the balcony/veranda that stretched the length of the house.  We were able to stand there and see the butterflies close up and we counted 34 butterflies on that bush at the same time.

Fred went and got his camera and spent some time taking pictures of this awesome sight.

We stood for about 30 mins watching the butterflies as they fed on this bush, parts of which were showing the effects already.

We just stood and watched in amazement, not able to tear ourselves away from this beautiful sight.

How did all those butterflies know to appear at our bush on that one same day?

This was a day we will never forget, a unique day a quiet but awe inspiring day.

14 months later and we were in the throes of doing the inventory of our belongings in this house and organising to buy a house back in Northern Ireland.  The time had come to leave Belgium.

We had been back on a few different trips looking for a house and had fallen in love with one which had a lovely kitchen and Sun Room and nice bathrooms, almost the opposite to this one in Belgium.

At different times I would say about what I would miss about the house in Belgium but there were a lot of things I wouldn't miss.

One of the things I would miss was the fact that our house was in a lovely location enabling us to drive past the Tervuren Roundabout most days and that was a sight that put a smile on my face with it's beautiful fountain.

Another thing I was going to miss was the butterfly bush as I continued to call it even though by this time I had looked it up on Google and found out it was really called a "Buddlea".  I knew I was going to miss seeing the butterflies gathering there even though mostly we only saw a few at a time.  I have always loved butterflies and like things that are decorated with butterflies.

Along with all the friends we had made I knew that certain little things had made our 6 years in Belgium very happy and special to us and this simple bush was one of them.

Well in December of 2010 we left Belgium covered in snow and could hardly see what was left of the Buddlea bush which had been pruned back excessively and was practically hidden by the bush in front of it

We moved to Northern Ireland also covered in snow and were very busy moving in the week leading up to Christmas.     

The New year passed by and quite a few months also as we continued to get settled in.

We were going to miss the Butterflies!

Then one day we realised that a bush in our new front garden which had been rather scrawny looking when we arrived was now growing up tall, then a while later it started to flower and you can image our surprise and delight to discover that we had a Butterfly Bush at our new home.

We had even taken a family picture in front of the bush a few days after moving in not realising what it was.

Now we have never had 34 butterflies on this bush in Northern Ireland but in the past few summers we have regularly seen 5 or 6 at a time.  Maybe someday they will all come but because of our open location at the top of a hill we may never get a mass of butterflies like we did that day in Tervuren.

It is hard to move home and to move from one country to another.  It is hard to leave people & things behind

So thank you God that I don't have to say  "I miss the butterflies".

Who can say that God doesn't care about how we feel when we see that he gave us another Butterfly bush in our new home!


Why We Worship 11

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

Today I want to focus on the fact 

                  yes fact 


God is everywhere.   


This doesn't mean that part of God is in one place, 
                                                  another part in another place 
                                                                         or another in a third place.  

It means that all of Him is present everywhere at the same time, not part of Him in different places.

So there is no-one like our God because no-one can be everywhere at all times.

God has told us that He reigns in Heaven and Earth,

What a consoling and exciting piece of knowledge for us to have.

We are never alone from God, He always hears our prayers, He is always there to comfort, guide and support us.


this also means that no-one can hide from 
                              or that we can do anything behind His back 
                                              as everything is done in His presence so He sees and hears it all.

Jeremiah 23:24

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.

Does this not thrill you to know for a fact that wherever you go, He is there?


5 Essential Items to make the Housework Easy PLUS a Bonus TIP

Yes I have   

                             5 things 


                                                      are essential 

for making the Housework as easy as possible in any room.

No matter what room, these 5 things will really make your jobs easier.


 Since I bought my steamer I will not tackle a good cleaning without it
  • windows
  • floors
  • tiles
  • showers
  • toilets
  • baths
   these are just the main things I use my steamer on but not the only things.

Remember the fridge in the kitchen last month - yes I used the steamer to get the stain off the bottom of the fridge.   You are probably thinking  "Is she mad?" but if do then you haven't seen my fridge so click on over to  Is This the End of the Kitchen?
The flat attachment is great for a lot of areas but then there is also the nozzle attachment which means you can get steam into small areas and corners and along edges.
Plus most of the time you don't need to use any cleaners because the steam is such a great cleaner and what could be healthier than water and no chemicals.

Only one problem with my steamer  -  it's green, oh if only it were BLUE!


You only need to go on Pinterest to realise what a great item white vinegar is,  there are just so many uses for it  - but please remember you want brown vinegar
when it comes to chips (French fries)

Of course vinegar is even more powerful
                when it is combined with the next item


This can be used with water to make a paste and is a great cleaning product.
Check it out in Pinterest and see the many suggestions there.

Or mix it with water and vinegar to have a sizzling cleaning experience.
Again check it out in Pinterest and see the many suggestions there.

Also have a look at a previous post where I gave a link to the 
Toilet Bombs


Use the spray bottle with a mixture of water and vinegar to help clean loads of surfaces etc.
Check it out in Pinterest and see the many suggestions there.

Or mix water and vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to have a stronger cleaner.
Again check it out in Pinterest and see the many suggestions there.

A spray bottle is great because you can spray a little cleaner or spray, spray, spray for a bigger amount and much more easy to control that trying to pour something out.

The bottle in the picture is from a Tea Tree Oil product which I used while in Belgium because it was not harmful to the environment but unfortunately my husband was not too keen on the smell so I don't use the product now just use the bottle.

Of course it is cheaper to use the water and vinegar than to buy a that cleaner.


Well this is that little tool that can get into the smaller places, corners, along ridges, and can be used for a light brushing or a heavy scrubbing.

Then combine this with any or all of the above and what can escape your cleaning attack.

These last 4 things are kept in a plastic container with a handle that is easy to grab and take with me to each room (pity the steamer can't fit in too!).

OK I bet you thought I was forgetting about the bonus TIP I mentioned 

in the title of this post.

No way would I forget something!         Okay just don't ask Fred how true that is PLEASE

The Bonus TIP

I keep a packet of Cleaning Wipes in various places especially the

  • bathroom
  • ensuite
  • Guest Bedroom ensuite
  • Back Toilet
  • Utility Room
  • Kitchen

Then when I am in any of these rooms I can do a quick wipe over before I leave the room.

For example 
I go to use the bathroom so before I leave it I just check if the wash hand basin is ok and if not I grab a wipe and a give it a quick wipe over and leave.

If there is a small spill or stickiness in the utility room or kitchen I can get a wipe out of the packet quickly and deal with it rather than let it wait until later or waiting for hot water and getting a cloth out and dirty for the small job.  Just wipe and go no need to dry off.

Maybe you have the same essential materials or maybe you have something else you feel you can't manage without - if so let us know.