Showing posts with label Agatha Christie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agatha Christie. Show all posts

Tuesday

Parker Pyne Investigates - 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.








Parker Pyne Investigates


1934


Description



A collection of short stories featuring the ‘heart specialist’, Parker Pyne.
Mrs Packington felt alone, helpless and utterly forlorn. But her life changed when she stumbled upon an advertisement in The Times which read: ‘ARE YOU HAPPY? IF NOT, CONSULT MR PARKER PYNE’.
Equally adept at putting together the pieces of a marriage or the fragments of a murder mystery, Mr Parker Pyne was possibly the world’s most unconventional private eye – and certainly its most charming.







My Thoughts



This is the 22nd book by Agatha Christie and the 1st Parker Pyne Book 


I love this book.

I know I'm a Christie fan but this is one of my favourite books of hers.

Soft hearted Parker Pyne (but with a strict eye for a business which of course must make a profit) just has to be liked.

Usually we are reading murder mysteries by Miss Christie but this time we are reading mystery adventures which are not really mysteries but 
are the best adventures for the people who turn to Parker Pyne.

He simply solves your problems that are making you unhappy - who could not like that type of person.

An easy book of short stories to enjoy and relax with.




If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.













Why didn't they Ask Evans?


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








Why Didn't they Ask Evans?



1934



Description



When a man plunges down a cliff, two adventurous young friends decide to find his killer…
While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. With his final breath the man opens his eyes and says, ‘Why didn’t they ask Evans?’
Haunted by these words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger.









My Thoughts



This is the 21st book by Agatha Christie and the 4th Stand Alone Mystery 

I have read this one a few times now and there are things I really like - the two main characters who are not sleuths but are very willing to become amateur sleuths and plunge in headlong to find out everything they can without completely thinking it all through.  

I love to see this different side to Miss Christie's writing where there are silly blunders but also intuition worked into the storyline.  Frankie and bobby may set out as naive friends who are just ready for an adventure but the way they actually care about the person who had died (even though Bobby had only met him briefly) is what really keeps them going through it all to get at the solution. 




If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie



If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.

















The Listerdale Mystery - 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.








The Listerdale Mystery



1934



Description



A selection of mysteries, some light-hearted, some romantic, some very deadly…
Twelve tantalizing cases… the curious disappearance of Lord Listerdale; a newlywed’s fear of her ex-fiance; a strange encounter on a train; a domestic murder investigation; a wild man’s sudden personality change; a retired inspector’s hunt for a murderess; a young woman’s impersonation of a duchess; a necklace hidden in a basket of cherries; a mystery writer’s arrest for murder; an astonishing marriage proposal; a soprano’s hatred for a baritone; the case of the rajah’s emerald.
All of these short stories have one thing in common: the skilful hand of Agatha Christie.







My Thoughts



This is the 20th book by Agatha Christie and the 3rd Stand Alone Mystery

It has neither Miss Marple nor Hercule Poirot as the sleuth who solves the mystery.

It is another of Miss Christie's Short Story Complilations consisting of 12 mysteries but I do need to say straight away that I enjoyed this one much more than the last one The Hound of Death as this one is a brighter set of stories in which we have some happy endings and some not so happy endings but also with some humour.

Everyone jokes about how "The Butler did it" and in the first of these short stories there is indeed a butler but I'm not going to tell you if he is guilty or not.

Lot of locations involved here also with trains, cars, large houses, small homes, and lots of different levels of society with ladies, maids, butlers, husbands, wives and lawyers.

As is often the case in a Christie story there are twists and some small (and could be easily missed) things that may catch someone's eye and give the flash of inspiration needed to get to the solution.








A good book to start with if you have not read any Agatha Christie books before.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie



If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.





















Murder on the Orient Express - 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.






Murder on the Orient Express 


1934


Description


Agatha Christie’s most famous murder mystery.
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.






My Thoughts


This is the 19th book by Agatha Christie and the 9th Poirot Mystery

One of the best known of her mysteries and perhaps even the best known especially because it had already had 3 TV/Movie adaptations (with 3 different actors playing Hercule Poirot) before they brought out the latest one with Kenneth Brannagh.

It can't be easy to confine your story to one location and also the confines of a train.

Yes you have the characters and the location but having them all in such close proximity must have added constraints to the setting of clues and the movement of the characters just showing how good our famous author is at her craft.

Is there anyone left who does not know the perpetrator of this crime?
This is the second most well-known of Miss Christie's books (first being "And Then There Were None"

Many people who haven't even read the book or seen any of the adaptations already know the outcome of this story but if you do not then you definitely should read it as it is a very well-written book and brings out compassion and hatred together.

I always thought it was so famous that everyone must know but more recently there was a new adaptation of the story and I had to realise that there is a different generation of people who are being introduced to Agatha Christie's works just now.  I suppose that is the joy of books that they can go on for generations being enjoyed by more and more people.

If you do know the outcome and have not read it you still should to see how she links everything together.




 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie



If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.


















The Hound of Death - 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.






The Hound of Death 


1933


Description



A collection of macabre mysteries, including the superlative short story Witness for the Prosecution…
Twelve unexplained phenomena with no apparent earthly explanation…
A dog-shaped gunpowder mark; an omen from ‘the other side’; a haunted house; a chilling seance; a case of split personalities; a recurring nightmare; an eerie wireless message; an elderly lady’s hold over a young man; a disembodied cry of ‘murder’; a young man’s sudden amnesia; a levitation experience; a mysterious SOS.





My Thoughts



This is the 18th book by Agatha Christie and the 2nd Stand Alone Mystery

In actual fact it is a book of 12 short stories with no signs of any of her usual or seldom used detectives.

It is I think my least favourite of Agatha Christie books even though it contains the first writing of "Witness for the Prosecution" as a short story and later it became famous as a play.

Not entirely a group of detective stories but more stories of the mind or supernatural stories and a great deal of darkness contained therein.

The one I always remember the best is the one about the blue jar and it is more a con story than anything else, using the art of suggestion - this is a bit of a spoiler but not too much.

So if you are not a great Christie fan who wants to read all her books then this is one you may want to leave out unless you are intrigued by things of the mind.




Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.


















Lord Edgeware Dies - 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.








Lord Edgeware Dies 



1933



Description


Agatha Christie’s famous murder mystery, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.
Poirot had been present when Jane bragged of her plan to ‘get rid of’ her estranged husband. Now the monstrous man was dead. And yet the great Belgian detective couldn’t help feeling that he was being taken for a ride.
After all, how could Jane have stabbed Lord Edgware to death in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? And what could be her motive now that the aristocrat had finally granted her a divorce?








My Thoughts



This is the 17th book by Agatha Christie and the 8th Poirot Mystery.

One that once read should not be forgotten because of the uniqueness of the solution but yet I had forgotten it in full from my previous reading of it and hence really enjoyed it again.   

Looks like an unsolvable mystery: how can someone be in two places at the same time?  Are witnesses mistaken, or which witness/witnesses are mistaken?  But when the behind the scenes facts are known it seems to be such a simplistic but intricate plan by a clever murderer.

I have to admit it is hard to talk about this one without giving too much away.

One of the best known of Christie's books and certainly deserves to the up there in the top 10.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.















Monday

What's on our Bookshelves? - Coffee & Conversation.

Do you enjoy reading?

        Do you have a lot of books?








I have 5 bookcases in my study:

  • 1 completely full of Christian novels; 
  • another has Christian novels, devotionals and Bible Study books;
  • the third has bibles, commentaries, biographies and my Agatha Christie collection (Heron Books); 
  • the fourth has language books, photo albums, map books and my hoard of books to use for the Sunday School Curriculum for Church;
  • the last one has the rest of my non-Christian novels by various authors but quite a few of Nelson DeMille, Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, Brad Melizer, Linwood Barclay & Lee Child.






We have lived in 8 different houses since we got married and each time we move we have all these books to pack up and then find the right places in the next home for the bookshelves.  

We keep saying that one day we should be thinking of downsizing so where will we put the books then?  

If they were all available as ebooks would we throw them out and buy them as ebooks? 

I know I would be tempted to keep my nice matching Agatha Christie novels at least as I really am enjoying sitting in the sun room with my hardback copies of these as I read through them all in Chronological Order and then review them here on the blog.

My husband and I read a lot of the same books, just as we watch a lot of the same TV series and this was always very handy when it came to travelling as we took the books we both wanted to read and shared them instead of each packing our own.  

Now of course it is so much handier to just carry our iPads and Kindles and we don't have to spend time beforehand deciding on the joint book list.








The only problem now is that not all the Christian novels we would like to collect are in ebook form.

We also find that those which are available as ebooks are very expensive compared to other novels.

However I do like to keep an eye out through Twitter and Facebook for any indication of free offers on ebooks or reduced prices and swiftly go on Amazon to snap them up.
One way is to try HERE

The great thing about ebooks (apart from the fact that they are easy to carry around in the kindle or iPad) is the fact that you don't need extra bookshelves to store them in, well not real ones anyway.


"Is a book in your hand better than an ebook?"


My oldest son says a book in your hand is so much better than an ebook.
He is worse than us as he has a full wall of his apartment lined with books from floor to ceiling, plus another bookshelf on the wall beside this, then some boxes of books under his bed and of course we must not forget the several boxes of books he still has in our house under the snooker table.









This is like the Daddy.......Chips? question I mentioned in a previous post.

Books........Ebooks?     Which is it to be?




If you are interested in some recommendations for your book shelves - here are some of my favourites:

The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope Stokes

The Presence by Davis Bunn

The Panther by Nelson DeMille

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie









Tuesday

The Thirteen Problems - Book Review

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



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









The Thirteen Problems 



1932



Description



The Tuesday Night Club is a venue where locals challenge Miss Marple to solve recent crimes…
One Tuesday evening a group gathers at Miss Marple’s house and the conversation turns to unsolved crimes…
The case of the disappearing bloodstains; the thief who committed his crime twice over; the message on the death-bed of a poisoned man which read ‘heap of fish’; the strange case of the invisible will; a spiritualist who warned that ‘Blue Geranium’ meant death…






My Thoughts



This is the 16th book by Agatha Christie and the 2nd Miss Marple Mystery.

It is a book of short stories with the following titles:

The Tuesday Night Club
The Idol House of Astarte
Ingots of Gold
The Bloodstained Pavement
Motive v Opportunity
The Thumb Mark of St. Peter
The Blue Geranium
The Companion
The Four Suspects
A Christmas Tragedy
The Herb of Death
The Affair at the Bungalow
Death by Drowning


The first story sets the scene for the rest - there are a certain group of people gathered together in a relaxed atmosphere who each present a mystery and the others are to suggest the solution to this mystery.  

Miss Marple's nephew features here along with some others who may or may not appear in further books.

Miss Marple may seem like the one who would have the least experience of the "big bad world" but she is in fact the one who has seen many things in her small village and thus is the one who can provide the solutions.

Some of the short stories here have actually later been used as the ideas for other Christie stories.

As much as I enjoy a full story where the reader has to read carefully and uncover all the clues hidden within to solve the crime at times I really do enjoy a group of short stories like this to read.  Somewhat like enjoying a cryptic crossword puzzle because each correct answer written into the puzzle brings a sense of satisfaction itself.
Or perhaps these short stories are just a series of quick fixes for us mystery lovers.

A good read with such a varied group of stories.

Also a good start for someone to get introduced to the books of Agatha Christie.



 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie




















Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the link above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.




Peril at End House - Book Review

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



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








Peril at End House 



1932



Description



Nick Buckley was an unusual name for a pretty young woman. But then she had led an unusual life. First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car failed. Then, on a coastal path, a falling boulder missed her by inches. Later, an oil painting fell and almost crushed her in bed.
Upon discovering a bullet-hole in Nick’s sun hat, Hercule Poirot decides the girl needs his protection. At the same time, he begins to unravel the mystery of a murder that hasn’t been committed. Yet.









My Thoughts



This is the 15th book by Agatha Christie and the 7th Poirot Mystery

The clues are always there.  No matter what they say - the clues are always there.

That is exactly how it is with this book which means that once you have read it (and no doubt missed some clues) you will enjoy reading it again later even though it is one of those books that you will remember who the murderer is.

But would anyone other than Poirot have solved this one?   In fact I actually think Miss Marple would also have spotted the very deviousness of this murderer.

A clever thought out murder mystery with a clever and vile murderer.

Great read.  Great deduction.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.

















Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the link above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.