The Seven Dials Mystery - Book Review

I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.


The Seven Dials Mystery. 


An Inspector Battle Mystery.

Shelfari Description

Reclusive tycoon, Sir Oswald Coote, and his melancholy wife, Lady Maria, have come upon the ideal plan to spice up their quiet lives.

They'll host a lavish weekend party at Chimneys, their isolated estate, and invite only "bright young things". But the festive mood is clouded by doom. A practical joke involving seven clocks and a sleeping guest has ended in accidental death-and cause for alarm.

For the guests may not be all that they appear.
And as whispers of a strange club called Seven Dials echo through the halls of Chimneys, all hands will be pointing to murder...

My Thoughts

This is the 10th book by Agatha Christie and the 2nd for Inspector Battle.

We see a return to the home of Bundle whom we remember from "The Secret of Chimneys"

This time I found the characters easier to remember - I suppose it helped that there were a few in this story that had been in the other Chimneys one too - and I read through the story quicker, with less breaks which is always a good sign.

A few red herrings appearing and I few twists which I always enjoy but the logical working out of the solution is still there. The title is a good title for the story but probably makes the reader make an assumption that is also made by several of the characters.

Inspector Battle again was a good detective but not the uniqueness of Poirot or Miss Marple.

I had read the book many, many years ago but had forgotten it so I thoroughly enjoyed it and have to admit I did work out part of it, but not all and had to wait to the end to see what everyone wants to see.

I'll give you one little clue to think over if you decide to read this book - a woman may not always be as you are led to believe.
This however is not about the revealing of that person you need to get to at the end.

This Novel was adapted for television in 1981 by ITV and was kept quite true to the original story which makes me happy. I didn't have it on DVD so I hunted and managed to get a "not too expensive" copy of it on Ebay. I really did want to get it because one of the characters was played by the same actor who played Tommy in The Secret Adversary and I was not disappointed because he played it well and did not keep making me think of Tommy.

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


Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 98

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 98

This is one of Encouragement to Praise.

This Psalm falls into four parts:

V. 1-3
We are Encouraged to Sing a New Song to the Lord

V. 4-6
We are Encouraged to Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord

V. 7-8
Nature is Encouraged to Praise the Lord

V. 9
We are Encouraged because We know the Lord is going to return.

Sing a New Song.


Because The Lord has

  • Done marvelous things
  • Got the victory
  • Shown His steadfast Love & faithfulness.

Make a Joyful Noise.


  • Singing praises with joy
  • Using various instruments & melody

Nature's Praise.

Yes even Nature is encouraged to Praise the Lord.


Because all of Nature is the beautiful creation of God and speaks to us of His awesomeness.

The Lord's Return.

Yes everything must Praise the Lord.


Because of the knowledge that He is going to return and when He returns He will judge the world.


He will judge righteously and fairly.

We can be so thankful that we have a 

who has looked past our unrighteousness
sees the righteousness of Jesus in us.

We should be thankful?

So we do not need to fear His return
the judgement to follow
if we are truly
redeemed by Christ.


One of the Best Ways I Stay Organised - Organising

Today I thought I would share 1 of my favourite apps for keeping me organised in all aspects of my life but very much so in the home situation.

I am very much a

"what's the best free app for this situation?"

type of gal

so most of the apps I have are free.

However the one I am going to talk about today is not.

This is what happened......

Once upon a time there was a handsome prince who went on a journey to a far off land and returned to his beautiful princess with a precious gift (which at that particular time she did not realize she wanted).

But because of the personality of the handsome Prince, he insisted that his Princess do something immediately he had given her the gift.

He told her she had to buy something to add to the gift.

Ok so the handsome Prince was my husband Fred and I'm his beautiful Princess.

He had gone to America on business and returned with an iPad for me.

( yes it really was a present just for me and even though he said later we were meant to share it, that was too late because I had completely fallen in love with it by then and he had to get his own)

As soon as we set it up he said we had to buy a certain app for it because he had heard it was very good and knew I would want to use it.

Of course I knew nothing about apps at this stage and certainly did not know you could get free ones so I did as he said ( yes I'm an obedient Princess too)

And this is the app we bought

Things     PAID
I use this app every day and I use it in various ways.

At this point I would like to state that I am not being compensated or sponsored in any way for this post about the Things App - I just wanted to tell you about one of the ways I stay organized.

UPDATE:    The app is now called   THINGS 3  and  looks slightly different to the pics below but it is even better than before.

Firstly I use the Today feature in the listing to see all the things that I should do each day or that need to be done soon and today might be the best opportunity to do them.

So everyday I keep checking off in this list hoping that someday I will do everything that falls for that day - not happened ever yet!

Any time I want to add a todo item I can either just leave it without a due date so that it just appears in my today list all the time until it is completed or sits in my Next list.

If I choose a due date I can also pick how many days before that date I want it to appear in my today list coming up to the date.

Then there is the great scheduling feature where I can schedule something for a particular day.
Not only for a particular day but I can also have it as a recurring todo ie. every week, every month, every year, every 9 days even.

There is a section for Projects as well and depending on what you want to do you can adapt the project feature to suit you.

There are also Areas that you can place your todos in.

For the Home I have some areas as you can see above like housework, and the odd project but I also use some of the other areas like daily, weekly, monthly.

I love the way I can keep track of when things need paid or need to be cleaned or need to be bought like birthday cards, presents and especially coming up to Christmas I utilize the Projects section for different lists.

You can see my Christmas List by Names below and then when I click on each name I have my Notes within that one for the ideas I have for their gifts.

Another thing I find very helpful is keeping track of the food in the house especially in the freezer.

As I put something away I note it in my Next list with the date I need to use it by and how many days in advance of this that I want to be notified by.

Then I use the Tags feature so that any time I want to check up or plan ahead about meals I simply go into the Next list and filter it by my choice of tag which would be food in this case and it will bring up all the food in different cupboards and fridge and freezer and the date it is due by.

I can refine this even further because I have tags in for each of the cupboards and fridge and freezer so can turn up just the contents of one of these at a time too.

Other tags can be centred around time, priority, or any kind of category you can think of.

I can also order everything by due date as well.

Most of my home life can be ordered by this app but I do love to use other list apps too.

One way to help stay organised

Definitely FUNWORK  because anything on the Ipad is funwork to me and didn't I say it involved lists and lists and lists and you know I LOVE LISTS


The Anniversary Trip We Couldn't Plan - A Dose of Encouragement

In August 1997 Fred and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary by taking a trip to Hawaii.

A week there Island Hopping in fantastic weather was a real enjoyment for us.

Five years later we headed to the Bahamas for 2 weeks for our Silver Anniversary.

Then in 2007 we took 3 weeks and went to the East Coast of Australia with a layover of a few days in Singapore on the way home.

So August 2012 should have seen us heading off on another big trip but it just didn't happen.

Although we talked about how it would be our 35th anniversary often, we still never could decide where to go or when to go.

Then near the end of the year, our daughter Linda told us she was going to apply to go to South Korea to teach English for a year.

Months later all the applications, online courses, visas etc. had been sorted and she headed off in February 2013 (I wrote about The Day We had to Say Goodbye)

Okay then no prizes for guessing where we did go for our 35th Anniversary trip even if it was almost a year late.

South Korea

We just had to make sure we didn't go when it is too cold, too hot, or too wet in South Korea, because it can truly be too cold, too hot or too wet - we experienced the "too hot".

Oh and shortly after she left she face-timed to tell us she had been allocated to a school on the Coast so wasn't that a bonus too!

We had a fantastic holiday together and when I say together it actually included all five of us.
Fred and I flew over and spent a weekend in Seoul with Linda and met up with an old friend, then this old married couple flew over to Hong Kong for 4 days on our own, and finally back to South Korea to meet our two sons as they arrived to spend the rest of the time with Linda and us in Seoul and also in Gangneung.

The boys wanted to come to visit Linda obviously but also knew that it would be the last time that this family of five would be together on a holiday as a family of five because later that year we had another special event when Daniel & Suzie got married.

At times during 2012 I had got frustrated because we just could not make a decision about where that anniversary trip should take us o when Fred would get off work to be able to go and sometimes when we can't make up our minds we just let the thing drift on and on.

But this time that indecisiveness was meant to be.

I am a firm believer in the fact that God sometimes holds us back 
from doing certain things at certain times 
because He has other plans for us

and of course

His plans are always BETTER because they are the RIGHT plans for us.

I'm also thankful to God for the way He provided everything for Linda and was clearly guiding her.

On other occasions I have wondered why I seem to procrastinate about something but in the end I realise that it wasn't just procrastination or laziness it was actually God keeping me from feeling ready to proceed with my original plan or thought; even in a small thing.

Yes God cares about the small things too.

The more we acknowledge the importance of God's guidance and look for it in all aspects of our lives the more we will come to recognise the times we are meant to hold back and the times He wants us to proceed.

We will learn to know His direction day by day, bit by bit as we become content to be in His Hands and trust that He is the only one who knows what's best for us.

We only think we know what's best.

He really does know what's best.

If you want to read more about our trip to South Korea you can start here 


And Then There Were None - Book Review

I was trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.

But then I heard that the World's Favourite Christie had been voted on and the winner was  

And Then There Were None. 

I was just so tempted to read it even though it was

Written in 1939  

and I was only up to 


because it is the only one that I was really not sure that I had actually read before and I know I have never owned a paperback of it but I do have it now in hardback in my Heron Set of Christie Novels.

So my apologies for jumping ahead and doing this one out of order.

Shelfari Description

Ten people, each with something to hide, are invited to a lonely mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but one another and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests fall victim to the dark secrets of their pasts. And one by one they start to die...

My Thoughts

This is the 34th book by Agatha Christie and one of the few that do not involve one of her detectives.

Even though I cannot remember if I read this while a teenager I did know most of the story. Those who have ever read it could not fail to remember the plot (if not all the details) because it is, like her play "The Mousetrap", unique and unforgettable.

Anyone who is interested in Christie's books could not fail to have heard or read something pertaining to this classic especially around the 2 changes of title that have been made over the years. Starting out life as "Ten Little Niggers" using an old rhyme of that name; then changing to "Ten Little Indians" which became as much a "no-no" as the original title and finally becoming "And Then There Were None" which actually tends to give away the storyline but is probably a good hook title.

A select guest list, a deserted location and a missing host will undoubtedly grab your interest as you read a synopsis or teaser for the book but when I read this book through in less than a day I can say that the first 2 pages had me hooked.

She very carefully introduces her characters so that we know something about them but not everything and she does it quickly through the actual characters themselves. We have the superior feeling at this stage of being somewhat familiar with all the characters before they are introduced to each other.

I cannot imagine anyone who likes a murder mystery being disappointed with this one and so I agree that it is worthy of the title "The World's Favourite Christie" and it isn't even a Poirot or Marple story.

I hunted around on the internet to see if I could buy a dvd of any of the 3 films that have been made in 1945, 1965 & 1974 but was unsuccessful so ended up watching them on YouTube instead.
NOTE: Why do filmmakers always want to change the endings? If they think the book is good enough to make into a film then surely the ending is good enough?

But just today I have found out that there is a 3 part mini series being filmed for the BBC with some interesting actors for the roles and we should see this on our screens possibly at Christmas.

World's Favourite Christie - Book Review

However after saying it is very good and acknowledging why it has been chosen as the world's greatest Christie, I would say if you only read one Christie do not make it this one. My reason for this is simply that this is not her usual style so you are best to pick a Poirot or a Marple to get the real Christie feel.

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


Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 67

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on  it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 67 

This is another short Psalm

For me this Psalm falls into four parts:

V. 1
A Blessing

V. 2
An Effect

V. 3-6
A Song of Praise

V. 7
A Result

A Blessing.
The mercy of God shown to us is a great blessing.
The kindness and love of God adds to that.
Everything is contained in His Grace to us, blessings to us and His love shining on us
Notice the Selah - so we stop and ponder here on this verse especially.

An Effect.
Blessing others brings the goodness and stability of God's love upon the world.
As He shines on us we will shine to the world so they will see His love through our love for them.

A Song of Praise.
Everyone should Praise God.
How can we not Praise Him when we are thankful for all His Blessings to us.
We should praise Him for all that He is and how He blesses us.
God's Righteous deeds should bring gladness & joy throughout the world.
Through our Praise of God others will come to know Him and Praise Him too.
As people turn to the true God in Praise, His Blessings will flow.

A Result.
Such a blessing to be poured out by God that all the world will know the effects of this and will know that it is the hand of God.

It is important we remember what blessing means.

It is the bestowing of
God's favour and protection upon someone.

What more could we ask for?

What else could we possibly ask for our broken world.


STUFF, STUFF and more STUFF! - A Dose of Encouragement

Isn't it lovely to receive presents?

In the weeks leading up to our son's wedding our house just filled up with wedding presents appearing day after day and week after week in the post.  (All this online shopping is fantastic now even for Wedding Lists.)

We have a room in our house we call the games room because there is a snooker table in the centre of it, but truthfully it should be called the

 "Where our 3 children, who have all left home, 
still store their STUFF"   room

because all around the room and under the snooker table are boxes & bags of all sizes and descriptions holding all the STUFF our kids wanted to keep but did not have room for in the small places they had been living in so far.

So my husband Fred piled the presents on and around the snooker table and this room became the

  "Wedding Present" Room

up until Daniel & Suzie returned from their honeymoon and came to take these gifts to their new home.

And then the snooker table was cleared again.

There was still a corner of the room which we called Daniel's Corner where all his boxes of STUFF were.

The STUFF did not go when the presents went.
 (There was no room left in the car and the presents would have to be found a home in the house first)

His wife Suzie looked at us with suspicion every time we said

 "Daniel's STUFF" 

because she had never yet had a glimpse inside these boxes and was wondering just what would be unearthed when they were finally opened and what would she have to find a home for.

The problem was they had both been renting accommodation with friends since before they met and she thought that Daniel had brought enough "stuff" from there.


 Later "Daniel's STUFF" was to be taken and sorted and a home found for all the things from his previous years as a child, teenager and university student.

All of our family hold onto STUFF 

Even though we have moved house several times, having lived in different countries, and have done large clearances each time, we still have STUFF that has stayed with us.  My husband is always saying that we should just go through the kids STUFF and sort it out but I say it is not ours to decide on as some things we might feel have no value will actually be the things that have special meaning or memories for the kids.

I had said that I needed to do a clear out once again as we had been here in this house for 3 years then and there was definitely STUFF we did not need anymore.  So hopefully I can get myself round to doing this very soon.

I said that I needed to do a clear out once again as we have been here in this house for 3 years now and there is definitely STUFF we do not need anymore and hopefully I could get myself round to doing that soon.

I have also assured Fred that I can help him to sort through all his STUFF 
but he goes very quiet then.

Well the time did come later when Daniel and Suzie came to sort through Daniel's "stuff".

Some of the STUFF was thrown out as Daniel decided he didn't need it anymore, and some more of the STUFF was given to the car boot sale because it could be of use to others but there was still some of the STUFF that stayed with him because of the usefulness of the object or of the memories it holds.

But what about my STUFF?

Well I have been doing a Facebook Decluttering Challenge this year called

and this has been a good encouragement to get rid of more of the STUFF in our house.

Of course life would be more simple for all of us if we got rid of a lot of the stuff we still have in our houses but more importantly our lives would be simplified and of a better standard if we got rid of all that STUFF that stays in our mind and hinders us from growing each day as God would want us to grow.

  • All the things we remember that people have said or done that have hurt us.
  • All the foolish things that we remember we did in the past.
  • All the times when we spoke too soon,  or too late,  or when we shouldn't have spoken at all,  or when we should have spoken but failed to stand up for what we knew to be right.
  • All the things that we listened to from others which have led us in the wrong way instead of testing it by God's Word
  • All the things that we wished we had done but didn't.

Have you sorted through all the STUFF in your life?

All this STUFF needs to be thrown out.

           All the good STUFF needs to be kept.

                       All the other STUFF that truly helped us previously needs to be shared                                                                                          to help others now.

What are you doing with your STUFF?


The Discipline of Grace - 3

If you have not read my notes on the first two Chapters of

"The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges 

then you may wish to go visit those before continuing here.



Chapter 3

Again I thoroughly enjoyed reading this chapter and to me the emphasis was on justification and grace.

Bridges seems to be excited by what he is writing as he talks of our sin, the atonement by the blood of Jesus, justification through the death and punishment suffered by Jesus on our behalf and the grace of God in the forgiveness we receive.

None of this is subject to us but freely given by God and Jesus.

Several times Bridges writes "Preach the Gospel to yourself" which he admits will seem to be a strange instruction; but he goes on to clearly explain that this is the way to truly know and remember what Jesus has done for us and will help us not to be overcome with guilt (covered in first chapter) about our sin and the imperfect people we are.

While I was reading this I couldn't help but think on the sad comments that Steve Chalke has made about the death of Jesus and how mistreated he claims Jesus was by His Father God; 

so I must say here that

I am very thankful for a book like this one which clearly states the true reason for our Saviour's death and the goodness of our Heavenly Father.

I do agree with Bridges when he says you should "preach the Gospel to yourself"

Do you?

Do we preach the gospel to ourselves?

If this encourages you to read the book you'll find it on amazon for kindle or in paperback.

For other posts on this book see Links below:

Grace 1
Grace 2



Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 126

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on  it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 126

This is one of the shorter more well-known Psalms

This Psalm falls into two parts:

V. 1-3
Surprise at the change of events
Rejoicing by the children of God
Acknowledgement by onlookers
Proclamation by the children of God

V. 4-6
Expecting more from God
Proclaiming the joy that is still to come.

Are we prepared for the great things God will do among us, or is it all a shock when it happens?
Sometimes we get used to not seeing our prayers answered straight away and can get into a state of asking but not totally believing and expecting daily.

Are we prepared for the great things God will do among us?

Do other people notice how we are rejoicing over great answers to our prayers and what has been happening to us?
We need to make sure others can see just how God is working in our lives.

It is wonderful when others can see and admit that the events in our lives are ordered by God.

Do we say and proclaim what God is doing among us?
Others need to see the way we know the hand of God in our lives and also how joyful we are because of it.

When we see God working we are encouraged to look for more of the work of His Hand on our lives and the lives of others.

We know the goodness of God and we know what He has said He will do, so we can look forward to further rejoicing and we should encourage others by reminding them of this.

It is not always easy, we do not see our prayers answered immediately and in exactly the way we would hope for.

Sometimes there is distress, anguish & sorrow as we pray for others 
and as we try to witness to them.

Tears of :
sorrow for sin
sympathy with others
tenderness in prayer.


there will be harvests of joy after the sorrow

We need to encourage others that there is joy after the sorrow


those who sow in the tears of godly sorrow

shall reap in the joy of a sealed pardon
& a settled peace