The A.B.C. Murders By Agatha Christie Review!

The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot, #13)

The A.B.C. Murders (1936) by Agatha Christie is an amazing Hercule Poirot read.

The book has a clever plot. Christie’s use of the alphabet for the murders is intriguing. First Alice Asher in Andover is murdered followed by Betty Bernard in Bexhill followed by Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. But then George Earlsfield is killed in Doncaster and there is question marks over whether it is the names the pattern follows, the places the pattern follows or something else altogether.

I really enjoyed it. The subplots in the story are all very interesting and tie together well at the end. I thought Christie’s idea to get the loved ones of those who were killed to investigate the cases was great because it helped us get to know these characters well as well as adding to the intrigue. I particularly liked Donald Fraser as a character. He was complex, had a bit of a temper but had a good heart. He was interesting.

The ending worked in a way. It became a bit too obvious too soon who done it though and why so that would be my only flaw. With all the suspense built up so wonderfully throughout, it was a pity that the suspense didn’t quite last to the end or at least near the end but mystery endings are so, so hard to get right but it was a pity.

Nonetheless, a fantastic read and I wouldn’t expect anything else from Christie. ๐Ÿ™‚

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For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://uk.agathachristie.com/

The Murder On The Links By Agatha Christie Review!

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie.: margot_quotes โ€” LiveJournal

The Murder On The Links (1923) by Agatha Christie is an early Hercule Poirot mystery.

Set in Merlinville-sur-Mer in France, Poirot is there to investigate a case after he gets a letter from Monsieur Paul Renauld seeking his assistance immediately. Unfortunately when Poirot gets to Renauld, he is dead. His body is found on the golf course hence the title of the book. Meanwhile Renauld’s wife is tied up and gagged in her room. When the police believe they have found the killer, Poirot must act fast in the pursuit of justice.

I liked the book. The mystery was very cleverly put together. I really enjoyed the dynamics between Poirot and Giraud. I think Hastings annoyed a lot of people in this book and I can see where they were coming from. He was slightly irritating here but I didn’t mind too much really. He was giddy and in love and I like a bit of romance so he didn’t overly annoy me but I get where people are coming from. There was moments I was like Hastings, honey please! ๐Ÿ™‚

I think everything was very well described throughout. There was no loopholes, everything was tied up nicely at the end. I enjoyed it.

To get your free copy of The Murder On The Links by Agatha Christie go to:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/58866

For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

The Big Four By Agatha Christie Review!

The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)

 

The Big Four (1927) by Agatha Christie is an early case for Hercule Poirot.

The plot is about four secret leaders in the international crime cartel who are intent on world domination and in changing the course of history by all means. We don’t know much at the start about these four secret people but we know a bit. Number 1 is Li Chang Yen from China who is the brains of the operation, number two is unnamed but appears from clues to be from America and is the wealth of the operation, number three is a Frenchwoman and that’s all we know initially about her and number four also has very few clues but is known as “The Destroyer”. At the start, Hercule Poirot is due to go on a mission to Rio de Janeiro for a case and Captain Arthur Hastings has come to see him having returned from Argentina. After the murder of the Secret Service’s Mayerling in Poirot’s home occurs, Poirot decides the trip is a decoy and decides to stay in England and investigate The Big Four. Before Mayerling died, he said Poirot’s name and pointed Poirot towards the number four.

I really enjoyed this mystery. It is different to many of Christie’s mysteries as she delves into political and philosophical matters here more than she usually does. I enjoyed the change. Some of it went a bit over my head but that was my issue, not Christie’s so I’m not going to mark her down on my own lack of research obviously. I got the general gist of the story though which if you do, you will enjoy even if some of it seems confusing. I’m sure that’s just me though! ๐Ÿ™‚

The intrigue present in this story is superb, such great suspense. The plot is just amazing and well did. The suspense was already in the plot to begin with and Christie executed the plot idea wonderfully with great clues and red herrings. This is the second Poirot mystery which Inspector Japp is in too and it is always great to see him in the book.

Excellent read.

 

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For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nemesis By Agatha Christie Review!

IN THE END IS MY BEGINNING: Agatha Christie's Nemesis ...

 

Nemesis (1971) by Agatha Christie is a wonderful Miss Marple adventure.

 

Marple is scanning through the obituaries at the beginning of this one and has no case currently but that is all about to change. She receives a letter from her friend Jason Rafiel who she met in A Caribbean Mystery. The letter is through his solicitors as he has recently died. But he has left Marple with her new intriguing case. Offering a few clues and a free trip on a tour to see England’s prestigious homes and gardens, Rafiel offers Marple ยฃ20,000 if she can solve the case. It is the death of a woman Verity Hunt who had been engaged to his son Michael Rafiel. Michael is now in prison and Verity’s murder remains unsolved. With Marple now on the case, that of course won’t be for long.

During the tour, Marple’s friend Miss Temple who is on board is attacked during a rockslide. She ends up in a coma and later dies from her injuries. Miss Marple decides not to continue on the tour and goes to stay with the three Bradbury-Scott sisters Lavinia, Clotilde and Anthea. Here she continues to investigate and try to dig up a past that someone or some people want kept hidden.

I really enjoyed the book. The pacing is done very well and there is good suspense. As well as Marple, I really like Michael Rafiel as a character. He has a good bit of spunk and directness which I really like. I don’t want to spoil the ending but I find it intriguing. Was it overprotectiveness? Was it control? Was it a twisted version of love? A bit of all three? Christie leaves that very intriguing at the end and lets readers decide for themselves. I would say a bit of all three from my reading of it. More of the latter two but a bit of the former as well.

I like this book because while it is a mystery, it is very character-driven too and you really do get to know the characters in the story very well before the big reveal. My only flaw with this book is that it starts very slowly and does take a lot of time to really get into the story but I’m happy I stuck with it because it’s a great book.

Another great read by Christie about the iconic Miss Marple.

 

To purchase Nemesis by Agatha Christie go to:

 

 

For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

They Came to Baghdad By Agatha Christie Review!

They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie - Agatha Christie

 

They Came to Baghdad (1951) by Agatha Christie is another great read by the author.

 

This novel is not one of her Marples or Poirots and instead the protagonist is Victoria Jones. Jones is a typist from London but she loses her job early in the book. This leads her to a situation where she is sitting on a park bench thinking out her future when a handsome stranger approaches her and they begin flirting with each other. This handsome stranger is a man called Edward but he admits that he is going to Baghdad the next day to start a new job. With nothing keeping her in London and an adventurous spirit, Jones decides to follow her heart by following Edward to Baghdad. But she gets a lot more than she has bargained for. A secret meeting of superpowers in Baghdad risks being destroyed by an underground organisation who are both anti-Communist and anti-Capitalist and Jones soon has a dying man in her hotel room. The man is a secret agent called Henry “Fakir” Carmichael and his dying words of “Lucifer … Basrah … Lefarge” cause Jones to begin investigating the case alongside her quest for love. Meanwhile an American banker Anna Scheele is missing, presumed dead, after she found out too much about the mysterious dealings.

 

Victoria as a character is very likable. Quirky. I think there is a bit of Victoria in most of us. Trying to figure out where to go in life and looking for adventure and experiences of life. But she definitely takes that to the extreme which is quite fun to read. She has an impulsive streak and you can’t help sometimes getting the idea that she sees the situations she finds herself in more like she is a character in a book or film instead of real life (yes, there is a definite irony in there!) but that only makes her more charming. She is way too trusting but if she wasn’t this plot wouldn’t work. Anna is also a fantastic character. For the plot to work, she understandably could not be in it too much but for a character not in a book very much, she definitely makes her mark from the scenes she is in. The dialogue is fantastic. It’s top-notch. Very natural, often very funny and then has those few emotional moments that add that little bit extra depth. The dialogue does a fine job of helping you get to know the characters in various different ways. The plot is perfectly written, maybe not the most suspenseful but does work. But personally, I would have liked a little more suspense.

But other than that, a gorgeous read. It isn’t one of Christie’s more well-known books and that’s a pity because I do believe it would be a shame to miss out on this story. It’s really good of course.

 

To purchase They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie go to:

 

 

For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

 

The Mysterious Affair At Styles By Agatha Christie Review!

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) by Agatha Christie is the author’s first published novel and the first time we meet Hercule Poirot, Hastings and Japp.

Emily Inglethorp is poisoned and dies. Hastings alerts Poirot to the case and he begins investigating the murder which happened in the Essex countryside in Styles Court. It was great to see where it all really started taking off for Christie because I’m a huge fan. It was an historic moment in literature. I really enjoyed it. I liked the story and the mystery of it. It runs very smoothly and look, Christie is a great writer so the talent was there from the jump as it so often is with great writers. We get to begin to know Poirot here but Christie cleverly leaves much to learn about him in books she was hoping to write with him in future clearly. It is admirable the work she put into this book when she wasn’t sure at this stage if she was going to have the success she ended up deservedly having. She clearly loved writing and I love that in her.

There is a flaw to this book. I did read a racist slur in it and it didn’t feel like it was there to highlight racism in a bid to condemn it. It was just there and it was ugly. I know many people would say ‘time, context’ and that’s fair enough but it’s not how I see things. If I think something is wrong whenever it was written, I don’t pass it over. So yeah, for me personally that was a flaw. I do love Agatha but that was incredibly disappointing to read.

The ending of this is great. I didn’t solve the mystery. It is a brilliant whodunnit. It is not an easy mystery by any means to work out and the red herrings in it are very well put into the plot.

Amazing read.

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At Bertram’s Hotel By Agatha Christie Review!

At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple, #11)

 

At Bertram’s Hotel (1965) by Agatha Christie is another great mystery book by the author.

 

This is one of Miss. Marple’s outings. Here, she revisits Bertram’s Hotel where she stayed as a child. But of course Miss. Marple is not going to have a nice, pleasant stay. While she is there, someone is murdered. While Marple is marveling at how the hotel has not changed much, she is thrown into a complex mystery that involves a man Michael “Micky” Gorman who works as a doorman at the hotel been killed. He was killed outside the hotel by a shot that came from inside.

There is a great cast of characters in this book and equally interesting subplots which are used as red herrings for the murder side of the story. I like how it was all weaved together. My only flaw with this is the ending. I did see a dramatization of it once and the ending was better than the ending in the book. The mystery of it worked, the loopholes were tied up but the ending in the book did feel a little contrived and messy which is a pity because the rest of it is great. As I always say, endings of mysteries are hard to do but it was the only flaw I had with the book. Otherwise I found it an intriguing and entertaining read. I found the setting great and I enjoyed the book for the most part.

Fantastic read.

 

To purchase At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie go to:

 

 

For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd By Agatha Christie Review!

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

 

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) by Agatha Christie is an amazingly inventive thriller especially for the time it was written but even for today in many ways.

 

Set in the small town of King’s Abbot, Dr. James Sheppard is the narrator of this story in which Hercule Poirot investigates. He lives with his sister Caroline and one day he is called out to see Mrs. Ferrars who dies in what Sheppard suspects is suicide. He knows businessman Roger Ackroyd. It was rumoured in the town that Ackroyd had a relationship with her. Ackroyd tells Sheppard that he needs to speak with him and invites him over to his. He goes to visit Ackroyd and suspects he is been blackmailed. When he arrives home after visiting Ackroyd, his sister tells him that Ackroyd has been killed. He begins investigating the case alongside Poirot who is in the village growing vegetables.

I don’t want to give the story away but the twist is brilliant. It was quite an historic twist for that time. Christie was the first writer to do it so it was inventive though it has been repeated since. Agatha, you trailblazer! I found it a really interesting story and so cleverly written. No loopholes. There was a lot going on here so it must have been a nightmare for Christie to keep everything making sense! The characters are interesting, the plot is superb and intriguing. It’s a flawless mystery that has you guessing right up to the end. Excellent writing throughout and a fabulous ending.

Brilliant. A must-read.

 

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For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

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The Burden By Mary Westmacott Review!

The Burden

 

The Burden (1956) by Mary Westmacott is a wonderful romance with a touch of mystery and drama and a lot of family dynamics.

 

The novel follows the protagonist Laura Franklin who is unhappy when her younger sister Shirley is born. She can’t stand the new addition to the family but one night a fire breaks out in the house and she saves her younger sister’s life. After that, Laura becomes very protective to Shirley but finds that the love she has for her sister is obsessive and detrimental to the both of their growths and happiness. Then a man becomes interested in Laura. Can she throw herself into this relationship and give herself and her sister the freedom they need in their lives to find their own ways?

You probably gathered that this book is very psychological and it is. It is a portrait of human emotion and the elements that can make people react how they do. It’s a book about fear of yourself and the world wrapped in a family dynamic and romance story. It shows that being overprotective is not healthy for either but I love the backstory of why Laura is so overprotective of her sister. Everything in this book fits very well and there is no loopholes by the end. There is a touch of mystery to it where not everything is quite as it seems and I thought that was great. I didn’t see that coming at all. I think the pacing and build-up of everything is done very well. I think Westmacott managed to get across both the love between the sisters and the unhealthiness of Laura’s overprotective ways. Finding that balance I can imagine was a tough job and I think she done it very well. The romance element is there but it does very much play a secondary role to the relationship between the sisters.

I also love how there is a lot of debates and sections which are philosophical and deal with morals, religion, emotions and all sorts of issues. That was absolutely fantastic.

This is a great book, a must-read. And if you don’t know it already, Mary Westmacott is the pseudonym of the amazing Agatha Christie who wrote six romance novels under this pseudonym. I think maybe doing this gave her an opportunity to show other sides of her that she couldn’t as Agatha Christie and I’m very glad she did get that chance to because I love these sides of her just as much as her mystery writing.

 

To purchase The Burden by Mary Westmacott go to:

 

 

For more about Mary Westmacott and her work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16273767.Mary_Westmacott

 

The Mirror Crack’d from Side To Side By Agatha Christie Review!

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christie

 

The Mirror Crack’d from Side To Side (1962) by Agatha Christie is an interesting read. The title comes from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalot which is quoted in the book.

 

In this book, Miss. Marple is brought to meet American actress Marina Gregg by her friend Heather Badcock. Heather is a huge fan of Gregg’s and met her in Bermuda many years before where she got her autograph. Gregg has just moved into Gossington Hall after buying the prestigious property with her husband producer Jason Rudd from a friend of Marple’s Dolly Bantry. Gregg and her husband host a housewarming party in aid of first aid charity St John Ambulance which Miss. Marple is invited to. Other guests in attendance are Lola Brewster, Mrs. Allcock and her husband Councillor Allcock, Ardwyck Fenn, General Barnstaple, Jim Galraith, Donald McNeil, Margot Bence as well as Heather and her husband Arthur. It is Heather’s last party as she dies from a poisoned daiquiri which many suspect was meant for Gregg. Gregg had been seen staring at a painting reportedly with a frozen look at the party. Miss Marple begins investigating as does Detective-Inspector Dermot Craddock.

In their investigations, they find out a lot about Gregg’s past. For a long time, she was unable to have biological children and adopted three children. One of her adopted offspring Margot was at the party. Eventually, she had a biological son but her son was intellectually disabled and Gregg had a nervous breakdown over this. More murders happen. Rudd’s secretary Ella Zielinsky is poisoned and Gregg’s butler Giuseppe is shot.

 

I think this is a great book. The backstory of the plot especially in relation to Gregg’s backstory is incredibly well thought out. The mystery element is very well and cleverly put together. It is very interesting how Hollywood and a small English country village are brought together. Gregg is not an easy character to like. She was certainly never a good mother to her four children but she is a complex and interesting character all the same. This plot is well thought out. You know that none of it is just thrown in as filler. Everything is tied together in the story perfectly that by the end you are like of course, how did I not work that out? But it isn’t easy to work out yet it all fits amazingly together when you finally do read it. A very interesting cast. I loved Heather. She was like all fans and her joy was infectious. I loved how Agatha wrote her. I could imagine her reading all the Hollywood gossip in the papers and magazines.

 

A great read.

 

To get your free copy of The Mirror Crack’d from Side To Side By Agatha Christie go to:

http://detective.gumer.info/anto/christie_36_2.pdf

For more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

https://www.agathachristie.com/