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review 2019-03-19 16:04
Full of interesting bits and pieces
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks - John Curran

As I've previously mentioned in an update, this is a book that is really aimed at level 10 Christie fans. It spoils the solutions of many of the books, although sometimes the spoiler is fairly oblique. For someone who is just a casual Christie reader, it wouldn't make much sense or, even, be particularly interesting.


For me, though, it was a really fun book to read - although I confess that I skimmed probably more than I read because, while I enjoyed seeing the notes and learning more about Christie's writing process, there was also a lot here that I already knew. Curran focuses very much on the books, not on Christie's life itself, which makes sense given that the notebooks weren't journals - they were writing notes.


There are a couple of short stories at the end that I haven't yet read, but I've finished the sections about the notebooks. It's definitely a resource that I will return to when I reread books, and it does seem to have a good index at the back. I bought it on kindle, but given the quality of the index, I will likely buy a print copy as well so I can more easily use it a reference.


There is a second book that Curran published from the materials in the notebooks. It's a bit more expensive than this one for kindle, so I'll probably just order it used in print from Abe books at some point.

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review 2019-03-16 00:37
A Caribbean Mystery
A Caribbean Mystery - Agatha Christie

#10 of Miss Marple Mysteries


Miss Marple is sent on a vacation in the Caribbean after battling with pneumonia. While she is there she meets people and goes on small trips around the area and when a man she meets dies, she feels that there is foul play. She begins to ask questions and talk with people trying to find out the truth. 


The story is interesting as it shows Agatha Christie's knowledge of poisons and medications. 

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text 2019-03-14 19:26
Reading progress update: I've listened 347 out of 347 minutes.
Three Act Tragedy (Audio) - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser

This is such an excellent Christie. And Hugh Fraser´s narration is perfection.


And the very last exchange between Mr Satterthwaite and Poirot made me giggle:


Mr Satterthwaite looked cheerful.

Suddenly an idea struck him. His jaw fell.

"My goodness," he cried, "I´ve only just realized it. That rascal, with his poisoned cocktail! Anoyne might have drunk it. It might have been me."

"There is an even more terribly possibility that you have not considered," said Poirot.


"It might have been ME," said Hercule Poirot.

(spoiler show)


Ha, brilliant.



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text 2019-03-13 14:47
Reading progress update: I've read 43%.
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks - John Curran

This book is for serious fans of Christie - it spoils many of the solutions to the mysteries and is both a deep dive and a breezy overview.


Christie left behind some 80 notebooks full of plot ideas, clue placements, puzzles, character names/descriptions, and solutions. The most interesting thing I've learned so far is that she frequently dithered between multiple solutions/murderers in books, and an idea/clue that wasn't used in one of her mysteries would crop up later in another mystery. 


In fact, the entire Boynton (although she referred to them as P, planning, apparently to name them something that began with the letter P) family was first assigned to Death on the Nile, but didn't make it into the final book. Christie then built an entire mystery around the family two books later in Appointment with Death. In addition, everyone should know that the intensely annoying Salome Otterbourne's original name was "Mrs. Pooper."



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text 2019-03-13 14:21
Reading progress update: I've listened 160 out of 347 minutes.
Three Act Tragedy (Audio) - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser

Mr Satterthwaite smiled covertly. Whether Egg wanted to include him or not, he had no intention of being left out. He was fond of mysteries, and he liked observing human nature, and he had a soft spot for lovers. All three tastes seemed likely to be gratified in this affair.


I like Mr Satterthwaite very much. 

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