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review 2019-01-21 22:38
"Appointment With Death" DNF at 20%
Appointment with Death - Agatha Christie

Oh dear. If the pedants who teach creative writing classes by rote ever needed support for their insistence on "Show, don't tell" as their unerring advice, then they need only make people read the first 20% of "Appointment With Death".


I've never been so bored by or so impatient with an Agatha Christie book. We are, for reasons that are not yet clear to me, in an hotel in Jerusalem. We start with Poirot overhearing and dismissing a fragment of a conversation between an American man and a woman, saying "She had to die". He then provides some light relief by remembering an amusing anecdote about Trollope, This was the only fun part of the read for me.


After that, we were treated to the full and terribly stilted and melodramatic conversation that followed the opening line that Poirot dismissed and we learn that murder is actually being contemplated.


Then Poirot disappears and we are presented with a truly bizarre and slightly scary spectacle and older, male French internationally recognised psychologist and a young, female, English, newly-qualified psychologist analysing an American family that they've barely met and confidently ascribing to them all kinds of pathological conditions with an assurance that is as dull and as difficult to believe as it sounds.


Only after the young British psychologist has invited a young woman, who she sees as vulnerable and immature, to her room at midnight and then tempted her with prospects of a degree of freedom that the poor young woman has never contemplated, do we come face to face with the monstrous bullying of the old matriarch that everyone is afraid of.


By that time I'd already given up. 


How can someone of Christie's experience have knocked out such a clumsy and boring start to a novel?


I'll pass on this one, send it back to audible and take my chances with "Murder On The Orient Express" instead.



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review 2019-01-21 02:51
The Decaffeinated Corpse
Decaffeinated Corpse - Cleo Coyle

Claire and her husband are going to be among the first to use a new coffee bean...a decaffeinated coffee bean, grown that way. So that it tastes better. But when Rick is attacked outside the cafe and then Claire is attacked, she wants answers. Then when an old friend is found dead in a room her husband lets, so that they can hide Rick, she really feels that she has to get involved and find out answers. 


The story was interesting and is an earlier part of the series. It is good that the books can be read out of order. 

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review 2019-01-21 02:40
Dry - jarrod shusterman,Neal Shusterman

This book was assigned to my girls through their book club. 


The book looks at human dynamics when something major happens, like California not having any water and the people not being able to get out of the state or get water. It was an interesting look at the human condition and things that could happen. 



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text 2019-01-19 22:24
Reading progress update: I've read 36%. - well, that was disappointing
Cherringham - A Cosy Crime Series Compilation: Cherringham 1-3 - matthew costello neil richards

After reading the 25th novella in this series "Secret Santa", I thought I'd go back to the beginning and have some cosy mysteries to snack on between novels.


I bought a compilation of the first three novellas. I've just finished the first one, "Murder On Thames" and I find myself rather underwhelmed. If this had been my first trip to the little village of Cherirngham, it might also have been my last.


The plot was slight, the characterisation was ok and some of the dialogue worked well. Neil Dudgeon's performance seemed only to come alive doing dialogue. Perhaps he found the prose too leaden but I think the producers should have asked him to do parts of it again so it didn't sound so much like a sight read.


Oh well, two more books to go in this compilation. Maybe the next one, "Mystery At The Manor" will be better.



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review 2019-01-18 01:46
Cujo - audiobook
Cujo - Stephen King,Simon & Schuster Audio,Lorna Raver

Audience: Adult

Format: Audio

Library Copy


Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the town of Castle Rock, Maine.

- first sentence


This is a reread for me and I didn’t remember many details. I think I avoided it because of my love of dogs. I listened to the audio; Lorna Raver gives an excellent performance and helped me get lost in the story.


I was surprised by the beginning stuff about the monster (serial killer) Frank Dodd. I found myself wondering what that had to do with the rabid dog. But this story isn’t about a rabid dog. It’s about evil… evil and coincidences. It’s also a look back in time at what was once thought acceptable in a marriage.


As the story progresses, the parts with Cujo are separated by the stories of the Trenton family and the Camber family. Each family is dealing with their own issues, and these ultimately lead to the events which conclude with the showdown of mother and child trapped in a Pinto by Cujo.


It broke my heart to listen to Cujo’s thoughts as the disease progressed and he gradually went mad. But it was easier to read/listen to than it was to watch the movie. All I really remember from the movie is the part with Cujo and the car. I might have to watch it again just for comparison.


So, is an Evil force controlling the events that lead to the heartbreaking conclusion, or is it just coincidence? Does it even matter?


I'm using this for "C" in the Goodreads HA A-Z challenge.

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