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text 2018-12-18 22:08
Reading progress update: I've read 13%.
Mystery in White - J. Jefferson Farjeon,Patience Tomlinson

A slow but smooth start to a snowbound murder mystery with passengers from a stranded train striking out into the snow and finding an unlocked and well-provisioned country house to shelter in.


Sounds a litter tired now but it was fresh when it was written.

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review 2018-09-09 22:51
Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) - Mo Willems,Mo Willems

Brief Review:

Waiting is not easy is about an elephant who is talking to a pig. The pig tells the elephant that they have to wait for the surprise but throughout the book the elephant struggles with his patience of waiting for the surprise.

Idea of how it can be used in a classroom:

Waiting is not easy could be used to show the students that waiting is not an easy task at all and to help children learn patience. The teacher could have the students write about a time where they could not wait for something and then tell why it was or was not worth waiting for in the end. 

Reading Level & Leveling System:

Accelerated Reader


Lower Grades K-3

Book Rating:

I would rate this book a 4 because it does teach young children patience and its not a easy task to comprehend but the way the book is written it shows the elephants reactions and comments about waiting. This isn’t something young children are used to, so I think it’s a good thing for them to learn.

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review 2018-01-03 12:51
Mystery in White - J. Jefferson Farjeon,Patience Tomlinson

It’s Christmas Eve 1937 and the snow that had been falling for the last few days has increased. Five passengers on a train find themselves stranded in the snow near the village of Hemmersby. Deciding to leave the train and try to make it to the village station they soon become lost in the snow, saved by finding a house. The house however is deserted, though fires are lit and tea has been made. The passengers must find out why the house is empty when it emerges there is a murderer on the loose.


The British Library Crime Classics series features a whole host of novels long forgotten since their original publication. The craze for Christie esque stories and a hankering for a bygone time ensure that there is always an audience for such stories and there is something gently reassuring about them. There are no forensics to aid with detection, no computer searches or DNA data banks. Most of the murders aren’t gruesomely described and the perpetrators are found by old-fashioned deduction and a little luck.

Mystery in White is an example of a locked room mystery. A limited cast of characters are thrown together, stranded in the snow in deserted house. A house where it is apparently mysterious things have occurred.


This isn’t the usual murder mystery as the murderer and the victim are both unknown. There aren’t really any clues to follow but supposition from one the five passengers stranded together in a deserted country house. The story is a mixture of crime with a hint of a ghost story about it, a slightly strange amalgam that took me some time to get used to. There were asides and tangents that eventually pulled together but the denouement was interesting.  The cast of characters were a mixed bunch. Some annoying, some seemingly adding little to the story and others who add a warmth and depth to the story.


The book was an interesting insight into the interests and believes of some people from the 1930s, the way of life, language and styles always fascinating. Whilst not my favourite of the books I’ve read from the series so far, and not as engaging as I would have hoped, there is a charm to the novel which I have come to expect from a British Library Crime Classic and Mystery in White fits in with what I would call a good Sunday afternoon read.

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review 2017-12-23 21:11
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 7 - St. Lucia's Day: Midwinter Snowstorm
Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story - J. Jefferson Farjeon
Mystery in White - J. Jefferson Farjeon,Patience Tomlinson

Book themes for Saint Lucia's Day: Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden - and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.


A snowstorm stopping a train mid-route and characters struggling through a blindingly white wilderness, seeking to regain civilization (and possibly even a way to continue their journey) until they come upon a seemingly deserted country house?  I'll say that counts as a book where ice and snow are an important feature ...


This book's setup is so similar to a 1949 short story by Nicholas Blake (aka Cecil Day-Lewis) included in the British Library's & Martin Edwards's crime classics anthology Silent Nights -- even the title of that short story, A Problem in White, is almost identical, and the cover image of this novel would actually illustrate the short story even better than the novel -- that if it hadn't been for the different authors, and for the fact that the novel was published 12 years prior to the short story (i.e., in 1937), I'd have suspected their creator of doing a Dame Agatha on us and expanding on a motif already used successfully in a short story previously.  As it is, I can't help but wonder to what extent Blake was, um, inspired by this novel ... considering, not least and in addition to all the above-mentioned things, that not only do all of the main characters that we initially meet also share the same train compartment; they're even referred to descriptively instead of by names initially, owing to the fact that they are strangers to each other at the beginning of the story ("the old bore", etc.).  Both of these features are, again, key to Blake's short story and Farjeon's novel alike, to the point that, having read the short story not long before I started reading the novel, I literally did a double take.


Be that as it may, though, I admit that a real sense of wariness set in when our characters -- among them, a known psychic -- left the train in search of civilization and stumbled upon the seemingly empty house, because for a moment it looked like we were now going to move into a haunted house setting: not my absolutely all-time favorite sort of story at all, particularly not in a book billed as a mystery.  But beyond a general sense of unease due to the general setup (winter, near-impenetrable and ever-increasing heaps of snow, isolated setting of the house, etc.) and due to the fact that the house seemed to have been deserted under rather curious circumstances, Farjeon wisely left the supernatural bits in his desk drawer, and the book instantly regained my favor. It took a bit to get to the "actual" mystery (and crime) to be solved, with plenty of diversions along the way, but the writing was strong enough -- and the characters were enjoyable enough -- for me to happily come along for the ride until the very end.


As with (almost) all the British Library Crime Classics reissues that were part of my holiday reading this year, I own both a phyiscal print edition and the recently-published audio version, which in the case of this book was expertly and engagingly read by Patience Tomlinson.


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review 2017-12-18 15:48
Playing Patience Book Review
Playing Patience - Tabatha Vargo

Eh. Too many bad things happening to one character. 

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