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review 2019-01-20 01:10
Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie
Partners in Crime: A Tommy and Tuppence Collection - Agatha Christie

This is the second of the Tommy & Tuppence Beresford books - some time has passed since the events of The Secret Adversary, and they are now quite the staid married folks. Or not.

 

Partners in Crime is a series of linked short stories - the British government has need of the Beresfords again, to take over a detective agency that has been used in some sort of espionage ring. While Tommy is pretending to be Mr. Blount, with Tuppence as his trusty sidekick and secretary, they are hired to solve some crimes in addition to the spy ring they are trying to bust. There's a stolen pearl, a poisoning, and some counterfeiters, as well as providing some assistance to a lovelorn young man who is trying to break his beloved's alibi for a bet.

 

Both Tommy and Tuppence are fans of the detective story, so they try out the personas of several of the best known detectives of the time, many of which I've only vaguely heard of, but who include the master of ratiocination, Sherlock Holmes, and he of the moustaches and leetle grey cells, Hercule Poirot. This is delightful.

 

In fact, the whole book is delightful. The mysteries are largely forgettable, but the banter between Tommy & Tuppence is engaging, and the two of them are adorable, bubbly, cheerful and warm.

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text 2019-01-18 18:24
Reading progress update: I've read 187 out of 902 pages.
The Queen of Air and Darkness - Cassandra Clare

Had a good long chuckle at this one

"Now, Emma, she's the kind of girl who'd be hot if she'd ever shut up." "I'll kill him, " Emma muttered. "I'll kill him while talking the whole time."

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text 2019-01-17 15:36
Agatha Christie completion update

I'm catching up a few reading projects, so I thought I would go through and identify which of the very few full-length Christie mysteries I have left:

 

Why Didn't They Ask Evans

N or M

Death Comes As The End

Destination Unknown

The Pale Horse

By The Pricking of My Thumbs

Nemesis

Postern of Fate

Sleeping Murder

 

That's actually more than I thought, although I am aware that some of them are true clunkers - I've heard nothing good about Postern of Fate.

 

I also have several of the short story collections left, including Harley Quin & Parker Pyne.

 

I also haven't read the books she published under the Mary Westamacott name, which are a bit difficult to find, but are by no means unobtainable. 

 

Giant's Bread

Unfinished Portrait

Absent in Spring

The Rose and the Yew Tree

A Daughter's A Daughter

The Burden

 

And I definitely want to track down the three Detection Club stories:

 

The Floating Admiral

Ask a Policeman

Six Against the Yard

 

 

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review 2019-01-17 15:28
A surprisingly enjoyable later Christie
The Pale Horse - Agatha Christie

I went into The Pale Horse without much hope that I would enjoy it - I'm down to the last 8 (now 7) Christie novels, and I'm reserving the ones that I thought would be the best bets for enjoyment to the end.

 

The Pale Horse was published in 1961, between A Cat Among the Pigeons and The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side. It's not a book that shows up on the best - or worst - lists of Christie mysteries, so I knew almost nothing about it.

 

My first pleasant surprise occurred on page 8, when Ariadne Oliver makes an appearance. Fangirrrrrrl moment ensues:

 

 

I also had it in my head that this was one of Agatha's rare (and mostly unsuccessful) international thrillers. I was therefore pleasantly surprised that this is just a straight up mystery, and one with a really solid twist, actually. 

 

The mystery itself is both implausible and fairly silly, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it a whole heckuva lot. I liked it better than Destination Unknown, although I still think that They Came from Baghdad was a tiny bit more fun.

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review 2019-01-16 21:20
The Summer Queen - Elizabeth Chadwick

The first book in Chadwick's series about Alienor (Eleanor of Aquitaine). It basically covers her marriage to Louis and the very beginning of her marriage to Henry. Chadwick's Alienor is not only in keeping with her brief appearances in the Chadwick Marshall books, but also with the image that most of us have of the Queen. Perhaps even a bit of Kate Hepburn

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