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review 2019-10-05 22:40
Out of Salem - Hal Schrieve
Out of Salem - Hal Schrieve

I read this as part of Halloween Bingo, so the fact that this book could reasonably be applied to about half the squares is woth mentioning. This is the first book I've read which used the singular nongendered they/their as pronouns, which slowed me down a bit at the beginning. But it worked, and never felt gimmicky. Z. was a plausible fourteen year old zombie who's entire family died in an auto accident: only Z reanimated.


There's werewolves and high school bullying and good teachers and bad teachers and a growing movement in favor of shooting all the monsters. As a metaphor, it is terrifying. But it's also the story of school misfits becoming friends, and of teens solving a mystery, so there is significant fun as well as the terror.


I'm delighted it was recommended to me, and I can't wait to read Shrieve's subsequent books. As good as this debut was the next one should be astounding.



Library copy

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review 2018-10-10 17:49
Our First Stand Alone Miss Marple Novel
The Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie

The first Miss Marple mystery that showcases a different Miss Marple than the one I am used to. This one seems nosy and at times to have ill meanings/feelings. However, in the end we get to see our first glimpse of Nemesis in action with her wanting the person or persons responsible for the murder of Colonel Protheroe brought to justice. 


The narrator in "Murder at the Vicarage" is the vicar of St. Mary's Mead, Leonard Clement. Leonard ends up admiring Miss Marple by the end of this book, but initially he thought that she and many other in his flock were gossiping and mean spirited. It doesn't help that he married someone who sounds decades younger than him who seems to have little interest in his work or with the village. 

St. Mary's Mead villagers are concerned after one of the most despised men that livest there, Colonel Lucius Protheroe is murdered. When the Colonel is found dead in the Vicar's study, everyone quickly starts to suspect the other. Things get even more confusing when two separate people confess to the murder.

When Leonard starts his own investigations he keeps running into one of the residents, Miss Jane Marple. Slowly but surely we work through the village and wonder which one of them killed the Colonel. Pretty much everyone is a suspect at one point and some even wonder if the vicar could have done it. 

What I loved about this book was that the only one who figured out what was going on was Miss Marple. A lot of people had ideas and there are a lot of red herrings to throw things off, but the final solution was quite clever. I also loved that we get introduced to characters we are going to see again in future Miss Marple books such as the vicar and his wife. And we will hear about them in some of the later books. I also got a kick out my book showing the layout of the vicar's study and home so you star working through how someone was able to enter and exit without being seen.  

You should probably read "Thirteen Problems" before this one if you want to read about Miss Marple since some of the events take place prior to the events in this one.  


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review 2018-09-22 18:37
Miss Marple Does it Again
A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie

I weirdly have some Miss Marple in paperback format and some that are not. I have no idea why. So realizing that I had this on my bookshelf, I decided to read it for Halloween Bingo.

This was done really well. Christie starts the book off with us following an Inspector Nettle to figure out who murdered Rex Fortescue and his second wife, Adele. Initially, it appears that Adele and the man who she is having an affair with are the perpetrators behind the crimes. When the maid is found strangled to death, Nettle is baffled by who is behind these crimes. Then enter, Miss Marple.

We find out that the maid, Gladys worked for Miss Marple, and once Miss Marple found out about her death, she arrives at home of the Fortescue's (Yewtree Lodge). 


This is Miss Marple at her best. She and Nettle work well together and even though Nettle is behind Miss Marple in figuring out who is the murderer and the reasons why, it was a fun book to read and try guess who did it and why. Without giving away the ending, I loved how Miss Marple fixates on the rightful murderer and the reasons why. 


Christie does a great job of setting up all of the characters before Miss Marple shows up. Sometimes I find myself bored with Marple or Poirot books until they show up, this was not one of those times. 


The setting of Yewtree Lodge is good and there are so many people who are viable suspects, Rex had two sons, a daughter, two daughters in laws and a general housekeeper that you are going to wonder if they are behind things or not. 


The ending doesn't give you a cut and dried solution though. Things are left at loose ends. You can guess what is going to happen next though. 


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text 2018-09-21 21:08
Reading progress update: I've read 256 out of 256 pages.
A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie

Wow three murders! I honestly didn’t know who did it and loved the solution!


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text 2018-09-21 18:17
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 256 pages.
A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie


Miss Marple isn’t on the scene but two people are dead: Rex Fortescue and his second wife Adele. He was found with rye in his pocket and poisoned by yew berries. She’s been poisoned by cynanide. Has Miss Marple has this many high body counts before?





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