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text 2018-08-21 14:23
Halloween Bingo - Where the Gang Receives a Letter

As this year's Halloween Bingo is approaching, the Gang has been busy in preparation: the barn has been tidied up, the pumpkin patch has been tended, and the fence posts have been adorned with signs asking passers-by to not startle the Weresheep during the next couple of months - the WS is always a bit on edge this time of year as this is when the non-believers are at their most adamant. The Gang has only one response to this - "Baaah."

 

 

So as far as preparations for the game go, everything is in place. Well, almost everything. 

 

Last year, as you might remember, the Gang was joined by Baron Samedi in the Halloween Bingo celebrations. 

 

After Baron Samedi kicked off the Bingo fun last year - despite some hecklers who questioned not only the existence of the Weresheep but also the existence of the Baron's pants -  much fun was had by all.

New friendships were formed, old ones rekindled, and, in the end, all bingo squares were filled in. 

 

This year, sadly, the Baron has already some prior engagements ... He mentioned something about haunting a few cemeteries in the Caribbean and washing his hair.  

 

Oh, well, we'll always have the memories. 

 

However, this left us with the question who should be asked to oversee this year's game. 

No doubt, it would have to be a person of exceptional courage, intelligence, and all-round fortitude to withstand all the frights and spooks that come with the usual Halloween Bingo reads.

I mean, this was why Baron Samedi was such great fun. There is not much can that unsettles a loa of the dead (apart from having the existence of his pants being questioned, perhaps).

 

Yes, it takes an extraordinary character to help the Gang keep track of the Bingo reading and card-marking!

 

This morning, the last piece of the preparations has fallen into place. The Gang has received the the following letter:

 

 

Yes, it is true: This year's special guest is....

 

Arthur Hastings!

 

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text 2018-02-11 00:42
Dame Agatha - Reading List Update

Update - Feb. 2018: 44 of 66 books read. There are a few favourites among the ones that are left.

 

Update - Jul. 2017: 35 of 66 books read. I think most of the clangers are out of the way now.

 

Update - Jan. 2017: 28 of 66 books read. Looking forward to more.

 

Update - Jun. 2016: A few more of the reads and re-reads taken off the list.

 

Update - Dec. 2015: I'll repost this every now and then to keep track of titles and reviews.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have read most of Dame Agatha's books in my teens (though mostly in translation) but as am in the process of a re-read, I need a list to keep me right. 

 


Year
published
Title Detectives
1920 The Mysterious Affair at Styles Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings, Inspector Japp
1922 The Secret Adversary Tommy and Tuppence
1923 The Murder on the Links Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings, Monsieur Giraud
1924 The Man in the Brown Suit Colonel Race
Anne Beddingfeld
1925 The Secret of Chimneys Superintendent Battle
Anthony Cade
1926 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Hercule Poirot
Inspector Raglan
1927 The Big Four Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings, Inspector Japp
1928 The Mystery of the Blue Train Hercule Poirot
1929 The Seven Dials Mystery Superintendent Battle
Eileen "Bundle" Brent
1930 The Murder at the Vicarage Miss Marple
Inspector Slack
1931 The Sittaford Mystery
also Murder at Hazelmoor
Emily Trefusis
Inspector Narracott
1932 Peril at End House Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings, Inspector Japp
1933 Lord Edgware Dies
also Thirteen at Dinner
Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings, Inspector Japp
1934 Murder on the Orient Express
also Murder in the Calais Coach
Hercule Poirot
1934 Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
also The Boomerang Clue
Bobby Jones
Frankie Derwent
1935 Three Act Tragedy
also Murder in Three Acts
Hercule Poirot
Mr. Satterthwaite
1935 Death in the Clouds
also Death in the Air
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Japp
1936 The A.B.C. Murders
also The Alphabet Murders
Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings, Chief Inspector Japp
1936 Murder in Mesopotamia Hercule Poirot
Captain Maitland, Dr. Reilly
1936 Cards on the Table Hercule Poirot
Colonel Race, Superintendent Battle, Ariadne Oliver
1937 Dumb Witness
also Poirot Loses a Client/Mystery at Littlegreen House
Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings
1937 Death on the Nile Hercule Poirot
Colonel Race
1938 Appointment with Death Hercule Poirot
1938 Hercule Poirot's Christmas
also Murder for Christmas/A Holiday for Murder
Hercule Poirot
1939 Murder is Easy
also Easy to Kill
Superintendent Battle
Luke Fitzwilliam
1939 And Then There Were None

Sir Thomas Legge
Inspector Maine
1940 Sad Cypress Hercule Poirot
1940 One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
also An Overdose of Death/The Patriotic Murders
Hercule Poirot
Chief Inspector Japp
1941 Evil Under the Sun Hercule Poirot
Colonel Weston, Inspector Colgate
1941 N or M? Tommy and Tuppence
1942 The Body in the Library Miss Marple
Inspector Slack
1942 Five Little Pigs
also Murder in Retrospect
Hercule Poirot
1942 The Moving Finger
also The Case of the Moving Finger
Miss Marple
1944 Towards Zero
also Come and Be Hanged
Superintendent Battle
Inspector James Leach
1944 Death Comes as the End Hori
1945 Sparkling Cyanide
also Remembered Death
Colonel Race
Chief Inspector Kemp
1946 The Hollow
also Murder After Hours
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Grange
1948 Taken at the Flood
also There is a Tide...
Hercule Poirot
Superintendent Spence
1949 Crooked House Charles Hayward
Chief Inspector Taverner
1950 A Murder is Announced Miss Marple
Chief Inspector Craddock
1951 They Came to Baghdad Victoria Jones
1952 Mrs McGinty's Dead
also Blood Will Tell
Hercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver, Superintendent Spence
1952 They Do It with Mirrors
also Murder with Mirrors
Miss Marple
Inspector Curry
1953 After the Funeral
also Funerals are Fatal
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Morton, Mr. Goby
1953 A Pocket Full of Rye Miss Marple
1954 Destination Unknown
also So Many Steps to Death
Mr. Jessop, Captain Leblanc
1955 Hickory Dickory Dock
also Hickory Dickory Death
Hercule Poirot
Inspector Sharpe
1956 Dead Man's Folly Hercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver
1957 4.50 from Paddington
also What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!/Murder She Said
Miss Marple
Chief Inspector Craddock, Lucy Eyelesbarrow
1958 Ordeal by Innocence Arthur Calgary
Superintendent Huish
1959 Cat Among the Pigeons Hercule Poirot
Inspector Kelsey, Adam Goodman
1961 The Pale Horse Inspector Lejeune
Ariadne Oliver, Mark Easterbrook
1962 The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side
also The Mirror Crack'd
Miss Marple
Chief Inspector Craddock
1963 The Clocks Hercule Poirot
Det. Inspector Hardcastle, Colin Lamb
1964 A Caribbean Mystery Miss Marple
1965 At Bertram's Hotel Miss Marple
Chief Inspector Fred "Father" Davy
1966 Third Girl Hercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver, Chief Inspector Neele, Mr. Goby
1967 Endless Night Sergeant Keene
1968 By the Pricking of My Thumbs Tommy and Tuppence
1969 Hallowe'en Party Hercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver, Superintendent Spence
1970 Passenger to Frankfurt Stafford Nye
1971 Nemesis Miss Marple
1972 Elephants Can Remember Hercule Poirot
Ariadne Oliver
1973 Postern of Fate
Last novel Christie wrote
Tommy and Tuppence
1975 Curtain
Poirot's last case, written 36 years earlier.
Hercule Poirot
Arthur Hastings
1976 Sleeping Murder
Miss Marple's last case, written 36 years earlier
Miss Marple

 

 

 

Stats:

Read: 44/66

 

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review 2018-02-10 17:13
Murder on the Links
The Murder on the Links: A Hercule Poirot Mystery - Agatha Christe

It was a day in early June. I had been transacting some business in Paris and was returning by the morning service to London, where I was still sharing rooms with my old friend, the Belgian ex-detective, Hercule Poirot.

The Calais express was singularly empty—in fact, my own compartment held only one other traveller. I had made a somewhat hurried departure from the hotel and was busy assuring myself that I had duly collected all my traps, when the train started. Up till then I had hardly noticed my companion, but I was now violently recalled to the fact of her existence. Jumping up from her seat, she let down the window and stuck her head out, withdrawing it a moment later with the brief and forcible ejaculation ‘Hell!’

Ah, Hastings. This book is all about Hastings. 

And by the end of it, Christie may have had the proverbial excess of "a good thing", because even tho this is only the second book in the Poirot series, Christie seems desperate to get rid of Hastings. And I can't blame her.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love Hastings. However, in this particular book which is mostly written about him and not so much about Poirot, Hastings is utterly annoying. And what can possibly be worse than Hastings being annoying? Yes, there is only one thing - Hastings being in love.

 

Never mind the convoluted murder mystery in the French countryside ... somewhere near a golf course ... blah, blah,..., the real question is, will Hastings get the girl?

 

By the end of the book, I wished he would, because they seemed to deserve each other, and that maybe Hastings would learn a few things and stop being such an idiot (even if he is lovable). But as we know, ... that is not quite how it goes, and of course I desperately miss Hastings when he isn't in a Poirot story. 

 

So, there. Not quite a review of the book, but really the book isn't about the murder that much anyway.

 

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