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text 2019-01-22 16:57
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:

 

I've rearranged them in the approximate order I plan to read them (books I own are in italics):

 

Destination Unknown

The Pale Horse

Partners in Crime

N or M (currently reading)

The Burden

By The Pricking of My Thumbs

Postern of Fate

Absent in the Spring

Death Comes As The End

Nemesis

Sleeping Murder

Why Didn't They Ask Evans

Giant's Bread

Unfinished Portrait

The Rose and the Yew Tree

A Daughter's A Daughter

The Floating Admiral

Ask a Policeman

Six Against the Yard

 

List of all Christie novels (strike-through are books that I've read, bold is currently reading): 

 

Hercule Poirot mysteries:

 

 The Mysterious Affair at Styles 1920

 Murder on the Links 1923

 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd 1926

 The Big Four 1927

 The Mystery of the Blue Train 1928 

 Peril at End House 1932

 Lord Edgware Dies 1933

 Murder on the Orient Express 1934

 Three Act Tragedy 1935

 Death in the Clouds 1935

 The ABC Murders 1936

 Murder in Mesopotamia 1936

 Cards on the Table 1936

Dumb Witness 1937

 Death on the Nile 1937

 Appointment with Death 1938

 Hercule Poirot's Christmas 1938

 Sad Cypress 1940

 One, Two Buckle My Shoe 1940

 Evil Under the Sun 1941

 Five Little Pigs 1943

 The Hollow 1946

 Taken at the Flood 1948

 Mrs McGinty's Dead 1952

 After the Funeral 1953

 Hickory Dickory Dock 1955

 Dead Man's Folly 1956

 Cat Among the Pigeons 1959

 The Clocks 1963

 Third Girl 1966

 Hallowe'en Party 1969

 Elephants Can Remember 1972

 Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case 1975

 

Marple Mysteries:

 

 Murder at the Vicarage 1930

 The Body in the Library 1942

 The Moving Finger 1943

 Sleeping Murder 1976

 A Murder is Announced 1950

 4.50 from Paddington 1957

 The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side 1962

 A Caribbean Mystery 1964

 At Bertram’s Hotel 1965

 They Do it with Mirrors 1952

 A Pocket Full of Rye 1953

 Nemesis 1971

 

Tommy & Tuppence Beresford

 

 The Secret Adversary 1922

 Partners in Crime 1929

 N or M? 1941

 By the Pricking of My Thumbs 1968

 Postern of Fate 1973

 

Superintendent Battle

 

 The Secret of Chimneys 1925

 The Seven Dials Mystery 1929

 Cards on the Table 1936

 Murder is Easy 1939

 Towards Zero 1944

 

Colonel Race

 

 The Man in the Brown Suit 1924

 Cards on the Table 1936

 Death on the Nile 1937

 Sparkling Cyanide 1944

 

Ariadne Oliver

 

 Parker Pyne Investigates 1934

 Cards on the Table 1936

 Mrs. McGinty's Dead 1952

 Dead Man's Folly 1956

 The Pale Horse 1961

 Third Girl 1966

 Hallowe'en Party 1969

 Elephants Can Remember 1972

 

Other/standalone works

 

 The Sittaford Mystery 1931

 Why Didn't They Ask Evans 1933

 And Then There Were None 1939

 Death Comes As The End 1944

 Crooked House 1949

 They Came to Baghdad 1951

 Destination Unknown 1954

 Ordeal by Innocence 1958

 Endless Night 1967

 Passenger to Frankfurt 1970

 

Mary Westmacott

 

 The Giant's Bread 1930

 Unfinished Portrait 1933

 Absent in Spring 1944

 The Rose and the Yew Tree 1948

 A Daughter's A Daughter 1952

 The Burden 1956

 

 Detection Club:

 

 The Floating Admiral

 Ask a Policeman

 Six Against the Yard

 

I've also created a page that can be accessed from the home page of my blog.

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text 2019-01-22 15:43
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 256 pages.
N or M? - Agatha Christie

So far I am definitely not loving this one. I'm a little bit bored, and I'm annoyed that Agatha has them acting like their entire lives haven't existed or been meaningful between the events of Partners in Crime and this book, which is years later (long enough to raise their twins to adulthood). This is not how Tommy and Tuppence would be - even if they weren't doing espionage, they would've been doing something.

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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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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 2018-11-05 17:10
Somewhere between Baghdad and Frankfurt
Destination Unknown (Signature Editions) - Agatha Christie

I liked this one less than I liked They Came To Baghdad, but much more than I liked A Passenger to Frankfurt. It's still a late Agatha thriller, which means that it has problems, but it wasn't awful.

 

"Peters said gloomily: “I suppose it always comes to the same thing in the end. A madman who believes he’s God.”

 

There is something so naive about Christie's thrillers - I think that early in her career, her youth and charm insulated her from the ugliness of geopolitics, and late in her career, her wealth served in the same way. It's interesting to me that the body count is often lower in the thrillers than it is in the straight up murder mysteries. She doesn't seem to even remotely grasp the actuality of the violence of espionage and political intrigue.

 

Destination Unknown lacks the romping charm of the Bundle Brent thrillers, or The Secret Adversary, but still requires a suspension of disbelief upon which it fails, ultimately to deliver. The main character, Hilary Craven, is likable and brave. There are wheels turning within wheels turning within wheels, but at the end of the day, the entire machine sort of breaks down.

 

Anyway, this is a lower tier Christie, but didn't hit rock bottom.

 
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