logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: surfer-girl-agatha
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-24 23:53
Death Comes as the End
Death Comes As the End - Agatha Christie

“All life is a jest, Imhotep - and it is death who laughs last. Do you not hear it at every feast? Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die.”

Death Comes as the End is Dame Agatha's only historical mystery and she makes full use of her in-depth knowledge of Ancient Egypt. The detail of Egyptian artefacts and religious beliefs Dame Agatha weaved into this was delightful and made up for the odd dalliances with annoying love triangles. What it didn't quite achieve was to give some authenticity to the characters which still seemed as if they had been copied out of an English country house setting. 

 

I guess, in a way one could argue that the relationships between Christie's characters and their issues are universal, but I could not help imagine some of the characters having a strong London accent. 

 

Never mind, it was a fun read.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-24 01:23
Reading progress update: I've read 16%.
Death Comes As the End - Agatha Christie

LoL. Imhotep sounds a lot like Colonel Protheroe from Murder at the Vicarage.

I wonder if this story will take a similar turn...

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-29 21:43
A is for Arsenic - The Poisons of Agatha Christie
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

In a courtroom in France a few years before the murder in question, a prosecuting lawyer who was unsuccessfully trying to prove a case of murder by morphine declared thus: ‘Henceforth, let us tell would-be poisoners … use plant poisons. Fear nothing; your crime will go unpunished. There is no corpus delecti [physical evidence], for it cannot be found.’

A is for Arsenic is one of those books that I will look forward to consulting again while I read my way through the the Agatha Christie novels. It is the perfect companion that explains (mostly without spoilers!) the science behind the poisons used in Christie's mysteries.

 

While the book is written for readers / fans of Dame Agatha, Harkup makes sure to also include real life stories about the poisons, a description of their history, the science behind them, and information about detection and antidotes (where they exist!).

 

I loved everything about this book - the content, the way Harkup relates information without overbearing and without expecting readers to have a full working knowledge of chemistry (tho a little understanding of chemistry and biology is required), and the way that each topic is structured into different sections (background, chemistry, link to Christie, antidotes).

 

This was as entertaining as it was informative - and it even made me look up some more information about chemical compounds, which very few books or people have managed before. This is exactly the sort of book that I wish I had read when studying chemistry at school because it may actually have helped to give context to some of the theory about how things react with each other.

 

Loved, loved, LOVED this.

 

(Thanks, Murder by Death for recommending this!)

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-06 13:08
The Secret Adversary
The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie

IT was 2 p.m. on the afternoon of May 7, 1915. The Lusitania had been struck by two torpedoes in succession and was sinking rapidly, while the boats were being launched with all possible speed.

This is still one of the most intriguing Agatha Christie opening lines I have read (another can be found in Murder on the Orient Express, but I'll get to that in a different post). 

 

The Secret Adversary is the first adventure of Miss Prudence Cowley and Lieutenant Thomas Beresford, a.k.a. Tommy and Tuppence. 

 

Tommy and Tuppence have known each other since childhood but lost touch over the years with the exception that they met again in 1916, when Tommy was injured in the war and Tuppence worked as an auxiliary nurse. The story sets in as they meet again for the first time since 1916, now in London in 1920. Both are best described as Bright Young Things of their time, both are broke, and both are looking for way to make some money.

 

I absolutely love the start of this story, the setting and the dialogue between Tommy and Tuppence. It's fresh, it's witty, it's believable.

Christie shines through in every aspect of Tuppence, and, based on descriptions of her own circumstances in Christie's autobiography, I have a hunch that Tommy was somewhat inspired by Christie's then husband Archie.

 

When thinking about bright young things, I usually first think of Waugh's Vile Bodies. However, what is striking about The Secret Adversary is that it was published in 1922 - a whole 8 years before Vile Bodies!

 

This is only Christie's 2nd(!) published novel, and yet we get such fun dialogue as this:

"Rot!" said Tommy hastily. "Well, that's my position. I'm just about desperate."

 

"So am I! I've hung out as long as I could. I've touted round. I've answered advertisements. I've tried every mortal blessed thing. I've screwed and saved and pinched! But it's no good. I shall have to go home!"

 

"Don't you want to?"

 

"Of course I don't want to! What's the good of being sentimental? Father's a dear--I'm awfully fond of him--but you've no idea how I worry him! He has that delightful early Victorian view that short skirts and smoking are immoral. You can imagine what a thorn in the flesh I am to him! He just heaved a sigh of relief when the war took me off. You see, there are seven of us at home. It's awful! All housework and mothers' meetings! I have always been the changeling. I don't want to go back, but--oh, Tommy, what else is there to do?"

 

Tommy shook his head sadly. There was a silence, and then Tuppence burst out: "Money, money, money! I think about money morning, noon and night! I dare say it's mercenary of me, but there it is!"

 

"Same here," agreed Tommy with feeling.  

While I love Tummy and Tuppence, the plot of the story doesn't quite work for me. It's Christie's first attempt at international espionage, and, if you ask me, she should have left it at that. After the two friends discuss an idea to go into business together, the plot snowballs out of control fuelled by the most unlikely of coincidences, and at some point I got confused again (and this was my third re-read!) about who is who and who is bluffing whom. 

 

Mystery-wise, this is not the greatest of stories. However, I'd recommend it just for the sheer fun of getting to know Christie in her early years, before the necessity to make money from writing leads her to develop that famous formula that runs through most of her best known creations.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-03-03 20:14
Library Haul and Weekend Reading Plans

 

Thanks to you all, my very own Mt. TBR is not getting any smaller and after several book discussions last week, I found myself with a pre-order of library books that became available today.

 

This is what my (longish) weekend will look like:

 

 

 

After a bit of Coin-toss Opera, that is...

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?