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text 2019-01-23 15:24
Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 270 pages.
At Bertram's Hotel - Agatha Christie

I wasn't able to locate my copy of The Burden last night and I was too tired to figure out what I did with it, so I decided to reread At Bertram's Hotel. I read it at least eight to ten years ago, and while I vaguely remember it, and I think I remember the whodunnit, my memory is pretty dim.

 

The intro was fun, and it really made me want to eat a British tea pastry!

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review 2019-01-23 03:29
You're not over the hill if you can still match wits with German spies
N or M? - Agatha Christie

First off, I have to share the plot summary from the back of my copy, because it barely resembles the book I just read:

 

No outsider could have guessed that the quiet seaside hotel was a human time bomb primed to explode. Then the first corpse was found, and the clock of terror began to tick.

Every man and woman in the resort retreat trembled in fear-of the danger shadowing them, and of what they suspected about each other. Each one claimed to be innocent, but anyone could be guilty, and it was up to a husband and wife turned sleuths to follow a blood-slick train of shameful secrets and pick a killer's name from an entire alphabet of evil..

 

Holy melodrama people. That is NOT the book I just finished!

 

The book itself wasn't Christie's worst, but it was far from her best. I mean, it wasn't a Passenger to Frankfurt/The Big Four level disaster, but it also wasn't that great. The first third was boring - it did pick up after a bit, and the ending was pretty good. I figured out the spy at about the 55% mark

(well, one of the spies, anyway. I missed the second spy. It was pretty obvious that it was Mrs. Sprot)

(spoiler show)

well before either Tommy or Tuppence, but that might just be because I've read A LOT of Christie (61 out of 67, to be specific).

 

I also have to share a picture of the cover of my edition, which I bought at Powell's for $3.95 with some of my book sale money. It's a Dell edition from 1977.

 

 

How hideous and bizarre is that cover?  I get the shoelace, the hammer and the note wound around the rock, but the vaguely racist image of a Native American in full headdress holding a shot gun? I can literally remember NO references to either of those.

 

Next up: The Burden by Agatha writing as Mary Westmacott. This will be my first Westmacott novel! 

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text 2019-01-23 03:13
Time for a Comic Book Break!
Bitch Planet Volume 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Robert Wilson IV,Valentine De Landro
Red Sonja Volume 1: Queen Of Plagues - Jenny Frison,Walter Geovanni,Gail Simone
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls: Expanded Edition - Hope Nicholson,Margaret Atwood,Marguerite Bennett,Mariko Tamaki,Marjorie M. Liu
Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 1 - Andrew Griffith,Nick Roche,Alex Milne,John Barber,James Lamar Roberts

I have done so well this month with reading that I'm going to take a short break to splurge on these piled up graphic novels and comics. I have so many to choose from. Transformers, GI Joe, Dredd, and a lot of indies. This promises to be fun.

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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

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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