An enjoyable posthumous short story collection featuring the deductive powers of Christie’s lovable sleuth, plus two additional supernatural stories.
This Miss Marple novel has many Christie tropes that I usually find very entertaining, among them a bickering family where everyone has a motive to bump off the detestable patriarch in charge, and murders that follow a nursery rhyme. On the whole though, the book just wasn’t as satisfying as some of its parts.
This solid Poirot mystery has the prettiest title of all Christie novels, which I didn’t realise was borrowed from an equally beautiful passage from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
This novel from the Australian best-selling author is by no means a disaster, but it’s fair to say that it truly madly tested my patience. There’s an excellent 300-page book in there somewhere, it’s just a shame about the other 200 pages.
Sometimes your pleasure of reading a book is greatly enhanced by the book just before it. Since my previous read didn’t offer much in the way of stylish or witty prose, I positively drank up this delicious, sharply observed novel of modern manners about the insular world of English upper classes and those anxious to gain a membership.
I’ve yet to see the film adaptation that bagged Julianne Moore her long-overdue Oscar, but I took the opportunity to check out the original novel about a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
It seems that, without really intending to, I’m reviewing Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence series in a reverse chronological order, with our pair of intrepid married sleuths getting younger and younger. This novel, set in the early years of World War II, sees T&T in their late forties. While their grown-up children are actively involved in the war, Tommy and Tuppence feel useless and mighty frustrated about the fact that their government considers them too old and unfit for work. Things change however when Tommy gets a visit from a secret agent, asking him to go down to a sleepy seaside hotel in order to uncover a dangerous network of fifth columnists.
“Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty – and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.”— Doris Lessing
I vaguely remembered reading this Tommy & Tuppence novel many years ago and not being very impressed with it, but after suffering through Postern of Fate (the undisputed low point of my Christie re-readathon) I was probably inclined to view just about any other book in a favourable light. This is not to say that it lacks real merits; while rather uneven and hardly one of Christie’s most elegantly executed mysteries, there’s a strong sense of cosy-yet-sinister atmosphere about the novel that I failed to appreciate first time around.