Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

So, my favorite part of Death in the Clouds is that a jury believes Poirot is guilty of the murder, although their opinion is not upheld. And really, someone is always dying around him. Granted, the fact that he was foreign had more to do with their suspicion than anything, but nonetheless. A woman is killed on the same plane Poirot was on. Unfortunately, Poirot was asleep at the time. Flying does not agree with his stomach. From the clues on the plane, the woman was killed by a dart from a blowgun. We have a nice limited group of suspects - it had to be someone on the train. We also get appearances by Inspector Japp from Scotland Yard and Parisian chief inspector Giraud, showing the different ways the three go about investigating. The suspects are an interesting lot, the solution's well done. It's perhaps not memorable, but it is a solid book. ...
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Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

I know to trust Agatha Christie, but her international thriller-type books are not my favorite. So, when Cat Among the Pigeons started out with a revolution in Ramat, I was a bit worried. Prince Ali Yusef is preparing to leave the country, but before he does, he entrusts his good friend with a fortune in jewels, asking that they be gotten to England and to the man who will know what to do with them. The jewels end up at a Meadowbank, a prestigious girls school, along with several people on their trail, and this is the kind of setting I like. It's a closed group of people, the students and the staff. Soon, the phys ed teacher is killed. The killer has to be at the school, but the investigation doesn't progress well, and two more people end up dead. Eventually (over 2/3 into the book), Poirot takes on the case. Poirot doesn't do much investigating here. A bit of talking...
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Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Murder at the Vicarage was a reread for me, but I didn't actually remember anything about it. This is the first book featuring Miss Marple and is set entirely in St Mary Mead, a small town where not much happens, and the ladies of the town know everyone's business and routinely gossip about it. Leonard Clement, the vicar, returns to his home one evening to find the body of Colonel Protheroe in the study. Protheroe was not well-liked in town and there are several people who may have wanted him dead. Clement is our narrator. We have a police detective who is a bit, not bumbling but oversure of himself. And we have Miss Marple who sees a lot and has a good sense of human nature. It's Miss Marple of course who solves the case, along with help from the vicar. The mystery itself was good. We've got plenty of suspects, fair clues, and decent red herrings. The villagers are...
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Nemesis by Agatha Christie

Nemesis by Agatha Christie

Miss Marple is shrewd, observant, and calculating, but she uses her identity as an older woman as a disguise, allowing herself to appear confused, fragile, doddering. In this outing, an acquaintance, wealthy financier Mr. Rafiel, has sent her on a mission after his death. She is to bring justice, but to whom or why, he doesn't give her any clues. I like that the focus here is on Miss Marple, she is doing the investigating, not playing back-up to someone else. Love is the theme here. All kinds of love: family, romantic, deadly. Miss Marple talks to everyone, first to figure out what exactly the mystery is and then to solve it. She does a good job pulling out information and putting it all together. She's a character I appreciate more now than I did when I first started reading Christie's books as a teenager. She's not flashy, but she is sly and convincing. This is not the strongest of Christie's...
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The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie

The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie

The Secret of Chimneys is one of Christie's earlier works and she tends to not be at her best when her books wander off into international politics and intrigue. However, I found this one surprisingly funny and enjoyable, even if a little far-fetched. Anthony Cade agrees to take on two jobs for his friend James McGrath. Anthony heads for London to deliver the draft of a memoir to a publisher, and to return letters to the woman who wrote them. In England, politician George Lomax persuades Lord Caterham to host a house party at Chimneys. George's cousin Virginia Revel is invited, as is Hiram Fish, a collector of first edition books, along with the principals in a political scheme to restore the monarchy in Herzoslovakia – while assuring that newly discovered oil there will be handled by a British syndicate. Then, a member of the house party is killed. House party mysteries are probably my favorites. I like the...
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A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

I never appreciated Miss Marple when I was younger. Poirot is flashier, Tommy and Tuppence are funner, Miss Marple is calm and quiet. She's also a brilliant observer and is more than capable of telling the detective on a case everything he is missing and who the killer is. This time around, Miss Marple enter the case because a young maid she trained, Gladys Martin, had been found strangled in the garden of the house where she worked. A couple other members of the household have also been killed, Rex Fortescue and his wife. Thankfully, Inspector Neele knows of Miss Marple's reputation and is willing to accept her help with the case, even if he does sometimes think she might be batty. Rex Fortescue is a ruthless business man with questionable practices. We've got a household full of suspects, several red herrings, and plenty of misdirection. Miss Marple sees through it all though. The plot was well-done, as usual with Christie,...
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