Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Jane Wilkinson a beautiful actress is married to Lord Edgware. She approaches Poirot, asking him to help her obtain a divorce. However, when Poirot and Hastings, go to see Lord Edgware, he seems to have no issue with divorcing her. Jane Wilkinson will have her freedom after all. Then, Lord Edgware is found dead, leaving Jane a widow, free to marry the Duke she has her eyes on. Jane Wilkinson has no motive now, no many how many times she may have threatened to "get rid of" her husband, and a solid alibi. So who did it? We have a fair number of suspects, including a nephew in need of money, a daughter who disliked him, and another actress adept at impersonations. Each chapter brings us a new revelation, a dead suspect, a clue, a red herring. Poirot seems a bit unsure some of the time. Just when he thinks he has the solution, something happens that shows him he's...
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A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

An idyllic village in the English countryside is waking up, its quirky residents about to start their day with their favorite newspaper, where an invitation to murder is waiting for them. "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6:30 p.m. Friends please accept this, this only intimation." Little Paddocks is the property owned by Miss Letitia Blacklock, a house she lives in with one of her dearest friends, two young cousins, her gardener and her cook. Miss Blacklock, understanding how her village works, feels compelled to have drinks and snacks set out on the date, even though she has no idea what's going on. On Friday, neighbors simply "stop by casually." What everyone assumes is a party game takes a grim turn when a young man winds up dead. With many and differing accounts of the event, Miss Jane Marple arrives on the scene to assist with the investigation. As Miss Marple...
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A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer

A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer

A British country house Christmas party may be my favorite setting for a murder. Joseph and his wife, Maud, live at Nathaniel's grand home. Joseph has organized a Christmas party, even though he seems to be the only one in a festive mood. Like any good Christmas party, we've got a ill-matched bunch of relatives, significant others, a family friend, and a business partner. Nathaniel is a difficult and argumentative man, who has fights with just about everyone at the house. When he is killed, there are a plethora of suspects and plenty of motives, mostly revolving around who inherits Nathanial’s fortune. The murder obviously puts a damper on the Christmas celebrations. This was a good read, clever and funny. We've got a locked room mystery that makes for a good puzzle for the investigator. I adored Maud, placid, unruffled, unwilling to play hostess. She just wants to find her missing book. And how can you not enjoy a mystery that...
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The Finishing Stroke by Ellery Queen

The Finishing Stroke by Ellery Queen

The Finishing Stroke is set primarily at Christmas-time, but bookended by a prologue set twenty-some years prior to the main events and a wrap-up that takes place over twenty years later. The bulk of the story takes place at Christmas, 1929. John Jr. has put together an extended Christmas party at the home of his guardian, Arthur Craig. We've got an assortment of guests, including John's girlfriend, Rusty Brown and a few of their friends. There is also the family doctor, the family lawyer, a pastor and a publisher. And, of course, Ellery Queen. Sebastian announces that some important events will happen during the party. First, his book of poetry is being published by the House of Freeman. Second, January 6th is his twenty-fifth birthday and he'll come into the trust fund that his father set up for him in his will. Third, he's going to marry Rusty. There's a final item, but he's keeping that a secret...
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An English Murder by Cyril Hare

An English Murder by Cyril Hare

An English Murder is a typical, country house, murder mystery common in Golden Age mysteries, with a slightly different feel. Although the set-up is one of my favorites – a group of guests snowed in at a country house over the holidays – the modern world is beginning to impinge. Domestic staff is harder to get hold of and Briggs, the butler, valiantly does his best to keep up standards with far less help than he previously had. Meanwhile, the house is suffering from a lack of staff and money. It looks impressive, but maintenance is expensive and the present Lord Warbeck’s son, Robert, is unlikely to be able to afford his inheritance. Lord Warbeck is old, and ill, and wants to have his family with him at Christmas. His guests include his son, Robert, who is the President of the League of Liberty and Justice, a an antisemitic and anti-socialist organization; Sir Julius Warbeck, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Mrs. Carstairs,...
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The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

The Man in the Brown Suit has been on my list to read for a while. I've read a lot of Agatha Christie's, but this is a Colonel Race book, and he has never been my favorite of her characters. Honestly, I should have read it earlier. Anne Beddingfield, our amateur sleuth, is awesome. She's practical, but full of grit and she doesn't frighten easily. She's also a hopeless romantic. Anne was raised by her anthropologist father, a well-known academic but a poor man more wrapped up in the dead than the living. After he dies, Anne refuses a more "suitable" arrangement and determines to find adventure. Then it happens - a man on the train platform near her falls to his death after seeing something that frightens him. The doctor who tends to the man wears a brown suit, and after he leaves hurriedly, Anne has her suspicions as to whether or not he is actually a doctor. She...
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