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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The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

I have a soft spot for seasonal romances, and what is more perfect for October than The Ex Hex. We have two witches, Rhys and Vivi who had a summer romance that ended with Vivi having her heart broken. Rhys is back in town, nine years later, and the sparks are still there. But Rhys is having all kinds of bad luck and his magic is on the fritz - turns out Vivi and her sister's curse wasn't harmless. This was just so much fun. Rhys and Vivi make a fabulous couple. He's a good guy who seems to take everything in stride. Vivi is smart and more powerful than she knows. Their dialogue strikes just the right notes, angry and teasing and flirty. Of course, they spend a lot of time enjoying each other's company when the town might be in serious danger, but you'll have that in a romance. There's plenty of tension and suspense though. The Ex Hex is...
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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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Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens looks at our history, but that history is 100,000 years long, so it's more of a quick overview of our history. I found it rather fascinating though. He takes us through the history of human development and migration, through the Cognitive Revolution, and Agricultural Revolution. He looks at how currency and coinage developed, the creation of religions, the arrival of imperialism and capitalism, and the history of inequalities and injustices. Yes, he has his own biases, but I loved the bits of information. So many things from this book pulled into conversations I was having, like the worth of a slave's life and the bank run in It's a Wonderful Life (which I've never watched by the way). In the end, he veers off into predictions for the future. I, personally, didn't find it particularly pessimistic, and there was a lot of hope too, like how relatively peaceful it is now. If you love history, I wouldn't suggest reading...
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Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

I love the title Sparkling Cyanide. Christie's titles don't tend to be particularly noticeable, but Sparkling Cyanide stands out. It captures clearly the method of murder - cyanide in the champagne, and it's a bit glamorous. Rosemarie died a year ago, presumably suicide. She was a beautiful woman, but her death benefitted several people. Her husband, George, truly loved her, in spite of her affairs, and has come to believe that she was actually murdered. Any one who was at the dinner the night she died could have done it - her lover or his scorned wife, her sister Iris who stands to inherit, the husband's trusted secretary, or a rather shady "friend" who, a year later is making moves on Iris. George organizes a second dinner party, with the same people, hoping to force a confession. It all goes terribly wrong when George is killed too. Colonel Race, a friend of George's, helps in the investigation. He doesn't actually do much, but he is on...
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