Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith

Adrian Gray and his six adult children, along with a few spouses, are gathered at his country home for Christmas. I want to say “to celebrate Christmas,” but I don’t think they were ever really going to celebrate. They are not a nice group of people. Adrian is not a …

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 and the Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh

I love mysteries, but if I had to narrow the genre down to my favorite type, I’d pick vintage mysteries. Even narrower, I’d go with country house mysteries, preferably at Christmastime, but winter will do. Death and the Dancing Footman is one of those. Our Inspector Roderick Alleyn doesn’t show …

After the Funeral by Agatha Christie

In After the Funeral, everyone gathers at the estate for the funeral of Richard Abernethie, and imagine the surprise among the clan when dotty, arty Aunt Cora says, “But he was murdered, wasn’t he?” They all try to brush her comment under the rug, but Mr. Abernethie’s elderly lawyer and friend, …

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Yes, I’m reading too many Agatha Christie’s lately. No, I don’t care. It’s October and Hallowe’en Party was “available now” at the library, so I picked it up. This time Hercule Poirot is called to the case by an old friend, Ariadne Oliver. Ariadne is staying with a friend in …