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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Murder Is Easy by Agatha Christie

Murder Is Easy by Agatha Christie

Murder Is Easy starts well. Luke Fitzgerald, retired policeman, meets Lavinia Pinkerton, an elderly woman, on a train. Lavinia is sure there is a serial killer in her village and is on her way to tell Scotland Yart. Of course, Luke doesn't believe her, but then she's killed by a car before making it to Scotland Yard. He also reads that the "victim" she predicted, a doctor, has been found dead. So, Luke heads to the village to do some sleuthing. Luke is a bit bumbling in his investigating. And he manages to fall in love with the striking, intelligent Bridget Conway, pretty much at first sight. She's good as his sidekick, smart and familiar with the townspeople, but I could have done without the declarations of love. On the other hand, it did help push the plot along. We've got several suspects, including an antique dealer who was not portrayed very well, a doctor, a lawyer, and a few others; all...
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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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Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne is a bit unusual for a Christie detective. He is not a conventional detective, but a person who provides "happiness"; his ad in the paper says: "Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne." He's understands human behaviour, a bit like Miss Marple but with more statistics. With his acquired knowledge, he sets out to sell ‘happiness’ to people, in rather smart and surprising ways. He uses a mixture of fantasy, crime-solving, and psychology to resolve his clients' unhappiness. The stories are initially set in England. The later ones are set in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran where Parker Pyne while on holiday keeps finding new clients. I can't say I didn't enjoy Parker Pyne. Some of the stories are quite clever. I didn't love it however. ...
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The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah resurrects Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot in this, her latest addition to the series. I read the first of her Poirot books and was under-impressed, but for whatever reason, decided to give them another chance. This, her 3rd in the series, was surprisingly enjoyable. This is not Agatha Christie's Poirot, but he has his eccentricities and peculiarities. He's self-consciously Poirot, but he was entertaining and intelligent. Poirot returns home after lunch to be confronted by an outraged Sylvia Rule, angry that she has received a letter from him accusing her of murdering Barnaby Pandy and urging her to confess. It turns out that three more seemingly unrelated people, Annabel Treadway, John McCrodden, and Hugo Dockerill, each received the same letter. Poirot is baffled as he wrote none of the letters. Poirot is intrigued and can't help looking into Pandy's death, an accidental drowning in his bath. Was it actually murder? If so, is one of the letter-receivers guilty? Poirot...
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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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