The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Mysterious Affair at Style by Agatha Christie 

Blurb

Hercule Poirot is intrigued by the details surrounding the murder of wealthy Mrs Inglethorp, mistress of Styles Court. This was Agatha Christie’s first Poirot novel, published in 1921.

Review

This is my first full length Christie novel that I have read and is part of my challenge to read more Christie novels and not just the short stories. I love watching adaptations of Poirot and Miss Marple on TV and so I was really excited to read my first full length novel and the first ever Poirot novel. 

I was pleased to see that Hastings was his usual bumbling self who is always wrong but convinced that he is right and that Poirot is wrong and going senile in his old age. He really made me laugh in this book and his random outbursts were hilarious.

Poirot was a massive surprise and I absolutely adored him. He is so eccentric and you never know what he is going to do next. My favourite scene has got to be where he goes off skipping with joy down the lawn. He is a truly brilliant character which is ten times better in the book than on the screen. 

I really enjoyed the story and it really kept me on my toes because once I thought I had worked out who the murderer was I got it completely wrong and the story went in a different direction. We also got a glimpse of the famous Inspector Japp and although we didn’t see much of him it was a good introduction that I am sure we will see more of.

The edition of the book I read also had the original ending that Christie had written as well as the one published and I must admit after reading both I much prefer the one that is published rather than the one Christie originally planned. The two endings are very good but I really like where Poirot and Hastings sit down and sum everything up and talk over the case at the end of the published ending.

This is my first full length Christie novel and it will definitely not be my last and I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. I just loved all the twists and turns and Poirot’s bright green eyes.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. She also wrote the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She also wrote 6 novels under the name Mary Westmacott.

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell (Review)

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell

Blurb

It is the winter of 1893, and in London the snow is falling.

It is falling as Gideon Bliss seeks shelter in a Soho church, where he finds Angie Tatton lying before the altar. His one-time love is at death’s door, murmuring about brightness and black air, and about those she calls the Spiriters. In the morning she is gone.

The snow is falling as a seamstress climbs onto a ledge above Mayfair, a mysterious message stitched into her own skin. It is falling as she steadies herself and closes her eyes.

It is falling, too, as her employer, Lord Strythe, vanishes into the night, watched by Octavia Hillingdon, a restless society columnist who longs to uncover a story of real importance.

She and Gideon will soon be drawn into the same mystery, each desperate to save Angie and find out the truth about Lord Strythe. Their paths will cross as the darkness gathers, and will lead them at last to what lies hidden at the house on Vesper Sands. 

Review

This is a new author for me and I must admit I was really excited to read the book. When I started the book I really struggled to initially get into it and to start with I did not get on with the character of Octavia, I found her very annoying. Thankfully I kept reading and eventually started to get into the story.

The thing which annoyed me the most was the lack of detail in the book. Octavia and her brother clearly had a back story but we never got to hear what it was. We knew that Inspector Cutter had a story but we never got to hear it fully and there were massive holes in the story that were not fully explained. I really wanted to know more and to be honest that is why I kept reading but I never got those answers.

My favourite character was Inspector Cutter, he was obviously a man who had seen a lot of life and a lot of crime and he knew how to get the answers and results he needed. He had some fantastic lines and I must admit I did laugh quite a lot when reading his interactions with Gideon.

Gideon was an interesting character and I enjoyed seeing how his character developed through the book. He started off very naive but as he worked with Cutter he got to know more of how the real world worked and also realised that his constant talking was not the best thing to be doing.

I enjoyed the book overall but I will be honest I would not read it again. It really had the potential of being an excellent story but it was just lacking. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Paraic O’Donnell’s first novel, The Maker of Swans, was named the Amazon Rising Stars Debut of the Month for February 2016, and was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards in the Newcomer of the Year category.

Friday Poetry: Eleanor Farjeon

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is having a good day and that you are all looking forward to the weekend. My chosen poem today is an adventure through the imagination.

The Distance

Over the sounding sea,
Off the wandering sea
I smelt the smell of the distance
And longed for another existence.
Smell of pineapple, maize, and myrrh,
Parrot-feather and monkey-fur,
Brown spice,
Blue ice,
Fields of tobacco and tea and rice,

And soundless snows,
And snowy cotton,
Otto of rose
Incense in an ivory palace,
Jungle rivers rich and rotten,
Slumbering valleys
Smouldering mountains
Rank morasses
And frozen fountains,
Black molasses and purple wine,
Coral and pearl and tar and brine,
The smell of panther and polar-bear
And leopard-lair
And mermaid-hair
Came from the four-cornered distance,
And I longed for another existence.

Eleanor Farjeon

Happy Reading

This and That Thursday

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

Here is what my week has entailed.

Zoom Quiz

We took part in our first Zoom quiz on Saturday and it was great fun. It was so good to have some social fun, even if it was online. Our team came 7th out of 9. The rounds consisted of:-

  1. General Knowledge
  2. Abba
  3. Cheese
  4. Famous People
  5. Shakespeare Plays
  6. Space
  7. Dogs
  8. Royal Family
  9. Music
  10. Sitcoms

Our best round was Abba. I thought I would share the Shakespeare questions with you all and see what you all think. They are all cryptic clues to different plays.

  1. Farce of mistakes
  2. Everything’s satisfactory which terminates satisfactory
  3. Honourable duo from a city of love
  4. Greek statesman, sovereign of a Phoenician city
  5. The subjugation of the fishwife
  6. The trader of Veneto’s capital
  7. The sequel to “The Life and Death of King Richard 2nd”
  8. The convivial consorts of Maidenhead’s neighbour
  9. Priam’s son and Calchas’s daughter
  10. Pumbaa’s friend from the capitol of Greece

Piano

I have been getting into my piano playing and I am thoroughly enjoying the new challenge of the pieces. I am hoping I get good enough to do the grade 6 exam this year.

Exercise

I have finally got back into my exercise and I must admit after a big kettlebell workout on Tuesday I am still aching. I have also started watching the series The Expanse from the beginning whilst using my exercise bike.

TV series

We have almost finished the first series of 24 and I must admit I am thoroughly enjoying the show and I think it is really cleverly done.

So there is my week. I hope you enjoy the Shakespeare questions.

Happy Reading

Mid Week Quote: Lao Tze

Hello!

I found this quote and I really think it is words to live by and so I thought I would share it with you all.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

Lao Tze

Happy Reading.

WWW Wednesday: 20/01/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

Happy Wednesday.

I hope everyone has been reading some good books this week.

So without further ado here is my WWW Wednesday.

What I am Currently Reading

I will be honest this was rather a surprise when I started reading it. It really isn’t what I expected but it is good so far.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I absolutely loved this and I can’t wait to start reading the next in the series. The review is here.

What I think I will Read Next

Any of these books are a possible and to be honest it will be hard to decide which one to choose.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit, as I do love to see what everyone is reading.

Happy Reading.

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books I will Definitely Read this Year

Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and now being hosted by Meeghan reads.

Hello!

It must be November 2020 since I took part Top 5 Tuesday, so I thought it was high time I took part again.

So here are the 5 books I will definitely read this year.

  1. Thomas Cromwell series by Hilary Mantel
  2. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  3. Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
  4. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
  5. Die Standing by John Jackson Miller

I have been desperate to read the Thomas Cromwell series for ages and I hope to read the first one in the series as a buddy read with my best friend. I have never read any Maurier and I think this year I will remedy that as I actually own most of her books. The others have been on my TBR pile for way to long so I will get them read as I plan to work the pile down this year.

So there are the 5 books I will definietlty read this year.

Please drop me a comment with a link to your Top 5 Tuesday post and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, “The Scopuli,” they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to “The Scopuli” and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

Review

My husband and myself are massive fans of the TV series The Expanse so I thought it was high time I read the book and I am so pleased that I have started the series.

The first thing I was really surprised about was how close the TV series followed the book which is always a nice surprise as it is really annoying when the book and TV series are all different. 

The thing I loved about the book the most was how much more you get to learn about the Earth, Mars and the Belt. I loved finding out about the history of how the Belt was formed and how Belters are so physically different from people born and bred on Earth. I also love how this story is showing how the human race has advanced to live on asteroids, moons and Mars but hasn’t quite got the stars yet.

I think my favourite character in the book was easily Miller, he has had a hard life and now it has been turned upside down and he is trying to find a way to survive. He knows how to read situations and is a seasoned cop but he also knows that his way of life has had a serious effect on his humanity.

Holden and his crew are trying to piece the events that have happened to them together and in so doing they meet Miller and Holden and Miller form a friendship even if that friendship doesn’t always run smoothly. I must admit I do get annoyed with Holden at times, he is very naive at times and really does not understand the world of politics.

Amos, Alex and Naomi are Holden’s crew and they all have their individual personalities. Naomi is a Belter who can fix anything and seems to hold the crew together. Alex is a fantastic pilot who has a great affection for his fellow crew members and who also has a great sense of humour. Then there is my favourite member of the crew, Amos. Amos is an Earther but he hasn’t been on Earth for so long that he might as well be a Belter. Amos clearly has a past but we do not know what that past is yet but we do find out as the book goes on that he is a seasoned fighter and is very happy with handling firearms and hand to hand combat.

This book is a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book. The comedy in the book also had me laughing out loud several times. I highly recommend this book to all sci-fi fans and give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good week this week.

Here is what has been happening on the blog in case you missed it.

Blog Posts this Week

What I am Currently Reading

I literally have about 50 pages left so will be finishing this tonight.

Books Acquired

Yes, I had a Waterstones order this week. I can’t wait to start reading these soon.

Happy Reading.