Agatha Christie Challenge #3

Hello

I thought it was high time for an update on my Agatha Christie Challenge. My last update was on 28th August 2021 so it is definitely due. For anybody who hasn’t come across my challenge before I am attempting to read all the complete full length novels by Christie in order of publication.

So here is the big list of books. The crossed off titles are the ones I have already read and reviewed, click them to be taken to the review.

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  2. The Secret Adversary
  3. The Murder on the Links
  4. The Man in the Brown Suit
  5. The Secret in Chimneys
  6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  7. The Big Four
  8. The Mystery of the Blue Train
  9. The Seven Dials Mystery
  10. The Murder at the Vicarage
  11. Giant’s Bread
  12. The Floating Admiral
  13. The Sittaford Mystery 
  14. Peril at End House
  15. Lord Edgware Dies
  16. Murder on the Orient Express
  17. Unfinished Portrait
  18. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
  19. Three Act Tragedy
  20. Death in the Clouds
  21. The A.B.C Murders
  22. Murder in Mesopotamia
  23. Cards on the Table
  24. Dumb Witness
  25. Death on the Nile
  26. Appointment with Death
  27. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
  28. Murder is Easy
  29. And Then There Were None
  30. Sad Cypress
  31. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  32. Evil Under the Sun
  33. N or M?
  34. The Body in the Library
  35. Five Little Pigs
  36. The Moving Finger
  37. Towards Zero
  38. Absent in the Spring
  39. Death Comes as the End
  40. Sparkling Cyanide
  41. The Hollow
  42. Taken at the Flood
  43. The Rose and the Yew Tree
  44. Crooked House
  45. A Murder is Announced
  46. They Came to Baghdad
  47. Mrs McGinty’s Dead
  48. They Do It with Mirrors
  49. A Daughter’s a Daughter
  50. After the Funeral
  51. A Pocket Full of Rye
  52. Destination Unknown
  53. Hickory Dickory Dock
  54. Dead Man’s Folly
  55. The Burden
  56. 4.50 from Paddington
  57. Ordeal by Innocence
  58. Cat Among the Pigeons
  59. The Pale Horse
  60. The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
  61. The Clocks
  62. A Caribbean Mystery
  63. At Bertram’s Hotel 
  64. Third Girl
  65. Endless Night
  66. By the Pricking of My Thumbs
  67. Hallow’en Party
  68. Passenger to Frankfurt
  69. Nemesis
  70. Elephants Can Remember
  71. Postern of Fate
  72. Curtain
  73. Sleeping Murder
  74. Hercule Poirot and Greenshore Folly

Just 68 books left to read. I have the next two on the list currently on my TBR.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Blurb

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with an apparent drug overdose.

However, the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information, but before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death. Luckily one of Roger’s friends and the newest resident to retire to this normally quiet village takes over—none other than Monsieur Hercule Poirot . . .

Review

Is there anything better than reading a book where the great detective Hercule Poirot is first introduced on the scene by him hurling a marrow over his garden fence? In my humble opinion no and I burst out laughing when it happened. I just love how eccentric Poirot is in the books which they never capture in the TV series, he is far too serious on TV in my opinion. 

The book is narrated not by the usual Hastings but by Doctor Sheppard. The good doctor lives with his sister Caroline who is a spinster who lives to find out all the gossip of their tiny village. This leaves the poor doctor rather exasperated and you can tell his life with his sister is one that he would happily like to escape at times. This means that the doctor jumps at the chance to be the sidekick of Poirot as Poirot investigates the murder of Roger Ackroyd. 

Roger Ackroyd is a very wealthy man with a step son who always needs money and a sister in law and a niece who are now in his care and also want his money. But Roger Ackroyd is very tight with his money, he also knows too much. So when Roger Ackroyd is found murdered his friend Poirot is asked to investigate. 

Poirot has apparently retired from his detective work and is now growing marrows in the country. However, you can tell that he relishes the chance to investigate the crime and leave his marrows to themselves. Poirot is on fine form in this book and I just love how quite often the inspector and Dr Sheppard think that Poirot has lost the plot and is not what he used to be. But in true Poirot fashion that is exactly what he wants people to think. 

Christie throws so many red herrings at you in this book that I spent all my time thinking it’s him! it’s her! I have no clue anymore! I definitely did not see the ending and even now I’m still not sure that the ending is all as it seems. Is Christie still holding something back? I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

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.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie

Blurb

What is The Secret of Chimneys? A young drifter finds out when a favour for a friend pulls him into the heart of a deadly conspiracy in this captivating classic from Agatha Christie.

Little did Anthony Cade suspect that an errand for a friend would place him at the centre of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn into a web of intrigue, he begins to realise that the simple favour has placed him in serious danger.

As events unfold, the combined forces of Scotland Yard and the French Sûreté gradually converge on Chimneys, the great country estate that hides an amazing secret. . . . 

Review

This was the next book in my Christie challenge and I think it is probably my favourite so far. I really could not put this book down and just loved all the red herrings that Christie throws at you. 

Now I will be honest there is an element of the ridiculous in this story and usually that annoys me but this time I just found it added to the story. Anthony Cade is doing a favour for a friend because the money is good and because he likes an outrageous adventure and he thinks that this favour will throw him into some interesting circumstances and he is not disappointed. 

As the story moves on Cade is drawn to the house Chimneys which is the setting of a house party for political reasons. Virginia Revel is also at this house party and she is definitely the star of the show. Virginia is a woman that men find themselves drawn to and she knows how to use this to her advantage. She is also a woman who likes a weird experience or adventure and because of this she finds herself dealing with the mysterious events at Chimneys. 

This is essentially a political thriller with a few surprises and some fun characters. The book is fast paced like Bundle’s driving, who I also think was my favourite character. I must admit I did not see the ending at all which was really good because I hate a predictable book. I happily give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase links

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.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Agatha Christie Challenge #2

Hello!

I thought it was time for an update on my Agatha Christie reading challenge as my last update was in June. I am attempting to read all of the complete full length novels by Christie in order of publication.

So here is the big list of books. The crossed off titles are the ones I have already read and reviewed, click them to be taken to the review.

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  2. The Secret Adversary
  3. The Murder on the Links
  4. The Man in the Brown Suit
  5. The Secret in Chimneys
  6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  7. The Big Four
  8. The Mystery of the Blue Train
  9. The Seven Dials Mystery
  10. The Murder at the Vicarage
  11. Giant’s Bread
  12. The Floating Admiral
  13. The Sittaford Mystery 
  14. Peril at End House
  15. Lord Edgware Dies
  16. Murder on the Orient Express
  17. Unfinished Portrait
  18. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
  19. Three Act Tragedy
  20. Death in the Clouds
  21. The A.B.C Murders
  22. Murder in Mesopotamia
  23. Cards on the Table
  24. Dumb Witness
  25. Death on the Nile
  26. Appointment with Death
  27. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
  28. Murder is Easy
  29. And Then There Were None
  30. Sad Cypress
  31. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  32. Evil Under the Sun
  33. N or M?
  34. The Body in the Library
  35. Five Little Pigs
  36. The Moving Finger
  37. Towards Zero
  38. Absent in the Spring
  39. Death Comes as the End
  40. Sparkling Cyanide
  41. The Hollow
  42. Taken at the Flood
  43. The Rose and the Yew Tree
  44. Crooked House
  45. A Murder is Announced
  46. They Came to Baghdad
  47. Mrs McGinty’s Dead
  48. They Do It with Mirrors
  49. A Daughter’s a Daughter
  50. After the Funeral
  51. A Pocket Full of Rye
  52. Destination Unknown
  53. Hickory Dickory Dock
  54. Dead Man’s Folly
  55. The Burden
  56. 4.50 from Paddington
  57. Ordeal by Innocence
  58. Cat Among the Pigeons
  59. The Pale Horse
  60. The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
  61. The Clocks
  62. A Caribbean Mystery
  63. At Bertram’s Hotel 
  64. Third Girl
  65. Endless Night
  66. By the Pricking of My Thumbs
  67. Hallow’en Party
  68. Passenger to Frankfurt
  69. Nemesis
  70. Elephants Can Remember
  71. Postern of Fate
  72. Curtain
  73. Sleeping Murder
  74. Hercule Poirot and Greenshore Folly

Just 70 books left to read! I had thought I would have read more of them by now but I have fallen behind with my reading due to work and studying. I have The Secret in Chimneys lined up to read next.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

Blurb

A young woman investigates an accidental death at a London tube station, and finds herself on a ship bound for South Africa… Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes looking for her – and finds her immediately at Hyde Park Corner tube station. Anne is present on the platform when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance and is electrocuted on the rails.The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. After all, who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body? And why did he race off, leaving a cryptic message behind: ‘17-122 Kilmorden Castle’? 

Review

This is the fourth book in my Agatha Christie challenge and I will be honest it is the first Agatha Christie novel that I actually considered not finishing. The main reason for this was that I just found the lead character Anne Beddingfield ridiculous and extremely annoying. The only thing that kept me reading was the very humorous diary entries of Sir Eustace and wanting to find out who the culprit was. 

Anne has had an odd childhood and spent most her life making sure her genius but eccentric father doesn’t do anything crazy but when he passes away she decides it is time for an adventure and gets the chance to move to London. She then witnesses the death of a man and decides to investigate. This leads to her going off all on her own with barely any money on a ship bound for South Africa. Thankfully she meets Colonel Race and Suzanne who can keep an eye on her but this doesn’t stop her falling into ridiculous traps and just walking into trouble. The amount of times she got into trouble really started to annoy me as the girl really had no common sense. 

Sir Eustace just wants an easy, comfortable life but due to his mysterious secretary Pagett he never gets a moment’s peace from work or the annoying stationary trunk. Sir Eustace, who is also ship-bound for Cape Town, befriends Anne, Suzanne and Colonel Race. Sir Eustace has a very odd obsession for girls with fine legs and liquid eyes and complains a great deal if women do not have these items. 

Colonel Race is a true gentleman who I must admit I felt rather sorry for during this book. Suzanne is the wife of a wealthy man and she delights in travelling without her husband and spending all of his money. She is a rather spoiled character who also drove me a little insane.

Overall, the plot was interesting and had plenty of red herrings to keep you on your toes but sadly the female characters just drove me a little bit mad. I think that with a different lead character I would have been a lot happier with the book. I give this book 2 Dragons out of 5. 

🐲🐲

Purchase Links

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.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Agatha Christie Challenge

Hello!

Some of you might have read that I have been attempting to read all of the Agatha Christie novels in order of publication but I haven’t really made it into a challenge but I have decided that it needs to be a challenge because I like ticking things off lists. This challenge only includes Christie’s full length novels and not her books of short stories.

So here is the big list of books. The crossed off titles are the ones I have already read and reviewed, click them to be taken to the review.

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  2. The Secret Adversary
  3. The Murder on the Links
  4. The Man in the Brown Suit
  5. The Secret in Chimneys
  6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  7. The Big Four
  8. The Mystery of the Blue Train
  9. The Seven Dials Mystery
  10. The Murder at the Vicarage
  11. Giant’s Bread
  12. The Floating Admiral
  13. The Sittaford Mystery
  14. Peril at End House
  15. Lord Edgware Dies
  16. Murder on the Orient Express
  17. Unfinished Portrait
  18. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
  19. Three Act Tragedy
  20. Death in the Clouds
  21. The A.B.C Murders
  22. Murder in Mesopotamia
  23. Cards on the Table
  24. Dumb Witness
  25. Death on the Nile
  26. Appointment with Death
  27. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
  28. Murder is Easy
  29. And Then There Were None
  30. Sad Cypress
  31. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  32. Evil Under the Sun
  33. N or M?
  34. The Body in the Library
  35. Five Little Pigs
  36. The Moving Finger
  37. Towards Zero
  38. Absent in the Spring
  39. Death Comes as the End
  40. Sparkling Cyanide
  41. The Hollow
  42. Taken at the Flood
  43. The Rose and the Yew Tree
  44. Crooked House
  45. A Murder is Announced
  46. They Came to Baghdad
  47. Mrs McGinty’s Dead
  48. They Do It with Mirrors
  49. A Daughter’s a Daughter
  50. After the Funeral
  51. A Pocket Full of Rye
  52. Destination Unknown
  53. Hickory Dickory Dock
  54. Dead Man’s Folly
  55. The Burden
  56. 4.50 from Paddington
  57. Ordeal by Innocence
  58. Cat Among the Pigeons
  59. The Pale Horse
  60. The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
  61. The Clocks
  62. A Caribbean Mystery
  63. At Bertram’s Hotel
  64. Third Girl
  65. Endless Night
  66. By the Pricking of My Thumbs
  67. Hallow’en Party
  68. Passenger to Frankfurt
  69. Nemesis
  70. Elephants Can Remember
  71. Postern of Fate
  72. Curtain
  73. Sleeping Murder
  74. Hercule Poirot and Greenshore Folly

So just 74 books to read! Thankfully, I have already read 3 of these books so that just leaves 71 which is still a lot of books.

Wish me luck!

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Blurb

An urgent cry for help brings Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face downwards in a shallow grave on a golf course.

But why is the dead man wearing his son’s overcoat? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse . . . 

Review

This is the second full length Poirot novel I have read and I will be honest it kept me on my toes. This book is so full of red herrings I was never sure of who the murderer was until Poirot explained all at the end. 

The more I read the Poirot stories the more I realise just how amazing he is and far better than the TV version. Poirot is funny, eccentric, cheeky and quite naughty at times. Hastings is his usual useless and silly self, always jumping to the wrong conclusions and getting into trouble. 

In this book Poirot and Hastings rush off to France to help a man who has written begging for Poirot’s help as he believes his life is in danger. However, when they get there they realise that they are too late and instead of protecting someone they have a murder to solve instead. 

Poirot has competition in the form of the young French detective Giraud. Giraud believes Poirot is a dinosaur and believes that Poirot will never solve the murder because his methods are old fashioned. Giraud rather amusingly spends most of the time on his hands and knees crawling around for clues and generally not finding them. 

There are so many things that do not add up in this murder but Poirot uses his little grey cells to work them out and also finds time to sort out Hastings’ love life. I also loved how Poirot sometimes called himself Papa Poirot to Hastings. 

I really enjoyed this book and I loved learning more about Poirot’s character but did find Hastings very annoying at times. Christie is so clever at writing a murder plot with so many different aspects you never see what is really happening until the end. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

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.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie 

Blurb

Tommy and Tuppence, two young people flat broke and out of work, are restless for excitement. They embark on a daring business scheme- Young Adventurers Ltd- ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’.

Their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, draws them into a diabolical political conspiracy, and they find themselves plunged into more danger than they ever imagined…

Review

This is my first Tommy and Tuppence full length novel. I read a short story about them over Christmas and wanted to read more stories about them so this book was a good start as it is the story of how Tommy and Tuppence became the Young Adventurers. 

Tommy and Tuppence are broke and in dire need of money and so they come up with a plan to advertise themselves as the Young Adventurers who are willing to do anything, anywhere. I must admit when Tuppence came up with this idea I did think it was rather risky as they could be asked to do anything but it is the reader’s first introduction to Tuppence’s impulsive and adventurous nature. 

Tommy is a lot more reserved than Tuppence and does tend to think before he jumps but that doesn’t mean he shirks away from adventure and gets into a fair few scraps in this story as does Tuppence. 

Tommy and Tuppence find themselves hunting for the mysterious Jane Finn and they must find her in time to stop a major political catastrophe or possibly even war. This leads them into danger and not knowing who to trust. 

I must admit that at the beginning I really couldn’t put this book down but then as I got further along my fervour waned. I will be honest I worked out who the illusive Mr Brown was rather early on and was frustrated with Tommy and Tuppence that they did not work it out sooner. The only surprise for me was the identity of Jane Finn but I loved the characters Tommy and Tuppence and I can’t wait to read further novels about them. This was only the second book Christie wrote and I can see this within the book as it lacks maturity in the writing. I give this book 3 out 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

 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 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.

🐲🐲🐲🐲

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.

Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie (Review)

Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie

Blurb

There’s a chill in the air and the days are growing shorter… It’s the perfect time to curl up in front of a crackling fireplace with this winter-themed collection from legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie. But beware of deadly snowdrifts and dangerous gifts, poisoned meals and mysterious guests. This compendium of short stories, some featuring beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, is an essential omnibus for Christie fans and the perfect gift for mystery lovers.

INCLUDES THE STORIES:

– The Chocolate Box

– A Christmas Tragedy

– The Coming of Mr Quin

– The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest

– The Clergyman’s Daughter

– The Plymouth Express

– Problem at Pollensa Bay

– Sanctuary

– The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge

– The World’s End

– The Manhood of Edward Robinson

– Christmas Adventure

Review

I chose this book as one of my Christmas reads and I was so pleased I did because I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

I absolutely love Poirot and Miss Marple so it was wonderful to read some short stories that include them. Poirot always makes me laugh as he really is such a big head but never seems to see it. Miss Marple on the other hand always comes across as an interfering old woman but of course she is also a genius who can work out any mystery. 

My favourite stories from the book were Sanctuary, Christmas Adventure and The Clergyman’s Daughter. These stories were wonderful reads and really shone out for me from the other stories.

I loved this series of short stories and they really put me in the mood for Christmas and went particularly well with a nice mug of hot chocolate. I highly recommend this book to either dip into or read in one go and give the book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository

(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.