The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie 

Blurb

‘I want a change. To be in the midst of things – exciting things – even if I’m only the looker-on. You know, things don’t happen in St Mary Mead.’

When the luxurious Blue Train arrives at Nice, a guard attempts to wake Ruth Kettering from her slumbers. But she will never wake again – for a heavy blow has killed her, disfiguring her features almost beyond recognition. What is more, her precious rubies are missing.

The prime suspect is Ruth’s estranged husband, Derek. Yet Poirot is not convinced, so he stages an eerie re-enactment of the journey, complete with the murderer on board…

Review

I read quite a lot of this book sat on a very fancy train and yes I chose to read this book because I knew I would be sat on said train.

I must be honest I remembered seeing this one on TV but the TV version is nowhere near as good as the book. The TV versions just never get Poirot right or should I say Papa Poirot! 

Christie starts to set the scene with Van Aldin getting the renowned rubies and giving them to his daughter Ruth Kettering. Once Ruth gets on to the Blue train things soon take a sinister turn. Ruth is found dead in her cabin with her head so badly smashed in she is unrecognisable and the rubies are gone. Then Poirot appears on the scene to help the French police solve the crime because as he happily tells people he is possibly the greatest detective in the world. 

As the story progresses there are a lot of red herrings that the reader and Poirot have to work through and with this story Poirot doesn’t have his usual Hastings to rely on and bounce ideas off. However, Poirot does find a new sidekick to help him solve the crime. Miss Grey has been a companion most of her adult life and now she has come into a fortune she is free and wants her life to start so she leaves the quiet little village of St Mary Mead and goes on the Blue Train to start her first adventure. Poirot befriends Miss Grey and they work together to get the answers they need. 

I really enjoyed how this story developed and how Poirot worked through all the clues and also used some careful guesswork to get the answers he needed. All this builds up to the very dramatic ending which has you sitting at the edge of your seat. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Miss Grey as I really liked her character but I really enjoyed how she and Poirot interacted. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could not put it down so I give it the full 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | 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.

Etsy

The Big Four by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Big Four by Agatha Christie

Blurb

A ruthless international cartel seeks world domination…

Framed in the doorway of Poirot’s bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man’s gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about `Number Four’.

Review

I haven’t read many Agatha Christie novels this year which is bad because I am trying to read all of her novels in order of publication so this one has been on my TBR pile for a very long time. 

My first impression of this book was wow what a lot of characters! Christie is a master of juggling many plot lines and lots of characters but this book is overflowing with characters. I know Christie liked to include a lot of characters because this was perfect for creating red herrings but it seemed like every chapter there were another new load of characters to get to grips with. To be honest I struggled at times to keep up with all the characters in this book but I think I managed it. 

In this story Hastings has returned which I am very pleased about because he always makes me laugh. He is always convinced he knows more than Poirot but of course he has no idea at all. It is also very clear that Poirot has been missing his good friend Hastings. 

The story begins with a strange man somehow turning up in Poirot’s bedroom and collapsing but not before giving Poirot a vital clue which will set the scene for the rest of the book. As the story continues Poirot finds just how far the Big Four are willing to go to take control of the world. The story sees Poirot travelling all over the place and encountering any number of characters from Professors to Government officials, from Criminals to Nobility. 

The one thing I did find with this story was it didn’t flow like Christie’s usual books and it felt at times like it was pieced together. After some research I found out that this book was actually made up of 12 short stories that Christie had written and published in a magazine. This made a lot of sense for me because once I knew I realised that this was why I struggled with the pace of the book and sheer amount of characters. 

Although I felt the amount of characters was overkill and struggled with the lack of fluency with the story I still thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down. Poirot was on his usual fine form and Hastings was still his bumbling self and I loved every minute of it. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | 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.

Etsy

WWW Wednesday: 20/07/2022

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!

I haven’t taken part in WWW Wednesday for a while because I was stuck trying to finish Dombey and Son. However, whilst away on holiday last week I managed to finish 3 books and this week I have been stuck at home with Covid so I have been doing a lot of reading.

What I am Currently Reading

This is my first Agatha Christie of the year but I thought it was time to get back into my Agatha Christie challenge.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I don’t think I have ever read so many books within a week but they are all rather small books so didn’t take long to read. Just got to write up all the reviews now.

What I Think I will Read Next

I’m really not sure what I will read next. I seem to be in the mood for smaller books at the moment so maybe nothing too big.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

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

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