Book Review: Sad Cypress

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie

Sad Cypress (Hercule Poirot, #22)
by Agatha Christie
5 out of 5 stars

Elinor has been accused of murder. Young Mary Gerrard was poisoned with morphine, and Elinor was the only one who had access to the sandwiches that Mary ate. Only Hercule Poirot can sift through the evidence and find the truth. There are various suspects: Elinor’s ex-fiancée who was fascinated with the dead girl, the doctor who attended Mary’s last moments, and two nurses who love to gossip. Who had the motive to kill an innocent young woman just turned twenty-one?

I loved this mystery! The clues really had me guessing, and I had no idea who the murderer could be until close to the end. I guessed that something was amiss with the nurses, but I also suspected the ex-fiancée, and I couldn’t figure out what the doctor was up to. They are all so slippery and everybody lies to Poirot.

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Play Review: The Mousetrap

The Mousetrap and Other Plays by Agatha Christie

The Mousetrap and Other Plays
by Agatha ChristieIra Levin (Introduction)
3 out of 5 stars
This is such a great collection of Agatha Christie’s plays! Some I liked more than others, but they were all interesting and mysterious.

There were a couple of the plays where I found it easy to guess who the murderer was. I wonder if I saw the play actually being acted on stage, it might not be so easy to tell. So much depends on the tone of voice and the atmosphere of a scene. Reading a play just isn’t the same.

I love the complex characters, and all the red herrings and wild clues! Each play has a certain charm and fascination that kept my attention.

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Book Review: Pocketful of Rye

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye
by Agatha Christie
4 out of 5 stars

A businessman collapses in his office, poisoned by a rare substance. His widow has been hiding an affair, and the police inspector sees her smiling behind her fake tears. Miss Marple comes into the case to investigate the involvement of her former maid, and notices that the murdered man had rye grain in his pocket. Several other facets of the case seem to mimic the nursery rhyme about a king in his counting house, the queen eating bread and honey, and the maid in the garden hanging out the clothes. Inspector Neele will need Miss Marple’s help to unravel the clues!

I liked the way this murder mystery followed the nursery rhyme, “Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, four and twenty blackbirds baked into a pie…” There were so many red herrings and each of them were memorable and interesting! The plot really had me guessing, and I was fascinated by the way Miss Marple figured it all out.

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Non Fiction Review: The Mysterious World of Agatha Christie

Mysterious World of Agatha Christie by Jeffrey Feinman

Mysterious World of Agatha Christie
by Jeffrey Feinman
2 out of 5 stars

This book was published in 1975 just before Agatha Christie’s death in January of 1976. It includes a few chapters of biography about Dame Agatha and how she became such a success. There are also chapters about her most famous characters, her theater plays, and movie adaptations of her works. There is an analysis of the components of a good mystery, and whether or not mystery novels can be considered as artistic literature. There is an entire chapter full of quotes from her critics. The last chapter is a Mystery Quiz, where the reader can try to guess which Christie book has some particular factor or item.

I was disappointed in this book. First of all, the author includes several major spoilers for some of her most popular novels, such as the ending of Murder on the Orient Express. I started skipping ahead anytime that I saw the title of one of her books that I haven’t read yet, so that I would not get spoiled!

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Book Review: The Man in the Brown Suit

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

The Man in the Brown Suit
by Agatha Christie
5 out of 5 stars
Anne is all alone in the world with no job and no family. She goes to London looking for adventure, and finds it when she encounters the Man in the Brown Suit. A strange man falls to his death in the subway, and Anne is a witness to the mysterious behavior of a passerby who claims to be a doctor and examines the body in the subway station. The man drops a cryptic note, and Anne is determined to unravel the case and find the Man in the Brown Suit. A sea voyage to South Africa reveals a group of passengers who all behave suspiciously, and Anne doesn’t know who to trust; At least, until Anne falls in love with the most mysterious passenger of all.

This book is just as wonderful reading it the second time! This is by far my favorite Agatha Christie novel!

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Agatha Christie: The Hollow

The Hollow by Agatha Christie

The Hollow: A Play (Acting Edition)
by Agatha Christie
5 out of 5 stars

A group of people get together for a weekend in the country, and one of them is murdered. Everyone is a suspect, and they all are hiding something from the police. One man is known for having various affairs, while his poor wife is clueless that his mistress is in the same house. Edward worries that his relatives resent him for inheriting the estate where they all grew up. Midge is tired of being seen a child, and tries to attract Edward’s attention. Lady Angkatell is so scatter-brained that no one can follow her silly conversations. They all have a motive for murder, but which one of them actually did it?

I loved this amazing mystery! I was surprised at every plot twist, and I had no idea who the murderer really was until the very end. It was wonderful to see how every clue was laid out, bringing speculation and suspicion on each character in turn.

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Mystery Review: Peril at End House

Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
by Agatha Christie
5 out of 5 stars

Hercule Poirot begins to investigate the murderous attempts on the life of Nick Buckley, a pretty young lady living at End House by the seaside. A heavy picture falls, the brakes in her car are cut, a bullet makes a hole in her hat, but she miraculously escapes death each time. All around her are family and friends with a possible motive to kill her, but only Hercule Poirot can unravel the clues to find the truth.

I loved this mystery! So many twists and turns in the plot. I had no idea until the very end who could possibly be the killer. I was completely fooled. Every clue comes together perfectly at the end. Each character is hiding a secret, and it was so interesting to gradually discover their backstories, and speculate about who is lying and who is telling the truth.

I adore Poirot and Hastings. They are such a great team, and I love their merry friendship. The dialogue between them is priceless! I really love the mysteries that are told from Hastings point of view. He’s such a great narrator and sidekick for Poirot.