Wrap Up: Agatha Christie Classics

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

I love mysteries, and Agatha Christie novels were some of my favourites growing up. Also, my favourite tv show was Murder She Wrote so it’s pretty fair to say I had a bit of an obsession with whodunnits. Over the years I have read a lot of Agatha Christie novels but not all, so I decided that I needed to look up lists of the must-read AC novels. Three of those that came up consistently, and ones I never read were: Crooked House, The ABC Murders, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I ended up enjoying all three novels and completely understand why they are regarded as some of the best. Here is my own ranking from not best to best (I can hardly refer to any of them as worst!) based on my reading experience. Continue reading “Wrap Up: Agatha Christie Classics”

Murder on the Orient Express: Does the movie live up to the book?

BLOGWhenever I go see a movie based on a book, it is usually with a mix of excitement and apprehension, especially when I am a big fan of the book. I initially read Murder on the Orient Express many years ago as a kid when I was discovering my love of mystery novels, along with my love of all things Agatha Christie. This particular novel was one of my favourites (it is a classic for a reason), and one that was very memorable. The trailers for the movie were really well done, and I was more than happy to revisit and reread this classic Poirot mystery before seeing it come to life on the big screen. So, does it live up to the book?

Let’s start with the positives. The movie itself looks beautiful and is visually impressive. From the landscapes to the look of the characters, it is quite stunning and has a very grand feel to it. Kenneth Branagh is simply wonderful as the famous detective, Hercule Poirot and his performance is the absolute highlight of the movie. Simply wonderful. Continue reading “Murder on the Orient Express: Does the movie live up to the book?”

Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah

img_3152“What I intend to say to you will come as a shock…”

Hercule Poirot is back in the second instalment of the New Hercule Poirot mysteries by Sophie Hannah. This time around he finds himself in the Irish countryside with his old friend Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Both had been invited by writer Lady Playford and under mysterious circumstances as neither are certain of the reason for the gathering. Lady Playford made the decision to change her will in favour of her ailing assistant, and cutting her son and daughter completely out of an inheritance. Her reasons are unknown and curious, and when her announcement leads to a murder, the questions only seem to grow. With a house full of suspects and many unanswered questions, it is up to Catchpool and Poirot to solve the mystery and reveal the culprit.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot mysteries are among my absolute favourite mystery novels, and I love that with this new series there are new stories to enjoy. With this latest release all the pieces are in place; an intriguing setup, a gathering of suspicious characters with questionable motives, and numerous questions to work towards answering. Although the premise feels very familiar, it’s one of those easy, laid back mysteries that can be a nice evening read. And while it is nice, it is not anything very exciting. I was not particularly drawn to the cast of characters and therefore never fully engaged with the story. Also there are parts that felt a little too wordy and drawn out. It is a nice enough read, however for me, all the pieces didn’t fully click and come together to create a page-turning mystery.

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (A Hercule Poirot Mystery)

BLOG‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’

The Monogram Murders is a new mystery featuring Agatha Christie’s beloved detective, Hercule Poirot. While dining at a London coffeehouse, Poirot encounters a distressed woman who reluctantly tells him that she is in danger and will most likely be murdered.  The woman known as Jennie, runs away before Poirot can convince her otherwise.  Later that night, he learns that three people were murdered at a posh London hotel, and a monogramed cufflink was found in each of the victim’s mouths.  Poirot believes there may be a connection between the murders and the distressed woman, and sets out to solve the puzzle.

Approved by the estate of Agatha Christie, author Sophie Hannah brings the character of Hercule Poirot back to life.  It is incredibly difficult to write a character that is so well known and Hannah does a nice job overall.  The mystery itself is interesting, well developed and for the most part quite enjoyable. There are portions that could have been edited down as it does come across as a little repetitive, which at certain points creates a disconnect from the story. Readers looking for an authentic Agatha Christie mystery may be disappointed as the writing and spirit of Dame Christie is not something that can be replicated. However, The Monogram Murders is a nice option for those looking for a good mystery.

Favourite quote: “One cannot do such harm to another and not wound one’s own soul in the process.”