Archive | February 2017

Mini-Review: Murder in the Mews (Hercule Poirot #18) by Agatha Christie

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Murder in the Mews is a collection of four short stories/novellas featuring Hercule Poirot.  Overall, they are enjoyable but I believe that Christie is at her best with full length novels.  The first story, Murder in the Mews, was the star of this bunch.  Is it suicide?  Is it murder?

Now that I’ve seen all of the BBC Poirot adaptations (with the exception of Curtain which I don’t think I will ever be prepared for mentally), it’s interesting to match the written story with the screen story.  I vividly recall the details of the MitM adaptation and it actually made reading this more interesting, which is rare.

3.5/5 stars and a must read for fans.

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Illustrated) by JK Rowling and Jim Kay

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The first Harry Potter illustrated book has a 4.9 average rating on Goodreads.  That should tell you something.  We all know the story (and if you don’t love it, well then, move along) so I’m rating this based on the illustrations themselves.  And, they are freaking gorgeous.  Honestly, they couldn’t be better.  Jim Kay, I bow down to you.

For this post, I’ve captured a few of my favorites to share with you.  In a perfect world, I would go out, buy a second copy of the book, cut out the pictures and hang them all around my office.  I’m obsessed.  Can you tell?  Anyway, enjoy these collages of my favorite illustrations.

 

Mini-Review: Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15) by Agatha Christie

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Cards on the Table has an interesting twist – Christie gave us a finite number of suspects (4) and it’s clear from the start that the killer is one of that group.  This results in a tighter net for Poirot and more focus on a limited number of characters.  Overall, COTT is a strong addition to the series.

However, three things kept me from giving this 5-stars.  First, the casual use of ethnic slurs may have been common at the time but it’s still disconcerting for a modern reader.  In this case it’s the use of a slur against Italians.  I’ve mentioned before that it’s hard to tell if Christie herself felt superior or if she is making a point that her characters feel superior to certain nationalities, races or social strata.  Either way, it pulls me out of enjoying the reading experience.

Second, and I believe this is the first time I’ve had this complaint with Christie, it’s a personal pet peeve of mine when an author ‘learns’ a new word and overuses it.  In this case the word is “Mephistophelian” to describe the look and demeanor of the victim.  Use it once, okay.  Use it twice, twitch but okay.  Five plus times and I’m rolling my eyes.  Just say devilish for goodness sake.

Lastly, the ending.  While I am a fan of the red herring, this one didn’t quite work for me.  I recognized the device and waited for the big reveal.  There were too many conveniences and coincidences for my liking.

Okay, this sounds like I didn’t like it, but really, I did.  4/5 stars.

January Wrap-Up

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Well, January wasn’t quite as good a reading month as I wanted but I was still able to get through 8 books:

  1. In God We Trust
  2. Throne of Glass
  3. Death in the Clouds (part of my Agatha Christie 2017 project)
  4. One Fell Sweep
  5. A Murder is Announced (another Christie)
  6. Dorothy Must Die
  7. Wuthering Heights (January Classic)
  8. Life is Short

Unfinished: Cards on the Table, Royal Assassin, Firefight, Lord of Chaos and HP #1 Illustrated.

My favorite read of the month was Wuthering Heights.  Deciding to go back and reread some classics that I had really forgotten was one of the best goals I made for this year.

Honorable Mention: One Fell Sweep.  I am a fangirl of Ilona Andrews and this is now my #2 favorite book in that library; just behind Magic Bites.

How did January go for you?