Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown

What have you been reading this week?

Well, that week flew by didn’t it. I had a relaxing week off but I, obviously, didn’t get as much done as I intended. There are certain things that I was planning on doing that I haven’t even started yet. Either I’ll have a super busy day today or, more likely, I’ll just collapse under the pressure of trying to get everything done. At the very least, I need to try and read more. Something I definitely could have done last week but I played too much Animal Crossing instead. There are just so many pumpkins to make stuff out of. It’s so exciting. So, what else did I actually achieve this week?

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Book Review – The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural by Agatha Christie

Book Review – The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural by Agatha Christie

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

In my review of Hallowe’en Party, I suggested that people first went into the book expecting it to be a spooky and supernatural read. There are a couple of weird moments but it’s not exactly a going to cater for your Halloween mood. So, some bright spark of a publisher decided to create this collection. It brings together her previous published stories into one scary anthology. The draw being that one of the stories was unpublished but only in America. Just imagine you can see my eyes rolling as I type that. As I’m going through an Agatha Christie moment, I decided to go through this collection. I’ve never been a huge fan of her short stories but I was ready to be converted.

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Book Review – Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Book Review – Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

October is over halfway through and I’ve just finished my third Agatha Christie book of the month. I was hoping to be a bit further ahead at this point but the last couple of weeks haven’t been good for reading. I’m on holiday now and I’m planning on getting as much done as possible. Even if I don’t get any other Christie books read before Halloween (even though I definitely will have to read And Then There Were None for my book club), I have achieved the one thing I wanted. I’ve reread Death on the Nile before Kenny B brings his film out. You can see why it was the second in this latest series of adaptations. It’s one of the first murder mysteries that most people think of when they think of the Queen of Crime. You can definitely see why. As murders go, this is pretty memorable.

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Book Review – Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Book Review – Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ve decided that I’m on a bit of a mission to read as many Agatha Christie books in the next months as possible. My virtual book club chose And Then There Were None as its October picky. I’ll be honest, I didn’t pick it but mainly because it’s one of my favourite books. Certainly one of my favourite Christies. I’ll reread it but I know that I’ll leave it to the last minute. Although, that does give me time to cram in as many of her cosy crime novels as possible. This is my second after last week’s Evil Under The Sun. We’re not even halfway through yet and I’ve got a week off coming up. Hopefully, I’ll get a few more in before Halloween. Oh, speaking of Halloween…

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Bookish Post: The First Line Test

Bookish Post: The First Line Test

Teacup and saucer being held above a pile of open books.

What is the first line of your favourite book?

I sometimes think that a memorable first line is a bit of a curse. I know that might sound crazy. After all, authors go through a lot to try and find the perfect opening to draw people in. Surely it must be on the major keys to success? But think about it. What if you have a really great opening but the rest of the novel can’t live up? Every time I see rundowns of books with the best first lines, I see plenty of books that I don’t really care about. Pride and Prejudice? The opening is iconic, certainly, but I find the rest of it rather bland. 1984? The opening promises so much that the repetitive and long novel can’t fully deliver. So, a great opening line doesn’t always indicate a 5 star read. But what about my favourite reads? Do they all have attention grabbing first lines? Do they pass the first line test? Let’s find out.

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Book Review – Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

Book Review – Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

Copy of Evil Under the Sun surrounded by loose book pages, Autumn leaves, glasses, a pine cone, a cup of tea and a pair of glasses.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Like most book people, Autumn is my favourite time of year. Knitwear weather is starting but we’re still not in the potentially icy period. The leaves are starting to change, the nights are getting darker and socially acceptable to stay inside all the time. It is also the perfect time to read a whole bunch of Agatha Christie. I know people like to use the term “cosy crime” as a pejorative but it’s nothing of the sort. It is, however, cosy. There’s nothing I love more than settling down with a cup of tea and a murder mystery. I have several books that I want to get through this year but I decided to start with this one. Some may think it’s the wrong time of year for a crime thriller set in a Summer holiday resort but why not?

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Spooky October Reads

Spooky October Reads

As much as I enjoyed rereading My Sister the Serial Killer last week for book club, it does mean that I’m now a book behind for reviews. I didn’t want to post a second review of the book because my feelings haven’t changed much since my first read. I could have tried hard to finish my current read in time but, I’ll be honest, I spent much of the weekend playing Animal Crossing and was too busy collecting wood and catching bugs to be reading. So, it left me without a topic for today’s bookish. As it’s October, the scariest month of the year, I thought it would be fitting to discuss some of my top scary books. Disclaimer going in, I’m not much into the horror genre, so this is probably going to end up being massively underwhelming. I thought about including some examples of traditional gothic fiction but decided against it. Partly because I’ve already covered it. Also because they might not seem as spooky to modern readers.

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Favourite Agatha Christie Quotations

Favourite Agatha Christie Quotations

Yet again, I find myself without a finished book to review on a Wednesday. So, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to write instead. I was toying with a rant idea but I think I need to gather my thoughts a bit more. Instead, I decided to turn to an old favourite in the arsenal of any book blogger: the quotes post. Autumn is the perfect time for cosy crime and I am craving a good Agatha Christie session at the moment. In honour of that, I thought I’d share some of wisest words. As it was her 130th birthday last week, I picked a quotation for every decade since she was born.

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Agatha Christie – Where to start?

Agatha Christie – Where to start?

It’s no secret that I’m a lover of Agatha Christie and that I won’t accept people underestimating her. You may remember that I got angry when The Truants got compared to the Queen of Crime when it wasn’t even a pale imitation. I got even more annoyed when the characters were talking about the books as some twee and childish examples of literature. Christie is a fantastic writer. She understands people and their motives better than most writers. She knows what she’s talking about and she has written some of the best twists of all time. She has ruined me for contemporary crime writers because I know what to look for. I always see it coming because Agatha taught me well. Yesterday was the 130th anniversary of her birth. 2020 also marks the 100th anniversary of her first book being published. It’s a big year for Christie fans. So, as I’m still nowhere near finishing my current read, I decided to dedicate my second bookish post this week to her.

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Book Review – The Truants by Kate Weinberg

Book Review – The Truants by Kate Weinberg

wp-15964061154756590187102295548759.jpg5_star_rating_system_3_stars I know we have the same conversation every time some new contemporary author is compared to Agatha Christie but it’s the kind of thing that bears repeating. Modern readers really underestimate her skills. It seems as though all you need to do these days to be compared to her is either mention her/her books or write a small scale crime thriller. By small scale, I mean not one of these overly dark, psychological thrillers but more of a slow burner that revolves around a domestic or small setting. Here’s the thing: Agatha Christie knew what she was doing. She understood people, she understood motivation, and she understood murder. She had the ability to shock and she knew exactly what her readers wanted. Her books are light on detail and character study because they don’t need it. They do what they set out to do. She wasn’t an indulgent writer because she understood how to craft the perfect whodunnit. She didn’t need gimmicks or excess plot to distract her readers. She hid everything in plain sight. Something writers these days tend to struggle with.

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