We all know that Christmas is a time for giving and a time for family. It’s also a time for murder. Or at least it is in the literary world. There are so many crime novels set during the festive period. It’s fantastic. There’s nothing better than settling down on a cold winter night and trying to solve a murder. As far as the Golden Age of Crime writing goes, I’m a Christie girl and haven’t ventured too far beyond her work. So, it’s time to get a better view of the novels of that era. Starting with one of Cyril Hare’s more popular novels.
I’m getting back into the swing of things with Agatha Christie now. I’m back to reading at least one book a month, which is what I’d planned out for the year. Of course, restricting myself to what I can read has made it difficult to keep this up, so I’ve not read as much Christie this year as I’d have wanted. Still, I’ve managed to read quite a few in recent months, which has got me back on track. It’s always a pleasure to fit another Agatha story into my monthly reads, so hopefully, I’ll manage another before the end of November.
I started the month of very badly in terms of reading. Until this week, I was genuinely scared that I would finish one book this month. Thankfully, in the past week, I have finished 3 audiobooks and am nearly finished with the physical book I’m reading. That one has taken me ages but I’m going to push on. It just feels as though I’ve put too much time into it now to leave it unfinished. As it’s now October, it’s been a year since I officially started rereading as many Agatha Christie novels as I could. I lost steam partway through, so I decided to start the month off with a Christie. I might try and fit in a few of her spookier books for Halloween but we’ll have to see how I go for the rest of the month. For now, I’d better review the one I’ve actually read.
When I get chance, I need to make a list of every Agatha Christie novel and cross off the ones I’ve read since October 2020. That way I can keep track of how I’m doing with my reading challenge. It will also help me plan how many I can fit into the next few months. I’m not going to get through them all before October this year but I’ll try and do as many as possible. We’re over halfway through the 12 months and I’ve only read 15, so I really need to get a move on. At least I’ve already got one more crossed off in June. I’m focusing more on Miss Marple at the moment and this one also let me cross off another letter for my monthly reading challenge.
The great thing about Agatha Christie is that she has so many damn books. This means that there are still plenty that I haven’t read yet, so I still get to experience them for the first time. As much as I love reading Christie again and again, there’s nothing like reading one you’ve never read before. So, it was about time that I picked up one of my unread Christie novels. I don’t think that I’ve actually read any of the Superintendent Battle books before but I’ve seen some of the adaptations. This book was adapted for ITV’s Marple but they changed the story pretty dramatically. I decided that I needed to find out how it really turned out.
I didn’t finish my previous read, Strange Weather In Tokyo, until Saturday and I was busy for most of Sunday. So, I knew that I needed to pick a quick read for today’s review. I always read less during the week because of work, so I decided to listen to an Agatha Christie audiobook instead. On days when I don’t have to do much writing, I find it easy enough to listen to books as I work. If I’m doing any kind of copywriting, it becomes trickier. Nobody wants me to start typing out Poriot’s speech about who the murderer is. Well, nobody who would be browsing our website anyway. This is a book that I’ve been meaning to include on my big Agatha reread because I love the concept. It’s classic Christie and classic Poirot. With work being so stressful at the moment, it’s been great to be able to shut everything else out and just listen instead.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Agatha Christie is a sure-fire way to cure your bookish blues. After taking a long time to read Monsters, I knew that I had to do something drastic to get me back into reading. On Sunday I stuck on the audiobook version of this novel and didn’t turn it off until the end. I listened as I took my week’s Instagram photos and went about my general weekend business. It’s always glorious listening to a Christie audiobook. Not that it isn’t glorious reading it yourself but there’s something about an audiobook that just enhances the cosiness. Regardless of the reason, as soon as I was finished, I felt much better about life and reading. I’m renewed and ready to get a few more books off my TBR this month.
You may have noticed that I’ve not really been around lately. I had every intention to post on Monday and Wednesday last week but, when it came to it, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve been falling behind with my reading of late and was nowhere near finishing a book in time. So, instead of a review, I was planning on writing something about recommendations for Mental Health Awareness Week. I sat down to write and I just crumpled. All my energy was gone and I had no suggestions for the post. For my own mental health, I decided to take a bit of a break. When it came to my Sunday Rundown, I decided to not post either because I’d posted so little and barely having read anything. It wasn’t exactly going to be a very good rundown. I’m starting this week in more of a positive mindset. I’ve finished not one but 2 books over the weekend and have high hopes for my next one. It should be a quickish read all going well. So, I should be back in the swing of things in no time.
It’s becoming something of a tradition that I read at least one Agatha Christie book each month. Not only are they super easy to get through but they just make me feel happy. Considering what the past 12 months have been like, we all need to dedicate more time to the things that make us happy. Christie is not only a fantastic writer but she has an incredibly wicked streak. As I say every time I review one of her books, she understands people and what might compel them to commit murder. In my recent rereadings of her novels, I haven’t actually read any Miss Marple stories yet. I think in terms of the books, I prefer a lot of the Poirot novels but who can’t love Miss Marple. I also think the ITV adaptations of these novels were fabulous. They made a few changes and modernisations but they capture the spirit perfectly. The adaptation of this novel is definitely one of the better ones.
Who is the best author to go to when you’re falling behind in your monthly reading challenge? Agatha Christie is definitely one of the best writers for getting me back on track. I always enjoy her books and they’re usually really quick reads. Meaning I can cross off a couple of letters in a matter of days and stop stressing about it so much. So, I picked up a quick standalone novel. I realise that in my re-readings, I tend to focus more on the Poirot or Miss Marple novels. Well, apart from And Then There Were None which I never stop banging on about. But this is definitely one of her best. There’s a reason why it was included on my suggestions for where to start reading Christie books.