Vlogs

January TBR

With the start of a new year comes the start of a new way of selecting my monthly TBR. I’ve been working on this game for a good while and I’m ready to beta test it and I had a great time doing so!

I’m very excited about this TBR!

Basically I roll the dice and select a prompt based on the colour of the square that I landed on. This resulted in a pretty excellent looking TBR stack for January.

This is still in test mode while I iron out any major issues. For now, I’m kind of loving it!

Vlogs, Wrap Ups

A Year of Reading Agatha Christie

This year I participated in Read Christie again this year and it was so much fun having a set read to enjoy. I also enjoyed being able to chat about each read when the month came to an end.

Of course, I had to rank them. Nobody asked for this but I did it anyway. So I have ranked all twelve of the Read Christie picks from least to most favourite. The top 5 spots were exceptionally difficult to determine but I’m happy with the positioning.

This pile of books was very heavy!

I will be participating in Read Christie again in 2023 and I’m so excited that next year will be themed around methods and motives which I think is going to be really fun.

My first pick for Read Christie 2023
Reviews, Scottish Reads, Vlogs

Two Wintery Murder Mystery Collections

I will accept murder mystery collections in lieu of turtle doves! I received Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie last Christmas from my parents but I didn’t manage to get it read before the end of December so put it aside for this year. I know I could have read it after then but it included some Christmas stories and I don’t like reading Christmas tales outside of November/December.

Squeezing in some festive murder mysteries

I managed to finish that book way quicker than expected so had time for a second book. I had recently picked up a copy of Christmas is Murder by Val McDermid. This was to be my first book McDermid book and this was the right choice.

I have a sneaky suspicion that both of these books will make it onto future December reread reading piles!

Reviews, Vlogs

Reading Festive Poirot Novels

I haven’t been feeling super festive lately. With Christmas fast approaching, I was keen to try to get myself into the festive spirit. This meant that I read not one but two Poirot novels. My two favourite festive Murder mystery collections (for now as I do have two more short story collections I plan to read before Christmas).

Trying to feel festive with Poirot

I’m often at my most content with a good murder mystery and this was such a delightful reading experience. I may be feeling a little festive now.

Reviews, Vlogs

A Week of Murder Mysteries

I have been in a reading slump. This explains the lack of reviews being posted, I’ve just been struggling to concentrate and actually read.

This week I’m feeling like I might be on the upswing and I’m trying not to get too giddy…but I’m a little giddy about it!

I decided to give myself a whole week of reading murder mysteries, since those are some of my favourite books. Even if I got through just one book, I felt like this was a guarantee of a good week of reading. So that’s what happened, I read murder mysteries for a whole week and I had a great time!

I also managed to read more than one book which really was fantastic!

I’m absolutely delighted at being able to actually make vlog this week
Vlogs

My Favourite Agatha Christie Book

I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie! I’ve loved a cosy Murder mystery since I was probably way too young to be reading them but it’s Agatha who I love the most.

November puts me in the mood for cosy mysteries, so I thought I would share my top five Agatha Christie books. Each of these can be read and enjoyed with no previous knowledge of Agatha Christie. If you have a favourite murder mystery, please let me know

My wee vlog

I have a mission to cultivate my own full collection of her releases and it’s going ok, I’m quickly running out of space! For now, I have a skinny bookshelf full but I don’t I’ll need to do some shuffling since there’s a new hardback being released soon and I need it!

Vlogs

A Week of Reading

Don’t be deceived, Aberdeen is rarely this bright

Im trying something different today and made an actual vlog. This gives the illusion that a. I go outside a lot and b. That Aberdeen is sunny and bright. Don’t be fooled, it was just that one weekend and now Aberdeen is back to being grey and drizzly.

I don’t mean to boast but I really did have a productive Bank Holiday weekend last weekend. So many lovely nature walks and so many amazing books!

I decided to treat myself to 4 days of reading. What a treat!

I read, and finished, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Other Peoples’ Clothes by Calla Henkel, and A Silent Voice Speaks by Trishna Singh. I also started Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie.

Plus steam cleaning my entire house because I have a new cleaner, I didn’t vlog that though.

Reviews

Murder on the Links

When Hercule Poirot and his associate Arthur Hastings arrive in the French village of Merlinville-sur-Mer to meet their client Paul Renauld, they learn from the police that he has been found that morning stabbed in the back with a letter opener and left in a newly-dug grave adjacent to a local golf course.

Among the plausible suspects are Renauld’s wife Eloise, his son Jack, Renauld’s immediate neighbor Madame Daubreuil, the mysterious “Cinderella” of Hasting’s recent acquaintance, and some unknown visitor of the previous day–all of whom Poirot has reason to suspect. Poirot’s powers of investigation ultimately triumph over the wiles of an assailant whose misdirection and motives are nearly–but not quite–impossible to spot.

The May theme for the Read Christie 2022 Challenge was: a book set in Europe. There were so many books to choose from and I went with the official pick of Murder on the Links which took place in France. I really enjoyed this book and it was a five star read.

I am a huge fan of Poirot and just loved joining him on another mystery. This was the second Poirot novel so it was really exciting getting to read one of the early ones. Poirot was just as clever and amazing as always. It was entertaining reading about him playing the matchmaker in this story. He seemed to be very playful.

Despite Poirot being in his usual top form, early Hastings was less impressive a sleuth. Hastings is so hilarious in this book. He’s just a lovesick little puppy and I can see how that could be annoying to some people but I found it to be amusing. I loved how easily distracted he was by every pretty young woman. He even took a mysterious new friend to the see the evidence of a crime! All because he thought she was beautiful. Silly Hastings.

In addition to Poirot being on the case, there was another special investigator from Paris who was involved. It was so good having Poirot competing with another excellent investigator and having them have conflicting theories. I think it really helped to show just how clever Poirot was.

Throughout the book it felt like there were multiple mysteries to be solved. Only during the last third did all the pieces start to come together. I really liked the way that Poirot started to explain something and would then stop, go away, then return with whole armfuls of evidence. He made it look so simple!

This book was jam packed with twists and turns. I have read this before but it had been a while, I just did not see them coming. There were red herrings galore, it was so fun trying to work out whodunnit (despite knowing, I still convinced myself that maybe I didn’t remember). This is what I love about Agatha Christie, the books are so excellent that I can reread them and it doesn’t matter whether I remember what happened or not because it’s such a fun ride.

I’m absolutely loving taking part in my Agatha Christie monthly readalongs. It’s nice to have something consistent in Agatha Christie books.

Reviews

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?

Was it a misstep that sent a handsome stranger plummeting to his death from a cliff? Or something more sinister? Fun-loving adventurers Bobby Jones and Frances Derwent’s suspicions are certainly roused–espeically since the man’s dying words were so peculiar: Why didn’t they ask Evans? Bobby and Frances would love to know. Unfortunately, asking the wrong people has sent the amateur sleuths running for their lives–on a wild and deadly pursuit to discover who Evans is, what it was he wasn’t asked, and why the mysterious inquiry has put their own lives in mortal danger…

This was the April selection for Read Christie 2022. The theme was A Story Featuring Adventure and I think that this was the perfect choice! I gave this book 4 stars but it was one of those times when I wish that Goodreads had half stars. This was definitely more of a 4.5 than a 4. I feel that 4 seems too low but it wasn’t quite a 5, if that makes sense?

The story started with Bobby just enjoying a game of golf and then suddenly finds a man who has ‘fallen’ off of a cliff. It was a foggy day so perhaps this stranger mis-stepped. Bobby remained with the stranger as their friend ran off to get help, the stranger murders their last words of ‘Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?’. Bobby then embarked on a series of adventures with his friend Frances and it really was thrilling.

I really enjoyed the main characters. Bobby was sweet, a little bit lost, and filled with fears of being inadequate. Frances, Lady Frances was so carefree and bold and confident. I really enjoyed this pairing and felt that they complimented each other perfectly. The additional characters were also very exciting and interesting. I enjoyed reading about the grand house and the medical centre.

This book felt like there could either be multiple storylines happening concurrently or, one giant elaborate event. I really enjoyed not being sure (until the end when all was revealed). This very much felt like an exciting ride of a book with so many twists and turns.

I don’t remember if I have read this before, I know I have at least watched the Miss Marple TV adaptation (which was very far from the book). I found myself struggling to guess who did it and why. That’s something that I look for in a murder mystery!

I really enjoyed the side plots with Bobby’s friend and with the ‘interesting’ people in the grand house. It did feel very connected.

The ending of this book was just wild! I didn’t see it coming and found it so exciting to read. I didn’t have any idea what was about to happen. This was such a fast-paced read and I didn’t want to put it down. I will definitely be reading it again but will wait until I’ve forgotten what happens first.

As always with Agatha Christie, I highly recommend this book. It’s a standalone so nice and easy to just hop into.

Reviews

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

Hercule Poirot is traveling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned the renowned detective to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. Poirot will have only days to investigate before Helen is hanged, but there is one strange condition attached: he must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family.

The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached . . .

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?

I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie so was both excited yet apprehensive about reading one of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries. Excited because I love Hercule Poirot and was so happy to read more stories featuring him. I had previously read one book by Sophie Hannah and gave it 5 stars so I knew they were a brilliant author. I was a little apprehensive because it’s an existing series written 100 years after the series began. I was worried about a modern author conveying the atmosphere of the original Agatha Christie novels. I really enjoyed this book and I gave it 4 stars.

I was hooked from the first chapter. The book featured a coach trip and travel is something that has featured so many times in Agatha Christie books that it felt authentic. The rest of the book took place in a grand home in an affluent housing estate, grand homes are such a setting for my favourite Agatha Christie books. The estate setting sort of made the book feel a little more modern.

I thought that Hannah captured the character of Poirot just perfectly. I absolutely love Poirot and I feel like the Poirot in this book was the Poirot that I knew and loved. Poirot has a new sidekick who was a little bit timid for a police detective but other than that he was alright. I was a little sad not to have any of the existing Poirot sidekicks but I’m happy that Poirot was captured so well. The rest of the characters were pretty terrible, for various reasons, they just were not likeable at all. This felt a little out of sorts for a Poirot as usually there are some likeable or sympathetic suspects. This book was different though as I would have been ok with any of them being found to be guilty.

I really enjoyed the plot of this book. It was a classic whodunnit which was exactly what I wanted. I didn’t guess the ending or see any of the twists coming. It did feel different to an Agatha Christie book but it felt like a very excellent homage. This was the fourth of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries but I’ve found out that my library has the first three books in this series so I fully intend on reading those too!