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, 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

After the Funeral

The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder…. When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’ In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.

This was my pick for March Read Christie 2022, the theme was a book that Agatha wrote abroad. Google tells me that this book was written in the US but it is set in the UK. According to Goodreads I read this book back in 2018 but as that was hundreds of books ago. I’d forgotten what happened which was good because I got to enjoy the book without knowing the twist. This was a very fun and rather short Murder mystery and I gave it 3 stars, like a 3.5.

I do love a murder mystery that takes place in a grand home. This book took place both in a Victorian manor house, in another grand home, a quaint village, and also in London. The majority of the story took place in the grand houses but I don’t think that they played an integral part of the plot.

There were a lot of characters in this book and some had quite similar names. At one point I got a bit confused between one of the suspects and Poirot’s valet (Georges and George). Of the multiple characters, only about half of them played key roles in the book with the rest being more background characters that were pretty one dimensional.

My favourite character was, of course, Hercule Poirot. I absolutely love Poirot as a character l, he’s just so interesting and intelligent with just the right amount of sneakiness. Poirot didn’t feature in the book anywhere near as much as I’d have liked despite him playing a key role in the solving of the mystery. I think that the lack of Poirot may be the reason that I gave this book three stars as opposed to four.

I enjoyed the mystery of this book. My favourite part of a murder mystery is the mystery and I was kept guessing right up until the end. The book was so much more than the initial murder so it was really enjoyable having extra crimes and events show up. I liked trying to work out whether they were all related or if there were red herrings. As I’d forgotten the twist, I was surprised as I was convinced that it was somebody else. Perhaps I was getting my Agatha Christie plots confused. I do think that the twist in this book was excellent as I found it to be so I expected.

I did like this book, it’s not one of my favourite Agatha Christie books but it is still a very enjoyable read. I’m very much enjoying reading an Agatha Christie book every month and while I’ve no idea what the next pick is, I’m already excited about reading it.

Reviews, Vlogs

Death on the Nile

The tranquility of a lovely cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life.

Who’s also on board? Christie’s great detective Hercule Poirot. He recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Despite the exotic setting, nothing is ever quite what it seems…

This was the February pick for the Read Christie 2022 Challenge due to the new adaptation being released in February. I have read this book before and it was and remains one of my favourite Agatha Christie books. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to know that I gave it 5 stars.

This book started off with an introduction to a whole gaggle of characters. The main characters being Poirot (of course), Linnet Ridgeway, Jacqueline De Belfort, and Simon Doyle. Linnet was introduced as a spoiled heiress with little regard for other people. Her childhood best friend, Jaqueline had fallen in love and intended to be married. The only issue was that her fiancé, Simon Doyle, was a penniless younger son of a Lord, she asked her best friend to hire him and she obliged. Various other characters were introduced and the introduction ended with the announcement that Linnet Ridgeway had married Simon Doyle.

The second part of the book took place in Egypt with Linnet and Simon on their honeymoon and who should appear but Jacqueline. She had been following the new couple who had met and married within only a couple of months. Jaqueline was justifiably very upset and angry.

Poirot was just having a lovely little holiday when he was approached by Linnet to force Jacqueline to leave the couple alone. He pointed out that no laws had been broken causing Linnet to be a bit miffed at having to face the consequences of her actions.

All of the characters then went on a delightful cruise down the Nile. Delightful until a murder happened, then additional murders happened. Poirot has never been able to have a holiday as whenever he travels, he is brought in to investigate a crime.

It turned out that it wasn’t just Jacqueline who had motive to harm Linnet. The boat was filled with people who had very strong motives for wishing to do away with the heiress. I absolutely loved the sheer volume of suspects as there was so much for Poirot to investigate and he really got a chance to shine! This book really let Poirot display his skills.

This was sort of a locked room Murder mystery since the culprit was someone who was and remained on the boat. I absolutely love mysteries like this, my preferred is usually a grand home but I’ll take a boat!

The book was filled with red herrings which added an extra element of enjoyment in trying to work out what was relevant to the murder and what was rated to a different crime.

The twist in this book was one of my favourites. I knew it was coming because I’ve enjoyed this book before. Yet while rereading this book, I never see any hints or signs that it’s coming and I think that Agatha Christie was just so clever with this book.

I absolutely adored this book and I will always recommend it. The beauty of Agatha Christie is that the books all work wonderfully as standalone books, this is one of the books that I always recommend to people wanting to start reading Agatha Christie but unsure where to start.

After reading the book for the…I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book. A lot. Anyway, I decided to go to see the new adaptation despite having a few concerns after viewing the trailers. I had a lot of feelings which are in the blog below, where I chat about the book and the film (the description on YouTube has the time to skip to if you only want to hear about the film. Spoiler free of course)

I had so many feelings about the book and the new film adaptation that I needed a champagne (jokes it was elderflower pressé)