Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My latest books

I am 5 books in (woo hoo!), so I thought I would post a couple reviews together here.

For my Rereading Mysteries category, here are a couple by Agatha Christie:

Review for The Pale Horse:

Christie has several titles that are sort of similar, so I guess I had this book confused with another. As I started reading, I realized that I couldn't remember what happened in this one. I know that I read it before, but it must have been a long time ago.

The book opens with a man having a meal in a tea shop. He sees two girls get into a fight. Later he asks a waiter about them and learns their names. The next day he reads that one of the girls is dead.

The book then jumps to a dying woman who asks for a priest. The priest arrives and counsels with the woman. She then dies and as he is leaving, he is struck down in the street.

How these two incidents connect is the focus of the book. Mark Easterbrook becomes convinced that someone is using a very unusual method of murder - and what's more, it's a very successful method. There are plenty of suspects, as well as plenty of red herrings, and the plot twists several times. Ariadne Oliver appears in this one, but none of Christie's regular detectives do. 

I really enjoyed this one and I would be happy to read it again. I'm glad I found it! 4.5/5 stars.

Review for Mrs. McGinty's Dead:

Superintendent Spence is retiring, and he is justly proud of his record. He has never hung an innocent man - until now. Although the evidence seems solid enough and there are no other suspects, Spence just can't convince himself that meek James Bentley murdered his landlady. But he is called off on another case, so he turns to an old friend - Hercule Poirot.

Poirot is more than willing to look into the murder. He is not finding retirement as congenial as he thought he would and he is convinced by the case Spence makes. But time is against him and he must rush to get to the bottom of this murder.

Fortunately, Ariadne Oliver is also on the scene, and she unearths several helpful clues for Poirot. The case is soon wrapped up in the fate of four women, each involved in a murder committed many years ago. Mrs. McGinty knew something about one of those cases. But which one?

I enjoyed this story. Mrs. Oliver is always a fun character. But it's Poirot I want to read about, and this book was a solid example of the great detective at work. 4/5 stars.

I may decide to eliminate this category and not reread anything. We'll see. 

1 comment:

Cindy B said...

I did in fact remove this category and replace it with short stories. So these books don't count, but I will leave the reviews in case they are helpful to someone else.