Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

murderontheorientexpressMurder on the Orient Express is my first introduction to Hercule Poirot mystery from Agatha Christie. I’ve read almost all of the Miss Marple books but never a single one from Poirot.

Hercule Poirot is a Belgian detective on-board the Orient Express. An American guy was found dead on his compartment while the train was halted by a snow storm. Police can’t get in the train so Poirot took charge of the investigation.

Just like the Miss Marple books, this kept me guessing as the story progresses. And I wasn’t able to guess it right. Damn! Anyway, I liked that each character was given their own chapters and all of them were suspects. All of them were realistic, too.

This turned out to be a really great introduction of Hercules Poirot to me. It was a captivating read, smart and mysterious. Looking forward to my next Poirot mystery.

Quotable Quotes:

“If you confront anyone who has lied with the truth, he will usually admit it – often out of sheer surprise. It is only necessary to guess right to produce your effect.”

“But I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.”

“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie

theunexpectedguestIt’s been a while since the last time I’ve read something from Agatha Christie and it’s always a delight when I get to read one.

The Unexpected Guest is a play written by Christie and was adapted into a novel by Charles Osborne. It’s not the typical Miss Marple stories but a mystery nonetheless from the queen of crime.

This is, however (if my memory serves me right), the first book I’ve read from the author where the culprit goes unpunished. And I think that’s okay. As I think about it now, weeks after I’ve finished reading it, I also wouldn’t want it to end any other way.

The story and the pace was gripping enough but the chase and thrill were missing plus I was able to guess who the culprit was early on but don’t let that put you off from reading this. I’ve probably read too much Christie books that’s why.

It’s a quick, one-sitting read so go for it.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday (09-Oct-2019)

Hi there! Welcome to WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words. Just answer the three W questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

You can leave a link of your post in the comments section so I and other readers can check it out.

Let’s get started…

Recently Finished:

Hotel Iris started out quite well and interesting for me but turned out to be a bit weak. But I’m still inclined to read more of Yoko Ogawa’s works.

The Unexpected Guest was a quick and exciting read though I guessed who the culprit was quite easily. Probably because I’ve read too much of Agatha Christie’s Ms. Marple stories. It’s a perfect light read on a very hectic work week.

Currently Reading:

dinner-at-the-homesick-restaurant1

 

This is my first Anne Tyler read. I’m enjoying the book so far, the characters and her observations on everyday life. The pace is a little bit slow for my taste but I’m surprisingly okay with it.

Up Next:

dance with dragons

 

 

I didn’t browse my TBR shelf this week because I should really get started with this. It’s been long overdue. 🙂

 

There it is! How about you? Have you read any of these books? What have you read, reading or will read this time? I’d love to know!

Book #50 – 2015 Reading Challenge – Miss Marple’s Final Cases by Agatha Christie

The last Agatha Christie book I have at home is Book #50 for my 2015 Reading Challenge.  

This may not be the best Agatha Christie book but it’s still worth a read. Bite-size mysteries you can enjoy anytime, any day. The Dressmaker’s Doll is spooky and is my favorite in this collection.

I’m going to miss the witty and clever Miss Marple since I don’t have and I can’t find the other books that feature her. However, that won’t stop me from reading Agatha Christie’s other works.

Rating : 3.5/5 stars

Book #42 – 2015 Reading Challenge – Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

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Gwenda Reed was looking for a new house and chose to buy the one that seems familiar to her. From there, she starts to see/imagine things that should be in the house — stairs, wallpapers, doors, etc. Moreover, she prefers to sleep in the nursery.

The mystery slowly unfolds once she found out that she actually lived in the same house as a child eighteen years ago.

This could have been a great book if it weren’t so predictable to me. I think reading too much of Miss Marple these past few months made it easier for me to figure out the murderer. However, I’d still recommend it!

Favorite quote : “Jealousy, you know, is usually not an affair of causes. It is much more – how shall I say? – fundamental than that. Based on the knowledge that one’s love is not returned. And so one goes on waiting, watching, expecting …  that the loved one will turn to someone else. Which, again, invariably happens.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Book #40 – 2015 Reading Challenge – The Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

Book #40 for my 2015 Reading Challenge is another Agatha Christie. a carribean mystery

So this book is set, as the title suggests, in the Caribbean. Yes, Miss Marple is on a Caribbean vacation.

The story is about a murderer who always gets away with his crime because people don’t want to listen. The pace was a bit slow compared to her other books but that didn’t stop me from reading. The relationship between Miss Marple and Mr. Rafiel, an unwell millionaire, is what I like most in this book. I think that the story belongs much to both of them. 🙂

Somehow, I guess I’m starting to understand the A. Christie formula already. 🙂 Or this just probably happened to be the easiest of her mysteries? Either way, I guessed it right on this one!

Favorite quote : “Life is more worth living, more full of interest when you are likely to lose it. It shouldn’t be, perhaps, but it is. When you’re young and strong and healthy, and life stretches ahead of you, living isn’t really important at all. It’s young people who commit suicide easily, out of despair from love, sometimes from sheer anxiety and worry. But old people know how valuable life is and how interesting.”

Rating : 4/5 stars

Book #36 – 2015 Reading Challenge – 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie

Book #36 is another Jane Marple mystery by Agatha Christie:

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The story started when Ms. McGillicuddy, on her way to visit Miss Marple, witnessed a murder when her train ran alongside another. Nobody believed Ms. McGillicuddy since there were no other witnesses and no corpse was found. Only Miss Marple believed her friend’s story so her quest to find out the murderer started.

I enjoyed every page of this book and I loved the tandem of Miss Marple and Lucy Eyelesbarrow (one of Miss Christie’s best female character). I managed to narrow it down to two suspects about halfway through the book but one of them died a few pages later so I’m left with just one who turned out to be the murderer! Haha! I am a little bit bothered though that I didn’t find out who Lucy ended up with! 🙂

Agatha Christie isn’t called the Queen of Mystery for nothing — I’m officially hooked!

Rating: 5/5 stars

52 in 2015 – Reading Challenge

My friend and I challenged ourselves to read 52 books this year and since I just started this blog a couple of weeks ago, I was only able to start to post from Book #34. So here’s the list from Book #1 to #33…

  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey – Who decides who’s sane & who’s not? cuckoo's nest
  2. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – A quiet novel that contains so little action and yet carries great, gentle power.
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – A psychologically twisted portrait of relationships gone wrong.
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – Highly readable writing style.
  5. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – For fans of historical fiction or simply of a good story. invention of wings
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – I’m not sure how true in real life this portrayal of Asperger’s Syndrome is but I think that it is very well written.
  7. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie – A mystery that will keep you in suspense while keeping a smile on your face. body in library
  8. 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup – “What difference is there in the color of the soul?”
  9. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera – A kind of book that requires a little more attention than usual but worth reading.
  10. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – I know a lot of people were raving for this book but I’m definitely not the target audience for this one.
  11. HHhH by Laurent Binet – A book so good even though I already knew the outcome. HHhH
  12. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – It’s not quite as good as his other books but I love it. Still Murakami. Weird and wonderful.
  13. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson – It’s not quite what I was expecting and it was so easy to figure out the outcome.
  14. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – Truly a page turner! Finished it so quickly. Highly recommended! aj fikry
  15. The Pact by Jodi Picoult – My third Jodi Picoult book. A tragic event turned personal family tragedy. I like the book though it left me with a lot to think about.
  16. By the River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept by Paulo Coelho – “Love perseveres. It’s men who change.”
  17. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – While I personally think that suicide is stupid, I would recommend this book. I like the way the book’s written, alternating Hannah & Clay’s points of view within the same chapter. Truly a page turner because you want to find out who’s next on the tapes. I was so relieved to find out that Clay isn’t included for bad reasons. I can’t say I agree with all of Hannah baker’s reasons why she did it but I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it.13 reasons why
  18. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand – One of the best stories I have ever read! What can I do but recommend this book? True to the book’s title, Louis Zamperini’s life’s one of survival, resilience & redemption. It’s just very unfortunate that evil Watanabe (the Bird) was never tried as a war criminal. I’m left with an unsatisfying ending but very real. unbroken
  19. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie – The “dangerous” Miss Marple was first featured in this book. Suspenseful. Surprises and false leads.
  20. Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck – Crushing! john steinbeck
  21. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – Enjoyed this book because it felt real though the ending was a bit rushed.
  22. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult – I like Jodi Picoult’s works, but this didn’t make it high on my list.
  23. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Wonderful! Magical! the night circus
  24. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson – I was literally laughing out loud while reading this. Fast-paced & entertaining. the who saved
  25. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak – A simple, heart-warming book that makes you think and want to do better for yourself and other people.
  26. True Believer by Nicholas Sparks – A simple, captivating, romantic read. As always, Mr. Sparks has his way of giving life to his characters, making it so real. A great read about taking chances and following your heart.
  27. The Railway Man by Eric Lomax – “…remembering is not enough, if it simply hardens hate.”
  28. At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks – This completely broke my heart so I’m not going to read any book of Mr. Sparks any time soon.
  29. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami – The title itself tells what the ending’s gonna be. Really loving Murakami more! a wild sheep chase
  30. The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie – A nice exercise if you like to guess “Who did it?”
  31. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – The start was a bit jumbled up to the middle part that I found it hard to continue reading this book but the last few chapters got a lot better. It’s a brilliant story, it’s just the way it was presented that I didn’t like.
  32. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie – Love the love story and the nasty mystery.
  33. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie – Being able to guess who the killer is in this book just makes me feel good and clever. Haha! a murder is announced

There goes my list. Let me check yours! 🙂

Book #35 – 2015 Reading Challenge – A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Book #35 for my 2015 reading challenge is:

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In this mystery is a very unpleasant family — not very likeable characters, specially Mr. Fortescue. The nursery rhyme, Sing a Song of Sixpence, is used in the plot of this book.

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing,
Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?

The king was in the counting-house, counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey;
The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose.

Although this is a Miss Marple mystery, most of the job is done by the police, which is a little disappointing because I really like this grandma! Anyhow, just when I thought I can already predict the murderer, things just got  twisted again! Very smart really, Miss Christie! But I really liked how it all came together in the end.

Favorite quote : “Old sins have long shadows.”

Rating : 4/5 stars

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