My new nighttime obsession: Agatha Christie mysteries!!
I love her juicy cozy mysteries. I especially love that mincy lil Poirot!
You love her juicy cooze?
Poirot is good, but Miss Marple is far more satisfying. How many have you seen? Has it prompted you to read any of Christie's books?
Tommy and Tuppence had adventures while Poirot always seemed more cat and mouse. Miss Marple is more about discovery.
My cooze was always juicier.
Miss Marple, whore
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is quite the revelation OP.
Also, The Body in the Library is very good.
I love most of them to be honest.
Dolly Bantry always seemed rough and tough!
And a tad lesbyterian!
Miss Marple, secret muncher
Why were Poirot and Marple both single??
Sweet Sondheim, I hope you're actually READING them, not mindlessly watching them on the tube.
My dear r6, please refrain from besmirching your elders and betters!
Presbyterian r7 dear - rather high church at times.
My name is Ariadne Oliver.
"M'sieur Poirot, I DEMAND you let us leave this island at ONCE!"
Although Miss Marple starred in far fewer books than Poirot, I like her best. "The mirror cracked", "Nemesis" and "What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!". All classics. I think I only have to read a couple of her "Romance" novels written under the name Mary Westmacott, I have all 90 or so of her other books. Her diaries were released with unused story plots, etc, even a short story or so. Lots of neat trivia books out there, like "Bedside companion", "Complete Agatha Christie" etc. Look for them at thrift stores.
I want to know why Hercule Poirot never had a love affair. It would have added depth to the character.
Try the books by M.C. Be a ton, they are so much fun
HAHA! I went through an intense Agatha Christie period in college. I read every one of her books I could get my hands on, but since this was pre-Amazon, there were many....very many....I could not locate.
Then, one day, I was in the Montreal Airport between flights. I walked into the Book Store there, and, lo and behold, EVERY BOOK she ever wrote! Row after row of them! I bought about 1/2 the titles I didn't already have, and only stopped because I didn't want to seem too strange.
I was sitting at the gate with my stash of books, and it occurred to me that I might never have this opportunity again, so I want back and bought the rest of them. (These were mass market paperbacks, BTW.) The store clerk said: "You'll never believe this, but an hour ago, someone else did the exact same thing!" I didn't tell her it was me.
And so, I had a great year of reading.
I've long since moved onto, and beyond, the other classic ladies of mystery...Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham and Josephine Tey, but Agatha holds a special place in my heart.
R17 At what point did you discover the books you bought were all in French?
Didn't Poirot have a crush on a mysterious Russian countess?
Favourite Poirot: Mrs McGinty's Dead. Great cast of characters and funny to boot.
My absolute favorite Poirot is Murder on the Orient Express.
My absolute favorite Marple is A Murder is Announced.
Any opinions on Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane mysteries?
Always meant to read her. She was far more popular in the 1970s when I started reading Agatha Christie but you never hear much about Sayers any more.
'Death On the Nile' was an old favourite of mine.
The movie version was dull though.
There was often discreet lesbian characters in the classic cozys.
I've always said, gay men have musicals...lesbians have mysteries.
R23=Rita Mae Brown
I've never read an Agatha Christie before. Any suggestions where a newbie should begin?
R25 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, for sure.
There's a lesbian couple in "A Murder is Announced."
[quote]Didn't Poirot have a crush on a mysterious Russian countess?
Yes. But in "Murder in the Russian Tearoom," we discovered she was really
Dmitry Flosskovich, a Russian drag artiste who had once dated Hastings.
Crooked House (neither Poirot nor Marple) is probably the most shocking.
And morally ambiguous.
Op I don't know why my previous post said m.c. be a ton--stupid tablet. But the author's name is M.C. Beaton, the Hamish McBeth and Agatha Raison series are so good.
R21, it's been awhile since I read them, but I enjoyed the Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.
r21 Do yourself a favor and latch onto any of Dorothy L. Sayers' "Lord Peter Wimsey" books. They are very well written, and also transfer beautifully to film(several of which are on You Tube) Sayers was/is a respected writer, not only for her detective stories, but also her books on religion.
I loved Agatha Christie as a child/teenager. It's been so many years I should revisit her. Lately I've been reading Ruth Rendell when I need a mystery fix. She's great at delineating lonely crazies as believable characters.
[quote]The store clerk said: "You'll never believe this, but an hour ago, someone else did the exact same thing!" I didn't tell her it was me.
She didn't recognize you after just one hour?
R34, it's a mystery thread. R17 obviously changed coats, placed a scarf over her head, and squinted her left eye before re-entering the store.
I have always been a fan of detective fiction (ESGardner, Sayers, Gash, ACDoyle, etc.).
Got hooked on AC 50 years ago when I saw "Witness For The Prosecution" (Tyrone Power!), and found the book in my parents' collection. Now I'm your basic Christie fanatic who has made the pilgrimage to "Mousetrap" in London.
All-time favorite AC book is "They Came to Baghdad."
A number of these, both Poirot and Marple, stream on Netflix.
I have to admit that although I love British mysteries, I've never read an Agatha Christie novel. I read a book of Miss Marple short stories and loved it. Read it several times, in fact. But for some reason never delved into the full length novel. I think it's time.
I love any Agatha Christie series the Brits put out. Poirot, Marple, ... I love them all.
I love it when there's a writer I like and get to devour all of their books. There are a few current mystery writers I had that experience with (Camilla Lackberg and Louise Penny in particular) but I've read all of their books and now have to wait for new releases.
I remember reading all the Christie books I could find. I did have a limit on the names of colonels and brigadiers I could retain for any story. Some were thick with interchangeable colonels, ladies, and brigadiers who didn't add to the story.
R17, that clerk must have had short term memory loss if she couldn't remember it was you who bought the previous batch 1 hour earlier.
I've embarked on a project to read the original novels, and then where possible on Netfilx, follow that by watching the screen adaptations of the novel. It's sort of a comparative study project for my own edification.
I've started with the Miss Marples', in order of publication. I've made it through "Murder at the Vicarage," "The Body in the Library," "The Moving Finger," and "A Murder is Announced," so far. I'm half way through the novel of "They do it with Mirrors," right now.
It's very interesting (to me anyway) to compare the original with the adaptive choices made for the screen versions while the novel is still fresh in my head.
The clerk was Canadian.
My favorite Miss Marple quote…
It's dangerous to believe people. I haven't for years.
[quote]But the author's name is M.C. Beaton, the Hamish McBeth and Agatha Raison series are so good.
I, too, love Agatha Raisin. She's something along the lines of "Miss Marple with a Microwave" and the books are hilarious! When I finish that series, I plan to start on the Hamish MacBeth books.
Also love "At Bertram's Hotel" (Miss Marple). The Joan Hickson version is superior.
"N or M?" with Tommy and Tuppence.
And "Cat Among the Pigeons."
Thanks for the Dorothy Sayers encouragement, everyone! I'll check her out.
Is there a favorite Wimsey novel to recommend?
r46 "Murder Must Advertise" is a favorite, deliciously decadent and snooty. The later ones which had Harriet Vane as a character are not as satisfying. Sayers has a lesser-known series of stories, with a traveling spirits salesman named Montague Egg.
r44 I've enjoyed the Hamish MacBeth books, all 142 of 'em, or so it seems? They are not great art, and Beaton tends to repeat basics in each story, but they are charming anyway. I do NOT care for the BBC series created from these books. The actor cast as MacBeth is all wrong, even though physically he is as portrayed in the stories.The scripts managed to eliminate any of the charm of the books. Have you ever seen the Irish TV series "Ballykissangel"? In it, the actor who plays the elementary school teacher would be perfect for the role, just slap a red wig on him.
Thanks for the Hamish MacBeth information, R48. I didn't know anyone had created a TV series based on the books, but I'll be wary of it now, if I do come across it.
It's sad when a movie or TV adaptation destroys what people love about a book. Another example would be the various Miss Marple programs. In my opinion, Joan Hickson portrayed the essence of what we read in Christie's books. The McEwan and McKenzie incarnations never managed that (besides which, the stories themselves were altered too much).
Loved them as a teenager, read so many of them. Of the tv adaptations the Joan Hickson Marple is my favourite and the best,I think. Just recently re-read "And Then There were None" (originally titled Ten Little N-word" ) anyway the story holds up really well, Would like to see a big budget Christmas tv movie remake.
Lately I've got into Frances Brody's Kate Shackleton mysteries. Set in the early 1920s, well written, tightly plotted. Recommendedn
The Joan Hickson Marples are boring to me. I just saw the new Julia MacKenzie version of A Caribbean Mystery,which I like a lot, except for one cutesy celebrity cameo (in the script, not an appearance by a real celeb). It's also pretty faithful, although they've Mage Palgrave's caretaker younger than I had thought she would be.
I went through a huge Agatha Christie phase when I was younger. Re-reading some of the books now, I can see the imperfections in the writing style, but her plotting is impeccable.
There are so many books with a truly brilliant aspect to the premise or solution:
Murder of Roger Ayckroyd
Murder on the Orient Express
Murder in Three Acts
Ten Little Indians
Cards on the Table
The Moving Finger
just to name a few.
As a first Christie, I would recommend Ten Little Indians. An ingenious premise and a book that is an easy read with that is almost all fast-moving action. Some of the phrasing is a bit inelegant, but who cares? The plotting is incredibly well-done and extremely satisfying.
Even though I much prefer the Marple books, I am going to recommend a series of Poirot short stories , each based on one of the 12 Labors of Hercules. They are very ingenious, and definitely word finding. Hickson is by far the best Marple, Julia McKenzie in a pinch. And as much as I enjoyed Geraldine McEwan in the "Mapp and Lucia" stories, she is far too strident to be a good Marple, and jangles my nerves something awful. Sorry Ger, stick to one-upping dear Elizabeth.
"And then there were none" (the most PC title of the "Ten Little..." variations) is definitely a great Christie book to start with. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd should be read early on, before you've had a chance to read any commentary on it - if you do it's much easier to solve.
I like the archaeological novels the most. I know it completely fucked up that part of the world, but I find the British colonial period in the Middle East and South Asia a really fascinating era.
M.M. Kaye's "Death In" series have some of those colonial settings too (although it's been years since I've read her, and her books might not be as good as I remember them as a kid).
Love Agatha Christie, even if I can't read too many of her books at home. She may write "cozy" mysteries but there's a very dark view of human nature at core of her work; her people may live in a twee good-old-days world, but they're willing to kill their nearest and dearest over trifles.
Also love Dorothy Sayers (and Harriet Vane), and "Murder Must Advertise" and "The Nine Tailors" are her most accessible works.
And I'm going to recommend the Phyrne Fisher mysteries to the Datalounge mystery fans. They're set in 1920s Australia, and bubble with wit, intrigue, and historical detail. And sex, Phryne nails a hot new man in every book! "Death by Water" would be a good place to start.
Miss Marple was having an affair with Dolly Bantry.
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