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The mystery of the Battenberg cake

The Mystery of Three Quarters Book Cover The Mystery of Three Quarters
Hercule Poirot (New)
Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie,
Poirot, detective, suspense, mystery
HarperCollins
August 20, 2018
400

The world's most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot - the legendary star of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket--returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in 1930's London. Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him -- a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy... Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

The opening chapters of this book are so vivid that in my ind’s eye I see it happening.

I see David Suchet bustling and hear him deliver the words. I see his very special walk – such a distinctive gait – and take off his hat and coat.

It is perhaps because i have seen Suchet’s TV performance portrayal so often that he comes to mind, but still my imagination visualises him throughout the story as the character of Hercule Poirot. The mannerisms he used are mentioned in the story and sonthe echoes remain.

I cannot say the same of the chapters ‘written’ by the detective. He slips back into the background even though he is half the book.

I found the story very entertaining – better in my mind than the original stories even though they are intended to ‘copy’ her style. More amusing and more accessible. I still didn’t get the answer though – as just in the original Christie books there are masses of red herrings to mislead you!

Oh and the Windowpane cake is really a Battenberg so a very well known recipe, so little chance of it being stolen.

I suspect that without David Suchet the story would not have been so appealing but as he is one of my favourite actors…

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book review/Books/Fantasy/fiction/Romance/crime fiction
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Plenty of cats here…

A Devilish Disappearance: Book Cover A Devilish Disappearance:
Cats, Ghosts, and Avocado Toast #3
NM Howell
A hilariously witchy reverse harem mystery
Dungeon Media Corp.
(13 July 2018)
Kindle

An upcoming wedding, a disappearing body, and three totally smitten cats.

Price Jones, with the help of her three furry housemates and spirited landlady, has finally launched her thrift shop and juicebar. But when a dead body appears then disappears from their favorite neighborhood coffee spot, mayhem sweeps through Salem once again.

With the wedding of her douchebag ex-fiancee looming ahead, Price Jones has enough on her mind besides solving yet another suspicious disappearance.

But with the guys at her side, her new and improved self is ready to take on just about anything... even if she has to put on a dress to do it.

3  books and a  novella in this collection by Howell but only the novella has the ‘action’ as regards what you might call an adult theme of a reverse harem as suggested.

That said, I found the books gently amusing, cosy but does contain swearing, hints and innuendoes.

That said, her 3 ‘cats’ who are shifters or witch familiars if you prefer, are called, Finn, Tom and Pussy. Yes – he really is….

 

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Enter the Author as Detective

The Sentence is Death
Detective Daniel Hawthorne 2
Anthony Horowitz
crime fiction, thriller, suspense,
Century
November 29, 2018
400

This is the first of Anthony Horowitz’s novels about detectives that I’ve read. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The concept of putting the real author into imaginary scenes, some of which are based on semi-fact, and including autobiographical details was fascinating. And made the whole story so much more believable.

I found it however, to be slightly confusing in that it was set in 2015 but had just come out in 2018, but understood that writing about real events that happened to the author were better if viewed in the past rather than as his current life.

I am even tempted to go and see if this road and house – Heron’s Wake – do exist and look like they are described in the story. And it would be nice to find out if the production of the TV show really did have problems in London with filming, but there are limits to just how much I will do to verify authenticity. And I have been caving in the past so the descriptions of the pot holing system were very realistic for me. Confession time though. It made my fear of confined places very much worse – especially the crawling on your stomach in water aspects!

I liked the style of writing. At first read it is prosaic yet the characters, including his own as portrayed, come through clearly. the descriptions are spare but clear and sufficient and fluent.

The only criticism I have is the constant mention of the children’s series of books. OK Anthony. We know you are perhaps better known to a certain set of readers for the Alex Rider books, and perhaps you want others to know about them, but… mention once or twice but no more, please!

I did particularly like this though:

[a] good definition of creative writing is to unlock doors and take the reader through to the other side.

 

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Obsession with perfection

Perfect Remains Book Cover Perfect Remains
DI Callanach #1
Helen Fields
Detective and mystery stories
Avon Books
2017
408

'Must read!' Closer 'I love, love, LOVE Perfect Remains!' Reader review 'A superb debut!' Reader review On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing. In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness... Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine's missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he's eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine's killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care. It's not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes ... The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined. Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

A very interesting case is told here in this gripping novel as the culprit gradually degenerates psychologically.
Helen Fields writes a nicely paced story. Compact and concise and one that you read almost compulsively (as yet more women die).

This is book 1 in this series about the half-French detective Luc and his move to Scotland. Slowly Luc wins over his new staff as they realise that he is more than his sexy accent and model looks.
Shame about the coffee though, it appears that in police stations no-one instals a Nespresso!

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Who is to be believed? That’s what the trial is for….

No Further Questions Book Cover No Further Questions
Gillian McAllister
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
October 4, 2018
400

The police say she's guilty.

She insists she's innocent.

She's your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed your child.

 

Who do you believe?

This is a heart-rending tale of a small baby dying and the subsequent trial when the post-mortem shows that she could have been murdered.

Two sisters are divided here as one was baby-sitting for the other, and it was in her care that the baby died, and thus she is on trial.

Would you believe that your sister deliberately killed your baby?

This book tells the struggle of the mother as she sits through the trial and the evidence mounts against her sister.

The trial felt very real to me.

The questioning of the witnesses and the way small things were built up into an overwhelming case of guilty.

A book where you need to keep on reading to find out what the verdict was and does she admit what really happened? Or do we never find out?

I thought it well written, with the complex science of the pathology explained simply enough for the reader to understand and the conclusions that thus could be drawn.

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