1633 Sidekicks
361 Superheroes
moonlightreader

Moonlight Reader

Welcome to 2019! 

Currently reading

Mrs Tim Of The Regiment (Bloomsbury Group)
D.E. Stevenson
Waiting for Willa
Dorothy Eden
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Madeleine L'Engle
Dead Water (Roderick Alleyn, #23)
Ngaio Marsh

Hey, Booklikes

Reposting with some updated information.

 

Obsidian Blue and I have been talking about a new game of Booklikes-opoly for this summer, but in the interim, does anyone feel like a quick game of Snakes and Ladders?

 

 

RULES OF THE GAME:

 

Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.

 

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

 

2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.

 

All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 

 

You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.

 

Spaces:

 

1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 

ADDITIONS TO THE RULES

See comments to the post for further explanations or to ask questions

 

When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.

 

With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.

 

For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.

 

 

 

 

My game board!

 

 

1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

Can you guess?

Can you guess?

 

 

 

What about now?

 

 

Now?

 

 

Or now?

 

Have you gotten there yet?

Reading progress update: I've read 125 out of 240 pages.

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) - Agatha Christie

Ummm, okay.

 

“But if her fair hated the sight of him…” Hoskins dropped into the vernacular.

“All we know is that she said she did. Women,” said the inspector sententiously, “tell a lot of lies. Always remember that, Hoskins.”

“Aah,” said Constable Hoskins appreciatively.

 

I, unlike the Constable, am unappreciative of Inspector Bland's statement.

 

This, however, I appreciate very much:

 

“Well, I must be getting along. I’m a busy woman.”

“Of course. You have to talk to the Chief Constable about bloodhounds.”

Mrs. Masterton gave a sudden deep bay of laughter. “Used to breed ’em at one time,” she said. “People tell me I’m a bit like a bloodhound myself.”

Poirot was slightly taken aback and she was quick enough to see it. “I bet you’ve been thinking so, M. Poirot,” she said.

 

Hahahaha.

 

 

 
 

Reading progress update: I've read 99 out of 240 pages.

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) - Agatha Christie

“Hercule Poirot…I wonder now. Can it be the same man? A Belgian, a small man with a very big moustache?”

 

“An enormous moustache,” agreed Mrs. Oliver.

 

“Yes. Do you know him?” “It’s a good many years since I met him. I was a young sergeant at the time.”

 

I went googling to find any other book where Inspector Bland appears and came up empty aside from Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly, which was the short story that was extended into this book.

 

But I found this nice little article about the Poirot adaptation:

 

Hercule Poirot Investigates His Last Mystery at Greenway

Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 240 pages.

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) - Agatha Christie

Having read this before, I am picking up on so many clues that I missed in my first read! I remember now why I liked this one so much - it is just perfectly structured.

 

And Ariadne Oliver is so wonderful in this one!

 

“The fatal flaw, eh?” he remarked.

 

“That’s just it,” said Mrs. Oliver. “There always is one. Sometimes one doesn’t realize it until a book’s actually in print. And then it’s agony!” Her face reflected this emotion. She sighed. “The curious thing is that most people never notice it. I say to myself, ‘But of course the cook would have been bound to notice that two cutlets hadn’t been eaten.’ But nobody else thinks of it at all.”

Reading progress update: I've read 34 out of 240 pages.

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) - Agatha Christie

“But one shouldn’t be! In times of stress, when it’s a matter of life or death, one can’t think of one’s own insignificant ills or preoccupations.”

 

“I assure you, you are quite wrong. In the late war, during a severe air raid, I was much less preoccupied by the thought of death than of the pain from a corn on my little toe. It surprised me at the time that it should be so. ‘Think,’ I said to myself, ‘at any moment now, death may come.’ But I was still conscious of my corn—indeed, I felt injured that I should have that to suffer as well as the fear of death. It was because I might die that every small personal matter in my life acquired increased importance.

 

I feel like Christie is speaking from a direct personal experience here. And I love this, too.

 

“You are rather old-fashioned in your views, I think. Let’s hear what your slogan would be.”

 

“I do not need to formulate one of my own. There is an older one in this country which contents me very well.”

 

“What is that?”

 

“‘Put your trust in God, and keep your powder dry.’

 

Which feels so very stiff-upper-lip British, and so WWII.

Reading progress update: I've read 23 out of 240 pages.

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) - Agatha Christie

Look at the economy with which Christie creates a completely singular character:

 

Mrs. Masterton was a somewhat monumental woman who reminded Poirot faintly of a bloodhound. She had a full underhung jaw and large, mournful, slightly blood-shot eyes

 

She bowed and resumed her discourse in a deep voice which again made Poirot think of a bloodhound’s baying note.

 

“This silly dispute about the tea tent has got to be settled, Jim,” she said forcefully. “They’ve got to see sense about it. We can’t have the whole show a fiasco because of these idiotic women's local feuds."
 
I can just see her.
 
 

Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 240 pages.

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) - Agatha Christie

“Well, there’ll be a Victim, of course. And Clues. And Suspects. All rather conventional—you know, the Vamp and the Blackmailer and the Young Lovers and the Sinister Butler and so on. Half a crown to enter and you get shown the first Clue and you’ve got to find the Victim, and the Weapon and say Whodunnit and the Motive. And there are Prizes.”

 

“Remarkable!” said Hercule Poirot.

 

“Actually,” said Mrs. Oliver ruefully, “it’s all much harder to arrange than you’d think. Because you’ve got to allow for real people being quite intelligent, and in my books they needn’t be.

 

Bwahahaha

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 240 pages.

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) - Agatha Christie

Buddy read with BrokenTune!

 

This is my cover - it's a Harper Collins trade paperback that I bought when I started reading Christie again, but before I started buying them used because it was costing me too much money to buy them new. I like the cover quite a lot, actually. I dislike the covers that have scenes from the adaptation on them, not because I don't like David Suchet, but because I just generally hate tie-in covers on principle. 

 

Anyway, this is a reread for me, but a first read for BrokenTune (I think), so I can't wait to see the updates! 

Upcoming Agathyte & Pymalong buddy reads!

Dead Man's Folly: A Hercule Poirot Mystery - Agatha Christie Why Didn't They Ask Evans? - Agatha Christie Quartet in Autumn - Barbara Pym

BrokenTune & I will be reading Dead Man's Folly this week (not sure if we've actually picked a day), and Why Didn't They Ask Evans? next weekend.

 

The Pymalong club will be reading Quartet in Autumn starting on March 15.

 

Join us if you want!

 

 

Another winner by Josephine Tey

The Franchise Affair - Josephine Tey

This was really excellent. The mystery is riveting, and Tey maintains the tension throughout, while allowing things to unfold in a leisurely fashion. If I have one minor complaint, it's that it does move a little bit slowly. But that is just a tiny thing.

 

What a loss it was that she died so young. I've now read 3 of the 8 books that the author wrote as Josephine Tey (she also wrote as Gordon Daviot), and 2 of her Inspector Grant mysteries. I will keep buying her books as I find them.

 

There's more to say about this book, and perhaps I do a longer review later, but for now, I'm just basking in the gloriousness of this book.

Reading progress update: I've read 84 out of 238 pages.

The Franchise Affair - Josephine Tey

So, is there some explanation for the name of the tabloid that published the Betty Kane story - the Ack-Emma - that I don't understand because I'm not British? Every time I see it, I feel confused.

 

Also:

 

"...Letter writing is the natural outlet of the 'odds.' The busy-bodies, the idle, the perverted, the cranks, the feel-it-my-duties--"

"Pro bono publico--"

"Him and Civis." Grant said with a smile, "also the plain depraved. They all write letters. It's their safe outlet, you see. They can be as interfering, as long-winded, as pompous, as one-idea'd as they like on paper and no one can kick them for it. So they write. My God, how they write."

 

If only Tey had been alive to see the comments sections on newspapers, twitter, and the general internet! Lol.

SPOILER ALERT!

First draft of Murder on the Orient Express?

The Mystery Of The Blue Train - Agatha Christie

Spoiler warning: I've been careful not to spoil the solution, but some of the plot points do end up being revealed during this post.

 

This was apparently not one of Agatha's own favorites, and I can sort of understand why. It doesn't quite come alive in the same way that her very best books come alive. In addition, I feel like her characterization was just a tiny bit off in this one - some of characters were just a bit too much, so they felt more like caricatures than characters in several cases, especially Viscountess Tamplin, Mirelle and the Mr. Papapolous (no idea how to spell his name). In addition, as likeable as Katherine Grey was, men falling over like bowling pins for her was  annoying.

 

I agree with BrokenTune that this feels like a less successful first attempt at Murder on the Orient Express, which was a much better book in every way. Having said that, though, from my perspective, it's still well worth reading. 

 

The relationship between Poirot and Katherine is really darling, and marks the first time that he collaborates with a young woman. This type of collaboration is reprised several times over the series with different characters, and those relationships are some of my favorites. Thank you, Agatha, for not making Hercule Poirot an old lech. And, can I just say how delightful it is to have an older (although how old Poirot is in this book is not extremely clear) male character who enjoys the company of young women in a really fresh, charming, and completely non-creepy way. Even when he admires their looks, it doesn't feel threatening at all. He also makes use of her observations in a way that demonstrates his respect for her perception.

 

There are a lot of other authors who could take some suggestions from this method. 

 

The mystery isn't as good as some, and poor Ruth really did not deserve her fate. In addition, her murderer is one of Christie's least redeemable characters (which is the opposite side of the same coin from Murder on the Orient Express, where it was the victim who was irredeemable and the murderers who were redeemed). In fact, if Ruth Kettering had been a child, and if the murderer had escaped justice, Mystery on the Blue Train might have been used as the motive for Murder on the Orient Express.

 

Poirot says about the killer:

 

"This is not the first murder that lies to [omitted] charge. [omitted] is a killer by instinct;  [omitted] believes, too, in leaving no evidence behind... Dead men and women tell no tales."

 

The murderer in The Mystery of the Blue Train doesn't just murder for gain. He murders because he is a murderer. There was no real reason to kill Ruth Kettering - the rubies could have been stolen without killing her.

 

And poor Lenox, whom we leave at the end of the book suffering from unrequited love:

 

"...Life is like a train, Mademoiselle. It goes on. And it is a good thing that that is so."

"Why?"

"Because the train gets to its journey's end at last, and there is a proverb about that in your language, Mademoiselle."

"Journeys end in Lovers meeting." Lenox laughed. "That is not going to be true for me."

"Yes - yes, it is true. You are young, younger than you yourself know. Trust the train, Mademoiselle, for it is le bon Dieu who drives it."

The whistle of the engine came again.

"Trust the train, Mademoiselle," murmured Poirot again. "And trust Hercule Poirot - He knows."

 

And let's not even talk about Mirelle, who not only ends up prospering after her abominable behavior with respect to Derek Kettering, but who ends up, in a round-about way, as the possessor of the Heart of Fire. Ugh.

 

I'd really put this in the lower middle tier of Christie's mysteries - she's still finding her footing a bit here. Overall, though, it isn't one of her just for completists books, nor would it be one that I recommend as a starting point.

 

Thanks for the buddy read, BrokenTune & Lillelara! It was fun seeing all of your updates!

I read until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore

 

Here's a picture of my actual cover - totally hideous in my opinion. It will probably make more sense once I finish the book, though. I get the round window, but the significance clock hands and the weird double face on the girl hasn't yet been revealed to me.

 

I just love Tey's writing, though. I can wrap myself in her books like a quilt.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 288 pages.

The Franchise Affair - Josephine Tey

Finally starting this one!