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moonlightreader

Moonlight Reader

Welcome to 2019! 

Currently reading

Crooked House
Agatha Christie
Progress: 11/242 pages
An Artless Demise
Anna Lee Huber
Spotlight
Patricia Wentworth
Bleak House
Charles Dickens, Hablot Knight Browne, Nicola Bradbury
Progress: 54 %

Reading progress update: I've read 42 out of 104 pages.

Murder on the Nile - Agatha Christie

The framework of Death on the Nile is definitely there, but it feels very bare bones.

 

Canon Pennefather as he exists in this play seems to be a completely different character than the Canon Pennefather who is in 1965s At Bertram's Hotel, although he was approximately 20 years older the Marple novel versus this 1946 adaptation. He definitely takes the place of Poirot, even to having overheard the restaurant conversation between Simon & Jackie that occurred prior to Simon meeting Kay (Linnett).

 

I do love the fact that she brought over the metaphor that both Simon and Jackie use to describe Simon's falling for Kay (Jackie is the moon/Kay is the sun, which drowns out the moon with its brightness), as that was one of my favorite little clues from Death on the Nile.

Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 104 pages.

Murder on the Nile - Agatha Christie

Miss Ffoliot-ffoulks is an awful person.

 

There have been two donkeys mentioned so far: Whiskey and Soda and Whoopadaisy. Which one would you rather ride?

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 104 pages.

Murder on the Nile - Agatha Christie

Just a placeholder update - I think that today is our day to read, Themis? My copy came from amazon a couple of weeks ago. I am going to slip it into my purse and spend some time with it over my lunch hour.

 

I checked on audible, but wasn't able to locate any sort of a radio play of this one. Are you aware of anything?

 

I am really interested in how this one works without Poirot.

Reading progress update: I've read 29 out of 242 pages.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie

Even knowing what's coming, this book is just delightful. This time around, I am loving Caroline so much - she is so funny. I also love it when Dr. Sheppard says:

 

"My dear Caroline," I said. "There's no doubt at all about what the man's profession has been. He's a retired hair dresser. Look at that moustache of his."

 

about Hercule Poirot. 

Hahahaha.

 

And then that melancholy moment when Poirot thinks back to his dear friend Hastings:

 

“Also, I had a friend—a friend who for many years never left my side. Occasionally of an imbecility to make one afraid, nevertheless he was very dear to me. Figure to yourself that I miss even his stupidity. His naïveté, his honest outlook, the pleasure of delighting and surprising him by my superior gifts—all these I miss more than I can tell you.”

 

“He died?” I asked sympathetically.

 

“Not so. He lives and flourishes—but on the other side of the world. He is now in the Argentine.”

 

Even half-way around the world, poor Hastings lack of acumen is the topic of conversation with M. Poirot.

My reading plan for the week: 4/7/19

Silverhill - Phyllis A. Whitney Double Sin and Other Stories - Agatha Christie The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie Cyanide With Compliments (Pollard & Toye #5) - Elizabeth Lemarchand Murder on the Nile - Agatha Christie The Yellow Dog - Georges Simenon, Linda Asher Going Wrong - Ruth Rendell

I have a big mystery week planned!

 

I'm going to finish Silverhill by Phyllis Whitney tomorrow, and I only have three stories left in Double Sin. From there, I will move onto a reread of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (yay) and the buddy read of Murder on the Nile, which takes place on Tuesday. 

 

I've also broken down and bought The Yellow Dog, which is the 6th Maigret, and - according to Tigus - is a good one! I am excited to read it. It should arrive tomorrow.

 

Last - but surely not least - is Cyanide and Compliments, which is the 5th in the Pollard and Toye series. This series is available through KU, and I've read the first 4 in a couple of weeks. They are silver age, first published in the 1960s, and are a lot of fun.

 

That's probably enough for a week, right? But if I make it through all of those, I'm going to read Going Wrong by Ruth Rendell, because I need a little psychological suspense in my life.

Reading progress update: I've read 69%.

Double Sin and Other Stories - Agatha Christie

Dead Man's Folly also started as a MISS MARPLE short story called Greenshaw's Folly. Who knew!

Reading progress update: I've read 54%.

Double Sin and Other Stories - Agatha Christie

I'm making my way through some of Christie's short stories. This collection has a story called The Dressmaker's Doll, which I just finished and it is so different from her usual stuff! It's basically horror, and who knew that Christie wrote horror?

Reading progress update: I've read 10%.

Silverhill - Phyllis A. Whitney

I've been looking forward to sinking into a Phyllis Whitney, and this one is showing a lot of promise, with a plucky, scarred heroine with an explicable fear of caged birds, and a family mansion full of secrets in New Hampshire.

When right and left meet at the extreme edge

Decision at Delphi - Helen MacInnes

I was pretty sure that were a few MacInnes titles that I hadn't read - the difficulty is that I read the bulk of her work so long ago that I can't be sure, unless it's a book that I've reread in the last few years.

 

I had convinced myself that I had read this one - the setting in Greece seemed like something that I would've read, given how appealing I find it. Now that I've finished it, I'm pretty sure that this was my first read.

 

Decision at Delphi is classic MacInnes - the stoically handsome and intensely capable man with a long-past military background who becomes embroiled in a modern plot by extremists to precipitate another conflict, the attractive young woman who is his love interest, who needs protecting but who is also generally brave and capable in her own right, and the Nazis, Communists, Fascists or various other extremists who need thwarting.

 

MacInnes is equal opportunity with her opprobrium, and I always admire the way that she doesn't pick a preference between extremists on the right and extremists on the left, making the valid point that if you go far enough to either end of the political spectrum, you meet in monstrosity.

 

Older espionage books are paced so differently from modern thrillers that they can seem to drag even when the author is carefully building characters and backstory. Decision at Delphi did have that effect on me - the pacing seemed quite slow until I reached the 75% mark, at which point the stakes were increased and the tension really ratcheted into high gear. Nonetheless, as is always the case with MacInnes, I enjoyed this piece of spy fiction and would give it high marks for the mechanics of the plot and the likeability of the characters. In addition, the relationship between Kenneth Strang and Cecilia Hillard felt more modern and equal than many of her relationships, which can feel very regressive and gendered.

The Maigret-a-thon

The Flemish House (Inspector Maigret #14) - Georges Simenon,  Shaun Whiteside (Translator) The Saint-Fiacre Affair (Inspector Maigret) - Georges Simenon, Shaun Whiteside

Is anyone besides Tigus and I - a possibly Chris' Fish Place - up for a Maigret-a-thon in late April (like, all the way to the 26th)?

 

I am up for either of the identified books. I could also pretty much be persuaded to anything, especially books that are early in the series, so if there are other books that folks are interested in, discuss in the comments! I haven't purchased anything yet, and the whole series is available for my kindle (I think), so I can start anywhere. I know that Tigus already has both of these books, though, so that's a good place to start!

 

This will be my first foray into Maigret! Tigus has been putting up a lot of posts regarding his adventures with Simenon, and I'm really excited to dip into the series.

My miminalist readathon

I'm not really doing Dewey today - but my husband just left to help out a friend, and my son is 19, so I won't see him for hours, and it is pouring this morning. I am therefore going to take this opportunity to hunker down with a cup of coffee, a quilt, and a book. I am with the readathoners in spirit if not entirely in practice!

 

1)What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portland Metro area, Oregon


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I don't really have a stack today, but I am looking forward to Silverhill by Phyllis Whitney, which is next up on my TBR.


3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Again, no planned snacks today - but I will be taking my son to Starbucks once he gets up for his free birthday drink, and I might spring for a chocolate croissant!

 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am drinking my coffee from a Minnie Mouse mug.


5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I generally only  fully participate in the fall readathons for some reason. I am just going to read until I don't want to read anymore!

More of a curiosity than anything else

The Floating Admiral - Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, The Detection Club, Milward Kennedy, Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Clemence Dane, John Rhode, Anthony Berkeley, Victor L. Whitechurch, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Ronald Knox, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.D.H. Cole, G.K. Chesterton

This collaborative mystery is not to be taken seriously. While I got quite a kick out of it, it's a good thing that the members of The Detection Club didn't really make a habit of this - there are a total of three of these collaborative mysteries, each with a different spin.

 

At the end of the day, this was really an over-complicated mess with a not particularly convincing solution. The Appendix does provide alternative solutions, with each author beyond Chapter 3 providing their own. Christie's made me laugh out loud, it was so perfectly Agatha Christie. The others were entertaining as well, albeit a bit long-winded.

 

I'm glad I read it, but once was enough. This isn't a book with significant rereading potential.

Reading progress update: I've read 222 out of 309 pages.

The Floating Admiral - Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, The Detection Club, Milward Kennedy, Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Clemence Dane, John Rhode, Anthony Berkeley, Victor L. Whitechurch, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Ronald Knox, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.D.H. Cole, G.K. Chesterton

All right - I'm into the Berkeley chapter, titled: Clearing Up The Mess.

 

 

Color me skeptical that the mess will really be cleared up! I really wanted to finish last night, but I couldn't stay awake. I am 40 chapters from the "end," and then there are 44 pages of appendices where the various possible solutions are revealed to us.

 

I am massively enjoying this extraordinarily quirky little mystery and I hope that my sense that the authors are having a blast is accurate because it certainly feels that way to me. My copy has the tag line "The Most Unusual Mystery Ever Written," and I would say that, while hyperbolic, there's a fair argument to be made that it's accurate!

Reading progress update: I've read 115 out of 309 pages.

The Floating Admiral - Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, The Detection Club, Milward Kennedy, Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Clemence Dane, John Rhode, Anthony Berkeley, Victor L. Whitechurch, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Ronald Knox, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.D.H. Cole, G.K. Chesterton

Just finished the very long and intriguing Dorothy Sayers chapter! I am not going to lie - I have no idea what is going on with all of these crazy clues!

Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 309 pages.

The Floating Admiral - Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, The Detection Club, Milward Kennedy, Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Clemence Dane, John Rhode, Anthony Berkeley, Victor L. Whitechurch, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Ronald Knox, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.D.H. Cole, G.K. Chesterton

I have made zero progress - family was over last night and socializing was required! Hopefully I'll be able to read a bit more over my lunch hour today!

Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 309 pages.

The Floating Admiral - Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, The Detection Club, Milward Kennedy, Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Clemence Dane, John Rhode, Anthony Berkeley, Victor L. Whitechurch, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Ronald Knox, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.D.H. Cole, G.K. Chesterton

The prologue is very confusing, although I'm sure it will make more sense as the tale develops - the connection to Hong Kong is obscure at best at this point. The prologue was written last.

 

I've finished the first three chapters as well, and am moving into Agatha Christie's chapter. So far, the experience of reading has been amusing, if a bit disjointed. It reminds me of a parlor game - each chapter ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger, and then the new author takes the story off in a new direction.

 

The early authors definitely had the easier task, since they are working with a largely blank canvas, as opposed to the later authors who have to keep in mind all of the clues and characters that have been sprinkled liberally about in the preceding chapters.