Cool Down with Agatha Christie – And Then There Were None giveaway

If you are interested in discussing And Then There Were None with us on Monday, July 25th and still need a copy, sign up on the Google form below and five winners will be selected at random.

If you’re interested to see how the discussion work, please check out today’s discussion of Endless Night.

US and Canada mailing addresses only, please. Enter by midnight Central time on Thursday, June 30th.

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Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie – Book Thoughts

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie
Published by Harper Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins

I’m so excited about this Cool Down with Agatha Christie event this summer that Harper Collins is sponsoring and I am co-hosting that I am going to be reading a LOT of Agatha Christie this summer. I just don’t have it in me to review each and every one, so I’m just going to give my brief impressions.

The plot, in brief:

When an elderly parson dies suddenly in the middle of a dinner party, nearly everyone assumes he died of natural causes, including Hercule Poirot. When most of the guests are reunited and another man dies in the same way, suddenly the ruling of natural causes in the first death is suspect. But who is killing these dinner guests, and why?

My thoughts:

Let me tell you, I was SO SURE I knew who the murderer was this time. When I read Towards Zero, I suspected everyone and never had any idea of the motive, but in Three Act Tragedy I was entirely set on one suspect for well over half of the book, complete with motive and everything. Of course, I was dead wrong on the murderer, but I felt good about not being too far off on motive, though.

This was my first Hercule Poirot book, and I was quite surprised at how little the famous detective figured in the story. He was a character from the very beginning, but had very little to do with the story until the book was well over half way through. He did solve the mystery, but other characters did most of the investigation. Three Act Tragedy did take place after his official retirement, so I’m interested to read some of the earlier books and see if that continues to be the case, or if he is more prominent in some of his other stories.

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We will be discussing Three Act Tragedy on Thursday, June 23rd at BookingMama.net as part of Cool Down with Agatha Christie. If you’ve already read it, come and join us! And if you haven’t, grab it today and come join us, Christie’s books are fast reads.

If you don’t have time to get to Three Act Tragedy, we’ll be discussing Christie’s Endless Night on my blog on Monday, June 27th, at which time I’ll also be giving away five copies of And Then There Were None for our July discussion.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Cool Down with Agatha Christie – Standalones Readalong

You may have heard that HarperCollins is reissuing all of Agatha Christie’s books exclusively. To celebrate, they have enlisted my help, along with Book Club Girl and three other bloggers to host an Agatha Christie Summer Readalong Extravaganza called “Cool Down With Agatha Christie,” which will be taking place this June, July, and August.

Here’s what HarperCollins has to say about the reissues:

HarperCollins is proud to now be Agatha Christie’s global publisher and will be reissuing all of her books in beautiful trade paperback editions. These wonderful authentic editions are exactly as Christie wrote them using the original UK texts. Read

all of the Christie mysteries including the Hercule Poirot Mysteries, the Miss Marple Mysteries, and the Tommy and Tuppence Mysteries (Winter 2012). And don’t miss a single one of Christie’s stand-alone novels and short stories.

I will specifically be hosting a readalong of some of the standalone books during the fourth Friday of every month. If you want to start getting ready now, here is my schedule:

Endless Night – June 27
And Then There Were None (previously known as Ten Little Indians)– July 25
Ordeal by Innocence – August 22

I will have five copies of each to give away to people who plan to participate, as well as one mystery prize to be given away to a participant in each discussion.

Feel free to grab the general button and/or the one specifically for my standalones readalong:

As I said, though, I am one of five bloggers co-hosting this event. Check out what everyone else is doing as well:

Jen from Book Club Girl: Agatha Christie short stories – schedule
Julie from Booking Mama: Poirot – schedule
Melissa from The Sunday Book Review: Miss Marple – schedule
Nicole from Linus’s Blanket: movies – schedule

If you plan to participate in any of the events, we encourage to leave a link on the Mr. Linky below (please note, all of our blogs have the same Mr. Linky, so you only need to leave your information once), either to an announcement post or to your blog in general:

If you are planning to participate in my first readalong for Endless Night, please leave your name in the Google form below. I will choose five people who have signed up at random to receive copies of the book from HarperCollins. Please sign up by 11:59 pm Central on Friday, June 3. Winners will be notified over the weekend. Having a blog is NOT a requirement.

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Towards Zero by Agatha Christie – Book Review

Towards Zero by Agatha Christie
Published by Harper Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins

If you are interested in Agatha Christie’s standalone novels like Towards Zero, check out the readalong I will be hosting this summer.

People tell you that Agatha Christie is a master, but you have to read her yourself to fully understand. Take, for instance, this setup early in Towards Zero:

I like a good detective story,” he said. “But you know, they begin in the wrong place! They begin with the murder. But the murder is in the end. The story begins long before that – years before sometimes – with all the causes and events that bring certain people to a certain place at a certain time on a certain day…. All converging towards a given spot… And then, when the time comes – over the top! Zero Hour. Yes, all of them converging towards zero.” -p. 4

There is no murder until over 100 pages into the story. This could easily be the story of a simple family drama. The disapproving elderly surrogate mother; the man and his new wife visiting at the same time as his ex-wife; the man who has been in love with the ex-wife since childhood, and the one who has been in love with the current wife since childhood. Instead, I spent nearly 120 pages uncomfortable, wondering who would be murdered, and by whom.

Even before knowing the victim, my brain was working overtime to find the culprit. Oh, the red herrings! Every few pages I would feel that a character had tipped his or her hand, provided just the clue I needed to know who was going to have done it. Except, as soon as I started to feel smug, that character would make it plain that while she was a great suspect, she was far too obvious. For example, I had just started to suspect the elderly woman’s companion, when she said this:

“Oh, I plan things,” said Mary vaguely. “In my mind, you know. And I like experimenting sometimes – upon people. Just seeing, you know, if I can make them react to what I say in the way I mean.” p. 101

Far too obvious, Mary clearly couldn’t be the killer. I suspected every – or nearly every – character at one point or another, but I never came close to understanding the murderer or the crime until the big reveal at the ending. It made perfect sense, the clues were all there, but I missed them entirely. I was ever so slightly disappointed with the story elements following the big reveal, but the mystery itself was perfect, and the tension Christie built leading up to the murder was beyond masterful. It is obvious upon reading Towards Zero why she has been outsold only by Shakespeare and The Bible. Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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