Archive for the 'Mystery' Category

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Reviewed by Carolyn Wood 

The dead body in the library of Colonel and Mrs. Bantry’s house belongs to a young platinum blonde.  Intrigue abounds as colorful characters attempt to uncover the identity of the deceased.  The dialogue does reflect the time period of the work.  For example, characters deliberate on the possibility of a “platinum blonde? actually existing in St. Mary Mead.  Consider the excerpt: “It accounts for a girl of this type being in St. Mary Mead.?  I would venture that tattoos and body piercing are not yet commonplace due to the preoccupation with nail care and hair dye.  Nobody can identify the woman, though many have theories as to what caused her demise.  This Agatha Christie mystery is more fun than a good game of Parker Brothers Clue.   Miss Marple is introduced on page 47 and readers have no trouble following her footsteps to solve the mystery.   

This week I also viewed Christie’s work on the small screen in the 1974 film version of Murder on the Orient Express.  I recommend viewing this movie if you get a chance as it is great fun to see a cast full of familiar faces.  My favorite cameo is Anthony Perkins as a character other than Norman Bates from Hitchcock’s Psycho

The Sad Cypress

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

The Sad Cypress….mystery by Agatha Christie

Expertly setting the stage with a mysterious letter and an exacting description of the main character on trial for murder and then bringing the threads of the story together in a most interesting manner, the author takes us back into time and England.  The main character is a woman of great character; you really like her, yet wonder if she DID do in her young, beautiful rival for her lover’s affections.

WHO put the poison in the tea, or was it the sandwiches??????  While the mystery goes on, you learn so much more about the characters and their relationships to one another.  I loved the ending; it smacked of a real life love relationship, and a believable one.  Yet much is left to the reader’s imagination.  Agatha Christie’s mysteries are truly great reads that move along quickly and delightfully.

Joan Badie

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Reviewed by Betty Tarquinto 

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive is the fifth book in a series called The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. In each novel there is always a mystery or two to be solved; however, this is not usually central to the story. It’s more often a subplot, very interesting, yet peripheral to the lives of Mma Ramotswe who runs the agency and her husband Mr. JLB Matekoni who owns an adjoining car repair shop.
 In the latest addition to the series, which does not have to be read in chronological order to be enjoyed, Mma Ramotswe is asked to solve two cases. First there are some unexplained deaths in the same bed at the same time of day in a local hospital. Also, office supplies are disappearing at a nearby printing company. For the first time Mr. JLB Matekoni takes on a case involving a cheating husband.

The appeal of this book lies in the enjoyment the reader finds sharing the lives of the characters and their love of Africa. When Mma has a problem, whether personal or professional, she has a cup of bush tea and sits outside to watch cattle, goats and children. Her days seem so peaceful. Her life is guided by the traditional values of Botswana. The book is wonderful. At times it is funny, at other times sad, but always a good read.