Category Archives: agatha christie

In a Dark, Dark Wood

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“In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house. And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room. And in the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark cupboard. And in the dark, dark cupboard there was a dark, dark shelf. And on the dark, dark shelf there was a dark, dark box. And in the dark, dark box there was…”(Alvin Schwartz).

Sometime not completely unexpected but surprising nonetheless.

In a Dark, Dark Wood is Ruth Ware’s first novel. In the beginning, this novel reminded me so much of Agatha Christie’s Endless Night. There’s a house in the middle of the woods cursed by the townspeople for it’s very existence. A young woman about to be married, in this case throwing a hen party, and suffering through a series of “tricks” that will test her psychological stamina.

I loved how Ware created the creepy and suspenseful ambience in the novel. The house was terrifying. Full of windows that give the characters the feeling that they are a spectacle meant to be watched. Actors on the stage of a play they haven’t been given the lines for.

The main character, Nora, is a writer who left her hometown under mysterious circumstances and has yet gotten over it. She’s suddenly invited to her high school best friend’s hen party out of the blue and on a whim decides to go. Once there, she and the rest of the hen party, are in for quite a surprise.

This novel did pack some twists and turns but I have to say that I was a little let down by the big reveal. The foreshadowing in the beginning of the novel was amazing but kind of faltered in the middle and never was quite able to match the suspense of the beginning.

I did like how Ware used her red herring in the novel. It definitely threw me off the scent for a while.

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel. I liked a nod to the Classic Mystery genre, and one of Agatha Chritie’s lesser known novels. I’m excited to see what Ware’s next book will be and whether she will continue in the mystery genre.

Rating: 3.5/5

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

 

 

The Bottom of the Pile

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Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a book on the bottom of my to read pile. Since I’ve been doing this challenge, my list of books to read has narrowed and narrowed. I don’t have many books from which to choose for this category anymore. Ultimately, I decided upon Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood. This book was published this year and hasn’t been on my list long. However, since I’ve started this book challenge, I’ve bumped this novel from many other categories it could have fallen into. I was going to read it for the crime novel but decided against it. Then I was going to read In a Dark, Dark Wood as an author I’ve never read before and bumped it again.

Finally I bumped the novel to this category, a perfect fit. From the back, this novel sounds like it’s going to be a nice cozy type mystery. Women get together after many years for a hen party that goes tragically awry. I can’t wait to see what twist awaits me in this mystery.

Stay tuned for the full review of In a Dark, Dark Wood. Happy reading!

Three Blind Mice

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Three blind mice, see how they run…”

The short story, Three Blind Mice, is the basis for the longest running play in the English language, The Mousetrap. That in itself is pretty darn impressive. The story itself is very Agatha Christie with red herrings galore and an ending you just don’t quite see until you get there. This, more than some of the other stories in this anthology, is a stand alone story. There is no Poirot or Miss Marple to solve the case. There’s just a young newly married couple who have recently inherited a large mansion and turn it into a bed and breakfast. They have three initial guests staying in the hotel and one who shows up unannounced in the middle of a snowstorm. In London, and seemingly unconnected to this story, a woman is found murdered with a note and the rhyme Three Blind Mice written on it. It take a bit for the case to build up, increasing the paranoia of the characters and reader. But when it does wow. Agatha Christie has some of the most unbalanced villains.

One of the other stories that really struck me was The Case of the Caretaker. This story featured the lovely Miss Marple. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that somewhere I had read a story very similar to this one. Newly married couple, then the wife dies mysteriously after being cursed by a gypsy woman. Then it hit me. I had read this before. It’s actually a different Agatha Christie novel called Endless Night, as well as a movie starring Hayley Mills. It makes me wonder if this short story was a precursor to the longer novel. They have very similar styles and plot lines but Endless Night delves much more into the psyches of the villains, and Miss Marple plays a much smaller part. Endless Night is one of the more unsettling Chrisite novel’s I’ve read because of the villain.

All in all, this was an extremely fun read. Some of the stories had to stretch a bit to come to the conclusion but the majority were just as ingenious as Christie’s novels. If you like Agatha Christie style mysteries I would definitely pick up this collection of short stories and give it a read.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

The First Queen of Suspense

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Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a novel composed of short stories. I had quite a hard time finding a short story anthology that I was interested in and had not read before. I was going to re-read a Daphne du Maurier short story anthology before I found Agatha Chrisite’s Three Blind Mice and Other Stories. I grew up watching the Hercule Poirot mysteries on A&E with my mom and reading Agatha Chrisite novels filled with interesting and broken characters. I love that her two main characters are so different yet so similar at the same time. Miss Marple and Poirot both are very particular about getting there way and investigating the small things. I was happy when I saw that this short story compilation has both great detectives and then a few other stories thrown in. I can’t wait to get started and see what confounding mysteries Miss Christie has in store.

Stay tuned for the full review of Three Blind Mice. Happy reading!