Curtain by Agatha Christie

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The house guests at Styles seemed perfectly pleasant to Captain Hastings; there was his own daughter Judith, an inoffensive ornithologist called Norton, dashing Mr. Allerton, brittle Miss Cole, Doctor Franklin and his fragile wife Barbara, Nurse Craven, Colonel Luttrell and his charming wife, Daisy, and the charismatic Boyd-Carrington. Hastings was shocked to learn from Hercule Poirot’s declaration that one of them was a five-times murderer. True, the aging detective was crippled with arthritis, but had his deductive instincts finally deserted him?

Review

I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan and I just love Poirot. I’ve read most of his stories and I even watched the old BBC series with David Suchet. Somehow, Curtain was never a book I really gravitated towards. One day while perusing my favorite used bookstore, I came across the book and decided to give it a try.

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To say that this novel is bittersweet is an understatement. First, Poirot and Hastings find themselves back at Styles, the house from the novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles where we were first introduced to the eccentric detective and to his friend Arthur Hastings. The other sad part is that we now find Poirot much older and in a wheelchair.

“Nothing is so sad, in my opinion, as the devastation wrought by age.
My poor friend. I have described him many times. Now to convey to you the difference. Crippled with arthritis, he propelled himself about in a wheelchair. His once plump frame had fallen in. He was a thin little man now.”

Despite Poirot’s crippled appearance, his “little gray cells” are working just fine and soon enough Poirot declares to Hastings that one of the guests at Styles has committed five murders and is about to commit one more.

I personally liked the book. I don’t think I would ever truly love any book that narrates Poirot’s last case. The end was sad, almost brought me to tears, but didn’t completely surprise me. This was also Christie’s last published book before she died. For fans of the genre, this novel will not disappoint you a bit. For Agatha Christie’s fans, this book is a must.

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.

Review

I absolutely loved this book. I have been reading Louise Penny for quite some time and one of the things that really impress me about her books is the richness of her characters. I love that all the characters have so many layers. This book reminded me a little of Umberto Eco’s The Name of The Rose. Probably because it’s set in a monastery. Unlike Eco’s long and drawn out novel, Penny’s novel is full of twists that keep you guessing until the end. Don’t let the theme of a monastery full of monks and Gregorian chants scare you away from this novel. This is a very well-plotted mystery! I highly recommend it.

 

Review: Don’t Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell

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Title: Don’t Turn Around

Author: Caroline Mitchell

Pages: 318

Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Crime

ISBN: 9781909490970

Publisher: Bookouture

Ratings: 3-star

Read: April 21, 2015-April 24, 2015

As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave. When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked.

What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict. Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play?

In this book, Caroline Mitchell introduces us to D.C. Jennifer Knight a well-written and complex character. She is more than just a cop; she hears voices inside her head. Her paranormal abilities have helped her solve cases in the past, and she will have to rely on them one more time in order to solve a string of crimes and stop a killer.

This is book number one in the Detective Jennifer Knight crime thriller series, and it was also my very first book in the paranormal/crime/thriller genre. I truly enjoyed the plot and storyline.

This novel had some extremely creepy and scary moments that worked really well together, and still kept me very interested. I particularly liked the narrative from the serial killer’s perspective–chilling and well-written. A great glimpse into a murderer’s mind.

I definitely recommend this book, and my only wish was that there was a bit more romance weaved into this great story. I’m hopeful that the next books will explore the relationship between detective Jennifer and Will.

I’d also like to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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3 star

Review: Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot

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Title: Truly, Madly, Greekly

Author: Mandy Baggot

Pages: 331

Genre: Chick Lit/Romance

ISBN: 9781909490994

Publisher: Bookouture

Rating: 4-Star

Read: April 16,2015-April 18, 2015

Sun, sea and a sexy stranger – a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated…

Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart.

But letting go of her past is not going to be easy. With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist. But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?

Lacey is planning a wedding in the beautiful island of Corfu and brings her older sister Ellen along for the ride. The Blue Vue Hotel is an all-inclusive resort in the Greek Island of Corfu, in the Ionian Sea, surrounded by the Albanian Mountains. What the girls were not expecting was the other perks that came with the package. Yan and Sergei are two dazzling handsome and sexy guys who run the animation team of the hotel. Soon the sisters were carried away from their original plans to embark on an adventure that neither one was ever expecting.

This was my first book by author Mandy Baggot, and I have to say, WOW, I loved her style! This book is a great spring/summer read, with just the right amount of fun, romance and adventure. It was such a change of pace for me. After reading deeper and serious topics found on my other reviews: Ruby and I Am Forbidden; I truly, madly, loved this book. I’m looking forward to reading more books from this author.

I would like to thank Bookouture and Netgalley for allowing me to read an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 22, 2015.

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The Liebster Award

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Oh, wow! I’m so honored to have been nominated for this award. I’ve just started my blog and I’m so excited to have been chosen by Plandy1980 from Honeybear books. Thank you so much for your kindness!

The Liebster award is a chain award that was created by bloggers and is a tradition to make new friends in the blogging community.

Here’s how it works:

– Link back to the person who nominated you
– Give 11 random facts about yourself
– Answer 11 questions from your nominator
– Nominate 11 new and obscure bloggers
– Come up with 11 questions for them to answer
– Inform your nominees

11 Random Facts:

  • I was born in South America
  • I’m actually a full-time nurse
  • I have 2 kids, 1 dog, and 1 cat
  • I love to travel as much as to read
  • I have a type A personality
  • I’m a Vegetarian Ⓥ
  • I speak 3 languages
  • I abhor doing laundry — No! Actually, I hate putting clothes away
  • I love to knit, paint and photograph
  • I’m a morning person
  • I don’t like to choose. I have a hard time choosing favorite food, favorite color, favorite author…

Questions from my nominator:

What book genre do you prefer above all others?

Fiction

What author would be your best friend?

I’m in love with with Liane Moriarty right now. Her sense of humor is fanstastic. She is witty and fun. I think she would be a great friend.

Physical book or Ereader?

I read both, as well as listen to audiobooks, but I’m a traditional type of gal and I love the smell of books.

A place you’d love to travel to?

Paris, in a heartbeat.

Your favorite vacation spot?

Majorca, Spain.

If you could have dinner with any author. Who would it be?

Stephen King.

Your favorite book character?

Ah, that’s a hard one! I love strong female characters. I have to say my very first heroine was Elizabeth Bennet.

Do you have any bookish habits?

  • I smell my books
  • I don’t dog ear
  • I read multiple books at a time
  • I don’t usually lend my books

Your favorite time of the day?

Sunrise.

Have you read anything recently by an author that’s new to you?

Plenty.

Why did you start a blog?

To share my reviews. To have an excuse to read even more books than I already do. 🙂

The blogs I nominate:

Questions for my nominees:

  • Have you read any books recently by an author whose new to you?
  • Is there a single item, a treasured possession that you never leave the house without?
  • The typical physical book vs ebook vs audio book debate, which do you prefer?
  • What is one place you’ve always wanted to travel to? (This can either be a fictional or non-fictional place)
  •  Favorite quote from a book you’ve read recently
  •  Which book genre do you prefer above all others?
  •  Which author would be your best friend?
  •  If you could pick an era to live in which one would you choose?
  •  Do you have any bookish habits?
  •  How do you organize your books?
  •  Who is your favorite book character and why?