The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

I kept coming across the description ‘hard-boiled’ applied to a certain type of detective/crime novel, but although I sort of understood the description, I couldn’t think of anything I’d read that would fit the category. And then I saw The Maltese Falcon in a secondhand book shop and as I’m happy to try just about … Continue reading The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (1936)

Murder in Mesopotamia is another book that came out of Christie's first-hand experience of working on archaeological sites with her husband. The setting of this book is the excavation a large Assyrian city about a day and a half’s journey from Baghdad. The book is narrated by Miss Amy Leatheran, a thirty-two year old nurse … Continue reading Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (1936)

Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley (1913)

E.C. Bentley wrote Trent’s Last Case as a reaction against the artificial type of detective stories popular in the early 1900’s which portrayed detectives as almost superhuman. He believed it was possible to have a detective who was recognisable as a human being with human emotions and not someone who was a perfect reasoning machine, … Continue reading Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley (1913)

Keeping Notebooks & a Bookish Update

I started a monthly or thereabouts Charlotte Mason newsletter about 18 months ago. Since moving to WordPress the link to request the newsletter doesn't work. I've had a few queries about Notebooks recently but it's a topic that comes up quite often so I've started writing about Notebooks in a Charlotte Mason education and sending … Continue reading Keeping Notebooks & a Bookish Update

Crooked House by Agatha Christie (1949)

Crooked House is one of Agatha Christie’s special favourites - she said that writing it was pure pleasure and she considered this book one of her best. “I saved it up for years, thinking about it, working it out, saying to myself: ‘one day, when I’ve plenty of time, and want to really enjoy myself- … Continue reading Crooked House by Agatha Christie (1949)

Ten Favourite Books of a 15 Year Old

I asked my 15 yr old daughter to write a few words about the books she's enjoyed - she reads A LOT, so the following are books she's read or re-read recently or those that first came to mind about an hour ago when I asked her. Seven Daughters and Seven Sons - Barbara Cohen … Continue reading Ten Favourite Books of a 15 Year Old

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey (1946)

  Miss Lucy Pym’s mission in life had been to teach schoolgirls to speak French, which she had done for four years until her remaining parent died and left her two hundred and fifty pounds a year. Lucy supplemented her living by giving French lessons from time to time and spent her spare hours reading … Continue reading Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey (1946)

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (1930)

  Miss Marple makes her debut in this novel which was my first introduction to Agatha Christie’s amateur sleuth. It was a very enjoyable crime mystery although I didn’t find Miss Marple herself very endearing. Maybe I have to get to know her a bit more. She was quite peripheral for most of this story … Continue reading The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (1930)

Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie (1945)

      I've been on a crime spree lately: Dorothy L. Sayers, P.D. James, Ngaio Marsh, and now Agatha Christie. This is one of Agatha Christie’s books where Poirot and Miss Marple aren’t involved and I’ve tended to enjoy these books more. (See The Man in the Brown Suit, for example.) A year after … Continue reading Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie (1945)