Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

3 stars ★ ★ ★  

Another enjoyable mystery~

The Murder on the Links is book #2 in the Hercule Poirot series written by Agatha Christie.

The story begins with reoccurring characters Hastings and Poirot having breakfast one morning in London. They receive an urgent letter from a man named Paul Renauld stating that he is afraid for his life because of a "secret" that he holds and that Poirot must "For God's sake, come!" After reading that he and Hastings immediately embark off to France where the Renauld's villa resides. However, once Hastings and Poirot arrives at the gates of the villa the police tell them that Renauld has been murdered earlier this morning.

The Commissary of Police and the examining Magistrate informs them that he and his wife were attacked around 2 am by two masked men who tied up the wife and took Paul Renauld demanding to know of the "secret and then when he refuses to tell it he is then taken away and later found dead in a newly-dug grave on the golf course nearby their villa.

After investigating and interviewing members of the villa, Poirot, discoveries that each servant and person has a different account of the story. Meanwhile, the detective of the Pairs Surete Monsieur Giraud has arrived on the scene becoming territorial over the case being rather hostile towards Poirot.. but he is determined to stay around and do the job of determining who murdered Paul Renauld.

 Ah! Another fun mystery by Agatha the great!

Things that I liked:

*  The thought provoking plot.
* The twist and turns.
* Poirot's wit and humor.
* Wide variety of characters.    

Things that I didn't like:

* Detective Giraud
* Hastings stupidity

In this book Hastings irritated me quite a bit. He was so clueless, careless, blind, and just overall naive in this book! And if you've read the any of Agatha Christie's other works you'd know why, but, in the book he is worse and quite rude to Poirot at times. Luckily Poirot balances the story out because without him the book wouldn't be readable with just Hastings as the main character!

I also couldn't stand Giraud but he's not a main reoccurring character (or so I don't think) so he don't matter much.

What I enjoy about Christie's writing other than the good writing is that her novels always make me think. Right when I thought I know who the murder was a twist in the story occurred and I was wrong but it's still enjoyable and I'll definitely be continuing the Hercule Poirot series!

As always comments are welcomed and follow me on my other social media below~

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

3.5 stars ★ ★ ★  ½

A enjoyable read~

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is book #1 in the Hercule Poirot series written by Agatha Christie.

The story takes place during the First World War in a England Essex country side. It follows our narrator, 30 year old Arthur Hastings who is on sick leave from the Western Front.

It begins with Hastings giving his account on how he become involved in the public case now know as "The Styles Case" it all begin when he was given sick leave from the convalescent home and one day runs into a friend whom he ain't seen in many years, John Cavendish. During their chat they update each other on their lives, and then is nice enough to offer him the opportunity to stay at the Styles manor for the rest of his leave, which was left to his mother by her previous husband's after his death.

When there he arrives he is introduced to some of the Styles residents including but not limited to John's wife, his brother, his moms friend/companion, the family friend, and his mother's much younger new husband.

Soon after his stay at Styles manor the household is all awakened one night/early morning to find that Emily Inglethorp, the mistress of Styles, is dying from what seems to be strychnine poisoning. Hastings then enlists his old friend Poirot, a famous Belgian detective staying at a nearby village to help solve the mystery of the mistress' murder. Hercule Poirot is to piece together events surrounding the murder before the journalists get ahold of the news and plaster it in the newspapers.

* I rather enjoyed this book. Lately I've been a mystery mood and decided to go straight to the Queen of Mystery herself, Agatha Christie! And I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't sure if I would like the writing due to the era it was wrote in.. but Christie's writing was great! The writing wasn't dated and it flowed very well.

* I haven't read many mystery books but it I would say it was pretty good. I didn't guess who it was of course but it was still fun trying!

* The characters and plot were well developed considering this was Agatha's first novel! Poirot is such a fun and witty character~

* It also amazed me how much story and mystery plot she fit in a 200 page novel!

I'll definitely continue reading Agatha Christie books to see how she grows because this is so far a good start to the beginning of her long career that earned her the title as the Queen of Mystery :)

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany

4.5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Ah! Really enjoyed this one!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part story based on the new play by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. It is marketed as Harry Potter #8 and is wrote in play/script form.

The story takes place 19 years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and continues where the epilogue leaves off where Harry, Ginny, Hermione, & Ron are at King's Cross to see their kids off to Hogwarts.

The story is mainly about Harry & Ginny's youngest son, Albus, who is feeling a lot of pressure to live up to the Potter name and because of his fathers past it causes a bit of distance between the son and father. Now Albus is stuck trying to find himself in the world that expects him to be as great as his father but he's determined to not be in his dad's shadow.

After arriving aboard the Hogwarts Express he makes a friend named Scorpius who just so happens to be Draco Malfoy's son. They quickly become friends and find out they have many similarities a few being that they both have family problems and also end up being bullied at school. Eventually they go on an adventure together that will alter the world as everyone knows it causing big problems.

Okay, so let's start off by stating the obvious which that this is not your normal book format because it is formatted in play/script form instead. With that being said I wasn't sure what to expect as I do not have previous experience reading any plays or scripts.. However, I ended up actually enjoying the format as play/script. The whole book read very well which was surprising to me because so many people are having problems with reading it in play form.

Next, well let's get to the next thing which is that it's "based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany" meaning that it wasn't completely written solely by J.K. so to some, most, fans it is noticeable that it isn't 100% her writing.. But for me that wasn't as much a problem for me as the grammar errors were.. which I did notice them but it wasn't terrible enough to dislike the book.

Things I liked:

- The new characters, Scorpius (the best) and Albus (obviously)
- Seeing the old characters back.
- The plot was good and a very surprising one at that!
- That it was easily readable in script form.

Things I didn't like:

- The Albus + Scorpious queer-baiting that went on throughout the story.
- Wish we heard from more of the older characters such as (modern day) Hagrid. (Also why didn't Teddy Lupin at-least make a little cameo?)
- The writing wasn't the best & obviously wish that it was a regular book wrote solely by J.K. Rowling.

Aside from the things I didn't like, I can say that I actually enjoyed the book more than I thought, in fact, going in I wasn't sure what to expect so it surprised me when I picked up the book to start
reading and didn't I want to put it down.. It felt so right to me. I feel like for the most part that it's a nice closure piece to the epilogue in the Harry Potter book #7. I see this book for what it was and not so much as Harry Potter book #8 more like a novella ish 7.5 version.

Overall, I quite enjoyed it and will read again when I re-read the Harry Potter series. I think that if you're hesitant just give it a try and if you like it great and if you don't then that's okay, it doesn't have to change your feelings for the previous original series.

I'll definitely be buying the edited script version called "Definitive Collector's Edition" when it's released in 2017 and of course I would go see the play if it comes somewhere close to me in the U.S.

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