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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Title: Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Piorot Mystery #9)

Author: Agatha Christie

Publisher: Harper 1934

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 336

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges:  Mixing it Up — Mystery; Support Your Local Library; Semi-Charmed — Always wanted to read

How I Got It: Library loan

Famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot must sift through clues–some real and some planted–to find a murderer aboard a crowded train speeding through the snowy European landscape.
This is one of those books that I have always wanted to read, yet somehow never got around to it.  I finally snatched it off of the library racks and took it home.  A classic mystery that had me guessing until the very end.  Loved it!  The characters are colorful.  The setting is inspired.  The clues are given but not completely obvious.    Now I understand why this is such a classic.  It has everything you want for in a  great mystery.  I just can’t believe it took me this long to get around to it.
Hercule Poirot

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
  2. The Murder on the Links (1923)
  3. Poirot Investigates (1924)
  4. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
  5. The Big Four (1927)
  6. The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)
  7. Peril at End House (1932)
  8. Lord Edgware Dies (or Thirteen at Dinner) (1933)
  9. Murder on the Orient Express (or Murder in the Calais Coach) (1934)
  10. Three Act Tragedy (Murder in Three Acts) (1934)
  11. Death in the Clouds (Death in the Air) (1935)
  12. The ABC Murders (1936)
  13. Cards on the Table (1936)
  14. Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
  15. Death on the Nile (1937)
  16. Dumb Witness (Poirot Loses a Client) (1937)
  17. Murder in the Mews (Dead Man’s Mirror) (1937)
  18. Appointment with Death (1938)
  19. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (A Holiday for Murder) (1938)
  20. Sad Cypress (1940)
  21. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (An Overdose of Death) (1940)
  22. Evil Under the Sun (1941)
  23. Five Little Pigs (Murder in Retrospect) (1942)
  24. The Hollow (Murder After Hours) (1946)
  25. The Labours of Hercules (1947)
  26. Taken at the Flood (There is a Tide) (1948)
  27. Mrs McGinty’s Dead (Blood Will Tell) (1952)
  28. After the Funeral (Funerals are Fatal) (1953)
  29. Hickory Dickory Dock (1955)
  30. Dead Man’s Folly (1956)
  31. Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
  32. The Clocks (1963)
  33. Third Girl (1966)
  34. Hallowe’en Party (1969)
  35. Elephants Can Remember (1972)
  36. Poirot’s Early Cases (1974)
  37. Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (1975)
  
 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Cooking Up Murder by Miranda Bliss

Title: Cooking Up Murder (Cooking Class Mystery #1)

Author: Miranda Bliss

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime 2006

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 233

Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Local Library

Annie and Eve are life-long best friends who have absolutely nothing in common-except a lack of skill in the kitchen. So when they sign up for a cooking class at the local gourmet shop, they figure the only things at risk are a few innocent fruits and vegetables. But on the first night, Annie and Eve see their fellow student Beyla arguing with a man-a man who later turns up dead in the parking lot. Now the friends feel bound to uncover whatever secrets she’s hiding, before someone else’s goose-perhaps one of their own-gets cooked. — From Amazon.com

Wow… I don’t have much to say about this book.  It was quick, it was predictable, it was fun.  There wasn’t anything really wrong with it.  It just wasn’t an amazing book.  That’s all.  The one part that I really liked–the character of Annie.  She’s normal, but just neurotic enough to make her interesting and quirky.  I loaned out the other books in the series, but have decided to pause and pick up a different book.

Cooking Class Mystery
1. Cooking Up Murder
2. Murder On the Menu
3. Dead Men Don’t Get the Munchies
4. Dying for Dinner
5. Murder Has a Sweet Tooth

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Unusual Suspects edited by Dana Stabenow

Title: Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy

Author: edited by Dana Stabenow

Publisher: Ace Trade 2008

Genre: Paranormal; Mystery

Pages: 320

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; April Read-a-Thon

Interesting collection of fantasy and mystery stories.  Like all collections, I liked some and not so much for others.  Instead of trying to summarize the entire book, I thought I would list all the stories, share a few thoughts, and rate the stories.

  1. “Lucky” Charlaine Harris — A great Sookie Stackhouse short story.  A nice fill in between novels with some great characters (both new and old).  5 stars
  2. “Bogieman” Carole Nelson Douglas — Loved the plot.  Really want to read more of her work. 5 stars
  3. “Looks are Deceiving” Michael Stackpole — I got very confused very quickly.  His world sounds pretty interesting, but I obviously need to read some of his other works first. 2 stars
  4. “The House of Seven Spirits” Sharon Shim — Great ghost/mystery story.  I was definitely impressed. 5 stars
  5. “Glamour” Mike Doogan — Interesting world, but really couldn’t get into the story. 3 stars
  6. “Spellbound” Donna Andrews — Witches, mages, gremlins, and origami?  Perfect crazy story.  Reminded me of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. 5 stars
  7. “The Duh Vice” Michael Armstrong –Good sci fi story. 4 stars
  8. “Weight of the World” John Straley — Wow!  What an awesome story featuring Santa Claus, elves, and “the list.” 5 stars
  9. “Illumination” Laura Ann Gilman — Good start to what looks like an interesting character. 4 stars
  10. “The House” Laurie King — Loved loved loved this ghost story with a twist. 5 stars
  11. “Appetite for Murder” Simon Green — Great mystical whodunit.  I really want to read more of his Nightside world. 5 stars
  12. “A Woman’s Work” Dana Stabenow — Too many names and odd plot lines.  I couldn’t even finish this story. 1 star

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

The last few days have been crazy busy with snow days, household chores, birthday parties, and distractions.  My regular blogging schedule was majorly disruppted, but hopefully I’ll be getting back to it in the next few days.

Title: The Monsters of Templeton

Author: Lauren Groff

Publisher: Voice (Hyperion) 2008

Genre: Young Adult

Pages: 361

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: YA; 2011: YA or YA Not; Support Your Local Library: A to Z Authors: G

I’ve recently started reading young adult fiction, and I must say I am surprised at the good quality.  I picked this book up based off of recommendations from lost of book bloggers.  The beginning of the book was a bit confusing.  I really couldn’t tell if I liked it or not.  Thirty pages in, I really started to get into the story.

The story has everything: monsters (both supernatural and human), a paternity mystery, family relations, and historical research.  The various elements wove together to form a layered story that really kept my attention.  The characters (likable or not) were complex.  I didn’t find a single one-dimensional character in the bunch (and that’s saying a lot considering there are a lot of characters).

I won’t spoil the ending, but let me say it’s a biggie.  The ending did a nice job of wrapping up all the story lines.  I especially loved the ending to the “monster’s” story.  This will definitely go on my favorites list for 2011.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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