Not in any particular order.
Add yours in the comments!
|1. Captain Frederick Wentworth
Persuasion by Jane Austen
|2. Derek Stone
Bibliophile Mystery Series by Kate Carlisle
|3. Hercule Poirot
Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie
|4. Étienne St. Clair
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
|5. Carter Maguire
Vision in White by Nora Roberts
|6. Augustus Waters
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
|7. Percy Jackson
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series &
The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
|8. Sirius Black
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
|9. Will Parry
His Dark Material series by Philip Pullman
|10. Max Watson
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
|11. Jeremy Laidley
Rather series by C.A. Belmond
|12. George Knightley
Emma by Jane Austen
|13. Dickon Sowerby
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
|14. Dr. John Dolittle
The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
|15. Tristran Thorn
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Deborah Crombie has filled the Agatha Christie-sized hole that was left in my life when I finished the final Hercule Poirot novel. Ms. Crombie’s novels are set in modern times but are also thoroughly British and excellent police procedural mysteries. “Leave the Grave Green” is the third book featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. Unlike Christie’s Poirot & his side-kicks, Ms. Crombie’s protagonists have been changing and growing throughout her series. It is one of the main reasons that her books are so compelling to me. Her characters are believable and appealing. The mystery elements are formulaic but that doesn’t bother me having tore through 40+ Poirot novels over the course of a couple years. I apologize in advance if this blog becomes clogged with Deborah Crombie mystery novels, I’ll do my best to space them out. 🙂
The 20 most common nouns in Agatha Christie’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles.”
Click to enlarge.
“A Share in Death” is the first entry in the series. A quaint, country manor house full of vacationing tourists turns into a house full of suspects when one of the staff turns up dead in the pool. This book has a comforting Agatha Christie-esque feel to it. Although she’s originally from Texas, Ms. Crombie has a great sense for British culture and writing. Her protagonists Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid & Sergeant Gemma James are smart and audacious. And while I don’t expect these modern mysteries to continue to have so much in common with Christie’s novels, this one had the makings of a decent English countryside who-dun-it. I can say definitively that I will read more of Ms. Crombie’s mysteries.
Review: Solid Christie. I really liked the way this one is set up: Miss Marple receives a mystery letter from a dead acquaintance that starts her down the path to solving multiple murders. It was clever and fun. However, I still like Ms. Christie’s Poirot novels more than Miss Marple. Poirot seems to be more about smarts whereas Miss Marple stumbles into murder investigations and sometimes even acts dumb or scatterbrained to get to the truth. Although I do like the thought of a little old lady kicking ass and taking names.
Born: September 15, 1890 in Torquay, Devon, England
Died: January 12, 1976 in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England
Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie nee Miller was born into an upper middle-class English family. Her father was an American stockbroker and she had an elder sister and brother. Christie described her childhood happy. Her mother insisted that Christie be home schooled until after her father died in 1901 when she was sent to boarding and then finishing schools. She was a voracious reader from an early age, loving Edith Nesbit and Lewis Carroll.
Christie’s early literary endeavors involved writing and performing in amateur theater. She soon moved on to short stories mainly focused on her interest in spiritualism and the paranormal. These early works were submitted to various magazines but not published until later.
Christie met Archibald “Archie” Christie in 1912. He was a Royal Flying Corps. pilot stationed near Christie’s home in Devon. The couple wed on December 24, 1914 while Archie was on leave from his post in France during the First World War. Christie joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment during the war and attended to wounded soldiers at the local hospital. Archie rose through the ranks and was stationed back in Britain by September 1918. The couple settled in London and had a daughter, Rosalind, in 1919.
During the war, Christie began work on her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring detective Hercule Poirot. It was published by The Bodley Head in 1920. She was soon publishing regularly both novels and short stories.
In late 1926, Christie’s husband asked for a divorce after falling in love with another woman. On December 3, 1926, Christie disappeared from the couple’s home. She left a note saying that she was traveling to Yorkshire but her car was found in another town. Over a thousand police officers, fifteen thousand volunteers and several airplanes scoured the area looking for Christie for 10 days. She was finally found living in a hotel in Yorkshire under an assumed name. Christie never explained the disappearance but several doctors diagnosed her as having a nervous breakdown. Public reaction at the time chalked the whole thing up to a publicity stunt.
In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan and theirs was a happy marriage all the way until Christie’s death in 1976. Christie kept writing, even using her travels with Mallowan as settings for her novels. During the Second World War, Christie worked in the pharmacy at the University College Hospital where she obtained knowledge about poisons that she would later use in her writing.
Christie wrote over 70 novels and hundreds of short stories during her career and received many honors for her literary works. In 1971, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Her husband was also honored being knighted for his archaeological work.
Christie died of natural causes on January 12, 1975. She is buried near her home in Wallingford.
As Christie wrote prodigiously throughout her life, I will focus on her novels. If you would like to see a complete list of her work, click here.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
The Secret Adversary (1922)
The Murder on the Links (1923)
The Man in the Brown Suit (1924)
The Secret of Chimneys (1925)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
The Big Four (1927)
The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)
The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)
The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
The Sittaford Mystery (1931)
Peril at End House (1932)
Lord Edgware Dies (1933)
Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934)
Three Act Tragedy (1935)
Death in the Clouds (1935)
The A.B.C. Murders (1936)
Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
Cards on the Table (1936)
Dumb Witness (1937)
Death on the Nile (1937)
Appointment with Death (1938)
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938)
Murder is Easy (1939)
And Then There Were None (1939)
Sad Cypress (1940)
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940)
Evil Under the Sun (1941)
N or M? (1941)
The Body in the Library (1942)
Five Little Pigs (1942)
The Moving Finger (1942)
Towards Zero (1944)
Death Comes as the End (1944)
Sparkling Cyanide (1945)
The Hollow (1946)
Taken at the Flood (1948)
Crooked House (1949)
A Murder is Announced (1950)
They Came to Baghdad (1951)
Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (1952)
They Do It with Mirrors (1952)
After the Funeral (1953)
A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
Destination Unknown (1954)
Hickory Dickory Dock (1955)
Dead Man’s Folly (1956)
4:50 from Paddington (1957)
Ordeal by Innocence (1958)
Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
The Pale Horse (1961)
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1962)
The Clocks (1963)
A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
At Bertram’s Hotel (1965)
Third Girl (1966)
Endless Night (1967)
By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968)
Halloween Party (1969)
Passenger to Frankfurt (1970)
Elephants Can Remember (1972)
Postern of Fate (1973)
Sleeping Murder (1976)