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Damaskcat (UK)
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The Mystery of the Blue Train
The Mystery of the Blue Train
Offered by Audible Ltd

5.0 out of 5 stars The Mystery of the Blue Train, 20 Feb. 2017
Wealthy Ruth Kettering is travelling to Nice on the luxurious Blue Train but when the train arrives in Nice Ruth is dead. The police favour her estranged husband Derek as prime suspect but Hercule Poirot is not convinced by the obvious suspect. This is a well plotted mystery in which jewel theft, the activities of the hugely rich and the disadvantages of marriages of convenience all feature.

I enjoyed this sometimes sinister story of greed and murder in which Poirot uses his usual talent for understanding human nature and his incredible ability to notice the smallest detail to good advantage to ensure that the right person is finally unmasked as the murderer.

I liked the background to this story and I also liked the fact that one of the characters has actually come from St Mary Mead - Miss Marple's home village. I love the way there are cross references between series and how characters flit in and out of each others' series.


Murder in Mesopotamia
Murder in Mesopotamia
Offered by Audible Ltd

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder in Mesopotamia, 19 Feb. 2017
Set on an archaeological dig in Iraq, this is an interesting mystery. It is narrated by Amy Leatheran, a nurse who has gone to look after Louise, the wife of a celebrated archaeologist. She is having frightening hallucinations and has been receiving anonymous letters. But are they hallucinations? Or is someone out to get her and are there really people tapping in windows in the night? Amy isn't at all sure which is the truth but she does know there are many tensions between the members of the excavation team.

Hercule Poirot is due to visit the dig but maybe there will have been murder committed before he gets there. This has to be one of the most difficult cases Poirot has to undertake as there is virtually no evidence apart from what people can tell him about the other members of the dig. Of course he gradually pieces together all the disparate bits and pieces to establish who is responsible.

I enjoyed this mystery and I liked the narrator as she gives the reader a very down to earth picture of the tensions between the members of this small group of people. She also shows Poirot in a slightly different light from other narrators the author uses in the series.


To Kill a Wife (Inspector Peach Series Book 3)
To Kill a Wife (Inspector Peach Series Book 3)
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Kill a Wife, 18 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Verna Hume is not exactly a popular person. She is manipulative and cruel. Rather too many people in her life would be happy to see her dead including her long suffering husband, Martin who has got to the point of wanting her dead even though she has finally agreed to a divorce. Martin returns home after a weekend conference and finds her suffocated.

DI Percy Peach and D S Blake are soon on the trail and each of them have their own preferred suspects. Was it Verna's supercilious lover Hugh Pearson? Or her father who seems to be afraid of her? What about her sister, Sue or perhaps another lover - a renowned surgeon at the local hospital?

I enjoyed this carefully plotted murder mystery and failed completely to work out who had done it partly because I decided who I wanted to have done it far too early on in the book. I like the police characters in this well written story. All the books in the series can be read out of order though it is interesting to follow the development of the relationship between the two main characters if you read them in the order in which they were published.


One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Offered by Audible Ltd

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One, Two Buckle My Shoe, 15 Feb. 2017
Hercule Poirot has a dentist's appointment and he is just as uptight as everyone else is on such occasions. But even though he is stressed he still finds time to notice his fellow patients, which is fortunate when the dentist is found dead shortly after seeing Poirot. Was it murder or suicide? Poirot soon finds himself involved in the investigation.

What follows is a complex story of mistaken identity and some very red herrings as well as plenty of clues to keep the observant reader guessing. I got it completely wrong and picked the wrong murderer so it was a complete shock when the solution was revealed.

As ever the book is well written with plenty of memorable characters and situations. Poirot is at his most observant best, gradually uncovering secrets which people would prefer to keep hidden.


Dancing with Death: A Country House Mystery (A Nell Drury Mystery)
Dancing with Death: A Country House Mystery (A Nell Drury Mystery)
by Amy Myers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dancing With Death, 15 Feb. 2017
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley

Nell Drury - chef working at Wychbourne Court, a large stately home in Kent - is persuaded to lead a party round the house on a ghost hunt. The ghost hunt takes place after a party with many guests and to Nell, something of an onlooker, it seems like a recipe for disaster. There is already tension between a group of young people involved and when murder crashes into the middle of the ghost hunt it just seems to confirm Nell's premonitions.

Unwillingly Nell finds herself involved in the police investigation in more ways than one and she is torn between loyalty to her employers and the need to ensure the police arrest the right person. Set in 1925, this is an interesting start to a promising new series featuring Nell Drury. I did enjoy reading it and thought the author brought the characters vividly to life as well showing how uneasy the relationship had become between servants and masters and how the line between the two was gradually blurring.

My one criticism of this book was the rather too frequent food exclamations which Nell kept using - and I don't think she used the same one twice! I found them irritating after a while and cringed every time one was used. Fortunately they weren't so much in evidence during the exciting and very clever denouement in which the murder was revealed. Overall this is a good read if you enjoy historical crime novels and I look forward to the next book in the series.


Gladiators, Pirates and Games of Trust: How Game Theory, Strategy and Probability Rule Our Lives
Gladiators, Pirates and Games of Trust: How Game Theory, Strategy and Probability Rule Our Lives
by Haim Shapira
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gladiators, Pirates and Games of Trust, 15 Feb. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At first sight game theory would seem to have very little connection with everyday events and much more to do with psychologists conducting experiments with groups of volunteers. But it actually has a great deal to do with many of out interactions with other people, whether between two people or between groups of people. The principles also apply between nations and the author uses a frightening example of the Cuban Missile Crises.

Reading this book can help you negotiating with others to get what you want in the most every day situations whether at home or at work. I found it interesting - though I don't pretend to understand the maths involved with some of the game analysis. Reading it did make me realise that I don't always work out what I want out of any situation which involves negotiation.

There is a lot of information in this small book and it does repay careful study as it will help you to improve any situation which involves any sort of negotiation even if it only makes you realise that you have to decide in advance what your own bottom line might be.


The Big Four (Poirot) (Hercule Poirot Series Book 5)
The Big Four (Poirot) (Hercule Poirot Series Book 5)
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Big Four, 14 Feb. 2017
Poirot and Hastings become involved with a gang of international criminals who are very good at working out what he will do next. Have the invincible duo met their match? It starts with an unexpected visitor and a piece of paper with the number four written all over it again and again.

Gradually a picture emerges of four master criminals who seem to be pulling the strings of a large army of fellow criminals whose lives are expendable. As soon as any of them come close to revealing any secrets they meet a mysterious end.

I wasn't so keen on this book as I have been on most Christie novels because I could not quite believe in all the dangerous situations. It read more like a James Bond novel than a conventional crime novels.

It is more a collection of short stories linked by the theme of the Big Four than a novel. It could be said to be a forerunner of modern international thrillers though the nationality of the criminals would probably be different today.


Who Saw Him Die? (Inspector Peach Series Book 1)
Who Saw Him Die? (Inspector Peach Series Book 1)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Saw Him Die?, 12 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read most of this series but not this first book which introduces Inspector Percy Peach so I was glad to see it available as an e-book. Tom Harrison jointly owns his large family home with his son Trevor and his wife and two children.

Trevor is a social worker and takes in people who have just been released from prison and helps them get back on their feet. Tom doesn't particularly like the set up and when Trevor shows him plans to extend the enterprise Tom announces that he will sell the house rather than share it with former prisoners.

A sudden death upsets everyone in the house and the advent of the police turning over all aspects of their lives upsets everyone as well as the fragile equilibrium within the house. When more violence strikes everything is up in the air and Trevor's project may even be in jeopardy leaving the former prisoners with the unenviable job of finding somewhere else to live.

This is an interesting story with a rather different setting from the ordinary crime novel. Having read others in the series I don't think it shows Percy Peach at his best but maybe I am biased. Though I do think the uneasy relationships between the people who share the house was very well done. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed other in the series so I wouldn't recommend reading this book first even though it was published first.


Postern of Fate
Postern of Fate
Offered by Audible Ltd

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Postern of Fate, 11 Feb. 2017
This review is from: Postern of Fate (Audio Download)
I am not so keen on Christie's Tommy and Tuppence novels and short stories but this one caught my attention and I did enjoy it though not perhaps as much as a novel featuring Poirot or Miss Marple. Tommy and Tuppence have moved house and have taken on a run down mansion which needs some loving care. They are hoping for a peaceful retirement after their spy hunting working lives.

But their hope for peace dies a quick death when Tuppence discovers an ingenious message in a book consisting of underlined letters which spell out - Mary Jordan did not die a natural death. Tuppence naturally wants to know who Mary Jordan was and why such a message has been left.

Tuppence quickly worms her way into the local village and gradually uncovers a tale of secrets and murder from sixty years ago. It seems that someone doesn't want the irrepressible duo to discover what really went on. I did enjoy the story and thought it was very cleverly plotted but I felt some of the conversations were pretty incomprehensible and oblique - though I suspect you need to have read the previous books in this series to understand many of the references.


Hickory Dickory Dock
Hickory Dickory Dock
Offered by Audible Ltd

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hockory Dickory Dock, 11 Feb. 2017
A spate of minor thefts in a student hostel isn't Hercule Poirot's usual sort of case but the hostel is managed by his secretary's sister - Mrs Hubbard - and he wants to help. On the face of it the thefts are all trivial - apart from the diamond ring - and that turns up in someone's soup. The other thefts are one evening shoe, some boracic acid, a silk scarf cut into ribbons, a rucksack destroyed and someone's study notes are damaged by having ink poured over them.

The culprit is soon uncovered after Poirot's talk on criminology but a suspicious death shortly afterwards shows that the thefts are only part of the story. More people are going to be in danger before the truth is discovered.

I found this an entertaining and ingenious story which really held my attention and I found I had to keep reading to find out what exactly was going on. I thought the characters of the students were well drawn with a nice mixture of humility and arrogance between them. I loved the scene where a student presumes to lecture Poirot on crime and punishment. He withstands the experience very well and refuses to lose his temper. Altogether this is a marvellous example of Christie's art.


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