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Murder, Destroyer of Mondays

What I've Finished Reading

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. A beautiful young governess gets a job at an isolated French estate, with a glowering disabled man and his wife, a tall drink of cold water. The little boy she’s hired to teach English is distant and wary. One ominous thing after another happens and finally it becomes clear that someone, possibly everyone on the estate, is trying to kill the little boy and pin it on her. A fun, very florid read. The ending was a letdown because I didn’t like the love interest (obnoxious flashing-eyed fast-driving wrist-grabbing aristocrat with no redeeming qualities except “didn’t actually try to kill a little kid, as far as we know”). But it’s not the kind of book where you have to like the love interest in order to have a good time.

What I’m Reading Now

Two stories into The Hound of Death, a short story collection by Agatha Christie. The first and title story is about a spoooky case of religious delusion and coincidence. . . or is it? Unusually for Christie, we never really get an answer. A Belgian nun believes she has the power to summon “the Hound of Death,” a devastating destructive force, and may or may not have caused the abbey to spontaneously combust during the war after it had been commandeered by a large troop of German soldiers. Besides being inconclusive, there’s a touch of science fiction in this story Monsieur, it is not well that a man should come to power before his time. Many centuries must go by ere the world is ready to have the power of death delivered into its hand. . . . Was it the past Sister Marie Angelique saw in her visions of death-dealing technomages, or the future? Here in 1933, it’s both.

“The Red Signal” is a much more straightforward Christie puzzle with an obvious but cruel and clever twist. A man feels a strong sense of foreboding at a party, but it does him no good at all.

What I Plan to Read Next

I've just started Enter Sir John - murder on a quiet street with all the windows going up, and drowsy neighbors complaining about the noise. It's promising so far.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 8th, 2017 02:47 pm (UTC)
I think I'd like 'Hounds of Death' even if it sounds obvious and should have a pulp superhero in it.
May. 9th, 2017 07:33 pm (UTC)
It's a good short story collection! Some of the stories are better than others, but they're all fun and readable - mostly focusing on either unexplained phenomena or unscrupulous people using the appearance of unexplained phenomena to steal stuff. There's a wonderfully bizarre story about an innocent young toff who gets turned into a cat, for some reason.
May. 10th, 2017 02:16 pm (UTC)
Being turned into a cat isn't so bad. Not if it's my cat...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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