Archive for June, 2011

June 20, 2011

A Wonderful Place For A Murder.


Yesterday afternoon,while on a walk with my family, I came across a lovely old home now being used by Parks and Recreation. The first words out of my mouth when the house came in to view  were ” What a wonderful setting  for a murder!” My children were a bit alarmed.

These past few weeks I have  been absorbed in all things Agatha Christie. I am now working my way through The Murder At The Vicarage. This was Christie’s first novel in which Miss Marple appears. So far, The Moving Finger remains my favorite and I’m glad I waited to read Murder At The Vicarage until now. Miss Marple is quite different in the Vicarage mystery than she has been in the previous books I’ve read. A little more meddling,and not as likable. Whatever her demeanor,she presses in my brain and remains there even when the book is shut.

And so it was on said sunny afternoon walk that Miss Marple emerged from my memory banks and made her way along the dirt road to a house I was admiring. Here was a place a group could assemble for a disastrous dinner,or a criminal cocktail party. A quiet weekend in the country could end with the host missing, blackmailed,or dead. Such possibilities!

As I strolled around the deserted buildings,peering in any window I could,scenes from Christie’s novels played before me.  Near the fireplace I could imagine Jerry and Joanna discussing the latest anonymous letter received in the mail. In another room sat Dora Bunner and Letitia Blacklock  reading the Gazette over breakfast. I was convinced if Agatha Christie lived in Baltimore County this house  would be in her books.

With the secret gardens, the odd little buildings and the rickety bridge that crossed a trickling stream, the house seemed ideal to star in a locked-room manor mystery. I have taken a few photos of the place and hope that I will be able to share them with you. I can’t think of any other writer who has inspired me in this way.

I hope that you are enjoying your summer reading.For those of you who wish to follow along with me on my Agatha journey the books I have read so far are :

1. A Murder Is Announced 

2. The Moving Finger  

3. The Murder In The Vicarage.

Thanks for reading!




June 1, 2011

Getting Cozy; My Year Discovering Agatha Christie.

       Can you believe that until last week I had never read an Agatha Christie mystery?  Although you could find several of her novels wedged onto my bookcases,not one of their spines had been cracked. She had never been one of my highschool assignments,nor would she be found on my summer reading list.Even after ten straight years of attending the Malice Domestic conference,which is home to the Agatha Awards, I had managed to avoid reading the  “Queen of Mystery”.  I was avoiding her. How exciting could that elderly Miss Marple be anyway?  Throughout the years I have on occasion watched Mystery on PBS and  enjoyed the Poirot stories.  My favorite being Murder On The Orient Express.  I liked the movie so much  I bought the book.It’s been next to the clock on my night-stand for nearly twenty years.  I was going to read it, but Janet Evanovich,and  Sue Grafton had new books out. Could a Belgian detective compete for my time with the likes of Stephanie Plum and Kinsey Millhone? Never! They were modern women. They were young,exciting, full of action and sarcastic dialogue. Theirs was the type of book I wanted to read.  I’ve now read them all and through the years have added Nancy Martin’s Blackbird Sisters, Susan Kandel’s  Cece Caruso,and Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc. However, I continued to collect Dame Agatha’s books.

       Several days ago I found myself waiting in the car for one of my children to be dismissed from school. I was a bit early, and having nothing else to read, I grabbed a book from the backseat. The book I held in my hand was A Murder Is Announced. A Miss Marple Mystery no less!  With nothing else to read I opened its cover and plunged full steam  into its crisp pages. By chapter 2 (Breakfast At Little Paddocks) I was not only immersed, I was in love! I wanted to live in a lovely little village like Chipping Cleghorn, I wanted to be invited to tea and parties by people who  were called  Pip and Hinch.  A far cry from my beach reading of last year which included Fight Club and American Gods.

     It took me only a few days to read through A Murder Is Announced, and once finished I began The Moving Finger. It was on page 16 when I realized I couldn’t wait to read the next book,and the next. I feel as though I am on an adventure, one that I will keep track of on these pages. Be patient with me as I learn the ropes of blogging. I welcome any comments,recommendations,or stories pertaining to Agatha Christie and her works.

Thanks for reading!