It gets boring to keep saying “I needed an audio,” but that’s the real reason I turned to this one. It had the added bonus of taking care of the annual “short story collection” square on the annual reading bingo card, too.
The Story…or Stories
This is a new collection (2020) of 12 themed stories drawn from the work of Agatha Christie. From them I had 3 favorites:
- Three Blind Mice, which according to Wikipedia (who can doubt this source lol) is an alternative version of dear Agatha’s forever-running play, Mousetrap. I liked it because the couple who have decided to have paying guests at their newly acquired rambling country home brought to mind the story in Ruth Adam’s wonderful book, A House in the Country.
- The Coming of Mr. Quin, was such fun because it is set on New Year’s Eve and quite by chance I listened to it on my way to/fro work at the store for a few hours. That (and getting to leave early) made my New Year’s Eve fun.
- The Plymouth Express, again according to The Agatha Christie Wiki, was enlarged and altered a little to become the novel The Mystery of the Blue Train. I liked the opening–finding a dead body on a train! Imagine! And the twists and turns were so well done. I’m not a big mystery reader so I find my fun with these in other ways. I loved the vivid blue dress, for example and the Robber Baron-ish father.
And one, honorable mention:
- Christmas Adventure–I just missed listening to this on Christmas Eve, but chose something else instead. The Agatha Christie Wiki tells me it was also titled The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding. Set on Christmas Eve it features a couple of bored spoiled brats who decide to fake a murder for fun. Kids in drafty, great English country houses at Christmas had too much time on their hands and no hovering helicopter parents to reign them in I guess! The parents are out shooting peasants or playing silly games to notice what their nearly unknown offspring are up to and Nanny is knackered and imbibing the medicine cabinet brandy on the sly. I loved the whole atmosphere of a family house party with some friends, cranky, fed-up servants, and kids who need to go back to boarding school early! No wonder the landed classes believed in so much time out-of-doors–it save their sanity.
I’ve done better with short stories and essays the last few years. This collection was a nice, breezy, thing.
Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales from the Queen of Mystery by Agatha Christie
I’ve read and enjoyed the summer collection and must get to this one. I love that these give us a taste of her detectives and standalones
I haven’t read an Agatha Christie in a long time – your review makes me want to!
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They make a nice break between more serious or demanding books. There are also nice [abridged} performances by the BBC of them you can get as audio books–usually a couple of hours. I’ve gotten them accidentally, but they were enjoyable.