Category Archives: Agatha Christie

2017 Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt Wrap-up

Bev over at My Reader’s Block has been hosting her vintage mystery reading challenges for much longer than I’ve been blogging and it’s been a pleasure to take part all these years. So how did I do this year? Well … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Carter Brown, Carter Dickson, Colin Dexter, Gideon Fell, Graham Greene, Helen Nielsen, Henry Merrivale, Inspector Morse, Jim Thompson, John Dickson Carr, John Lange, Michael Crichton, Poirot, Stark House Press | 18 Comments

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Just released in the cinemas, this new adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie novel seems to be dividing critics and viewers. In fact, I have now been to see it twice – the first time with a friend who is … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Poirot, Turkey | Tagged | 60 Comments

THE STORY OF CLASSIC CRIME IN 100 BOOKS – guest post by Martin Edwards

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Martin Edwards is a pretty amazing chap. A busy blogger (Do You Write Under Your Own Name?), a lawyer by trade, a fine and prolific mystery author, he is also the … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Wallace, England, Julian Symons, Martin Edwards, Michael Gilbert, Patricia Highsmith, Sherlock Holmes | 13 Comments

DEATH IN THE CLOUDS (1935) by Agatha Christie

I rarely review Christie’s books, mainly because her work is already so well covered out there on the blogosphere. But now that my amazing oldest niece (of two, by 12 minutes) is getting into crime fiction, its time for one … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Agatha Christie, England, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Poirot | 81 Comments

Top 25 TV Detectives

Well, I have been watching the BBC’s new police drama River starring Stellan Skarsgård and Nicola Walker. Whether it will be a one-off or continue I don’t know but I think it is as good as Cracker ever was and … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Agatha Christie, Albert Campion, Columbo, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ellery Queen, Inspector Morse, Inspector Wexford, London, Lord Peter Wimsey, Los Angeles, Margery Allingham, Miss Marple, Nero Wolfe, New York, Oxford, Paris, Poirot, Rex Stout, Ruth Rendell, San Francisco, Sherlock Holmes, TV Cops | 162 Comments

POSTERN OF FATE (1973) by Agatha Christie

This was Agatha Christie’s farewell to Tommy and Tuppence, the fun-loving Jazz Age adventurers currently back on TV in the shape of David Walliams and Jessica Raine. This was their fifth and final volume and sees the couple now in … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Agatha Christie, Friday's Forgotten Book, Tommy & Tuppence | 71 Comments

THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER – guest post by Martin Edwards

Martin Edwards is a pretty amazing fellow. Not only a solicitor and a fine and prolific mystery author, he is also the consulting editor for the bestselling range of vintage mystery reprints currently being undertaken by the British Library (and … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Carter Dickson, Edgar Wallace, England, Gladys Mitchell, John Dickson Carr, Margery Allingham, Martin Edwards, Michael Innes, Ngaio Marsh, Nicholas Blake, Patricia Wentworth, Philip MacDonald, Selwyn Jepson, TH White | 25 Comments

2014 Book to Movie Challenge – completed

Well, we all like a good sequel and when Katie over at her Doing Dewey blog asked me to co-host this challenge, I just couldn’t resist (hubris is a terrible thing)! I selected the Movie Auteur level (24 books to be reviewed and … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 87th Precinct, Agatha Christie, Audrey Erskine Lindop, Barry England, Bill Pronzini, Billy Wilder, Blake Edwards, Brian de Palma, Charles Williams, Charlotte Armstrong, Claude Chabrol, Columbo, Cornell Woolrich, Dashiell Hammett, David Callan, Desmond Cory, Ed McBain, Erle Stanley Gardner, Evelyn Anthony, Georges Simenon, Graham Greene, Isaac Asimov, James Hadley Chase, James M. Cain, James Mitchell, Maigret, Miss Marple, Nero Wolfe, Orson Welles, PD James, Perry Mason, Philip Marlowe, Philo Vance, Poirot, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout, Robert Siodmak, Roy Baker, Shirley Jackson, Somerset Maugham, SS Van Dine, Stanley Ellin, The Thin Man, William Goldman | 16 Comments

2014 Vintage Mystery Challenges – completed

12 months and 72 book reviews later and the Vintage Mystery Challenge bingos, both Golden (pre-1960) and Silver (1960 to 1989) varieties, are complete! The indefatigable Bev of My Reader’s Block gives structure and meaning to the reading habits of us mystery … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Agatha Christie, Bill Pronzini, Carter Dickson, Charlotte Armstrong, Cornell Woolrich, Dashiell Hammett, David Callan, Dorothy Dunnett, Ed McBain, Edward D. Hoch, Erle Stanley Gardner, Evelyn Anthony, Georges Simenon, Gideon Fell, Gil Brewer, Gillian Freeman, Graham Greene, Harold Q. Masur, Helen Nielsen, James Hadley Chase, James M. Cain, James Mitchell, John Blackburn, John Dickson Carr, John Sladek, L. Ron Hubbard, Lange Lewis, Lawrence Sanders, Leslie Charteris, LP Davies, Maigret, Marcia Muller, Miss Marple, Nero Wolfe, Ngaio Marsh, Noir, Orson Welles, Parker, PD James, Perry Mason, Peter Corris, Philip Marlowe, Philo Vance, Poirot, Police procedural, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout, Richard Stark, Robert B. Parker, Robert Bloch, Roderick Alleyn, Science Fiction, Shirley Jackson, Somerset Maugham, SS Van Dine, Stanley Ellin, Stark House Press, The Shadow, Thomas M. Disch, Walter B Gibson, William Goldman | 24 Comments

Joan Hickson’s Miss Marple coming to Blu-ray

Joan Hickson was hardly the first actress to play Agatha Christie’s owlish sleuth Jane Marple, but on British television she may still be the most generally liked. Produced by the BBC between 1984 and 1992, this genteel and well-appointed show … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, England, Miss Marple | Tagged | 31 Comments

A MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR OF STYLE (2007) by Gilbert Adair

Sequels can be such a pain! Expectations after a success can be unfairly high, the pressure to succeed often crippling artistic instincts, co-opting authors into merely varying a winning formula by just a smidgen. But here I am attempting a … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Evadne Mount, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gilbert Adair, Postmodern | 30 Comments

Tommy & Tuppence are back on TV

So, here is the first official look at the new Tommy and Tuppence from the upcoming six-part BBC series Partners in Crime, starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine. (Left to Right : Jessica Raine as Tuppence and David Walliams as … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Tommy & Tuppence | 52 Comments

THE ACT OF ROGER MURGATROYD (2006) by Gilbert Adair

The late Gilbert Adair (1944-2011) would have been 70 this year. He wrote essays, screenplays, film reviews, novels and much more besides. His books are usually about other books, and this clever whodunit was inspired by an acknowledged Agatha Christie … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Evadne Mount, Gilbert Adair, Postmodern | 57 Comments

MYSTERIES UNLOCKED – ESSAYS IN HONOR OF DOUGLAS G. GREENE edited by Curtis Evans

Curtis Evans, he of The Passing Tramp blog and the Masters of the Humdrum Mystery book, has edited the new anthology, Mysteries Unlocked – Essays in Honor of Douglas G. Greene. It’s a celebration of the work of the founder of Crippen & … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Edmund Crispin, Fredric Brown, John Dickson Carr, Margery Allingham, Patrick Quentin, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

THE ABC MURDERS (1936) by Agatha Christie

I realise this might be a bit controversial but I am here to praise both Christie’s classic ABC mystery and The Alphabet Murders, the zany 1965 movie version starring an improbably skinny Tony Randall as Poirot. Yes, it’s a broad comedy and … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 46 Comments

Ten Little Indians (1965) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

With the news that the BBC are to adapt Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, I thought this might be a good opportunity to look at the original novel and earlier screen incarnations, especially the 1965 cinema version released … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Harry Alan Towers, Philip MacDonald, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 74 Comments

Marple: Endless Night

Endless Night, among the best of Agatha Christie’s  later novels, is the latest to be ‘Marple-ised’ – that is to say, adapted for the ongoing Marple TV series by inserting Jane Marple into a story where she did not originally appear. … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Margaret Millar, Miss Marple | Tagged , , | 74 Comments

ENDLESS NIGHT (1967) by Agatha Christie

We begin 2014 with a classic author trying something different. Many readers (myself included) regard this as among the most accomplished of Agatha Christie’s (admittedly variable) later novels. A clever variation on one of her best Golden Age gambits, this is none … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margaret Millar, Miss Marple | 76 Comments

THE AXEMAN COMETH by Nev Fountain

What do you mean you’ve never heard of cult sci-fi series Vixens from the Void – what about its star, the sultry Vanity Mycroft –  no? Well, that’s understandable because they only exist in the imagination of Nev Fountain, serving … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Audio Review, Big Finish, Doctor Who, Film Noir, Mervyn Stone, Nev Fountain, Poirot | 23 Comments

The Mystery of the Missing Hour

Agatha Christie meets Pirandello in this rather splendid audio mystery by Joseph Lidster starring Susannah Harker and David Warner as ‘time detectives’ Sapphire and Steel. It’s Cairo in 1926 and an expedition arrives from England to uncover the secrets of a … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Audio Review, Big Finish, Egypt, Joseph Lidster, Miss Marple, Nigel Fairs, Poirot, Sapphire & Steel, Scene of the crime | 22 Comments

A CLOSED BOOK (1999) by Gilbert Adair

The novelist, screenwriter and critic Gilbert Adair  (who died last year) was above all a postmodernist, one whose work riffed and built self-consciously on pre-existing works. I’m a big fan of Adair and enjoy postmodern fiction too but an appreciation … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Five Star review, Gilbert Adair, Paul Auster, Philip MacDonald, Postmodern | 20 Comments

UNFINISHED PORTRAIT (1934) by Agatha Christie

When I started Fedora I promised myself that I would try to avoid Agatha Christie as much as possible, not because I don’t enjoy her work but simply out of a spirit of self-preservation. She is already so well represented … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Agatha Christie, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, Golden Age Girls | Tagged | 46 Comments

Long lost essay by Agatha Christie published

In today’s edition of The Guardian newspaper there is an article with details of an essay written by Agatha Christie in 1945 on the art of the British mystery story. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Information and intended … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Lord Peter Wimsey, Miss Marple, Poirot | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

THE EMPEROR’S SNUFFBOX (1942) by John Dickson Carr

Singled out by Carr himself as one of his best efforts, this is quite an anomalous title from the great writer’s oeuvre, though it displays many of his greatest virtues. Constructed with his trademark cunning, the story does not feature … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, France, John Dickson Carr, Scene of the crime | 29 Comments

A is for … Amnesia

Kerrie’s Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog has returned for 2012. Each week those participating will post a review, author biog or a thematic item in which either the first letter of the title … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, Cornell Woolrich, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Ed McBain, Ellery Queen, Espionage, Film Noir, James Bond, LP Davies, Margaret Millar, Patrick Quentin | 33 Comments

The Mirror Crack’d (1980) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

Dame Agatha Christie apparently disliked most of the movies adapted from her work, not without reason in some cases, though there are several honourable exceptions. Particularly worthy of note are the blackly comic 1945 version of And Then There Were … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Miss Marple, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 22 Comments

Suchet to film remaining Poirot stories

Closing time is fast approaching for David Suchet as Poirot. In what is an amazing production feat, all the novels and collections of short stories featuring Poirot will have been filmed, with David Suchet playing the role, by next year. … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Miss Marple, Poirot | 25 Comments

Film Top 10: Surprise Villains

O Henry was considered to be the original master of the twist ending in his popular short stories, at least in the sense that this is what he became famous for – and certainly there are a great many movies … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Agatha Christie, Columbo, DVD Review, Film Noir, Giallo, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, Spy movies, Top 10 | 10 Comments

Top 100 mystery books (almost)

The plan was to come up with a top 100 that I was prepared to stand by – but I wanted to re-read so many of the books that I might have included but now remembered too vaguely (such as Ngaio Marsh’s output or books like Tey’s hugely popular The Daughter of Time) that I thought I should publish only a partial list. Not to mention finding it a bit hard to just settle on one book by Georges Simenon given the enormity of his output – I have placed a list of 80+ titles on the site and am extremely open to suggestions …

So here are My (Nearly) Top 100 Mystery Books  Continue reading

Gallery | 2 Comments

Audio Review: CROOKED HOUSE by Agatha Christie

I first published this brief review over at my Audio Aficionado blog but I think it belongs more properly here with my other Fedora tips.

This four part BBC radio drama is an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s eponymous 1949 novel, one which on several occasions she claimed to be the favourite amongst her own works.

The title is derived from the familiar nursery rhyme:

“There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.”

Continue reading

Gallery | 2 Comments