Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Hollow aka Murder After Hours by Agatha Christie

Plot Summary

It is a sunny, warm and cheerful day. M. Poirot has been invited over to lunch by the Angkatells at the Hollow, their beautiful abode in the country. The Angkatells are Poirot's neighbors in the country just outside London. Henry and his eccentric wife Lucy Angkatell have also invited their old friends Dr John and his wife Gerda Christow, the Angkatell's are also having over some more of family and old acquaintances staying with them at the Hollow.

Poirot leisurely walks over to the Hollow expecting a scrumptious lunch and good conversion. Alas, what poor Poirot gets is murder! Dr Christow has been shot and his lying on his back, blood is slowly dripping from him into the blue water of the swimming pool, standing over him is his wife Gerda Christow with a gun in hand.

Review: Its been often said that Dame Christie books especially the ones which feature Poirot and written after the second world war are weaker then their antecedents, so is this true for the 1946 piece of detective fiction "The Hollow"?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton was greatly inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. In 1911 Chesterton created Father Brown, a Catholic Priest who is the complete opposite of Sherlock Holmes. While Holmes used deduction and logic to solve tenebrous cases, the cleric Father Brown used intuitive and sympathetic worldliness to solve mysteries. Father Brown in most stories is accompanied by a master thief turned detective Hercule Flambeau.

The Innocence of Father Brown is a collection of short stories which were published in 1911. There are 12 stories of whose capsule reviews and plot summary you can see below.

The Blue Cross - The famous master criminal Flambeau is in London and he is being tracked down by Valentin himself, the head of the Paris Police and the most famous investigator of the world. Valentin who is searching for Flambeau all over London notices some very queer incidents involving two priests and decides to follow them. These bizzare incidents might be the work of a lunatic or of a brilliant, eccentric amateur sleuth.
We get introduced to Father Brown and also to Flambeau. Father Brown in his own stories is self effacing, he is of the Miss Marple category of detectives and not Poirot or Sir Henry Merrivale. A nice introduction to Father Brown stories.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is given a tricky little problem. Mary Morstan is getting pearls in her mail every year for six years. she does not know who sends it or why they send it. Miss Morstan has now received a letter which urges her to meet with the sender that night. The anonymous sender permits her to bring two friends as long as they are not police. now take a guess who those two friends might be? Holmes and Watson travel with the Mary Morstan to meet the sender.

The sender is Mr Sholto whose father Major Sholto had mysteriously come to acquire a treasure and that Mary Morstan's father had an equal share to that treasure. So, Mary whose father had passed away should be bequeathed with half of the treasure. The only problem is that the Major Sholto had hidden the treasure in his Norwood home and his sudden demise left Mr Sholto and his twin brother perturbed as they did not know the location of the treasure.

After searching for 6 years they have finally found it. Now Mr Sholto wants to take Mary Morstan with her to his father's Norwood home where they will divide the treasure. So, the four of them Mary Morstan, Mr Sholto, Homles and Watson start off to get the treasure but instead they get a murder.


A Classic of the genre or a horrible racist mistake by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Vintage Mystery Challenge 2012 completed

I have completed the Vintage Mystery Challenge. I was supposed to read 8 books all written by male authors and written before 1960. The challenge was a lot of fun and led me to discover some wonderful new authors like Saradindu Bandophadhay and Rex Stout, the challenge also gave me the chance to read books from my favorite author John Dickson Carr, as you can see from the list below the most recurring name below would be John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson.

The challenge was hosted by Bev @ my readers block.

"Cherchez le homme"

1. Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout

2. The Case of the constant suicides by John Dickson Carr

3. The Case of the Crooked Candle by Erle Stanley Gardner

4. Picture Imperfect and other Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries by Saradindu Bandyopadhyay

5. The Peacock Feather Murders by Carter Dickson

6. Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr

7. The Curse of the Bronze Lamp aka Lord of the Sorcerers by Carter Dickson

8. Trial and Error by Anthony Berkeley

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The White Priory Murders by Carter Dickson

Plot:Sir Henry Merrivale’s favorite sex siren, Marcia Tait has been murdered. She is found bludgeoned to death in a room called the Queen’s mirror, which was the 17th Century trysting place for King Charles II. Queen’s mirror is surrounded by a frozen lake if anyone steps on it then the ice would crack and that person would die a freezing death. Entry and exit to the room is restricted by only a pavilion, which is covered by snow.

Now, what is baffling the police is that there is only one set of footprints which leads towards the room. So, how did the murderer managed to escape without leaving another set of footprints?
And like in all murder mysteries there is another murder and that too of the most likely suspect.
HM and the newly promoted Chief Inspector Master’s investigate the White Priory Murders.

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