I think there really must be something in the water … It’s not cholera (although as I seem to be stuck in a Victorian universe quite a bit of the time this could always be a possibility) but it is certainly something as equally dangerous – at least to the characters.
Murder, mystery, mayhem and intrigue have been my themes over the past few weeks, and I’ve really got stuck into a world where death, and violent death at that, is the order of the day.
I’ve been having a bit of a Christie-athon recently, as they are great to read, and also, if I put my mind to it, I can read two in a day – always helpful for getting nearer to my 100 books in a year target. But I’ve also been browsing the shelves of bookshops, and have been picking up a lot of new things, all of which have at least one thing in common – there is a mystery to be solved.
It started with The Ingenious Edgar Jones, set in
From there, I went back in history a little in my bookish time machine, and found myself in the company of Alexander Pope in The Scandal of the Season. In the world of Queen Anne, I found myself in the company of flirtatious women, a rather human poet and some men in the middle of plots and intrigue. I quite like this period of history, where one would assume that everyone was on their best behaviour, but in actual fact were indulging in affairs left, right and centre and the monarchy was in danger of being overthrown in favour of the return of the Catholic James II – all highly interesting, and the plot was kept firmly driven forward by the character of Alexander Pope, who although you would expect him to have a firm central role, seemed to be more of an onlooker. His poem ‘The Rape of the Lock’ is what comes out of the scandal, and it’s an interesting take on where a poet gets his inspiration.
Back into the time machine once again, and I travel back to the Victorian era, and this time find myself in a house where the most shocking events have taken place, and where the notion that ‘an English man’s home is his castle’ have been utterly destroyed. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is the history of a murder of a small boy at Road Hill House, and the surrounding case, led by
Another book that makes one wonder is The Resurectionist. For anyone with a particularly weak stomach, I make this warning – this book goes into great detail. You could hardly expect it to do less, seeing as it’s all about body snatching and anatomy, but the first person narrative is perhaps a little too close for comfort. It’s also got a really confusing twist, and out of the books I’ve read, it’s not one that I particularly recommend.
From grisly death to ghost stories, and I am proud to say I have finally read The Woman in Black. It’s coming to
Of course, Agatha has been dropping in now and then to make her mark, and I think I’ve found my second favourite Marple in Nemesis (my favourite is A Murder is Announced), and Poirot has made his presence known both on and off the page (three new David Suchet Poirot’s make me doubly sure that everyone has taken a big drink of water laced with murder recently).
I’ve got more to keep me going too! I shall return anon and let you know my thoughts of The Widow’s Secret, Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders and The Girl in the Blue Dress. In the meantime, be careful what you drink!