The Mystery of The Blue Train

blue train

THE MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN

BY AGATHA CHRISTIE

I’m going through a bit of stress with my job at present and so I thought it was time to revisit the great Hercule Poirot! Curling up with an Agatha Christie is for me a comfort to rival curling up with a bowl of chocolate ice cream. I chose The Mystery of The Blue Train as it’s one of my favourites, due in part to its setting in my beloved Nice and Monte Carlo but also due to the great sleuth being on magnificent form.

As the luxurious Blue Train rolls into Nice, Ruth Kettering is found dead in her compartment. She has been killed by a heavy, disfiguring blow and what’s more her precious rubies are missing. Estranged husband Derek is chief suspect from the off, yet as always Poirot is unconvinced and all is not as obvious as it seems.

Poirot is at his clever and most playful best in this story. Using his charms and ingenuity to extract the truth and assemble the facts from a glorious cast of characters. The luxurious surroundings of the famous Negresco Hotel and the Monte Carlo Tennis Club make you want to linger over this story rather than tear through it to find out whodunnit. Poirot’s use of an eerie re-enactment of Mrs Kettering’s last journey in the final chapters produces a most unexpected and satisfying twist.

Absolutely delightful to meet Hercule Poirot once again.

SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING: 8/10

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

BY ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

sherlock

This wonderful take on our favourite Sherlock Holmes stories is part of a new series called Classics Reimagined. For art and book lovers alike, these collectible titles are each illustrated by graphic artists and illustrators from around the world. Each artist offers their own unique visual interpretation of the most loved and read literature from renowned authors. The results are stunning!

I had been eyeing up this particular volume in my local Blackwells for some weeks before I bought it. Then payday came and it was mine! The cover is soft and luxurious, the pages thick and glossy, the artwork modern and thrilling and of course the twelve stories within are absolutely brilliant.

The 12 gripping crime stories in this book are:

  1. A Scandal in Bohemia
  2. The Red-Headed League
  3. A Case of Identity
  4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  5. The Five Orange Pips
  6. The Main with the Twisted Lip
  7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  9. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
  10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Conan Doyle’s Holmes would only deal with the unusual or fantastic cases. He enjoyed experiences that combined the striking, the bizarre and the criminal. He saw applying his clever logic to help out the frantic characters that knocked at his Baker Street door, as his art. My favourite of these excellent tales was the Red-Headed League which presented Holmes with “quite the three pipe problem.” I also particularly enjoyed The Five Orange Pips and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Continue reading