AGATHA CHRISTIE. ‘Nuff said

Agatha Christie, surrounded by some of her 80-plus crime novels.
This image is everywhere, but I found it posted on agathachristie.com

AGATHA CHRISTIE

Born 9/15/1890—-Died 1/12/1976 (85)

 Fun! I had an assignment to research a female playwright AND AGATHA CHRISTIE WAS ON THE LIST!!! 

WORKS OF EXTREME IMPORTANCE

  • The Mysterious Affair At Styles-1920: Previously only publishing poetry, this was her first mystery novel, and the first Hercule Poirot.
  • Murder At The Vicarage-1930: Introduced Ms. Marple
  • And Then There Were None-1939: The greatest mystery novel, it was adapted into a play in 1943.
  • The Mousetrap-1952: The longest running play, it’s only in London’s St. Martin, previously in Ambassadors.

She wrote 66 novels and 30 plays, several of them published posthumously. She also wrote 6 romance novels under the name Mary Westmacott.

 

LIFE

 She didn’t learn to read until she was five. She quickly caught up, writing poems at 11.

 She married Archibald Christie in 1914. In 1919 she gave birth to her daughter Rosalind and son Hercule Poirot. After finding out about her husband’s affair, she disappeared for 11 days, and found at the Harrogate Spa Hotel under the name of her husband’s mistress. She had no recollection of her vacation.

In 1929, Agatha met the Wolleys, archaeologists with a dig in the Middle East. She visited their dig via the Orient Express.  On her second visit in 1930, she met her second husband, Max Mallowan. They stayed for the most part in Iraq and Syria,where both worked to recover the Nimrud Ivories.

“Write even if you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing and aren’t particularly writing well”

 

Sources

“Homepage.” Agatha Christie, http://www./.Agathachristie,com

Saunders, Tristram Fane. “10 Things You Didn’t Know about The Mousetrap.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 18 May 2016,telegraph.co.uk

Rowe, Ignacio M. “Agatha Christie In Mesopotamia.” National Geographic, 2017.

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Help, Sherlock Has Me Hostage

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If you have read this blog in the past two months, you may know I’ve fangirled over this particular Englishman. A lot:

Sherlock vs. The Book                                                                                                                     Dear Moffat (of Sherlock)                                                                                                     Summer Book Quote                                                                                                                           The Murders In The Rue Morgue Marginalia Booktubeathon                                           August Wrap-Up                                                                                                                        Imagine Dragons & Other Things I Need Now                                                                 Chocolate Mysteries

I haven’t been able to actually watch Sherlock, but I have been going on pintrest and pinning things like

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Trying to get my flatmate to see Serenity

and

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When I look at my math homework

Happy reading!

 

Chocolate Mysteries

 Whisper Of Ink  recently fangirled over fantasy as part of the This is my favorite genre-what’s yours? book tag. My reply to the question…

Oh, dear. 

A little over a year ago, I would’ve blurted out sci-fi. Cause death, aliens, Ray Bradbury, and DEATH.

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Breaking news: My mom just texted me that there’s a vegan doughnut shop a few blocks from where we lived. It opened last week, two weeks after I left for college.

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The topic at hand is vegan genre doughnut favorites. It used to be fantasy glaze, but since I became vegan it became chocolate frosted mystery.  Vegan mystery doughnuts are harder to find (It got a lot easier for some people) because in my day, three weeks ago, you had to scour the shelves, filter out the pulp, and put it on reserve if you were going to be in town for the next month or so.

But there are delicious. Watson’s intriguing filling, Sherlock’s thrill of chocolate. Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle…just read my last post. 

Sir Arthur, who created my favorite detective, is not my favorite author. Agatha Christie, with her tunneling writing, is. In the chocolate mystery genre. My favorite author of all time is still sci-fi’s D.N.A., or as the title page says, Douglass Adams.

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I know I said I would use my own photos. I know.

  I don’t remember if this is exactly what pulled me into sci-fi, but I was going through a Ray Bradbury phrase during my heavy sci-fi years. He might’ve actually staved me off sci-fi because let’s face it, what’s sci-fi after Bradbury? 

 So I turned to Agatha Christie. I read And Then There Were None a while before I really got into chocolate Mystery, and though I loved it, it didn’t really convert me. What really converted me was…

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Not even a book. I became addicted to chocolate because Benedict. SherlockSherlockSher…

 I read most of the original stories, “most” because the library had volumes one and two of different editions, skipping CAM, whom I admittedly liked more than Moriarty in the show. Not as a person, but he just gave me creeps while Moriarty seems a counter Sherlock, unoriginal. 

 Did somebody ask me where the best chocolate mystery is? 

THE BEST CHOCOLATE MYSTERIES:

  • And Then They Were None, Agatha Christie
  • The Boxcar Children (for younger readers)
  • Sherlock Holmes: If you only read five, If,:
  1.         A Study In Scarlet
  2.         The Red-Headed League
  3.         The Adventure Of The Speckled Band
  4.          The Adventure Of The Final Problem
  5.           The Adventure Of The Lion’s Mane

 Again, I haven’t read all of them, just most, so if you can read all, I encourage you to do so.

What chocolate mysteries do you recommend? Victorian Sherlock Holmes Or modern? What do you recommend from your favorite genre? Speak!

Imagine Dragons & Other Things I Need Now

IMAGINE DRAGONS If you know your bands, you’ll understand. I’ve gone into an Imagine Dragons spiral. I’ve heard one song on the radio over and over-Believer, I believe. It didn’t cause a spiral until I listened to Superhuman Gifts, or whatever the song’s name actually is (It’s a good song, too) and the lyric video for Believer came up. Followed by Radioactive. Followed by Warriors. I finally closed that window and focused on this after Ready, Aim, Fire! turned out to be a disappointment.

 The music itself is a bit junk food-y, commercial, you know? Good, but not original. What really hooked me was the lyrics, the breakingly true lyrics. “Everything I tried to be/ Just wouldn’t settle in” ~Monster (My favorite thus far.) That’s the mirrorly true part. The best lyrics in that song? “And if I seem dangerous/ Would you be scared?” I’ve asked, differently phrased, that question before, and it’s a scary thing to ask, but also hopeful.

  Blogwise, I’m not using photos I got off the internet anymore. I’ll still use Sherlock gifs. I’m taking a class where I have to build a website, and the professor, a professional photojournalist, told scary stories about what happens to people who use copyrighted photos off the internet. If a photo’s copyrighted, I’d expect one of those ‘unavailable’ pop-ups, but just to be safe, no more photos from unknown photographers. 

As for Sherlock, I know and have a hate-love relationship with the creators. Not ‘know’ know, but I know who they are and I’m watching. 

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Sherlock, based on the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories, is a modern reinvention of the olds tales. It’s created and written by Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss, also known as the devil and the devil’s best friend. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John (Jawn) Watson, with the devil’s best friend as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft, Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty, Loo Brealey as Molly Hooper, Rupert Graves as Lestrade and Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson.

 Sherlock Holmes was originally written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1800s. He later regretted writing them, believing that they distracted from his more “serious” work that nobody reads anymore. Fun fact* after he wrote Reichenbach, fans wrote black armbands in the London streets, one attacking Conan Doyle, forcing him to man up and write more Sherlock.

Somebody do this to Moffatt.

Anyway, I believe I might’ve given enough credit to the creators to use the occasional gif. Or, you know, transform my previous book blog to books-and-Sherlock blog to an I’m-Not-reading-but-here’s-some-Sherlock blog.

 What else about the Sherlock creators haven’t I said? What’s your favorite Imagine Dragons lyric? Are you willing to scare Moffat into submission? Can Moffatt even be scared?

Game Of Thrones-Book Review

To put it very simply, the Starks hate the Lannisters, vice versa, and everybody hates the Targaryens, who hate everyone but dragons.

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After seeing the first half of the first season there was a delay in getting the rest of them. Meanwhile the book came.

 It’s exactly like the show, but with less detail. It bored me knowing that while I read a book with simplistic prose, a beautifully detailed version existed. The sentences are short and “telling” instead of “showing”. Ex. “Arya had a way of ruining everything.” “Cersei Lannister regarded him suspiciously.” “Tyrion gave a helpless shrug.”  The first is a cliché, the second is vague, and a third begets the question ‘How does a dwarf shrug?’

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After a while I got past what I knew and was able to enjoy the story. Aaahhh… The story is difficult to describe my reaction to it. Life. It wasn’t as engaging as a detective novel, nonfiction would put its; chunky info dumps to shame by spreading the information evenly, and fantasy, its’ own genre, would mock its’ inability to produce an overall mood.

It describes life. Life in a medieval world with warring clans, but still life.

It begins with King Robert Barethoen hiring Ned Stark as Hand of the King, the lord that does everything the king is too lazy to do. Ned travels south to the capital, bringing his two daughters and their direwolves, leaving his wife and 3 sons. His bastard son, Jon Snow leaves for the night watch at the same time.

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I don’t want to go further, because I hate spoilers (curse you, Time!) But there is an interesting symbolism all the houses/clans share: they have animals, or in the case of the Tarlys, a flower, as their house sigil.  The Starks of the North have direwolves, loyal and thriving in the cold. The Lannisters are lions, golden haired and prideful. The Targaryens are dragons, as far as I can tell it means they’re rare and you shouldn’t awake their wrath.

If you comment, please do not spoil anything, especially past the first season. But here’s the question: Which house should win? I relate most to the Starks, esp. Jon Snow, but Daenerys Targaryen would make an Elizabeth the first-esqe queen.

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The Murders In The Rue Morgue Marginalia/ Booktubeathon #1

The Booktube-a-thon is an annual event hosted by Ariel Bissett that encourages people to read as much as they can in seven days. This is my first year participating but it’s well timed for me. Beren and Luthien is due this week, I was captured by A Spell For Chameleon while in the library, I’ve been wanting to read Murder On The Orient Express… So many books, so little time.

This year the Booktube-a-thon is taking place from July 24th to July 30th. The challenges are:

1 || Read a book with a person on the cover.
2 || Read a hyped book.
3 || Finish a book in one day.
4 || Read about a character that is very different from you.
5 || Finish a book completely outdoors.
6 || Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7 || Read seven books.

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My first book is Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders In The Rue Morgue:The Dupin Tales.

Challenge(s) applied: Err…The people on the cover are seen at a distance, it’s somewhat hyped in Sherlockian lore, I will probably finish it today, as it’s wonderful and has only 100 pages. Not so wonderful, but easy consumption for readathons. 

My marginalia (written in a notebook, not on library book)

pg. v -vi: Oh, vey. Married (Poe) his cousin when she was 13. Have I read Annabel Lee? It sounds familiar.

pg.3-5 This sounds like Sherlock, but he doesn’t put in this much detail. He hates chess but likes droughts. What is droughts?

pg.6  Here’s where it begins! “Books, indeed, were his sole luxuries, and in Paris these were easily obtained.” Exact same living arrangement as Sherlock and Watson. 

Pg. 8 Sherlock Holmes is a work of plagiarism.

pg.10-11 “Terrific Shrieks”? “Wildest disorder”? What a terrible impersonation of a newspaper.

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pg.12-14 This is a long newspaper article… so gruff voice french, shrill voice disputed… probably exotic or muddled accent.

pg. 19 “In investigations such as we are now pursuing, it should not be so much asked ‘what has occurred,’ such as ‘what has occurred that has not occurred before.'”

pg. 24 They see but do not observe.

Pg.35

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Overall, Sherlock plagiarized Rue Morgue in method and detective-biographer relationship, but the plot, the mystery was unique. I have no desire to type the rest, for this is long enough already. I recommend this to any Sherlockian, for this is obviously Sherlock’s second father.

Sherlock vs. The Book

My computer seems to be mad at me, so I have to keep this short.

I am reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes, vol.1. I started it after I saw seasons one and two of Sherlock (Cumberbatch version).

My computer doesn’t know who Benedict Cumberbatch is. No wonder we don’t get along.

There’s the obvious time difference, as the book is set in the 1800s and the series starting in 2010, but there is quite a difference in the stories. In the series, Moriarty is somehow involved in everything, but in all of Study in Scarlet there is no mention of the great Moriarty. I have yet to read more, but it seems as if there will be a more realistic amount of Moriarty’s involvement in the books.

The writing is annoying at times, as Watson/Doyle repeats himself when describing something. (“simous and ape-like” just choose one already, and old-fashioned, obviously, but not to Shakespearean language. It is limited, more so than the series because book Watson does not follow Sherlock everywhere, but waits for Sherlock’s account. It is not as humorous, and I so love the series better.

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