Tag: Mystery

Why We Love Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery

If there’s one writer that any fan of mystery or crime has read, it’s the one and only Agatha Christie. The creator of the red herring has written at least seventy-two books, some featuring recurring and popular characters like Hercule Poirot, the detective with an unforgettable mustache. Yet surprisingly, Christie kept much of her personal life as mysterious as her novels. In celebration of her 129th birthday, let’s look at some of the reasons why we love the Queen of Mystery.

 

1. Hercule Poirot was based on a real person

 

Image result for hercule poirot murder on the orient express

image by the federalist

 

Hercule Poirot, the detective from Murder on the Orient Express, might seem like an odd fellow and he was just as odd in real life. Christie based Poirot off a Belgian man that she spotted on a bus in the early 1910s. The man had a memorable style of facial hair and an interesting expression that stuck with Christie long enough for her to write thirty-nine books featuring the character.

 

2. those she didn’t like became victims in her books

 

Image result for murder in mesopotamia

image by flickr.com

 

If you got on Agatha Christie’s bad side, you might end up as a victim in her books. For instance, Agatha Christie’s husband archaeologist Max Mallowan worked with an archeologist named Sir Leonard Woolley. Woolley’s wife didn’t like Christie and forced her to stay off the digging site so Mallowan had to visit her by train every day. Shortly after the incident, Christie composed Murder in Mesopotamia, in which an archeology field director’s wife was killed by bludgeoning. She even dedicated the book to the Woolleys.

 

3. she dabbled in romance

 

image by the blank garden

 

The Queen of Mystery could also write romance when she so desired. In 1930, she began writing under the pen name of Mary Westmacott. She wrote six fairly successful romance novels: Giant’s Bread, Unfinished Portrait, Absent in the Spring, The Rose and the Yew Tree, A Daughter’s a Daughter and The Burden. Christie wrote her famous mystery novels and romance novels simultaneously—a woman of good balance. In her autobiography, she said that Absent in the Spring was “the picture of a woman with a complete image of herself, of what she was, but about which she was completely mistaken. Through her own actions, her own feelings and thoughts, this would be revealed to the reader.” So not only was she mysterious, Christie was a strong female who wrote the stories of other strong females in her fiction.

 

4. She was against violence

 

Strychnine sulphate in a poison bottle

 

Agatha Christie’s murder technique of choice is often poison or her victim getting hit on the head. She avoids violent methods of murder when possible, rarely involving a gun. Hercule Poirot is also a pacifist who doesn’t carry a gun, and bystanders to crimes never shoot the attacker but may tackle him to the ground instead.

 

5. she was prone to sudden disappearances

 

Image result for agatha christie disappearance

image by anomalien

 

For ten days in 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared from her home in London. Her sudden vanishing made the newspapers, and police found her abandoned car an hour away from London. Police had to hunt for her on foot and eventually found her listening to a band at a hotel. Christie never mentioned why she had disappeared, but there are plenty of theories ranging from her need to escape her home life, a bout of amnesia, or even an attempt to boost sales.

 

6. she was dared to become a novelist

 

Image result for young agatha christie

image by thoughtco.

 

Agatha Christie’s older sister Madge dared Christie, an avid reader and writer, to try writing her own novel. Clearly Christie took that dare to the extreme. Christie’s first novel was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written during World War I. It was accepted by John Lane in 1920 after being rejected by six publishing companies. Christie was certainly determined and talented enough to become a writer, and us readers are totally grateful for her perseverance.

 

Featured image by Goalcast

Can You Resist Bookstores? No? Then These Memes Are For You!

We’re all book nerds here, so I’m sure I’m in good company. The only thing I love more than a good meme is a good bookstore. Why not combine the two? If you, like me, can’t control yourself in a bookstore, these memes are for you.

 

 

The best invite

 

Image via Meme

 

Yes. Yes I do. Also I have zero chill. Any self control I may usually use is just gone. Maybe I’m the only one, but if I even pass a bookstore in the street I have to be gently steered away, or sometimes physically dragged. The pure glee on her face really says it all. And those are good friends right there.

 

 

I know all I need to

Image via An Intentional Life

 

All books are queens, and you know it. Sure, I can spend eight plus hours just looking around, but do I need to? I already want them all. The only limit is how many books I can physically take home on the subway, and even that barrier doesn’t get a lot of respect. Sure, I’m sorry by the time I get home, but when I’m deciding, no one can stop me.

 

 

Ancient wisdom

 

Image via MemeCenter

 

Sure, it’s three pm on a Tuesday, and I’m drinking bubble tea, but I think I still look mysterious and wise. The books are used. That means they’re old and dramatic, regardless of the particular facts. I may not have the mysterious potion or the rocking beard, but I’m not going to let that stop me.

 

 

I’ve put a lot of thought in, and decided

 

Image via Pintrest

 

Now you may ask, when are you going to read them? Where are they going to go in your apartment? These minor logistics aren’t my concern right now. I’ve read the backs, and I’ve decided the best book in the store is all of them. At once. Right now. No, I don’t take criticism.

 

 

Nothing can stop me accept…

 

Image via Meme

 

As long as I have blood plasma to sell, I have book money, but unfortunately most shops won’t take it directly. It’s dangerous to even go in, why did no one warn me? You did, and I ugly cried in the street until you caved? Agree to disagree. But I will be back.

 

 

Ready to investigate?

 

Image via Me.me

These bookstores think they’re so clever. And they are. I mean, are those even mystery books? We don’t know. We’ll likely never know. Unless someone wants to go full Sherlock Holmes and get into the truth of this. Volunteers, please send an owl posthaste.

 

 

Featured image via Pikdo

Investigate Our Top Crime and Thriller Picks This Week!

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent crime and thriller novels for your reading pleasure. Have a look at our choices and let us know what you think of our suggestions in the comments! Hopefully, you’ll add some of these for your ongoing reading list.

 

5. Sydney Noir edited by John Dale

 

A shadow of a woman on a bicycle against the skyline of Sydney

Image via Goodreads

Sydney Noir is an anthology of stories about crime in Australia’s capital city, told through the eyes of different characters. It offers unique perspectives on the different aspects of crime in Sydney. It features never before published stories from fourteen of Australia’s lauded authors: Mandy Sayer, John Dale, Mark Dapin, Kirsten Tranter, Eleanor Limprecht, Leigh Redhead, Robert Drewe, Julie Koh, Peter Polites, Tom Gilling, Gabrielle Lord, Philip McLaren, P.M. Newton and Peter Doyle. Exploring crime in its many forms, the stories feature characters from all walks of Australian life, and will keep you turning the pages and learning about the dark underbelly of this fascinating nation.

 

4. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

 

An African-American girl dropped in a sweater resembling the American flag steps forward against an orange backdrop

Image via Amazon

American Spy tells a tale of espionage during Cold War. It centers on an African-American woman, Marie Mitchell whose career in the FBI has been stymied by racism and prejudice. Mitchell is finally given her chance to shine when she joins a shadowy task force to undermine public trust in Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary of Burkina Faso whose Communist leanings make him a target of American intervention. But Marie’s loyalties actually lie with Sankara’s ideology rather than that of her American bosses. Now, far from home and her every move being watched, she has to make a choice to follow her heart or serve her country.

 

3. The Coronation by Boris Akunin

 

A shadow man stands before a Russian city, holding a microphone

Image via Amazon

Boris Akunin has been called the Russian answer to Agatha Christie and his latest novel certainly cements that reputation. His latest mystery is set in Imperial Russia. During the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, the young son of Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich is kidnapped. A ransom letter demands the handover of the Count Orlov, an enormous diamond of the royal scepter that is due to play a major role in the coronation. Can gentleman detective Fandorin find the kidnappers in time for the coronation?

 

2. The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz 

 

A psychedelic cover surrounding a small town and a watertower

Image via Amazon

The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz i a tightly paced and well written debut . In 2009 saw the supposed suicide of Edie, the star of a group of recent graduates in Brooklyn. The group all fell apart after her death. A decade later, one of her best friends, Lindsay, finds an unsettling video that suggest Edie didn’t commit suicide after all. Lindsay begins an investigation and unearths long buried secrets that Edie’s other friends have been hiding about what really happened that terrible night.

 

1. The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

 

A padded cell contains playing cards and spooky photographs

Image via Amazon

The Hiding Place  follows Joe, a teacher who never wanted to return to his hometown after his sister vanished. But when another kid disappears the exact same way, he feels he has no choice. He lies his way into a job at his old high school, ready to settle scores with ex-friends and old enemies.  But returning to his old school isn’t the hard part. The worst part is returning to the mine where everything went wrong, and confronting the fact that what was worse than his sister vanishing… was her return.  This is a chilling novel full of psychological suspense that we can definitely recommend!

 

Featured Image Via Amazon 

2019 Edgar Allen Poe Awards Honors Mystery Writers

Each spring, the Edgar Allen Poe Awards are handed out In New York City. The awards were first started in the 1950s and honor best mystery fiction, nonfiction, theatre, film, and television. The Best Novel went to Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley, Best First Novel went to Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin, Best Paperback Original was If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin, Best Fact Crime was Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler, and Best Critical/Bibliographical went to Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger.

 

A picture of a bear standing over a forest with birds flying around it
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

These are some very cool awards with great authors behind them, earning some well earned recognition for their spooky titles! The full list of winners and nominees can be found here. Grab some of them for your continued reading list! And try to find some this year that’ll possibly make the cut for next year’s awards!

 

 

Featured Image Via The Edgars 

New Sarah J. Maas’s Book Title and Cover Drop!

Huge news for Sarah J. Maas fans! This morning, Bloomsbury USA just dropped a big reveal that has us hyped all the way to a solid 10 on the hype train. On Twitter, Bloomsbury announced the publication, cover, and release date for Sarah J. Maas’s first adult fantasy series, called Crescent City, with the first book known as The House of Earth and Blood. The release date will be January 8th, 2020. The cover for the first book is below, looking wicked:

 

The cover to Crescent City by Sarah J Maas, featuring a cracked column with a crow roostingImage Via Goodreads

 

The synopsis, released via Goodreads, is just as intriguing. The plot is about a half-fae, half-human girl called Bryce Quinlan. By day, she sells illegal magical artifacts, while by night she savors the pleasures of her home, Crescent City. But her life is shattered when a murder shakes the foundations of Crescent City. Two years later, she’s stuck in a rut when the murderer strikes again. Bryce is assigned to the investigation against her will and paired up with a brooding Fallen angel. But they’re going to have to work together to solve the murder, even as ancient things beyond their comprehension begin to stir…

The story is said to deals with themes of suspense, mystery, and romance. It has been described as a spine-tingling page turner, which we can’t wait to pick up. Sarah J. Maas has struck again and 2020 can’t get here fast enough! How hyped are you? Let us know in the comments!

 

Featured Image Via Entertainment Weekly