Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

“… ingenious crime puzzle and a still more ingenious solution …


Published 1933, this was the last of Christie’s books to be openly antisemitic.

She used the “N” word, too, in many of her books.

It gives us an indication of when racism started to become unfashionable in British pop culture. Part of the backlash against Hitler.

Northern Spy by Flynn Berry 

A producer at the BBC and mother to a new baby, Tessa is at work in Belfast one day when the news of another raid comes on the air.

The IRA may have gone underground in the two decades since the Good Friday Agreement, but they never really went away, and lately bomb threats, security checkpoints, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life.

As the news reporter requests the public’s help in locating those responsible for the robbery, security footage reveals Tessa’s sister, Marian, pulling a black ski mask over her face.

The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa is convinced she must have been abducted or coerced …


I was impressed at how skillfully this book is constructed.

Well done, Flynn Berry.

LIBBY App – Listen to Library Audio Books

I listen to audio books pretty much every day.

Though I have an Audible account (12 books / year) I spend far more time on the Libby app. I’m coming up to 500 audio books borrowed, so far.

I can read 2-3 books a week at 150% normal speed.

Once I put a popular book on “HOLD” — wait time does seem to be increasing. So I recently added a second library to the app. Now I can put up to 60 books on hold: 30 for each library.

Bottom line … I LOVE THE LIBBY APP.

And I do donate to the libraries.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie

Murder in Mesopotamia (1936) is set at an archaeological excavation in Iraq.

Hercule Poirot happens to be close when an astonishing (far-fetched) murder occurs.

It’s typical Christie. A cast of characters all of whom MIGHT be the killer. A surprise ending.

I liked best Nurse Amy Leatheran who tells the tale.

Click PLAY or watch a snippet of a TV adaptation on YouTube.

Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino 

I’m still captivated by the unique Japanese murder mystery books of Higashino.

Surprising. And fascinating.

This is his 4th book featuring ‘Detective Galileo‘, actually Dr. Manabu Yukawa — a physicist and college professor, who is known for his intelligence. He collaborates with the police when they can’t solve a crime.

The accused in a case of murder is found not guilty. Lack of enough evidence.

He returns to mock the family knowing he cannot be charged again.

In fact, this is the 2nd time in 20 years he was accused of murder and found innocent.

DCI Kusanagi worked both cases and is frustrated that the assumed killer is free. He asks Detective Galileo for help.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Book #2 in the The Giver Quartet. This was the follow-up to her acclaimed The Giver (1993).

In fact, I’d say Blue is equally good.

I enjoyed the characters more.

And the ending was not what I had guessed.

The central character, Kira, who has a deformed leg, is orphaned and must learn to survive in a society that normally leaves the weak or disabled exposed to die in the fields.

In the course of the book, she begins to learn the art of dyeing thread to different colors except for blue, which nobody in her community knows how to make.

She also learns more about the truth of her village and the terrible secrets that they hold.

Desolation Mountain by William Kent Krueger

Another excellent murder mystery in the Cork O’Connor series.

It starts when a plane Minnesota Senator, Olympia McCarthy, and her family crashes near Desolation Mountain.

Cork and his son Stephen are two of the first on the scene.

Was it downed intentionally, and if so, why?

… Could it have been the anti-assault rifle legislation the Senator was about to introduce?

What about her opposition to the proposed Manila Accord, favored by the alt-right, the rejection of which would affect the profits of arms merchants?

Or was this an action by the Lexington Brigade, a radical anti-government militia group? …

Review of “Desolation Mountain: A Novel” by William Kent Krueger

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

I read this book because it reminded me of that great film ➙ Enemy at the Gates.

The movie features a snipers’ duel between two of the best from the Soviet Union and Germany during the Battle of Stalingrad.

The Diamond Eye is based on the true story of a Ukrainian woman sniper in WW II.

In the fictional version, bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko evolves into a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. She becomes a propaganda tool for the Soviets who send her to Washington D.C. to try to gain support from the Americans. She is befriended by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The plot kept me going. But, ultimately, this book was not nearly as good as Quinn’s Rose Code.

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicky Delaney

I only clicked DOWNLOAD on this book because it was set in the Kootenays of British Columbia where my family had a house for 30 years.

It’s not a strong book.

BUT the issues are relevant to the area. Should the town approve a park acknowledging the many American draft dodgers who moved there?

Should the massive Grizzly Resort go ahead, even at costs to the environment? No doubt it was based on the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort controversy, ultimately cancelled in 2020.

Constable Molly Smith is a rookie cop in the mountain town of Trafalgar somewhere near Nelson.

I like Molly. But the resolution of the murder seemed dumb to me.

The reader of the audio book, Carrinngton MacDuffie, used quite a dreadful, unrealistic Canadian accent. Mispronounced some place names. That did turn me off the book, too.

In any case, I won’t be reading any more Molly Smith books.

I saw Mousetrap in London

The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie

.. opened in London’s West End in 1952 and ran continuously until 16 March 2020, when the stage performances had to be temporarily discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It then re-opened on 17 May 2021.

The longest-running West End show, it has by far the longest run of any play in the world …

Richard Attenborough was the original Detective Sergeant Trotter …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’ve been working my way through the Agatha Christie books.

Normally I don’t correctly guess the killer. But for Mousetrap I did get it right at intermission.