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Book Review: Curtain by Agatha Cristie

Curtain by Agatha Christie

Curtain is the last novel in Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novel series which is also Hercule Poirot’s last case. I liked how the title matched the novel. It depicts the curtains closing on the Hercule Poirot novel and Hercule Poirot. Very dramatic I believe.

After a year apart Hercule Poirot, now crippled with arthritis, is reunited with his old companion Captain Hastings, who has since become a widower. When they receive a letter from Styles Court, the place where they solved their first murder together, it seems like fate and they readily accept. However, after the great detective brands one of the seemingly harmless guests, whom he will only identify as ‘X’, a ruthless serial killer, people begin having doubts about the capability of his once renowned ‘little grey cells’. But Poirot is aware that he alone must work quickly before the murderer strikes again, even if it means putting his life on the line… (Wikipedia)

For me this case was easy yet complicated. There are times you know who did it but not know how. You know how it was done but not why. It’s like you see the cover box of the puzzle but you don’t know how to put them together. There are parts wherein you have put together the pieces but there are still a number of missing links.

A beautiful novel, nonetheless. Though I deeply regret I wasn’t able to read through the entire series. I was only able to read one case so far, ABC Murders, then the next case I read is sadly the last case. I would love to read through the series if I get the chance. Apparently I have 31 novels and 54 more short stories to go.

Have you read any Hercule  Poirot novels? Which case was your favorite?

Jacques

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Ghost Hunt Sequel: Akumu no Sumu Ie (The Nightmare Dwelling)

Title: Akumu no Sumu Ie: Ghost Hunt, The House in Which Nightmares Dwell, The House of Nightmares – Ghost Hunt, 悪夢の棲む家 ゴーストハント

Author: ONO Fuyumi

Artist: INADA Shiho

Publisher: Kodansha, 2012

Genre: Horror, Josei, Mystery, Supernatural

Summary from Wonderland After Hours:

Midori’s mother has finally acquired her dream home, but it isn’t long before supernatural phenomenas disrupt the peace of the family. And if unexplained electricity failures, strange phone calls, and the eerie presence of spirits weren’t enough, finding unexplainable blood in the bathroom becomes the last straw. Mai and Shibuya Psychic Research are brought in to investigate, but what horrors will they find in the ‘dream’ home that turns out to be nothing but a nightmare?

Akumu no Sumu Ie – Ghost Hunt is based on a sequel novel of the original Ghost Hunt novel, set several months in the future.

Aiyaaa! I just found out last Sunday that my favorite horror/mystery manga, Ghost Hunt, sequel has already been scanlated in MangaFox. (Yes, I know it’s illegal but I can’t help it.) I have waited for its release ever since I heard that Fuyumi-san is going to make a manga sequel of her famous novel Ghost Hunt’s sequel, The White Heart Series. I have searched everywhere for the online translations of the novel, but to no avail. Finally, the long wait is over! Even though I can’t find any online translations, at least there’s the online manga scanlations!

I just love this manga series! The manga is drawn simple but the plot line is very enticing and addictive. Once I start, I can’t stop. It is one of those mangas that you didn’t want to end. The kind that you’d read over and over without getting sick of it. Also the kind of manga you can’t get enough of and went through all the trouble of: finding the novel translations, watching the anime, and trying to get any related material.

I really recommend this to manga readers who are also into horror and mystery. The first 2 chapters are released and I can’t wait for the next chapter!

Have you ever encountered a manga that you didn’t want to end? The kind where you’d read it over and over without getting sick of it? The kind that you’d go through all the trouble of finding, reading, and watching anything related to it? Do share!

Book Review: The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

Please bear with me. This will be the first time I will do a book review. I will try my best not to give any spoilers.

I have heard a lot of good things about Agatha Christie ever since I was in grade school but I never got a chance to read any of her books. Good thing, my good friend lent it to me after she read it. (If you could remember, a few weeks ago my friends and I went to The National Bookstore Warehouse Sale where she got three Agatha Christie books for only Php 30 each!) The A.B.C. Murders is the first Agatha Christie novel I’ve read.

The A.B.C Murders by Agatha Christie

The A.B.C. Murders was a very good read. It’s my first time in a long time to read a mystery novel. My last was a Nancy Drew novel. I liked the novel was not that long, it is something you can bring anywhere to take up your idle time. I liked that there was a list of characters, though some of them were not necessary, to give a general background on the main cast. It especially helps first time readers.

Agatha Christie is good at the art of deception. She leads us to a set of clues and ideas pinpointing it to a certain person. All the way ’til the near end, we find out that he’s actually an innocent person! I found it amusing how all the clues will actually lead you to another person.

I had a bit of hard time reading this novel because it was narrated at a 2nd person’s point of view. I was used to reading mysteries at a 1st person point of view or at a third person point of view. I then grew to like the change because it was more mysterious at a 2nd person point of view. I could relate to Hastings, not that witty and not a good detective, he sees things the way I would also most likely see things. In a way I could easily put myself in his shoes.

I liked Poirot’s way of doing things. He was informal and unoffending. He was more into the psychological aspect rather than the physical aspect, more of understanding the murderer rather than the clues. By doing so, he is able to see through the people and realize who is the real murderer. Reminds me of Criminal Minds, don’t you think.

I enjoyed reading The A.B.C. Murders. I now know why Agatha Christie is so famous for her mystery novels. I can’t wait to get my hands on another of her novels.

Have your read The A.B.C. Murders? Have you read any novels by Agatha Christie?

I Entered Book Heaven

If you remember last week I mentioned that National Book Store Quezon Avenue was having a warehouse sale. I decided to go on their first day of sale with my friends. Even though it was a school day, there were many people who arrived but it wasn’t that crowded. Thankfully, we arrived early and were able to get some good books.

I was able to buy hardbound books that only costs Php 50 each! Sadly, I didn’t know that Bright Young Things was a series and wasn’t able to get the sequel. I also didn’t find any from the Luxe Series. I don’t know anything about Nora Roberts but when I saw them I just thought that I had to buy them for my friends.

The only good paperbacks I was able to get were all classics. All of them costs Php 30 or Php 50. I wish I went there earlier to get better books; I saw a lady with a Cecilia Ahern book and another with Jane Austen’s Emma, etc. I envy my friend who was able to get Agatha Christie’s books for only Php 30 each and my friend’s friend who was able to get Catching Fire and Mockingjay for only Php 75. I was also shocked to see that Charlaine Harris’ books were sold at low rates! I guess she’s not popular here.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to buy any of the books I really had in mind:

  1. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  3. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  4. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  5. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  6. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  8. The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  9. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  10. Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  11. Iliad – Homer
  12. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  13. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
  14. Room – Emma Donoghue
  15. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes – Edith Hamilton

I remember seeing The Secret Garden but I don’t remember why I didn’t buy it. There were also a number of Jane Eyre books but they were all in Movie Tie-In Cover, which I hate. I guess I’d just have to purchase them on their regular price or hope that someone would buy one for me. LOL.

I am very happy with my purchases, I was able to build my “classics library”. I am very much excited to read them. All in all I bought 19 books which only cost me Php 870! Great deal isn’t it?

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned or shown? What are your comments and suggestions in my book list and reading list?

F.A.C. Book Haul

Last month we had our semi-annually F.A.C. (Fellowship Among the Churches). Other than the rich messages, I like to go because of the discounted books! 10% off on the books may not be a big deal to some, but if you buy many you’d be able to save up a few hundreds. Admittedly, I am also a cheapskate. I try not to miss a chance of saving money. 😐