Archive for March 2011

Book Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie After reading Murder on the Orient Express, I thought I’d try some other books from Agatha Christie’s Poirot series. I tried reading one called Third Girl, from later in the series, but I didn’t like it much and set it aside, so I decided to try the very first Poirot book.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie introduced Poirot to the world, though he’s a secondary character at first. He gets pulled into a mystery by Captain Hastings, who is visiting friends in the country, when the mistress of the house dies suddenly.

The form of the book was fairly standard, with Poirot collecting information that seems innocuous to others, and then at the end, he brings everyone together to reveal the murderer. Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this one as much as Murder on the Orient Express. Perhaps I’m just realizing I like the BBC series Poirot better than I do the books.

Book Review: Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin

Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin is a unique story, following the (fictional) British royal couple Freddy and Fredericka as they blunder their way into the tabloids, doing things that don’t reflect well on the monarchy. As a result, they must make up for their missteps by going on a quest, winning over the people of America without revealing who they are and without any resources to do so.

It’s a strange sort of book, and a bit hard to describe if you don’t quite see the premise for yourself. The writing was a bit heavy though, and I often felt like I was getting tangled up in all the detail, especially when the author got a bit philosophical about what was taking place. Despite this, I pressed on, and I found the book to be rather enjoyable overall, though it did take some work to get through.