I’m ready to run and dive into my 2020 reading list but I decided to show an ounce of restraint and ease into the year instead. I think having a successful January sets the year up nicely. Cue the cozy mysteries and the graphic novels.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie
Detective Hercule Poirot is one of my all-time favorite characters and I really wanted to read his ‘origin novel’ this year. Technically Poirot was featured in a short story, but Affair at Styles is the first novel. This story has all the iconic tropes of a cozy murder mystery, an older rich lady gets offed and there’s an array of people who could benefit from the death of Emily Inglethorpe.
After reading a handful of Poirot mysteries, the first aspect I noticed is that no time was wasted. The first thirty pages are pure exposition as one character just lists a majority of the players, and the last couple we meet soon after. Our narrator is Captain Hastings (a recurring character), who is a visitor at Styles Manor, and the book is written after the fact, so I understand that Hastings would get down to the facts, but it’s still jarring.
The unsubtle nature of how this trope was handled along with other elements are marks that this was the beginning of Christie’s run. That being said I still think this was a fun mystery and I was so excited to see the beginning of a character I love so much.
*Sidenote: This year is the 100 year anniversary of this book!!
Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
While Affair at Styles jumps right into the action, Death on the Nile takes its sweet sweet time. Another Poirot adventure (book #17), though this time around the poor guy is just trying to have a lovely holiday in Egypt, but trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes.
While trying to enjoy a beautiful cruise on the Nile, the young glamorous millionaire Linnet Ridgeway is murdered and the two likely suspects both have solid alibis. Poirot must uncover the other passengers’ secrets to get to the bottom of who had it in for the heiress.
My two 5-star Christie books are Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None. I would probably put Death on the Nile right below these two. I think it was a great ride and shows how far Christie has come from Affair at Styles. It also shows how much of a sucker Poirot is for happy couples, sometimes to a fault. I think some might not like how he let some culprits off the hook (the B-plot) or his part in the shocking end of this book. Overall, one I would highly recommend.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1
I don’t see myself as old. But dang, did this graphic novel make me feel all of my 33 years. I decided to give this a try because it’s the best fit for a reading prompt for the Popsugar Challenge. I’ve been having a hard time finding a book with ‘a pun in the title’ that didn’t seem super cheesy. The first volume of Squirrel Girl is ‘Squirrel Power’… not the best pun, but it works.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is just so quirky, and while some parts were funny or cute, overall I felt it was trying too hard. I see why others want Anna Kendrick to play the character, because this is top-level adorkable. If I was fifteen years younger maybe, but right now I’m just the old lady telling the kids to get off my lawn
Quick Lit is a monthly meme hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy where you can post short reviews on the 15th.