Thursday, October 6, 2016


"Agatha Christie" (1890-1976) was born "Agatha May Clarissa Miller", in Torquay, Devon, England. 

She was the youngest of three children in a conservative, well-to-do family.

Taught at home by a governess and tutors, as a child "Agatha Christie" never attended school. She became adept at creating games to keep herself occupied at a very young age. A shy child, unable to adequately express her feelings, she first turned to music as a means of expression and, later in life, to writing.

In 1914, at the age of 24, she married Archie Christie, a World War I fighter pilot. While he was off at war, she worked as a nurse. It was while working in a hospital during the war that "Agatha Christie" first came up with the idea of writing a detective novel. 

Although it was completed in a year, but she was initially unsuccessful at getting it published. However, in 1920 The Bodley Head press published her novel "The Mysterious Affair at Styles", featuring the character of "Hercule Poirot." This launched her literary career.

In 1926, Archie asked for a divorce, having fallen in love with another woman. "Agatha", already upset by the recent death of her mother, disappeared. All of England became wrapped up in the case of the now famous missing writer. She was found three weeks later in a small hotel, explaining to police that she had lost her memory. Thereafter, it was never again mentioned or elaborated upon by "Agatha Christie".

She later found happiness with her marriage in 1930 to Max Mallowan, a young archaeologist who she met on a trip to Mesopotamia.

"Agatha Christie" ultimately became the acknowledged Queen of the Golden Age. In all, she wrote over 66 novels, numerous short stories and screenplays, and a series of romantic novels using the pen name Mary Westmacott. 

Several of her works were made into successful feature films,  Her work has been translated into more than a hundred languages. In short, she is the single most popular mystery writer of all time.

In 1971 she was awarded the high honour of becoming a Dame of the British Empire.


1) The Mysterious Affair At Styles (1920)
2) Murder On The Links (1923)
3) Poirot Investigates (1924)
4) The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
5) The Big Four (1927)
6) The Mystery Of The Blue Train (1928)
7) Peril At End House (1932)
8) Lord Edgware Dies (1933), aka: Thirteen At Dinner
9) Murder On The Orient Express (1934)
10) Murder In Three Acts (1935), aka: Three Act Tragedy
11) Death In The Air (1935), aka: Death In The Clouds. 
12) The A.B.C. Murders (1935)
13) Murder In Mesopotamia (1936)
14) Cards On The Table (1936) 
15) Dumb Witness (1937), aka: Poirot Loses A Client
16) Death On The Nile (1937)
17) Dead Man's Mirror (1937) aka: Murder In The Mews And Other Stories
18) Appointment With Death (1938)
19) Hercule Poirot's Christmas (1938), aka: Murder For Christmas, aka: A Holiday For Murder
20) The Regatta Mystery And Other Stories (1939)
21) Sad Cypress (1940)
22) The Patriotic Murders (1940), aka: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, aka: An Overdose Of Death
23) Evil Under the Sun (1941)
24) Murder In Retrospect (1943), aka: Five Little Pigs
25) The Hollow (1946), aka: Murder After Hours
26) The Labours Of Hercules (1947)
27) There Is A Tide (1948), aka: Taken At The Flood
28) Witness For The Prosecution And Other Stories (1948)
29) Mousetrap And Other Stories (1950)
30) The Underdog and Other Stories (1951)
31) Mrs. McGinty's Dead (1952)
32) Funerals Are Fatal (1953), aka: After The Funeral
33) Hickory Dickory Death (1955) aka: Hickory Dickory Dock
34) Dead Man's Folly (1956)
35) Cat Among The Pigeons (1959)
36) The Adventure Of The Christmas Pudding (1960)
37) Double Sin And Other Stories (1961)
38) The Clocks (1963)
39) Third Girl (1966)
40) Hallowe'en Party (1969)
41) Elephants Can Remember (1972) 
42) Hercule Poirot's Early Cases (1974)
43) Curtain: Poirot's Last Case (1975)


1) Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
2) The Tuesday Club Murders (1932), aka: The Thirteen Problems
3) The Regatta Mystery And Other Stories (1939)
4) The Body in the Library (1942)
5) The Moving Finger (1943)
6) Mousetrap & Other Stories (1950)
7) A Murder is Announced (1950)
8) Murder with Mirrors (1952), aka: They Do It With Mirrors
9) A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
10) What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw (1957), aka: 4:50 from Paddington
11) The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960)
12) Double Sin & Other Stories (1961)
13) The Mirror Crack'd (1962), aka: The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side
14) A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
15) At Bertram's Hotel (1965)
16) Nemesis (1971)
17) Sleeping Murder (1976)
18) Miss Marple Final Cases (1979)
19) Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (1985)


1) The Secret Of Chimneys (1925)
2) The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)
3) Cards On The Table (1936)
4) Murder Is Easy (1939), aka: Easy To Kill
5) Towards Zero (1944), aka: Come And Be Hanged


1) The Secret Adversary (1922)
2) Partners In Crime (The Collection Of Short Stories) (1929)
3) N or M (1941)
4) By The Pricking Of My Thumbs (1968)
5) Postern Of Fate (1973)


1) The Love Detectives
2) The Christmas Tragedy
3) The Jewel Robbery
4) The Incredible Theft
5) The Man in the Brown Suit  (1924)
6) The Mysterious Mr. Quin  (1930)
7) The Sittaford Mystery (1931), aka: The Murder at Hazelmoor
8) Why Didn’t They Ask Evans (1934), aka: Boomerang Clue 
9) Parker Pyne Investigates (1934), aka: Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective
10) The Regatta Mystery And Other Stories  (1939)
11) And Then There Were NoneTen Little Indians
12) Murder Is Easy (1939), aka: Easy to Kill
13) Sparkling Cyanide (1945), aka Remember Death
14) Death Comes as the End (1944)
15) Crooked House  (1949)
16) They Came to Baghdad (1951)
17) Destination Unknown (1954), aka: So Many Steps to Death
18) Ordeal By Innocence  (1958)
19) The Pale Horse  (1961)
20) Endless Night  (1967)
21) Passenger to Frankfurt  (1970)
22) The Golden Ball and Other Stories  (1971)
23) Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories (1997)

Sunday, October 2, 2016


P.G. Wodehouse is one author whose books never fail to make me laugh. Hope you also enjoy the following excepts from his books, thanks!

“Love, Miss Halliday, is a delicate plant. It needs tending, nurturing, assiduous fostering. This cannot be done by throwing the breakfast bacon at a husband's head.” 

"He wore the unmistakable look of a man about to be present at a row between women, and only a wet cat in a strange backyard bears itself with less jauntiness than a man faced by such a prospect."

"I mean to say, when a girl, offered a good man’s heart, laughs like a bursting paper bag and tells him not to be a silly ass, the good man is entitled, I think, to assume that the whole thing is off."

"My scheme is far more subtle. Let me outline it for you."
"No, thanks."
"I say to myself--"
"But not to me."
"Do listen for a second."
"I won't."
"Right ho, then. I am dumb."
"And have been from a child."

"Beginning with a critique of my own limbs, which she said, justly enough, were nothing to write home about, this girl went on to dissect my manners, morals, intellect, general physique, and method of eating asparagus with such acerbity that by the time she had finished the best you could say of Bertram was that, so far as was known, he had never actually committed murder or set fire to an orphan asylum.” 

"You know how it is with some girls. They seem to take the stuffing right out of you. I mean to say, there is something about their personality that paralyses the vocal cords and reduces the contents of the brain to cauliflower."

“One of the advantages a sister has when arguing with a brother is that she is under no obligation to be tactful. If she wishes to tell him that he is an idiot and ought to have his head examined, she can do so and, going further, can add that it is a thousand pities that no-one ever thought of smothering him with a pillow in his formative years.”

"And she's got brains enough for two, which is the exact quantity the girl who marries you will need."

"It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.”

'But then everybody says that, though you have a brain like a peahen, you're the soul of kindness and generosity.'
Well, I was handicapped here by the fact that, never having met a peahen, I was unable to estimate the quality of these fowls' intelligence, but she had spoken as if they were a bit short of the grey matter, and I was about to ask her who the hell she meant by 'everybody', when she resumed.

...And there on the path, as if they had been waiting for me by appointment, stood a policeman and a parlourmaid.
"How did you get in?"
"Through the window. Being an old friend of the family, if you follow me."
"Old friend of the family, are you?"
"Oh, very. Very. Very old. Oh, a very old friend of the family."...
"I've never seen him before," said the parlourmaid.
I looked at the girl with positive loathing.
"No," I said. "You have never seen me before. But I'm an old friend of the family."
"Then why didn't you ring at the front door?"
"I didn't want to give any trouble."
"It's no trouble answering front doors, that being what you're paid for," said the parlourmaid virtuously. "I've never seen him before in my life," she added, perfectly gratuitously. 
A horrid girl.
“But I say, really, you know, I am an old friend of the family. Why, by Jove, now I remember, there's a photograph of me in the drawing-room. Well, I mean, that shows you!"
"If there is," said the policeman.
"I've never seen it," said the parlourmaid.
I absolutely hated this girl.
"You would have seen it if you had done your dusting more conscientiously," I said severely. And I meant it to sting, by Jove!
"It is not a parlourmaid's place to dust the drawing-room," she sniffed haughtily.
"No," I said bitterly. "It seems to be a parlourmaid's place to lurk about and hang about and - er - waste her time fooling about in the garden with policemen who ought to be busy about their duties elsewhere."
"It's a parlourmaid's place to open the front door to visitors. Them that don't come in through windows."
I perceived that I was getting the loser's end of the thing.

Don't leave me, Bertie. I'm lost.'
'What do you mean, lost?'
'I came out for a walk and suddenly discovered after a mile or two that I didn't know where on earth I was. I've been wandering round in circles for hours.'
'Why didn't you ask the way?'
'I can't speak a word of French.' ...
'Well, why didn't you call a taxi?'
'I suddenly discovered that I've left all my money in my hotel.'
'You could have taken a cab and paid it when you got to the hotel.'
'Yes, but I suddenly discovered, dash it, that I'd forgotten it's name."
We drifted to one of the eleven cafes which jostled each other along the street and I ordered restoratives.
'What on earth are you doing in Paris?'
'Bertie, old man,' said Biffy solemnly, 'I came here to try and forget.'
'Well, you've certainly succeeded.'

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I am a fan of happy endings in books and this is one of the reasons that two of my favourite genres are Cozy Mystery and light-hearted Romance ☺

While reading a Mystery, I enjoy the mental stimulation that comes with trying to solve the Mystery along with the sleuth ☺ 

But I don't crave strong excitement or deep contemplation while reading books. I get more than enough opportunities to ponder over serious issues in real-life and so when I get a chance to temporarily escape into the wonderful world of fiction, I prefer my reading experience to leave me feeling happy and relaxed ☺

With Mystery books, I like the resolution to be logically satisfactory and morally pleasing ☺ 

In both Mystery and Romance books, even if some secondary positive characters must face sorrow, loss or death, for the right cause ...but it's my preference that the main positive characters in a book manage to achieve happily ever after ☺ 

As far as the negative characters are concerned, well, if they are sincerely remorseful and there is no permanent damage done then they could be forgiven. But in my opinion, extremely offensive characters, like murderers, don't deserve happy endings. 

Basically, I prefer such stories that end on a positive note and convey the message that if people possess wonderful qualities like faith, optimism, courage, honesty, fidelity, loyalty, tolerance, decency, courtesy, compassion, forgiveness etc then they do eventually get blessed with happiness ☺

This motivates me to incorporate such qualities in my own personality ☺

Such endings may not always happen in real-life, however, here I would like to reiterate that as far as I am concerned, I actually do not wish that the books that I read greatly resemble reality, since to me, reading fiction is like going on a vacation to a wonderful world, which is preferably different from the real world, where I can just relax and unwind ☺  

Reading such books provide me immense happiness and a sense of deep comfort ...and afterwards, I am prepared to face the responsibilities of real-life with strengthened faith, renewed hope, rested mind and fresh enthusiasm ☺

What is your favourite type of ending in books ...and why?

Those interested are welcome to answer this question through their comments, thanks! ☺

Those interested can also check out the discussion on this topic on Goodreads by clicking ...here...! Thanks! ☺

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I'm not ignoring you. You just aren't in the world I'm currently habitating. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Today, not only am I going to post excerpts from two of my favourite books, but I would also like to write about my favourite 'male protagonists' in ROMANCE books.

One is "Matthew Farrell", from "Paradise", a CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE novel, written by "Judith McNaught".

The main reason that "Matt" appealed to me was that his love for Meredith (the female protagonist) was completely selfless and unconditional. 

For example, when, during their period of separation, Meredith told "Matt" that one of the reasons why they should not remain married was that she might be unable to have children, he still pushed for reconciliation and wanted to continue their marriage. Not out of sense of obligation, compromise, or ulterior motive but only because he loved her. He was willing to lead a childless existence as long as she was in his life.

Towards the end of the story, when she discovered that there was a hope of her having a baby, though with a slight risk to her life, he was adamant that she shouldn't take even that very small risk. Her love and companionship was all that he wanted from her. Her life meant more to him than any child that they might have. 

Eventually, he only agreed to let her try for the child because she felt that it was necessary for her happiness...and Meredith's happiness was the important thing for him.

The other is "Ian Thronton", from "Almost Heaven", a HISTORICAL ROMANCE novel, also written by "Judith McNaught".

One great reason for liking "Ian" was the honesty and courage he displayed by acknowledging his love for Elizabeth (the female protagonist), both to himself and to her, right from the very beginning.

One more impressive quality that both "Matt" and "Ian" shared, was that they were self-assured and confident men, with their egos strongly intact.

They felt no compulsion to either intimidate others or ingratiate themselves, to prove their superiority and prowess, nor were they threatened by the abilities of other people.

For example, when, at some point in the story, both of their respective 'heroines', expressed feelings of inadequacy, both men actually tried to build up their self-esteem by showing how "Meredith" and "Elizabeth" had great power over "Matt" and "Ian", respectively. 

It was also their love, and faith that their love was sincerely reciprocated, respect for the qualities and abilities of the women they loved, and trust on their innate goodness that they won't take unfair advantage, that allowed both men to behave like this.

Moreover, the same highly intelligent minds that contributed to "Matt's" and "Ian's" professional success provided them with an insight that their wives's self-confidence would eventually benefit their life together, and also, their innate integrity enabled them to motivate rather than disparage.

"Matt's" underlying sensitivity beneath his valiant ambition and aloof demeanour, a sensitivity that was often depicted by his instinctive smartness and intuitive compassion, endeared him to me as much as his sense of humour, that was at times naughty, usually disarming, and always attractive.

Trying to seduce his wife, Meredith, in an attempt at reconciliation, when they were officially separated and living independently...

"I know you want to kiss me back, I can feel it. Why not indulge the impulse," he invited her huskily. "I'm more than willing and completely available..."
To her horror, his teasing statements doused her anger and gave her simultaneous impulses to giggle and to do exactly what he suggested.
"If I die in an accident on the way home tonight," he cajoled softly, his mouth sliding over her cheek towards her lips again, "think how guilty you'll feel if you don't."

As for "Ian", it was the streak of vulnerability that came through at unexpected moments, that touched me:

"You can do this, calculate all those figures in your mind? In moments?"
He nodded curtly, and when Elizabeth continued to stare at him warily, as if he was a being of unknown origin, his face hardened. In a clipped, cool voice he said, "I would appreciate it if you would stop staring at me as if I'm a freak."
Elizabeth's mouth dropped open at his tone and his words. "I'm not."
"Yes," he said implacably.  "You are. Which is why I haven't told you before this."
Embarrassed regret surged through her at the understandable conclusion he'd drawn from her reaction. Recovering her composure, she started around the desk toward him.
"What you saw on my face was wonder and awe, no matter how it must have seemed."
"The last thing I want from you is 'awe'," he said tightly, and Elizabeth belatedly realized that, while he didn't care what anyone else thought of him, her reaction to all this was obviously terribly important to him.

Every great author usually has an expertise in some specific aspect of writing. 

For example, though most of my favourite ROMANCE authors, in my opinion at least, are about equally talented in delightfully addictive writing, witty dialogues, humorous situations, intricate plots, interesting stories, emphasizing important qualities in relationships, skilful characterisation, inventing lovable protagonists, and weaving superb romance, including both 'ideal love' and 'physical chemistry', between them. 

However, I prefer "Georgette Heyer" for her entertaining escapades, authentic period details and slang, and most importantly, for her ability to maintain decency by exquisitely manipulating words to imply physical attraction between the lead characters, without going into intimate details, 

...whereas, "Judith McNaught" is my favourite for invoking emotions, developing empathy and emotional attachment with characters, and above all, for her flair for creating, extremely wonderful and absolutely enthralling, male protagonists! ☺

For this reason, I can go on and on describing the adorable qualities of both "Matt" and "Ian" ...but I think that I should better stop gushing about them otherwise some of you might start thinking that I have developed a crush on these fictional characters ☺

Romance readers and authors are welcome to join my group:





Thanks! ☺