Review: How Right You Are, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

What every new year needs: a little fun with Jeeves and Wooster! From the back cover:

Jeeves is infallible. Jeeves is indispensable. Unfortunately, in How Right You Are, Jeeves, he is also in absentia. In this wonderful slice of Woosterian mayhem, Bertie has sent that prince among gentlemen’s gentlemen off on his annual vacation. Soon, drowning dachshunds, broken engagements, and inextricable complications lead to the only possible conclusion: “We must put our trust in a higher power. Go and fetch Jeeves!”

read more

Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

I’m too new to Agatha Christie to have an opinion on her “best” story, but I prefer And Then There Were None to Murder on the Orient Express. The former is a standalone mystery that doesn’t require previous knowledge of Poirot or Miss Marple which makes it immediately accessible to a new reader. I wasn’t left to wonder if I was missing something by starting in the middle with an established character. [Note: This book was previously titled Ten Little Indians and set on Indian Island. Later editions, like mine, are titled And Then There Were None and set on Soldier Island.] read more

Review: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

I made it to my 30s before reading a book by Agatha Christie. Why did I wait? No idea. My high-school self would have loved Murder on the Orient Express. As much as I enjoyed Sherlock Holmes, I resented when a case was solved via clues that weren’t accessible to the reader. Unlike Arthur Conan Doyle, Christie lets the reader play along.

From the back cover:
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

read more

Review: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The first step to reading Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible is to overlook the opening line: “Imagine a ruin so strange it must never have happened.” (5) The book is better and more coherent after this line.

The Poisonwood Bible follows the Price family into the Congo where they’re sent as missionaries in 1959. Nathan Price, the patriarch, is stubborn and bullish, alternately neglectful and abusive toward his wife and four daughters. He represents the worst type of missionary and struggles to gain influence. With a monthly stipend, the Prices are comparatively wealthy, but the payments are stopped when the Americans and Belgians are evacuated from the Congo as it declares independence. Despite making few inroads with the Congolese, Nathan Price refuses to allow his family to leave. read more