Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Tis the Season for a Good Tale

Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

(Classic Murder Mystery)

(This book was originally titled "Murder for Christmas", which I like better.)

If you're looking for a sentimental holiday read....this isn't it!  If you're looking for a murder mystery that will have you scratching your head and gasping at the end, you're in the right place.

The story focuses on the murder of patriarch Simeon Lee, a bitter and hateful old man who traumatizes his children and is brutally murdered in a locked room.  This has all the other classic markers of a Christie tale:  unlikeable victim that many people would want to kill; murder in a selaed room; family that hate one another; secret siblings and offspring; family secrets; secret family treasure, etc.  World-famous detective Hercule Poirot is on the case, but acts much different than his usual modus operandi.  He holds all the cards close to his chest and gives us, the readers, very little to go on.  The ending was complete shock.  While I had plenty of guesses, none of them even came close.

I loved the way this book starts.  It opens with an unknown character and the reader watches and watches for him/her to return and tries to figure out how all these pieces fit together.  I am not one of those really smart readers who keep track of all the clues and try to solve the mystery.  For most mysteries, I'm just in it for the ride and this one is no exception.  What a thrill ride from beginning to end!  The Dame does it again.

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