Bout of Books 19

Good thing I looked at Twitter or I might have missed this Bout.  I’m always bad at the bouts.   They go on for a week.   Who can stay focused that long?   But what the heck, try, try again, as they say.   I started Curtain, the last Hercule Poirot novel, though written 36 years earlier when she thought she might not survive WWII.   Stored in a bank vault.   Not sure why she thought the bank vault would survive, but they both did, fortunately.   I know I read this in my misspent youth, but all I remember is the end.   I don’t remember anything about the plot or victim(s).   It takes place at Styles, the mansion from the first Poirot book, now turned into a cheap guesthouse.   Hastings is, once more, by Poirot’s side, er, helping investigate.   (Which reminds me, I saw the guy who played Japp in a Midsomer Murders the other night.   Didn’t recognize him without the moustache and hat.)  I have Bev of My Reader’s Block to thank for this copy of Curtain.   I won it in one of her contests.   If you’re looking for a good mystery, she has about a gazillion reviews, you should be able to find something.

Another blog I visit is having a poll/discussion about fair-play detective fiction, golden aged or otherwise.  I bought a bunch of books from the various suggestions of top-drawer fair play fiction and will maybe read a few of those.   There are, among the commenters, vociferous pro- and anti-Christie bloggers.   I’m not very methodical and have never re-read one right after finishing it to follow the clues.   I think back over them, but I’m fairly vague about it.   If it felt fair or unfair, that’s really all it is, a feeling.  JJ and many others seem to be great fans of John Dickson Carr whom I’ve tried twice and thought utterly ludicrous and deeply unfair, but loathed so much I cannot bring myself to reread either The Three Coffins or that clock one.   I will give him another chance though and try to be more methodical.  Maybe the next one will be less painful and wildly improbable.

I’ve never read Ellery Queen and I don’t know why.   As far as I remember, I never even tried him.   Them.   Whatever.   There are a number of others I’ve never heard of and The Poisoned Chocolates Case which I’ve been meaning to read for years.   Various Christies are listed as fairly clued, but I don’t know if I will reread them from that point of view.   Also not sure how long to spend on this, as I already had plenty to read, but I think it will be fun.   No one has mentioned whether Curtain is fairly clued or not, but I’ve already started it, so I’ll go one.   The thing about Christie is, I always want to know what happens.

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