Tag: Clichés

Peter James – Sweet Heart | Review

Title: Sweet Heart

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 340

Rating: 3.5/5

This book was a bit of a strange experience, because James has definitely evolved as a writer since he came up with this one. At the same time, it wasn’t bad, although a few of the references dated it back to the early nineties when it was released. But that doesn’t really matter because the story itself is what makes it worth reading.

Sure, it has its fair share of clichés, but it’s also a haunted house story. In fact, it basically read like an early draft of The House on Cold Hill, and I enjoyed that one and so I enjoyed this one too. The writing was never clunky, but there were a few points at which it was perhaps overly simple. That said, it did exactly what it needed to do to tell the story, and I can’t really complain about it.

I’m not sure if I’d say this is a particularly good place to start with Peter James, but if you’ve read a few of his other books and perhaps you feel like a break from Roy Grace, this could well be the book for you. That’s especially true if you’re more of a fan of horror and the supernatural than police procedural novels, although I’m a fan of both and personally think that he’s better at the latter.

I also liked the way that everything all came together here, although it was perhaps a little predictable. But that made it a lot easier for me to keep track of what was going on and who was who, and so I never once felt lost. The result was just a pretty easy read that did still leave me feeling a little bit unsettled, to the point at which I was checking over my shoulder in my house to make sure that I was still alone. If that doesn’t sell this book, I don’t know what will.

Click here to buy Sweet Heart.

 


Agatha Christie – The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding | Review

Title: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 368

Rating: 3.5/5

 

 

This isn’t Agatha Christie’s finest work, but it’s still worth reading if you’re an aficionado, especially if you actually pick it up around Christmas like I did. It’s only really the title story that’s actually Christmas-themed, but I did think it was a pretty good one with a few different surprises in store.

Most of the other stories were only so-so, but I did enjoy Greenshaw’s Folly, the only one of these stories to feature Miss Marple instead of Hercule Poirot. Poirot is fine, but he’s not my favourite. He was actually okay in these stories, but I don’t think the cases themselves were the most intriguing. I actually forgot a couple of them as soon as I read them, although there were a few good ones too.

Another standout for me was The Mystery of the Spanish Chest, in part because I felt like I’d read something similar to it before. It’s always hard to tell with Christie (and even Conan Doyle) because they’ve been imitated so many times by so many different people that it can be hard to tell whether they created the clichés or whether they fell into them.

 

 

I was actually talking about this with my Uncle Carl because he’s a big Christie fan himself. I’ve been trying to pick up every book she ever wrote and some of them were only published in America. That means that some of the stories are duplicated or even included in different versions.

All in all then, this is a decent enough collection to read if you like short stories and if you’re a fan of Hercule Poirot. If you’re more of a Marple fan like I am, you may be better off going for something like Miss Marple’s Final Cases, which I thought was fantastic. Those short stories showed off Christie at her finest, whereas these ones feel more average, if such a term can be applied to Christie’s oeuvre. And this book was still pretty good, it just wasn’t anywhere near her best. So yeah.

 

 

Click here to buy The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.

 


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