Tag: Real Life

Peter James – Need You Dead | Review

Title: Need You Dead

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 502

Rating 4/5

It’s been a while since I’ve read a full-length Peter James novel, although I picked up The Perfect Murder, a standalone novella, towards the middle of last month. I actually picked this one up because I filmed a YouTube video where my cat picks my TBR, and this is one of the books that Biggie chose.

The story here follows an investigation into a murder where there are a bunch of different suspects, some of them more plausible than others. We also get an insight into what happens when the police are forced to investigate one of their own. Peter James does a hell of a lot of research and so you can bet that the stories he tells are grounded in reality.

This is also a relatively recent addition to the Roy Grace series, and while you can read the books as standalones, it’s a better idea to read them in order if you can. Don’t do what I did and just pick them up from charity shops as and when you see them because you can end up spoiling yourself on some of the backstory that’s continuing to develop alongside each of the cases that the Brighton police force takes on.

For example, in this book, Roy Grace has to deal with an important funeral and he also ends up basically taking in a son that he didn’t know he had. That also reminds me that there were a few bits that didn’t quite tie up here, like the fact that the assistant commissioner can speak German but isn’t comfortable with Grace knowing that. I can only assume that he’ll deal with it in a future release, and I look forward to finding what it’s all about.

As for this book, I don’t think it’s James’ best and there were a couple of points at which my mind started to wander and I wasn’t wholly absorbed by the story. With that said, on the whole I thought it was still pretty good, and it can only be a good sign that it only took me a couple of days to read it. And I would of course recommend it, but I’d also suggest following the series in order if you can.

Peter James is also an approachable guy on social media, and he even has a YouTube channel where he interviews other authors and talks about his books. It’s through his Instagram that I learned that he has his own chickens, and it was pretty cool to see that Roy Grace has them, too. I think the main thing that I like about reading Peter James is that you can see how his real life experiences go into his writing, and I feel like I can learn from it.

If you haven’t read any Peter James – and any of his Roy Grace books in particular – you should.

Click here to buy Need You Dead.

 


Agatha Christie – The Thirteen Problems | Review

Title: The Thirteen Problems

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 320

Rating: 4*/5

 

Agatha Christie - The Thirteen Problems

Agatha Christie – The Thirteen Problems

 

This book takes its title from the fact that it’s a collection of thirteen short stories featuring the inimitable Miss Marple. And as you might remember from when I read Miss Marple’s Final Cases, I’m a big fan of Miss Marple short stories. It feels like it’s almost the perfect length for something that features her. After all, she’s at her best when she’s brought in at the end of a case and asked to provide a solution. She lets everyone else do the preliminary work so that she can just come in at the end and tell people what actually happened.

This wasn’t quite as good as Miss Marple’s Final Cases, but it was still pretty fun all the same. The only thing that I wasn’t too keen on was the almost repetitive nature of the stories. Somebody would tell the start of the story and then they wouldn’t have an ending, because real life doesn’t work out like that. Luckily, Miss Marple would always be on hand to tell you what actually happened.

That means that the setup to the stories felt kind of formulaic, but the stories themselves felt fresh and original. I feel like I’d read one of them before somewhere because I was able to figure out how something happened. It involves the colour of a flower changing on a strip of wallpaper and I’m convinced I’ve seen that used before somewhere.

All in all these are some fun short stories and I do love Miss Marple, possibly even more than I love Hercule Poirot. And, because these are all standalone short stories, you can also read this book as a standalone. It’s as good as any other Marple book to get started with and I enjoyed it more than some of the novels.

 

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

 

Click here to buy The Thirteen Problems.