The Classics Club Spin Result

The spin number in The Classics Club Spin is number …

which for me is The Mousetrap and Other Plays by Agatha Christie and I am delighted as this is a book I’ve wanted to read for years!. The rules of the Spin are that this is the book for me to read by 7th August, 2022.

Synopsis from the book:

These four gripping plays by the undisputed Queen of Crime, here published for the first time in book form, provide yet more evidence of her mastery of the domestic thriller. Agatha Christie’s talents as a playwright are equal to her skills as a novelist and reading her plays, with their ingenious plots and colourful cast of characters, is every bit as pleasurable.

The Mousetrap has made history by becoming the longest running play ever. And Then There Were None was another huge theatrical success and was made into a superb film by Rene Clair. The two remaining plays were both adapted by Agatha Christie from her earlier novels: The Hollow, set in the English countryside and Appointment with Death, set among the exotic ruins of Petra in the suffocating heat of the Jordan desert.

Agatha Christie dramatised many of her own stories and frequently devised new twists of plot and character to surprise and enthrall her audience.

The Mousetrap opened in London’s West End in 1952 and ran continuously until 16 March 2020, when the stage performances had to be temporarily discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic. It then re-opened on 17 May 2021. It’s set in a guest house, Monkswell Manor, wintertime “in the present day”, that is the early 1950s. The play has a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre, so I’ll be limited in what I can write about it.

Did you take part in the Classics Spin? What will you be reading?

Adding to the TBR Shelves

A few days ago I rearranged my bookshelves – and now I’ve got to make space for a few more books, because I went to Barter Books in Alnwick on Tuesday and came home with more books to add to the TBR shelves.

Dead Scared pile I really enjoy going to Barter Books, wandering around the shelves and browsing. But I also take with me lists of books I want to look at including a list of the Agatha Christie books I haven’t read and don’t already own. There is always a good selection of books, the stock regularly changes, so there are always ‘new’ books to look at. (Barter Books is, as its name indicates, a sort of exchange of used books; you take some in and choose others in exchange. You can, of course, just buy the books if you haven’t any credit.)

I’m very pleased with this little pile of books because I’ve been on the look out for some of them for quite a while, although one of them is a book (Talking to the Dead) that I only read about on Tuesday morning on Alex’s blog Thinking in Fragments. They are (from top to bottom):

  • The Floating Admiral – this wasn’t on my list of books to look for, but it was filed with the Agatha Christie books (I always look there first) and I thought it looks good. It’s a collaboration by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and ten other crime writers from the Detection Club, with a prologue by G K Chesterton. It was originally published in 1931 and this new edition published in 1911 has an introduction by Simon Brett.
  • The Mysterious Mr Quin by Agatha Christie, featuring Mr Satterthwaite and Mr Quin, the man ‘who appears from nowhere‘ and ‘unravels mysteries that seem incapable of solution’. It is one of the early Christie books, first published in 1930. This edition is one of the Penguin Crime fiction books in green and white reprinted in 1961 for 2/6. This fills a gap in my reading of her earliest books.
  • The Mousetrap and Selected Plays by Agatha Christie. There are three other plays in this collection – And Then There Were None, Appointment with Death and The Hollow, adapted by Agatha Christie from her novels, which, with the exception of Appointment with Death, I have read, so it’ll be interesting to see how they differ from the originals.
  • The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam. This is the only non crime fiction book in the pile, by the author of Old Filth, which I loved. It’s described on the front cover as ‘Brilliant, wickedly comic … masterly and hugely enjoyable‘. It’s about a do-gooder and promises to be a refreshing change from the crime fiction.
  • Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham – the book recommended by Alex. It’s the first in the Fiona Griffiths series, a crime thriller in which police woman Fiona Griffiths investigates the death of a woman and her six-year old daughter. It is described on the back cover as ‘a stunner with precision plotting, an unusual setting, and a deeply complex protagonist … breathtaking.’
  • Dead Scared by S J Bolton. I like S J Bolton’s books and I’ve been looking out for this one, the second in her Lacey Flint series ever since I read the first book, Now You See Me. This is another crime thriller featuring a police woman, this one investigating a spate of suicides – all female university students.