Agatha Christie – After the Funeral

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paperback
publisher: Harper Collins
published 2001
pages: 378

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it… But he has been murdered, wasn’t he?

In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery…

In (Very) Short:

+ a Hercules Poirot novel
+ entertaining, funny, and exiting read
+ another good Christie
+ family and inheritance reveal dark and not so dark secrets

My Opinion:

Yet another good Agatha Christie novel. After the Funeral gives you what you want from a Christie novel: a victim of somewhat questionable repute, a small group of suspects, family secrets to be revealed, a surprising and yet not surprising culprit, and of course Hercule Poirot.

After the funeral of Richard Abernethie his sister Cora claims that her brother was murdered. This utterance could be the reason for her sudden gruesome death. The family’s solicitor is plagued with suspicion since he does not believe that the day after Cora’s remark a burglar just happens to kill her. In order to find out the truth he turns to Hercule Poirot, who starts to investigate. On his way to reveal the culprit Poirot unearths a few secrets.

As usual Christie is always a fun and entertaining read. She works according to the same schematic and by now I should probably be able to know the murderer quite early. But I still only manage to get to the solution short before the end, just when I am supposed to and just at that moment when Christie intended.

It is the similar mixture as always: all the family members seem to have a motive and keep something from the investigator that makes them even more suspicious. Often it is nothing more than an embarrassing little secret which has nothing to do with the murder itself.

I would have liked for Poirot to have appeared a little earlier in the narrative, but well I take what I can get.

Bottom Line:

A good, fun, entertaining, and solid Christie novel with Hercule Poirot as protagonist. You really can’t do anything wrong here.

Rating:

rating 4

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Bastian Sick – Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod #2

This book is not published in English. It deals with the idiosyncrasies of the German language. It would probably not make sense to translate it in the first place, since you have to know German to understand it. But there are similar books out there for the English language e.g. Lynne Truss Eats, Shoots & Leaves. So if you are interested in something like that 🙂

CIMG0383

Taschenbuch
Verlag: KuWi
veröffentlicht 2005
Seiten: 268

Book on Amazon

Klappentext:

Wenn alle Fälle davonschwimmen … Die zweite Folge des SensationserfolgesNoch nie sorgte ein Buch über den richtigen Umgang mit der deutschen Sprache für ein solches Aufsehen und begeisterte Hunderttausende von Lesern. Bastian Sick ist heute Deutschlands bekanntester Sprachpfleger, und sein zweites Buch wird schon sehnlichst erwartet.Mit seinem ersten Buch gelang Bastian Sick ein kleines Wunder. Plötzlich lasen viele Menschen über Interpunktion, den korrekten Plural oder guten Stil im Deutschen. Gleichzeitig gewannen sie neues Vertrauen in das eigene Sprachgefühl. Doch längst sind nicht alle Fragen beantwortet und alle Probleme gelöst. Und schaut man genau hin, ist nicht nur der Dativ dem Genitiv sein Tod, sondern es verschwinden noch mehr Fälle – »an den Ufern des Rhein und auch beim US-Präsident«. Natürlich möchte man die Dinge auch nicht schwarzmalen. Halt, heißt es nicht schwarz malen? Manches lässt einen verzweifeln und manchmal bleibt es ein Zweifelsfall der deutschen Sprache. Bastian Sick geht vielen dieser kleinen und großen Sprachvergehen nach und macht sich so seine Gedanken über das gefühlte Komma, den traurigen Konjunktiv und den geschundenen Imperativ. Und vor allem beantwortet er in diesem Band viele Fragen seiner Leser.Mit großem Deutsch-Test! (Amazon)

In Kürze:

+ unterhaltsam
+ ein gutes Buch für zwischendurch
+ Kolumnen gemischt mit Fragen der Leser, die Sick geduldig beantwortet
– etwas schwächer als der erste Teil, weil vielleicht zu schnell hintereinander gelesen

Meinung:

Der zweite Teil „Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod“ Reihe ist abermals aus Kolumnen zusammengetragen. In diesem Buch mischt der Autor jedoch die Kolumnen mit Fragen, die Leser ihm geschickt haben und beantwortet diese.

Abermals ist das Buch sehr unterhaltsam und lehrreich und hat mir wieder mal den Sinn und Unsinn der deutschen Sprache vor Augen geführt.

Allerdings denke ich, dass eine größere Pause zwischen beiden Büchern besser gewesen wäre, da ich den zweiten Teil diesmal nicht ganz so gut fand, wie den Ersten, und manchmal ein ganz, ganz kleinen Hauch genervt war.

Fazit:

Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod 2 ist ein unterhaltsames Buch, welches sich sehr gut und schnell zwischendurch liest.

Rating:

rating 3

Rita Falk РWinterkartoffelkn̦del

This book is not published in English and I don’t think that it will. This crime story is set in a certain region of Germany from which it draws its wit, charm, and entertainment. I personally believe the setting and the theme is to specific to be translated successfully.

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Taschenbuch
Verlag: dtv (Deutscher Taschebuch Verlag)
Veröffentlicht 2012
Seiten: 240

Book on Amazon

Klappentext:

In Niederkaltenkirchen geht das Verbrechen um.

Zuerst ist da die Sache mit der Frau vom Sonnleitnergut. Erstklassige Sahneschnitte. Ruft am beim Eberhofer Franz, einziger Polizist in Niederkaltenkirchen, mitten in der Nacht, praktisch hysterisch. Also: hin und ermitteln. Und dann die seltsame Geschichte mit den Neuhofers. Die sterben ja an den komischen Dingen. Mutter Neuhofer: erhängt im Wald. Vater Neuhofer (Elektromeister): Stromschlag. Jetzt ist da nur noch der Hans. Und wer weiß, was dem noch bevorsteht…

In Kürze:

+ unterhaltsamer und lustiger Regionalkrimi
+ blutloser, entspannter Kriminalfall mit einen weniger kompetenten Polizisten
+ die Familie von Franz ist ein Traum
+ der Schreibstil ist leicht und flüssig, herrlich zu lesen

Meinung:

Nachdem ich mich ja nun schon an tierische Ermittler heran gewagt habe und diese auch sehr unterhaltsam fand, wage ich mich nun an ein weiteres Subgenre heran – den Provinzkrimi. Also hab ich mir den ersten Teil der Franz Eberhofer Reihe aus der Bibliothek mitgenommen. Ich habe es nicht bereut.

Es ist ein blutloser, ruhiger und entspannter Kriminalfall mit einem mehr oder weniger kompetenten Polizisten, der eigentlich eher von einer Situation in die Nächste stolpert ohne manchmal genau zu wissen was passiert. Als Leser ist man ihm doch das ein oder andere Mal Meilen weit voraus. Aber das ist ja irgendwo auch der Spaß bei dieser Leseerfahrung.

Franz Eberhofer wird nach Niederkaltental versetzt, nachdem er in München durch einen Einsatz einen leichten Knacks bekommen hat. Nun muss er sich nicht nur mit seiner Familie rumschlagen, sondern belegt seine Vorgesetzten in München mit Verbrechens- und Verschwörungstheorien. Das an den Theorien etwas dran ist, mag anfangs keiner so richtig glauben, was aber den lieben Franz nicht davon abhält zu ermitteln.

Der Schreibstil ist leicht und flüssig und das Buch liest sich schnell weg. Auch wenn ich als Nordlicht am Anfang meine Zweifel hatte, dass ich mit dem „Bayrischen“ zurecht komme, hat Rita Falk das so wunderbar gemacht, dass es einfach und dennoch super unterhaltsam ist.

Franz Eberhofer ging mir schon das eine oder andere Mal auf den Brenner und man ist ihm oft viele Schritte voraus, aber das macht den Charme des Buches aus. Die Familie des Polizisten aber vor allem seine Großmutter sind ein Traum und lenken auch von der manchmal nervigen Hauptfigur ab. Ein wirklicher Lesespaß.

Fazit:

Ein lustiger und wenig blutiger Regionalkrimi, dessen Hauptdarsteller unterhaltsam und seine Oma einfach wunderbar komisch ist. Einfach Lesen.

Rating:

rating 4

Maria V. Snyder – Magic Study (Study Trilogy #2)

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paperback
publisher: MIRA Books
published 2006
pages: 419

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

A LESSON IN LOYALTY – A MASTER CLASS IN INTRIGUE

Yelena is a survivor. Kidnapped as a child,help prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster,she is now a student of magic. But these magic skills place her in imminent danger, and with an execution order on her head, she has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth.

But nothing in Sitia is familiar. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges – and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not her making. And once again her magical abilities will either save her life…or be her downfall.

In (Very) Short:

+ wonderful, exiting, thrilling, funny, fantastic … I am in love 🙂
+ the narration is fast paced and an absolute joy
+ new characters are likeable
+ old friends return and are again an absolute delight
+Yelena and her struggles in this ‘new world’ are understandable
+ it’s hard for me to summarize this in short in any adequate way

My Opinion:

I love this trilogy. I love this book. I love Yelena. I love her friends. I love Ixia. I know I am obnoxious, but I am euphoric. Usually the second installment of a trilogy is the weakest of the three but this isn’t. Magic Study is as good as the first one. It was sooo great and exiting and funny and thrilling. Ok, ok I’ll calm down now.

Yelena has come to Ixia to learn to control her magic and find her family. While some welcome her with open arms others are less enthusiastic about her arrival and belief that she is an Ixian spy. While Yelena tries to navigate this new world, her sudden family ties and the people’s expectations to forget her Ixian upbringing and relations, girls are kidnapped and murdered. When one of those girls survives apparently soulless, Yelena helps discover the reason behind these murders, which is not only a threat to Sitia her new home, but also to Ixia and the friends she has left behind.

I was happy to see Yelena again although I was saddened when she left Ixia and her friends (which I grew to like very much – I don’t want to overuse the word love 🙂 ). The narrative picked up where we left of in Poison Study. I felt for Yelena, who was stranded among people she did not know but who expected her to anyhow. Being caught between two warring worlds, Ixia – the world she knows and grew up in – and Sitia – the world she was born in and she was supposed to prefer over the other.

The struggles Yelena had to go through were very well relayed to the reader. Though I disagree with her attachment to Cahil, she learned to see and understand Sitia. At the same time her Ixian heritage (so to speak) was not just cast aside and she remained attached to her previous life.

The story was thrilling, the new characters divers and interesting, yet I was the happiest when I met my old friends Ari, Janco and Valek again.

Spoiler: Do not continue to read when you have not read Poison Study (the first book).

The topic of rape was brought up again this time in another context and a little more graphic and detailed. This topic is generally part of adult fantasy but is seldom illustrated beyond the act and especially not the consequences for the victims. I like that Yelena is a strong person but still has to battle her demons (which does not make her weak in any way).

Bottom Line:

A fantastic continuation of the trilogy with a stubborn and loveable protagonist. It’s a great series!!!

Rating:

rating 5

Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard Mystery #1)

CIMG0573

paperback
publisher: Penguin Group
published 2005
pages 214

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Disguising herself with short her and baggy clothes,Lily Bard has started over in the sleepy town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, where – working as a cleaning lady – she can sweep away the secrets of her dark and violent past…

When Lily discovers the dead body of her nosy landlord, her plan to live a quiet, unobserved life starts to crumble. Lily doesn’t care who did it. But as the unwanted attentions of the police chief and a suspicious community fall on her, she soon realizes if she doesn’t unmask the murderer,her life might do more than crumble…it might end.

In (Very) Short:

+ good book with an intriguing main character
+ not so much classical crime story
+ a lot of story pressed into the small amount of pages
+ I enjoy Charlaine Harris writing style

My Opinion:

Since I enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse novels and enjoy Charlaine Harris writing, I decided to try another of her series. Since the detective like aspect of her vampire books is one reason I took to them so quickly, I was intrigued by her Mystery Series.

Lily Bard discovers the dead body of her landlord and while she tries to stay away from the dead body and the subsequent investigation, her past slowly unravels in front of the reader and part of the town. Trying to keep her life, that she has created for herself, together, she inadvertently starts to investigate the crime.

This is not a traditional crime story. The mystery of the murder stands back in order for Lily’s mysterious past and her attempt to keep it under wraps take center stage. The main characters is intriguing and interesting and a reason I will continue this series

Still, the story seems a little pressed into these 200 something pages and it could have been a little longer for my taste. But now that some of Lily’s past has been revealed I am interested to see how the next narration develops.

Bottom Line:

A good and entertaining read. Not so much a crime story but a story about the mystery that is Lily Bard.

Rating:

rating 3

September Book Haul

I try not to buy many books, I really do. Well, one was a present, the other I bought after a reading (you can’t really leave a reading without getting a signed copy, well, I can’t), and the other two were a bargain, I just had to get them. 😉

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Maria V Snyder – Magic Study

Blurb:

A LESSON IN LOYALTY – A MASTER CLASS IN INTRIGUE

Yelena is a survivor. Kidnapped as a child,help prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster,she is now a student of magic. But these magic skills place her in imminent danger, and with an execution order on her head, she has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth.

But nothing in Sitia is familiar. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges – and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not her making. And once again her magical abilities will either save her life…or be her downfall.

I loved the first installment Poison Study and I already have the last book in this series: Fire Study. I can’t wait to read it and hope that it is as fantastic as the first one. Often the second book in a trilogy is a little weak. But I have a good feeling that Magic Study won’t.

Jakob Hein, Jacinta Nandi – Fish’n’Ships und Spreewaldgurken – Warum Ossiöfter sex und Engländer mehr Spaß haben

Blurb:

Das Land der Ossis: Nacktbaden in der Ostsee, Blumenpflicht am Frauentag –

vor allem aber: ganz viel Sex im Ferienlager!Der helle Wahnsinn, findet die in Berlin lebende Engländerin Jacinta Nandi.

Darüber kann Ossi Jakob Hein nur den Kopf schütteln, denn „London Calling“ war der Sound seiner Jugend, derOrt an dem jeder, der bei Verstand war, sein wollte: Coole Musik, hippe Klamotten, lässige Frauen, und alle haben Westgeld.

Seit gut einem Jahr tauschen sich die Surfpoetin Jacinta Nandi und der Autor Jakob Hein über das wahre Ossitum und das echte London aus: irrsinnig witzig, bissig und heiter. Zeit, uns endlich daran teilhaben zu lassen.

There was a reading in Leipzig this month and I couldn’t help but buy this book and get is signed. It is written by Jacinta Nandi, who was born in England and moved to Berlin, and by Jakob Hein, who was born in East Germany. Both write about the misconceptions they have about London and East Germany from the strangers perspective. The reading was great and since I was born in East Germany and I love London this should be a good and entertaining read.

Lucinda Riley – Das Mädchen an den Klippen

Klappentext (laut Amazon):

Ein Haus an den Klippen. Eine schicksalhafte Liebe. Ein Mädchen auf der Suche nach seiner Mutter

Mit gebrochenem Herzen sucht die Bildhauerin Grania Ryan Zuflucht in ihrer irischen Heimat. Bei einem Spaziergang an der Steilküste von Dunworley Bay wird Grania jäh aus ihren trüben Gedanken gerissen: Am Rande der Klippen steht ein Mädchen, barfuß und nur mit einem Nachthemd bekleidet. Der Wind zerrt an der zerbrechlichen Gestalt, und von plötzlicher Sorge ergriffen spricht sie das Kind an. – Ohne es zu ahnen, stößt Grania durch diese Begegnung die Tür zu einer über Generationen reichenden, tragischen Familiengeschichte auf – ihrer Geschichte.

I have heard so much of Lucinda Riley by now that I had to get a book by her. And since this one was on sale for 3€ (just because it had a little scratch on the back,) I couldn’t stop myself. Though I wanted to read her in English rather than German, I am not sure if this is my type of book, so in order to try it, I got the cheapest version (and that was by incident in German). Thus I won’t regret it if this is not my cup of tea. But I have thought many genres were not for me and I have expanded my range a little bit by occasional experimenting. So here goes nothing…

Sara Poole – Die Tochter des Giftmischers

Blurb:

Rom im schwül-heißen Sommer 1492.Hinter den Mauern der Heiligen Stadtbraut sich Böses zusammen. Als ihr Vater einem brutalen Mord zum Opfer fällt, verschafft sich die junge Francesca Giordano auf sehr eigenwillige Art seinen Posten als Giftkundige am Hofe der mächtigsten Familie Roms: der Borgia. Francesca ist nun für die Sicherheit aller Mitglieder der famiglia verantwortlich, doch ihr wahres Streben ist es, den Tod ihres Vaters zu sühnen. Die Suche nach den Mördern wird zu einer atemberaubenden Jagd durch Paläste, die düsteren Gassen des jüdischen Ghettos bis hinein ins Herz des Vatikans…

This is another book that was cheap because of a scratch on the back of the cover and another genre that I recently learned to appreciate. This historical novel is another crime story in disguise, so how could I say no to that. It’s about a daughter who want to avenge her fathers brutal death and thus establishes herself as a poison maker at the estate of The Borgias. If that does not sound intriguing.

My Reading Month September

My reading month started with a little crime fiction and granted the month remained a little crime fiction heavy, but well, I just can’t help it.

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Agatha Christie – After the Funeral

Reading a Christie is never a bad thing. It was a good and entertaining read. I haven’t read a Poirot mystery in a little while, so I had to get reacquainted. Just like my Marple mysteries I would have liked for Poirot to be part of the narration earlier, but this didn’t stop my enjoyment in any way.

Rita Falk – Winterkartoffelknödel

Than I turned to a German crime story. The story takes place in Bavaria and somehow fulfills all the stereotypes and clichés that I have (and I am from the north of Germany originally – so I have many) about the south of Germany. However, it was a good read, funny, exiting, easy, entertaining, and bloodless. Something that I personally prefer. This book is also a part of a series and I will definitely read the other ones as well. I hope they are as good as the authors debut novel.

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Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Landlord

Though I only know Charlaine Harris from her vampire novels, I discovered her Lily Bard mysteries as a bargain and decided to give it a try. Those books are relatively small and would be a nice and easy read in between. The book was very nice but the topic itself is not that easy. Although the murder is not seen nor described in detail, Lily’s past is not as rosy. I definitely continue the series because I like Lily and I want to know more about her.

Bastian Sick – der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod #2

The second installment on the ridiculousness of the German language. The author has collected more columns and added and answered questions that his readers have sent him. Again a nice read in between, but somehow less funny than the first. Maybe I should have just let some time pass between the two books as they are quite similar. But still a good read.

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Maria V. Snyder – Magic Study (Poison Study #2)

I love this trilogy. Not enough people know about it. I honestly don’t know where to start and what to say. It was fantastic. It took me a while to finish this book because I wanted to read when I had time. I didn’t just wanted to read a couple of pages and then stop, that would have been cruel. So I still finished it in a few days and it is as good as the first one. I like Yelena, I was happy to see some more old friends from the first book, I laughed, I loved, and I fought with Yelena through every page and I started the last installment right away.

All in all, this was a good month and it ended on a high note.