Monday, July 28, 2014

Murder Mystery Monday #8

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...Readers, lend me your eyeballs! These intros were starting to get a little monotonous, so I decided to mix it up. Anyway, welcome to another edition of Murder Mystery Monday. At the tail end of my last post I brought up the return of Agatha Christie's Poirot on Masterpiece Mystery, which premiered yesterday night for those unlucky enough to live in the United States. (Everybody else has seen it months ago). I promised that I might ramble on a bit about the movie and the book it was adapted from, so here I am on this auspicious Monday.

The movie featured in this episode was The Big Four, which is based on one of the Christie books that I've read fairly recently. I distinctly remember The Big Four because it was unlike any Agatha Christie I'd ever read before. For that reason I decided after finishing it that I could never feature it in a Murder Mystery Monday on its own. While it technically is a mystery and there are a number of murders that take place, I hesitate to place this book in the murder mystery genre. If anything it reads more like a spy novel full of adventure and international intrigue. I really should have known there was trouble afoot when I read the synopsis for my admittedly old edition of the book:

"Hercule Poirot was no James Bond, but now the greatest sleuth of them all found himself in a situation that would have staggered even the fabulous 007. 

A gigantic global conspiracy was tightening its net of terror around the forces of law and order wherever they might be - and the governments of the world were helpless to defend themselves.

But then this fearsome juggernaut of doom made one mistake. It decided to use naked force on the smiling, gentile Poirot.

And for the first time in his amazing career, the one and only Hercule Poirot began to get very angry - with results that surprised even himself...



Yeah, that doesn't sound much like the Agatha Christie I know and love. Not to mention this description makes Poirot simultaneously seem like a docile grandfather and a raging Hulk. Nevertheless, there are some important background details that have to be mentioned, which help to explain why The Big Four is such a weird book.


The most important fact about this book is that it actually started out as a series of short stories not intended to form a cohesive novel. It is purported in one of her biographies that in 1926 Agatha Christie was experiencing some rather hefty emotional strain. Her mother recently died and her marriage with Archie Christie was falling apart. Rather than attempt to write a completely new novel, Christie was encouraged to take these short stories and edit them a little to form this book.

As much as I really don't want to critique this novel because I feel so sympathetic towards her, I'm here to write about why the book and even the movie just doesn't work. As far as the format of the book is concerned it definitely reads like a series of short stories that really doesn't genuinely fit together. In fact each story has its own murder and its own cast of characters which makes the novel a bit confusing to keep track of. Interestingly enough if you take each chapter/short story on its own they all for the most part remind me of the Poirot that I know and love. The chapter that comes to mind is The Importance of a Leg of Mutton. It is a rather simple episode where someone is found dead and the police immediately suspect a manservant because a bloody footprint matches his shoes. Poirot subsequently uses his gray cells to discover the real murderer.

The book seems to take a turn for the worse near the end. Readers lose that iconic murder mystery story for a completely unbelievable espionage thriller. Poirot rather than standing back and using his little gray cells, is actively involved in thwarting this four person team of super-villains whose headquarters are...I kid you not..inside a mountain. The only positive comment you can make about this book is that it's pretty memorable.

Now onto the movie adaption of The Big Four



I'll be honest and say I was really very skeptical about the production of this movie. I couldn't even begin to think about how to adapt the book for the film and thankfully a significant amount of edits were made to the story to make it into a more cohesive narrative. Apart from a few similar episodes taken from the book, the movie's plot and progression are completely changed. The tenor of the film is much closer to the Poirot stories everyone is used to. There is no longer a ridiculous spy thriller ending, but still I find that the movie falls flat.

First and foremost, the movie intros with the supposed death of Poirot. Miss Lemon, Captain Hastings, and Inspector Japp all sorrowfully attend his burial while commenting how the world has lost a great man. For those of us unhappily awaiting the movie version of Curtain, those scenes were a punch right in the feels:( I think the creators of the series wanted to give audiences just a taste of how sad it's going to be when Poirot reaches his end.

Also I don't know if this was just me or was anybody else struck by how old the actors are now? It was seriously only a few days ago that I was watching a rerun of The Cornish Mystery where the actors seemed youthful and I think that's what caused the majority of my shock. It just sort of drove home the notion that one of my favorite tv series is sadly coming to an end.

Now back to the actual content of the movie. Despite the extensive edits, the movie still feels like it was adapted from a series of short stories. The film doesn't really have distinct scenes so much as a couple of vignettes that form a disjointed whole. As a result, the audience doesn't get to spend nearly enough time with the admittedly smaller cast of characters. I know I had trouble keeping track of which actor played which character, so there was no way I could even begin to suspect one of them as the ring leader in this mess of a story.

For those wondering, the movie does stick with the concept of the big four, an organization of four people determined to start another war and profit heavily from the results. The mystery element to this film is determining whether the big four is an actual organization or the result of a lot of media sensationalism. There is even some talk of a peace party, which many of the characters participate in. Needless to say the story has a slight undercurrent of political intrigue. The only problem is that the ending in no way matches up with the grandiose nature of the rest of the movie. (This next sentence is a spoiler, so if you haven't seen the movie...beware.) Instead everything boils down to one man's desperate need to impress an actress who dismissed his love years ago. That doesn't make much more sense than the original book ending.

All I can say is while I applaud the efforts of those involved in the show for having the sense to rework the original story, I feel like The Big Four is one of those books that really should never have been adapted for the screen in the first place. It's just a misstep in a long line of fabulous murder mysteries and I think I'm quite ready to move on to something a whole lot better. I know I'm excited to watch the premiere of Dead Man's Folly and I just might have to feature that in another Murder Mystery Monday post. I hope you enjoyed this Agatha Christie centered discussion and until next time, Best Wishes!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 2014 Book Haul

Hello readers and welcome back to another installment of the bibliophile with absolutely no self control where bookstores are concerned aka BOOK HAUL TIME!! Despite the fact that there are still plenty of books in my TBR pile, I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy some of the books I've had my eye on for a while. Today's haul is a bit of a mixed bag because I grabbed a couple of YA novels, a few adult novels, and even a middle grade book.


I think I'll start from the top of this awesome pile of books and work my way down.

The first book is actually the middle grade book that I mentioned earlier and it's Fyre by Angie Sage. It's the last book in a fantastic series of fantasy books. I remember starting this series somewhere around the end of middle school and it was one of the many series that I used to fill the Harry Potter void (those periods of time in between finishing the newest book and waiting for the next one to be released). The series follows the adventures of Septimus Heap, the seventh son of a seventh son, who becomes the apprentice to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard after discovering he has magical powers. Some time during the last year of high school and the first two years of college I completely forgot that I still had the last book in this series to finish. Nostalgia got the best of me today, so I made the ever embarrassing trip to the Children's section and hastily grabbed a copy.

The next book on my list is one I have been dying to get my hands on for such a long, long time. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick was the book I was determined to buy today. In fact when I first entered the bookstore, I immediately walked over to the YA section on a mission to find this book. When I didn't see it there I was so crushed, but thankfully I had the sense to check the fiction section and there it was!! Honestly, my love for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries has no bounds and I can't wait to finally read this book.

The next two books in my haul are the only John Green books I have yet to read. They are of course An Abundance of Katherines and Will Grayson, Will Grayson which he co-wrote with David Levithan. I have no doubt they will make great afternoon reads.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson wasn't even a book I planned on buying when I went to bookstore. I actually noticed it while I was browsing the YA shelves and I remember hearing some great things about this book and the author in general. The synopsis sounded pretty amazing and I'm looking forward to a hopefully great fantasy/sci-fi read. 

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor was another impulse buy. About a year or two ago one of my college friends recommended the series to me and I never got around to reading it. Now I'm just excited to see what the author does with Alice in Wonderland.

Next, I bought Conversion by Katherine Howe, an author that hasn't let me down so far. I love stories about witchcraft and of course the tagline mentioned The Crucible, a play I loved reading in high school. 

The next book in my haul...well you had to know that I would buy this new release...is The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). While I did have mixed feelings about The Cuckoo's Calling, I'm not willing to give up on Rowling's mystery endeavors just yet. I'm hoping Cormoran Strike will grow on me and that he'll do more than just incessantly complain about his prosthesis. 

The last book in my bookstore haul is House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Up until a couple of months ago I'd never even heard about this book. Then when I found myself reading S by Doug Dorst and JJ Abrams, this book kept getting referenced in reviews and articles I read. I'm not really sure what kind of reading experience I'm in for with this book, but I'm hoping it will be just as exciting and innovative as S. 

That's all the books I have to share with you today and it looks like I have some eventful reading in my future. A few of these books might even get full reviews!! Random tangent, but is anyone else super excited for the new Agatha Christie: Poirot episodes coming up on Masterpiece Mystery? I'm really interested to see what they've done with The Big Four. That was probably the weirdest and most un-Poirot-like book I've read from Agatha Christie. I just might have to write a Murder Mystery Monday post about the movie and book. I hope you all have great weekend and as always, Best Wishes!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Page #: 308
Rating:

Book Blurb: Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Review:
Truth be told this is the first book by Rainbow Rowell that I've ever read. I know everybody has been talking about what a fabulous author she is and for some reason whenever I see her books in a bookstore I just can't commit to buying one of them. Finally I got up the nerve to read her most recent work. Let's just say I'm now a Rainbow Rowell fan.

At first I was a little bit skeptical about the premise of Landline because I've been disappointed by so many books that deal with failing marriages. They all follow the same annoying tropes and I always end up hating the female protagonist. Thankfully, this book dealt with the premise in a new and refreshing way. In fact, the story was so captivating that I read it all in one sitting.

Essentially, Landline deals with the struggling marriage of Neal and Georgie. Neal is a stay at home dad and Georgie is a perpetually busy tv writer who bows out of Christmas with her mother-in-law at the last minute for work. Neal and her two daughters depart without her, leaving Georgie to mope about her marriage. Strangely similar to the mailbox in the movie The Lake House starring Sandra Bullock, Georgie discovers that the old landline at her mother's home allows her to communicate with Neal from the past. This causes her to take a fresh look at their marriage and how far their relationship has come.

There were a number of reasons why I really couldn't help liking this book as a whole. First, for such a dramatic subject as a failing marriage, Rowell does a great job of peppering comedic moments throughout the book to prevent it from becoming too depressing or bogged down. A good chunk of those funny moments arrive courtesy of the secondary characters, who are some of the most unique characters I've come across lately. Every secondary character from Georgie's mom to her daughter Noomi had at least one quirky detail that made them come alive.

I also found myself really enjoying the flashbacks of Georgie and Neal's relationship in college. The flashbacks weren't jarringly placed in the narrative, but rather naturally unfold around Georgie's conversations with past Neal. The effect is a multilayered story that urges you to connect with both the past and present versions of the characters.

That being said, there were just a few complaints I had with the book that prevented me from giving it a full 5 stars. I really wish there were one or two more scenes before Neal leaves for Nebraska to help better portray the current state of their marriage and to get more of a feel for present Neal's character. I don't think we know enough about their current relationship to get the full payoff at the end. Additionally, as sweet and hopeful as the book ends, I was left with so many questions about their future.

Overall, Landline is another one of those great contemporary novels that I would definitely recommend and I'm no longer hesitant about checking out the other books Rainbow Rowell has written.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How I Read Tag!

Welcome back readers to another fabulous summer day! This past week I haven't really been in the mood to read any mystery novels, so I've decided to skip Murder Mystery Monday this week and do another tag post. This time I tackle questions related to how I read.

1) How do you find out about new books to read?
Generally I find out about new books from Goodreads. I like to look at lists that deal with the upcoming releases for whatever year it is. I also enter a lot of Goodreads giveaways and even if I don't win an ARC I still keep books that I'm really interested in on my "want to read" shelf. Occasionally, I go on to the Barnes and Nobles website and I take a look at the bookseller recommendations and the coming soon part of the website. Just recently I've been watching a lot of the book hauls posted on YouTube by booktubers and I make sure to keep track of any of the books that looked interesting. As you can probably tell, I'm always on the lookout for new books to read.

2) How did you get into reading?
Honestly, I feel like I've always been into reading. I can't really remember a time that I wasn't reading. That being said I've already talked about the exact moment that I started to love reading. If you're interested and I hope you are, you can read my earlier post entitled "The Birth of a Book Lover" here

3) How has your taste in books progressed as you've gotten older?
I wouldn't say my taste in books has progressed, but rather accumulated. With one exception, I've never stopped loving the book genres I loved when I was younger. In elementary school I really didn't have any favorite genres. I just kind of cherry picked until I discovered the awesome Magic Tree House series. Those books were my introduction to one of my favorite genres: fantasy.

From there I advanced to the much beloved Harry Potter Series and by middle school my love for the fantasy genre became cemented. To this day I still have fond memories of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Leven Thumps Series, and the Inheritance Cycle. Sadly, my reading taste took a bit of a nosedive in my sophomore and junior year of high school. During that time I basically read exclusively YA books, but not just any YA books. I read all of the ones that had little character development, but a whole lot of love triangles. I remember vampire love triangles, fairy love triangles, wolf love triangles, witch love triangles, ghost love triangles, and angel love triangles. I think the reason why the presence of a love triangle in a book I'm reading now makes me so upset is because I've completely exhausted my tolerance for them in high school. Now my taste in books have shifted to more dystopian and contemporary YA fiction, thoughtful and intelligent adult fiction, and my current marathon read of all the Percy Jackson books shows that I still very much enjoy a great fantasy read.

4) How often do you buy books?
Usually I like to make trips to buy used books a least once a month, but whether or not I buy anything depends on the books the places have in stock. As far as new books are concerned I visit the bookstore pretty sporadically throughout the year, so it's never a consistent number. I can say that I always buy new books after Christmas and on my birthday.

5) How do you react when you don't like the end of a book?
How I react really depends on the book. If the book ends shockingly or with the death of a character that really made sense within the narrative I'm totally fine with that. Author's intent and all that business. If the book ends nonsensically I tend to get pretty angry. The worst is when I've been consistently displeased with the book throughout the entire reading experience and it comes to a disappointing end. When that happens books usually get thrown onto the floor or against the wall in anger.

6) How often do you take a look at the last page of a book before you finish it?
Never. You ruin the reading experience by doing that. Not to mention the fact that you no longer have any motivation to reach the end of the book.

That's all the questions I have for the How I Read Book Tag. I hoped you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me as a reader and I encourage you to answer some of these questions yourself. My next blog post will be a book review, so you should check back here in a day or two because I'm really excited to share my thoughts about this new book:) Best Wishes!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Jane Eyre Watch-a-thon: Jane Eyre (1973)

It's that time again readers where I set aside a chunk of my time to watch and review another adaption of the lovely novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Since we're nearing the end of this Jane Eyre Watch-a-thon, it looks like the movies that I have yet to watch are the ones that I've been avoiding because they're about 5 hours long. That's a pretty huge movie commitment. Nevertheless, I decided to tackle one of those more comprehensive adaptions for your reading pleasure.


Jane Eyre (1973)
Michael Jayston as Mr. Rochester
Sorcha Cusack as Jane Eyre
This version is broken up into 5 separate episodes, with a total runtime of 4 hours and 35 minutes
Here is the link to the IMDb webpage: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0207892/

This is another adaption that I hadn't seen before the watch-a-thon and I was pretty optimistic because BBC usually does great adaptions of classic novels. While there are definitely some faults to this adaption, it did meet my expectations for one of the more comprehensive adaptions. Since I want to end this post on a more positive note, I'm going to start off with all of the faults that I found.

  • As far as Jane's childhood is concerned, I thought that the child actor was a bit too melodramatic and at times she could get really annoying. The only other complaint I had was that for a 5 episode series, Jane's childhood isn't even given a full episode. For those curious that part of the narrative was about 45 minutes long.
  • That AWFUL voiceover!!! 

                               

It's totally understandable that a Jane Eyre adaption would have some narration from Jane, particularly since most of the narrative deals with her own thoughts and personal growth. Just...sigh...this adaption took that voiceover to such an annoying level. First, the voiceover was used to avoid actual scene transitions and important plot points. For example, there is no transition from Jane as a teacher at Lowood to her getting a job as a governess at Thornfield. Instead, it just skips right to Jane asking about Miss Fairfax (she mean't Adele). Then the audience is forced to watch a boring scene where Jane puts away all of her belongings for a solid 4 minutes while the voiceover informs us all about how Jane advertised and left Lowood. You know what else sucks about that voiceover? When it completely interrupts a conversation she is having with another character. I kid you not. For instance, Jane is having a rather heated discussion with Rochester, when all of the sudden the two characters stop talking and stare off into space, leaving the appropriate amount of time and silence for Jane's voiceover/inner monologue. I just really hate the voiceover, as you can tell.

  • This version also has one of the more tame Rochester horse scenes out of the bunch and I'd have to say in general that the movie really lacked the strong gothic tone that I enjoy.
  • I'm just going to put this out there........I hated Sorcha Cusack as Jane Eyre. In fact her performance and that ridiculous voiceover are really what kept me from completely enjoying this adaption. My first problem with Sorcha's acting is how she completely fails to portray any authentic emotion on her face. The woman has her eyebrows perpetually raised and in those few and I mean few moments when they aren't, she just has this stupefied expression. She even has this tone to her voice that always makes her sound lofty, like she looks down on everyone. Not to mention this adaption joins the many others that make it clear Jane is only 18 and then have a lead actress who looks to be in her late twenties/early thirties.
  • Aside from the intro and outro music, this adaption doesn't have any background music. As a result, the lack of music adds to the weird feeling that you're watching a stage performance and not an actual movie. It was also a missed opportunity to emphasize the characters' emotions.
  • This is just a small complaint, but if they made the decision to do the gypsy scene, which many of the adaptions don't, why didn't they just do it correctly.
  • After Jane leaves Thornfield, this film doesn't include any of Jane's begging and for some reason Rosamund Oliver isn't included either.
Now on to what I really like about this 1973 adaption.

  • The best aspect of this version has to be the fact that, aside from the few scenes I mentioned above, it's a comprehensive adaption. What makes this particular movie unique is that it lifts much of the dialogue directly from the book itself. I loved that the adaption allowed plenty of time for Jane and Rochester to have meaningful conversations with the correct lines. 
  • Finally!!! This movie gets the hair cutting scene completely right. So many adaptions for whatever reason choose to include some mangled representation of Brocklehurst desiring to cut some curly orphan hair. Here we get the entire scene where Brocklehurst goes on a religious tirade about vanity and the girls' curly hair, which is completely undercut when his wife and daughters walk by with their artfully arranged and curled hair. 
  • The horrible Typhus outbreak at Lowood is acknowledged and represented. Audiences even learn about the repercussions of Brocklehurst's poor running of the school.
  • While I hate the actress who plays Jane, I actually really liked Michael Jayston's portrayal of Mr. Rochester. He makes a valiant effort at accurately portraying emotion, even through facial expression.
  • Finally, this adaption has fully fleshed out reunion scenes when Jane decides to return to Rochester. Everything was wrapped up nicely and came to a satisfying ending.

That my dear readers is the end to another edition of the Jane Eyre Watch-a-thon. If you've watched this particular adaption and have anything to add please leave a comment down below:) For those wondering, I only have 2 more adaptions left to cover before this delightful journey is over. Until my next post, Best Wishes!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bookish Identity Tag!

Time for a fun post AWE YEAH!! As promised I've decided to adapt one of my favorite tag videos from booktube for my blog. The Bookish Identity Tag is perfect because I get to reveal a little bit more about myself and the books that I've read. For those interested, the original tag video can be found here and I've changed one question and added a couple more because that's just how I roll. Anyway time to get started with the tag.

1) Which dystopian/ fantasy world would you live in?

I tried so hard to be original with this question, but really the only answer is Hogwarts from Harry Potter. I feel like with a lot of dystopian worlds life would just suck there, whereas with Hogwarts the perks (magic obviously) balance out the whole dark lord threat.

I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter:(

2) Who would your partner be?

The question didn't say you had to pick a character from the world you chose to live in, so after considering all of the romantic leads from the YA books I've read I finally decided to go with Dimitri Belikov from the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. I know everybody has been crushing after Adrian because of how great he is in the Bloodlines series, but I can't forget how incredible Dimitri is as a character. He's smart, caring, funny, supportive, and a bad ass Dhampir that could handle any trouble that comes our way. Sorry Rose, but Dimitri would be all mine.

3) Who would your best friend/sidekick be?

For this question I decided to pick a character that I loved in middle school and still love today that reminds me of myself. Not to mention she would be helpful to have around, if I could ever get her away from her siblings. I am of course talking about Violet Baudelaire from The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I feel like we share a lot of common interests and if we ever got into a pinch I just tell her to tie up her hair ribbon because we have some problem solving ahead.

4) Who would your godly mother/father be? (reference to the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series)

Athena. Nobody should be shocked by this choice considering how bookish I am and how much I value intelligence. Even since I learned about the Greek gods and goddesses in sixth grade, I've always identified with Athena.

5) Would you be a Downworlder or a Nephilim? (Mortal Instruments Series)

As much as I've come to resent this series, I still want to answer because I really did think about this question when I was reading the first three books in the series. I personally would like to be a Downworlder as a Warlock. Magnas Bane is the only character that I really liked from the series and the idea of having magic and being immortal sounds fantastic to me. I could stay out of all of the Shadowhunter's conflicts unless I was feeling particularly generous and I would have plenty of time to see the world and read as many books as possible.

6) Which Hogwarts house would you be in?

Proud Ravenclaw right here!!!!
When I was younger I really wanted to be in Gryffindor because the books and movies made it sound like that was the best house and of course because I fancied myself a Hermione. I really should have known I was a true Ravenclaw at heart and the error of my ways was revealed when Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw. Now I wholeheartedly embrace my house. 

7) Which faction would you be in? (Divergent Series)

When I read the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth I always had the suspicion that I would test into Erudite and to double check I took the official test here to find out. Turns out that I'm divergent with the highest aptitude for Erudite. 

8) Which character do you most identify yourself with?

I kind of already mentioned this two questions ago, but the character that I've always identified the most with is Hermione Granger. When I was younger I'll admit I was kind of an annoying know it all (a trait I still have today) and I love to read. I'm always concerned with doing the best that I can in school and like Hermione I have a tight knit group of supportive friends that I really care about.  

That's the last question in the Bookish Identity Tag and I hope you enjoyed reading some of my answers. I totally encourage you to answer the tag for yourself and feel free to share them in the comments. Until next time, Best Wishes!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Murder Mystery Monday #7

Welcome dear readers to another installment of my Murder Mystery Monday Series. I've been away for a while enjoying all of the better parts of summer including going to see Fall Out Boy and Paramore in concert on their Monumentour. It was a fabulous experience and the best concert I've been to so far. Now of course it's time to discuss another Agatha Christie book that I've recently read and that particular book is Endless Night by Agatha Christie.


For those unfamiliar with the book or if it has been a long time since you first read it, I'll whip up a quick and spoiler free summary. Endless Night is a story told from the point of view of Michael Rogers, a young man who has a ton of hopes and dreams for his life, but is hampered by the fact that he can't seem to find a job he likes and stick with it. One of Michael's dreams involves a particular piece of property called Gipsy's Acre that locals insist has a curse on it. Even with the rather cheap price of the property, there is no way that he can afford to own the land, that is until he meets an American heiress named Ellie. She quickly falls in love with both Michael and the property and shortly after her 21st birthday the two get married and she buys Gipsy's Acre. After having Michael's architect friend built an extravagant house on the land, the two move into the house. The only problem is that Ellie seems to be a bit more bothered by the curse than she initially let on.

Now as much as hate to do this I do have stop here and mention that from here on out there will be spoilers. It really is too difficult to even begin to talk about Endless Night without mentioning the most important part of the book. So if you don't want your future experience with this book to be spoiled it looks like your reading experience stops here.

So this particular book is really quite different from the run of the mill Agatha Christie's that I read the majority of the time. Those of you who have read Endless Night probably know what I'm talking about. The actual murder part of the book is really quite tame and in fact doesn't happen until one half or even 3/4ths of the way through. The majority of the plot isn't concerned with solving the murder and it reads a lot like a novel that deals mostly with the psychology of murder, particularly since we find out that Michael Rogers was the one to murder his wife and this book is essentially his written narrative after the fact.

Here Christie is so ingenious because as a rule the reader tends to completely trust the narrator. It takes a lot to realize that the narrator is often a truly unreliable. It's an even trickier literary device in the mystery genre because readers focus on the large number of secondary characters when building a list of suspects.

Nevertheless, I do have to say that the majority of the book is pretty boring because nothing much happens until the murder. In a shocking turn of events I found that I actually enjoyed the movie adaption more than I did the actual book. The weird thing is that the most recent adaption of Endless Night, which aired at the end of 2013 has been edited to include Miss Marple.

Pictured: Miss Marple, Ellie, and Michael

Granted I'm not sure I'm totally on board with the idea of including Miss Marple in this book. I have been noticing a trend lately with the newer Marple adaptions that the creators tend to stick her in books she wasn't originally part of. Another movie that immediately comes to mind is Why Didn't They Ask Evans? I can understand why they included her because it draws the audience's attention away toward the central investigative protagonist, which we can identify with, thus making the movie a more traditional murder mystery. As a result, it does chance the tone of the story from more of a psychological narrative to a more predictable one where the husband is of course the one to murder his wife. Although like I said earlier the movie has a lot more suspense and a more plot driven narrative.

That's about all I have to say in regards to Endless Night, so here ends another Murder Mystery Monday post. For those curious about what the next few posts from my blog will deal with I'm here to tell you that I'm planning on mixing things up a bit here on Myriad Novelations. While I will be continuing to work on the Jane Eyre Watch-a-thon, I've decided to have a bit more fun by adapting some tag videos from my favorite booktube users for this blog. It'll give you a chance to get to know more about the types of books I love to read and you can even contribute your own answers. Let's just say I'm so excited that I already started drafting a few of the posts! I'm looking forward to another amazing summer month of reading and I hope you are too. Best Wishes!!