New Book Reviews

 

The Haircut Who Would Be King by Robert Trebor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun and a very interesting satire. He combined what is happening in a humorous, fictional cloth. Very much like Mark Twain and Will Rogers he spun a tale with humor and a great deal of wit but there was just a sharp enough edge so you know it was couched in the reality of our time.

 

 

Towards Zero (Superintendent Battle, #5)

Towards Zero by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t believe that I owned this book and I have never read it before. I loved it! It had me looping back and forth between every character in the house. But I never guessed the killer. I think it was a fascinating study in psychology by the great Agatha Christie. The clues were there, the little slips but they seemed so normal that I did not pick them up.

Also I really enjoyed the two romances in the book that were not central to murder, I was happy that Mary had some romance, finally.

Also the man at the beginning of the book who you can’t really figure out what his part in it is till it is revealed. I think he is my favorite character for many reasons that I can’t reveal or it will give it away. But I really, really like him.

Also I find it interesting that Agatha Christie’s view on suicide that she had in The Harley Quin’s short story “The Man From The Sea,” is repeated here. And it really touched me both times, quite beautiful.

 

Unfinished Portrait

 

Unfinished Portrait by Mary Westmacott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a difficult story to read because I knew it was based on Agatha Christie herself, her own life and feelings. And how Archie Christie truly hurt her so deeply in the end, at the worst time he could possible do it. Also how he just seemed to be blind to anything but his own thoughts and feelings. It really tore at my heart.

There is a strange connection between “Unfinished Portrait”, a Harley Quin short story called; “Man from The Sea” and “Towards Zero. ” I read them one after another. They all have a suicide attempt that is stopped, in two of the stories the place for it is exactly the same and in two of the stories, the same philosophy against suicide is the same. Has anyone else pondered this? I never read it in an article or a book about Christie.

I thought it very interesting too, that she incorporated her own nightmare of the gun man, and the interesting twist she gave it. I will not add any spoilers to this review but if you want to know how Agatha Christie felt about what happened to her in 1926, this is the book to read.

 

 

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)

If You Ask Me by Betty White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a delightful book, full of warmth and wit. It is like hearing Betty talking to you, replying to your questions in person. Lovely.

 

Book Review

The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #2)

The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is something special about this introduction of Agatha Christie’s second great sleuth; Miss Marple. Introduced through a series of short stories that allows you to truly get to know her. Her intelligence, compassion and humor. Her sweet expression belied by her sharp blue eyes as she sits quietly knitting almost forgotten by the others in the room. Even when she says she really had no idea what the solution was, she really did. Some people don’t enjoy reading short stories but I always have. It helps you to learn all the different sides of characters. And it teaches you just what an art the creating of a short story truly is and Agatha Christie was genius at it.

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Book Review

 

Five Little
 Pigs (Hercule Poirot, #25)

Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five Little Pigs is one of my favorite stories. I first saw the David Suchet version on TV, and just fell in love with it because though it takes place in the 1930’s, the action of the piece takes place in one of my favorite eras the 1920’s. It is a fascinating look at how people see a catastrophic event differently.

There are differences of course between the book and the show. The name of daughter is different and several other little things, especially the way it ends but essentially it is the same story. I find how she has the same story again and again and again, 5 times really, and each is different because each person who tells it is different and see is in their own way.

I also find it fascinating how an open and closed case changes when you listen to the personal versions because you see things that of course the lawyers would never have even have thought to ask of each witness. And several incredibly important facts are not apart of the trial.

I won’t tell any more because I don’t want to give away the plot. But I can see why this was one of Agatha Christie’s favorites. Such a complex and intricate plot. Brilliant.

Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence #2)

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do not have an accurate count of how many times I have read this wonderful romp. It is my go to book for a troubled heart. I really defy anyone who is down in the mouth, to read one of the short stories in this and not to be touched or smiling at the antics of Tuppence and Tommy. One of my favorites.

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Article for Flapper Press

 

A story of a little girl’s adventure; //www.flapperpress.com/blog/hiding

I have a new article in Flapper Press published by the wonderful generous Elizabeth Gracen about my parents romance; https://www.flapperpress.com/blog/a-stolen-letter-led-to-a-lifetime-together

 

A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple,
 #5)

A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always loved Miss Marple, her sweetness and kindness radiates from her, but her intelligence and need to find the truth drives her. Have you ever wished that a detective was real, sometimes when there is a horrible crime I hope for a little old lady who really knows what makes the world tick.

This story takes place in a small village that is full of retired people and young relatives and workers staying there too. In the local rag an announcement send all the neighbors running agog to see if what is announced, is true. A murder.

So read about the small village and how Miss Marple and Inspector Craddock solve this baffling who done it.

Agatha Christie as always so many layers that it is like trying to figure out how to re-weave a sweater. Give a go!

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My Reviews;

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard 

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Harley Quin, #1)

 

The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always have had a mystical side to my nature. I love magic and mystery. So a perfect series of stories, (which according to Agatha Christie, was never meant to be a series,) is the Harley Quin short stories. You never know what your going to get when you read them. Romance? Adventure? Mystery? Scandal? Death? It has all of it, very charmingly told through the eyes of an older man who has not really lived life but observed it, Mr. Satterhwaite. Until he meets the mysterious Mr. Quin, he really feels that is his lot in life to observe and listen. He knew a lot of important people, appreciated beauty, listened to some of the greatest stories by just being a good listener, but he had never really lived a life that he felt was complete. Until one day he met Mr. Quin and through his encouragement (though Mr. Quin denied it,) he discovered he could be part of the drama, not just a part of it, but a pivotal part.

I won’t tell you what the dramas are, you have to read the book.

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Reviews for latest reads;

 

 

Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence #2) 

 

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie

I do not have an accurate count of how many times I have read this wonderful romp. It is my go to book for a troubled heart. I really defy anyone who is down in the mouth, to read one of the short stories in this and not to be touched or smiling at the antics of Tuppence and Tommy. One of my favorites.

 

I, Samantha, Take This Mortal, Darrin

 

I, Samantha, Take This Mortal, Darrin by Adam-Michael James

I really enjoyed this thoughtful closing to a wonderful series. The author who has been a guest on my show and is truly an expert on Bewitched and describes the universe of Samantha and Darrin beautifully. He has created a wonderful two-part ending of the series. He brings back a lot of favorites and delightfully explains anything that the fans might have had questions on through the years of the show. I have loved Bewitched since I was a tiny little girl and I still love it, it’s a definite must for any Bewitched fan.

 

 

The Bridesmaids ~ Inside the Privileged World of Grace Kelly and Six Intimate Friends

The Bridesmaids ~ Inside the Privileged World of Grace Kelly and Six Intimate Friends by Judith Balaban Quine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is second time I read this book, (sort of trend because of moving and finding books as I slowly unpack.) I was in my twenties the first time I read it and rather innocent. I was more interested in the glamour and the movie stars then in the real lives.

Now as I mature women I read it very differently. With life experience I actually took in thing I don’t think my younger self could have even understood. Some of the lessons I learned from this book was very much needed. It made me feel more understanding and better about my own up and downs and my losses.

Grace was a beautiful, accomplished, very intelligent woman, she had a full life that contributed a lot in several ways. As much I enjoyed her many and varied accomplishments I really learned from her mistakes. It was a lot to take in.

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Laughs, Luck...and
 Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time (with

Laughs, Luck…and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time by Jess Oppenheimer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I interviewed Gregg Oppenheimer for my show Chatting With Sherri. It was a charming chat about his dad Jess Oppenheimer and Gregg’s play about Lucy called; “I Love Lucy; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Sitcom.” So as research I began to read this book.

I truly enjoyed it because it was full of information not just about I Love Lucy, which I love but radio shows with Jack Benny, Fanny Brice, Fred Astaire and ultimately Lucille Ball. It was about the life story of Jess Oppenheimer and his memories of the period of Live Radio which was like catnip to me.

In case you can’t tell I loved this book and in it are recording from My Favorite Wife and I Love Lucy that you can’t hear anywhere else. Definitely worth a read 

By the way, the play I mentioned is also going to be a radio show, isn’t that cool? I can hardly wait!

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Aghatha Christie : Evil Under The Sun

Aghatha Christie : Evil Under The Sun by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hi, the way it is put into the system, they put the author’s name wrong and I just wanted to let you know, I know her name is; Agatha Christie  (But this is the edition I own, so I left it under here.)

This is the third time I have read the novel. It’s been a while and I am a very visual person. I see books as I read them. And Agatha Christie is excellent at painting a picture with her words. Maybe that is why her work translates so easily to film.

I have seen both the Peter Ustinov and David Suchet versions of the story. It’s funny what sticks in your mind, some things from the films completely wipe out what happens in the novel. For instance the summing up, it was completely different in both films from the novel. Where they take place, who he talks to and what he says in the novel is completely different, though the puzzle is of course is the same. I love a good movie and though they were both very different from what she wrote I enjoyed them both. You just don’t realize how your mind juggles things till you re-read it again later.

I don’t want to give away any of the plot but it is a fun “who done it,” with amazing characters. Like all her books, my favorite part in the book that does not happen at all in the movie is very small but important. It will not affect the mystery but it tells you how both Poirot thinks and his creator; He is helping Mrs. Gardener with a puzzle, putting the cut out pieces into place and that act in itself actually helped him figure out the puzzle of the crime. To me it says a lot.

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A book review of a "A Book"

Below is my review for a book I haven’t read since I was 15 years old, it is interesting and delightful to re-read it as an adult;

A Book; A Book by Desi Arnaz; https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2398595800?book_show_action=false

Interview with the wonderful Kerry Greenwood! https://rithebard.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/interview-with-the-wonderful-kerry-greenwood/ … via @rithebard