26 September 2009

Mini-Review Roundup 2

This is the second of my mini-review roundups, the result of an offer I made about two weeks ago.
Just two participants this time.

CITY OF SILVER by Annamaria Alfieri was submitted by Kirsten who blogs at 4IQREAD.

Kirsten writes " In Potosí, the richest city in the Western Hemisphere, Inez de la Morada, the bewitching, cherished daughter of the rich and powerful Mayor, mysteriously dies at the convent of Santa Isabella de los Santos Milagros, where she had fled in defiance of her father. It looks as though the girl committed suicide. But did she?"

Kirsten rated CITY OF SILVER, a historical mystery, as 4/5. She says " I liked the main character and foreign setting."

Click on the cover to read a few pages at Amazon.

THE ABC MURDERS by Agatha Christie was submitted by Margot Kinberg who blogs at Confesssions of a Mystery Novelist.

Margot rates this murder mystery at 5/5, saying " The murder of a elderly shopkeeper in Andover doesn't cause much public stir until a second murder occurs in the seaside resort of Bexhill; this time, the victim is a young woman. Now Scotland Yard gets involved, and an all-out effort is made to catch the murderer before he kills again. The only clues the police have are the ABC railway guides left near the bodies, and the fact that the murderer sends Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective a warning before each murder. Even Poirot doesn't seem about to stop the killings, as two more people die.

As Poirot joins forces with the Yard and with the relatives and friends of the victims, it seems more and more clear that a madman is targeting communities in alphabetical order, and choosing his victims that way, too. In the end, it takes Poirot's genius to put the pieces together and show that things aren't always what they seem.

Agatha Christie is at the top of her form in this novel. The story is told from two different points of view, so that we get to see the plot unfold from two perspectives. That heightens the suspense and is an innovative use of point of view.

The story also makes brilliant use of character. The group of friends and relatives of the murder victims are disparate people who, under ordinary circumstances, would never have met. As they are thrown together, their interactions add to the story and provide Poirot with useful clues to the victims and to the murderer.

Christie's sense of pacing and timing are evident here, too. The story moves quickly, and the suspense builds effectively, especially as Poirot gets closer and closer to the truth of the murders.

Add to that Poirot's knack for understanding the psychology of murder, and the result is a suspenseful novel that tells the story of multiple murders without being graphic - one of Christie's many skills. "

Margo say " I highly recommend this book, especially for Christie fans who haven't read it. For those less familiar with her work, you may wish to start with one or two of her earlier novels, so you can get to know a little more about Captain Hastings and his history with Poirot. You'll enjoy the novel more that way."

Thank you Kirsten and Margot for your contributions.

The mini-roundup will be an ongoing feature of this blog, so if you'd like to submit a mini-review to be published at a later date, you can do it through the form I have set up at Google Docs. Leave a comment somewhere on my blog too so I know you've done so.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the opportunity, Kerrie! This was fun :).

gautami tripathy said...

This sounds fun. I might contribute to it!

The Cozy Mystery Journal said...

Oh these two look like fun :)

I might have to contribute a mini-review too.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify. I put the review inside quotation marks because I did not write the review. I just recommended the book on Virtual Bookshelf but did not feel that I could improve on the quoted section. Kirsten


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