Search Results for agatha christie

Book Review: A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: A Pocket Full of Rye
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 315
Publication Year: 1932

I guess this book A Pocket Full of Rye ends my addiction of Agatha Christie for this year. Oh no no, the book is not bad. Then what, you ask! I am just bluffing. Just check the date on which this post is written – just a week to go and not much time left for the new year to come in and I have to complete my current book Coffee, Tea or Me and two more book reviews. Too much on my palette, right? But breaking addiction is difficult and this year I had let go of many many things but I am proud that I was able to sustain the temptation and to start a new journey altogether.

So this book again helped me in figuring out how authors find inspiration. For Agatha, it is also rhymes since two or more have already featured at the cusp of different books, for example And Then There Were None. So, let me give you a hint on where to focus to find the murderer. Read the poem carefully while you go ahead with turning the pages of the book (and hey, I am not misguiding you, I swear):

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing;
Wasn’t that a dainty dish,
To set before the king.

The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird
And pecked off her nose.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
A handful of grain is found in the pocket of a murdered businessman! Rex Fortescue, king of a financial empire, was sipping tea in his ‘counting house’ when he suffered an agonising and sudden death. On later inspection, the pockets of the deceased were found to contain traces of cereals. Yet, it was the incident in the parlour which confirmed Jane Marple’s suspicion that here she was looking at a case of crime by rhyme!

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: The Thirteen Problems / The Tuesday Club Murders
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 315
Publication Year: 1932

I thought I had read it all – all forms of Agatha Christie books – novels, playwrights etc, but there is one I recently discovered – short stories too. Agatha Christie is really the queen of mystery in the way she is able to hold off the mystery and solution in such delicate way in even a few pages. Hats off to her!

And who better to solve these short mysteries other than Miss Marple who is champion in analyzing human behavior through just a simple description of the characters. However, I believe that it is too much since the narrator may be prejudiced in favoring a given character basis his/ her own valuation. But but but, we are here talking about a short story collection where the narrator is none other than Agatha Christie herself in the garb of other people, and so we as a reader get a foray into the minds of Miss Marple  and deriving solutions in a marvelous way. In fact, it reminded me of the recent board game I had played – Sherlock Holmes series where the reader along with a team has to solve the case with minimum number of steps, oh that was so exhaustive – a sleuthing game that took us 5 hours.

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
The unifying premise for this short story collection is the Tuesday Club: six people who meet socially one evening at Jane Marple’s home and then decide to meet regularly each Tuesday night to solve a mystery which a group member must relate.

Unsolved mysteries… When author Raymond West proposes a regular gathering of friends with unique and disparate outlooks to solve mysteries, the Tuesday Night Club is formed.

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 9/10

Book Review: Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Card on the Table by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: Cards on the Table
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 324
Publication Year: 1936

This post is my 20th book review of Agatha Christie books and I wonder how to differentiate review of one book from the other since I like most of them, which makes me wonder how writers keep variety. If I am not even able to manage a 200 words post on each book, it takes so much more to write 200-300 pages of an entire book catering to the readers on the same genre. And that is where most writers of these days flounder – one book becomes a hit, probably 3-4 more, and then it is doom. A reader has to simply swear off them later!

This time Cards on the Table is an interesting take since it is not only Hercule Poirot who is the intelligent one. Of course, Poirot does draw the book to conclusion, but it is the others who lead him on to the correct path. The setup is excellent where the suspect is definitely one of the four playing cards in the same room as victim. However, till the end, I expected a third party altogether to just strike off this list. My bad! Thankfully, no Hastings this time, since we have our own Agatha Christie in the guise of Ms. Oliver playing the role, but not simply as a side-kick. Oh sorry, no more clues from my end, otherwise how better am I than other reviewers detailing story-line in the book review itself. Why would anyone want to kill the suspense from a prospective book reader I wonder! So, go ahead and enjoy the book!

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
It was the match-up of the century: four sleuths – Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard; Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, famed writer of detective stories; Col. Race of His Majesty’s Secret Service; and the incomparable Hercule Poirot – invited to play bridge with four specially invited guests, each of whom had gotten away with murder! But before the first rubber was completed, the host was dead.

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: A Caribbean Mystery
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 224
Publication Year: 1964

So you like reading fast-paced murder mysteries, then Miss Marple series is not the one for you. In fact, just a confession, I myself had not liked it when I had started off with Agatha Christie in my 9th class, it was all Hercule Poirot only. However, it has been years and since I can now (understand, oh sorry, the word is….) appreciate variety in characters, it is Miss Marple who seems more charming to me now. So here’s to another book review of a thriller featuring Miss Marple.

A Caribbean Mystery is again locked room mystery-kind since the murderer is among the holiday-ers on the island and there is not one but two victims and more to go. Just wondering, when someone keeps on talking yap-yap-yap about one’s golden days, or childhood or corporate jargon, how do you react? At one point, you shutdown, right? And this lays the foundation of the first murder. So keep your attention and do not lay it waver, you may be after-all becoming a detective, or if not, at least will earn brownie points of the people around you or help you in climbing corporate ladder.

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Stricken with arthritis, Miss Jane Marple has packed herself off, at the insistence of her nephew, for some rest and relaxation at a resort in the Caribbean. The sea is sublime and the weather is fine in this quiet paradise so far away from bustling St. Mary Mead. But suddenly the calm is interrupted by the death of Major Palgrave, one of her fellow guests at the hotel.

Miss Marple finds herself quite disturbed by this turn of events. She’d just spent the previous evening speaking with the major, who’d seemed to her to be in perfectly good health. He’d been telling her about a photograph that he had – “a snapshot of a murderer,” he’d claimed. Convinced that the major’s death was not at all natural, she begins to ask difficult questions. It soon becomes clear that a murderer is lurking among her companions at the hotel, and it is up to Miss Marple to root out this person before he or she can strike again.

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Spider’s Web by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Spider's Web by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: Spider’s Web
Author: Agatha Christie, Charles Osborne
Pages: 231
Publication Year: 1954 (play), 2000 (adaptation)

How good are adaptations, one may wonder! Of course, it depends much on the skill of the person who is doing the same and a little on the work on which it is based. Thankfully, in individuality, the book is written “nicely” (not in a satirical way), but not in Agatha Christie books’ way. There is no sleuth to take credit to solve the murder mystery this time, but a general character who did not bat eye to save the person who all thought had done it.

As a play, this must have been a hit – drama with all the necessary twists and turns that may be required to make a play successful. What once made for an interesting instance for an innocent lie, will catch up with you as a reader in Spider’s Web, but how far will you go to lie for a person you like/ love and with what inherent motive, is the basis of this book. Let us give credit to Charles Osborne who did a wonderful job, not like other adaptations I had read till date. So, to conclude, do not read this as a Agatha Christie book, but as a general interesting matter.

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Clarissa discovers a body in her drawing-room but must discard it before her husband comes home with an important politician. She persuades her house guests to become accessories whilst trying to persuade a policeman there has been no murder at all.

 

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Charles Thomas Osborne is a journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet and novelist. He was assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958 until 1966, literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986, and chief theatre critic of Daily Telegraph (London) from 1986 to 1991. He is the only author the Agatha Christie Estate has ever allowed to produce adapted works in her name.

 

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 256
Publication Year: 1940

Four last Sunday, five yesterday, and six today. Wondering what I am referring to and it is not cricket or any game, for that matter? It is the count of book reviews that I am doing in a single day to catch up on the laziness I had since last few months. Hey, it is the year end – just one more week to go. So are we not supposed to complete all the pending tasks so that they can be bid adieu this year, let bygones be bygones and let my new year welcome new stuff, new experiences, and of course, new books to read? Did you notice I am putting stress on oxford comma? Do not know what is oxford comma? Google that up then! It is a very important aspect of a writing expression so that whatever you write is easily understandable.

So, let me come back to the book on which this post is supposed to be based on. This is again a typical Hercule Poirot series, however where Poirot is involved right from the start since Poirot met the healthy doctor for his own personal needs and few hours later, the doctor is found dead. For me, however, I lost focus in between the book, since it focused on too much politics talk where people do not have any qualms on killing for the sake of nation’s good. Sounds like Dictatorial regime, right, even though it is Democratic regime? However, let me not spoil the fun for you for this book and I was just kidding when I expressed political opinion. You can give this book a try, but definitely not as your first Agatha Christie.

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
What reason would an amiable dentist like Dr. Morely have for committing suicide? He didn’t have emotional difficulties, money problems, or love trouble. What he did have was an appointment with Hercule Poirot, who is not persuaded by the suicide story and has therefore taken it upon himself to questions the good doctor’s patients, partners, and friends. All he’s come up with is the numbing fear that Dr. Morely wasn’t an unlikely victim at all. Nor the first.

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Poirot Loses A Client by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Poirot Loses A Client / Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: Poirot Loses A Client / Dumb Witness
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 411
Publication Year: 1937

What will a book named such remind you of? Really Poirot Loses A Client? Is this going to be the first book where a client hires Poirot to help him/ her solve a mystery but that client either dies or goes away losing faith in Poirot. At least this is what I thought. Oh, by the way, when I pick up any Agatha Christie book, I never read excerpt form the back cover of the book so that there is much more to anticipate in the book, hey they are supposed to be mystery thrillers, so let the story-lines themselves be a mystery. This book also goes by the name of Dumb Witness since there is a dog playing pivotal role in all of this.

It is interesting to find out that the famous detective gets so many letters requesting for his expertise and he has to shift through garbage to find the one exceptional case. Really you need an eye for that! This book Poirot Loses A Client starts off such a way but here in some way, we see the character of Hercule Poirot wearing Miss Marple cape in the sense that he analyses behavior of different person who surrounded the victim and then solves the case. So, in a way, I liked this book for I saw in a way both mastery of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
The letter requesting the renowned detective’s services arrived too late–one month after the sender’s demise. But a client was a client, and Hercule Poirot was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Why had Emily Arundell believed her life was in danger? And why had the old lady revised her will only days before her death? Poirot faces one of the most unusual challenges of his career as he tries to determine which of the victim’s disgruntled relatives did not have a motive for murder!

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Elephants can Remember by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Elephants can Remember by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: Elephants can Remember
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 224
Publication Year: 1972

This book Elephants can Remember is again not the usual Agatha Christie book in the sense that it turned out to be actually boring and I kept waiting for the book to finish. You know what it reminded me of? When I used to love Sidney Sheldon books and later read inspired work by Tilly Bagshawe. I mean the writing is just ok and not too great.

I assume there comes a time when authors have written 100s of books and want to try out a different kind of writing. In fact the only thing I liked in this book was the characterization of Adriane Oliver, the mystery writer. Oh, it felt like how some are able to write thrillers by having a propensity to research and getting enthusiastic about even a small lead. By the way, is her character based on Agatha Christie, just wondering? However, if you are a newbie in reading such genre or you have never before read Agatha’s books, I will not recommend this one for starters but to be kept at the very end of spectrum.

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Hercule Poirot is determined to solve an old husband and wife double murder that is still an open verdict! Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. Here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies — a husband and wife — shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into the past and discovers that ‘old sin can leave long shadows’.

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 6/10

Book Review: Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: Sleeping Murder
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 224
Publication Year: 1976

Even though this book is written as last of Miss Marple series and many years hence Agatha Christie started writing book, this one seems as fresh as new, probably because of the experience Agatha had in writing and publishing her novels. So first, let us talk something about Sleeping Murders. What in your idea is a perfect murder? Most of your answers may be where victim is found but the no one is able to find the culprit. However, there is a second category wherein even the victim is not traceable, in the sense that the victim is not even supposed to be murdered. Yes, this is what this book Sleeping Murder is about – a murder that had happened years back but no one knew about the same!

As a reader, tell me, did you ever have nightmares or a premonition in your life? And you were totally clueless and found it difficult even to articulate to even your close ones. Some may say that it is because of , you know, previous carnation – oh the soul lives but only life passes from one body to the next after former one dies. Well, the other reason may totally useless conjuncture of a stressed mind. However, there is one logical reason where it is actually because of things of past that they you may have forgotten. So let me now not talk about the story any more? It is the perfect book where this time Miss Marple does not want the past to be found for the safety of present people, but she still helps. I will just end this book review now with the mention that this will go on to be on my list of best recommended murder mysteries.

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Soon after Gwenda moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs.

In her fear, Gwenda turned to Miss Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they were to solve a “perfect” crime committed many years before.

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 10/10

Book Review: At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: At Bertram’s Hotel
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 223
Publication Year: 1965

Whenever I read Agatha Christie book, I wonder whether she had traveled as much because a writer needs to see things to have such variety of people and surroundings. This book At Bertram’s Hotel has a setting of old glorious past in the modern world where tourists want to feel the old world experience without comprising about any of their present need. How so categorically relevant it is in present times! Do not many of us want to explore some quaint little village or a do difficult climbing/ hiking/ trekking without missing out on mobile connectivity or modern life saviors.

However, this time, the story-line disappointed me slightly since it seemed it was only because Miss Marple was at places at such appropriate times that the mystery was able to be solved. However, for a change, the police, if not smarter than at least was as smart as her and we see an apt ending. The book is just great in the point that there are multitudes of characters involved with their unique idiosyncrasies and they are handled really well by Agatha Christie. After all, it is the persona and characterization that leads to solving a murder mystery, right?

Keep watching my blog for more of Agatha Christie books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
An old-fashioned London Hotel is not quite as reputable as it makes out! When Miss Marple comes up from the country for a holiday in London, she finds what she’s looking for at Bertram’s Hotel: traditional decor, impeccable service and an unmistakable atmosphere of danger behind the highly polished veneer. Yet, not even Miss Marple can foresee the violent chain of events set in motion when an eccentric guest makes his way to the airport on the wrong day!

About the author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature – Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple – and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan. To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commande.

Twitter: @agathachristie
Website: www.agathachristie.com

Rating: 8/10
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