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Book Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

My blog now has a fair share of psycho-thrillers this past year: Gone GirlThe Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train (click on the hyperlinks to check my review of these books).

Written in similar style as Gone Girl (diary entries of past) and The Girl on the Train (back and forth of timeline), Sometimes I Lie will interest those who love psycho-thrillers with back-to-back twists. At time when you will think ab bas ho gaya (now the story ahead should be plain vanilla), a new twist will occur. No no, do not worry, I am not giving any spoilers away, just telling you to expect the unexpected like the famous Gone Girl. But somehow you know what happened while I was reading the book and drawing so many parallels between this and its predecessors (and that too not consciously every single time), I felt it as a drag. Perhaps, I was reading too much in-between lines to guess which was truth and which was a lie and again perhaps, if I would have taken a break of 6 months between two psycho-thrillers, I would have better appreciated the same.

However, this being a debut book, the book is written in the way thrillers are supposed to be written. I am sure you would not have guessed the end since most murder mysteries make the husband the culprit. Well, he may or may not be in this book 😉 So, check the book blurb below and if you find it interesting (I did find it good enough), do go ahead and start reading it. Next on my radar is yet another psycho-thriller The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, but I will take at least a month long break now 🙂

Few of my favorite lines from the book (and these were just at the start of the book, later I got so engrossed and at others so bored that I forgot highlighting them in kindle so that it is available for ready reference in my goodreads profile):

A lot of people would think I have a dream job, but nightmares are dreams too.

I can play all the parts life has cast me in, I know all my lines; I’ve been rehearsing for a very long time.

People are not mirrors—they don’t see you how you see yourself.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

 

About the author:
Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent 16 years at the BBC, where she worked as a Reporter, News Editor, Arts and Entertainment Producer and One O’clock News Producer. She has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her dog – a giant black Labrador who is scared of feathers. Sometimes I Lie is her debut thriller and is being published around the world. It is soon to be a TV series.

Website: alicefeeney.com
Twitter: @alicewriterland
Facebook: @AliceFeeneyAuthor

Rating: 7/10
Genre: Thriller
Book Name: Sometimes I Lie
Author: Alice Feeney
Pages: 387
Publication Year: 2017
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Book Review: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

No Spoilers

Magpie Murders had appeared time and again as one of the most interesting murder mysteries by many people. Luckily, I had never read any review of this book. Whenever I used to see someone has posted a review, every single time I used to scroll past. Tell me, what will be the use of reading a murder mystery just in case some silly reviewer would have spilled the beans or even given a hint? So, as I start writing the review of this book, let me assure you there is not going to be a word extra other than what has been mentioned in book blurb.

As I started reading the book, I wondered why is there an introduction by Susan Ryeland and if she is some famous personality of which I am not aware. But I kept that thought aside and continued with the murder mystery. Only half-way through the book did I realize that there is a story within the story. I would have known all this had I read the book blurb before, but I did not want to waste that much time once I got hold of this book. This book pays a homage to Agatha Christie (I am a big time fan of hers. If you search my blog, there will be reviews of more than 20+ books of hers) with subtle and not-so-subtle references to places, characters, and scenes of different books written by her.

The name Magpie Murders is in reference to a poem – this is also on similar lines of how Agatha Christie wrote (And Then There Were None, A Pocket Full of Rye etc):

One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret, Never to be told.

In fact, this book helped me take a glimpse into the minds of a writer. There were various quotes/lines I felt like highlighting while I was reading the story in kindle, but at times, I got so engrossed in the mystery that I missed out some notable ones, still I am mentioning a few below:

I’m not sure it actually matters what we read. Our lives continue along the straight lines that have been set out for us. Fiction merely allows us a glimpse of the alternative. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we enjoy it.

These had been his plans. But if there was one thing that life had taught him, it was the futility of making plans. Life had its own agenda. 

I took out my iPhone and moved away from the front door so that I could get a picture of the whole thing. I didn’t know why I did that, but then why does anyone take photographs ever? We never look at them any more.

Finally, this books make me hum a line – jab ek k daam mei do miley, toh koi ek kyun le, do na le (when you can get two stories at the price of one, you should definitely go ahead). So, if you like murder mysteries, you really really have to read this book for it is ingenious, has various cross references, puzzles, anagrams, ah the list goes on.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

About the author:
Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK – and is unique for working across so many media. Anthony is a born polymath; juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays and journalism. He was awarded an OBE for his services to literature in January 2014.

Anthony has written over 40 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which he adapted into a movie that was released worldwide in 2006. The Alex Rider series is estimated to have sold 19 million copies worldwide. He is also an acclaimed writer for adults and was commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate and Orion Books to write two new Sherlock Holmes novels.

Website: anthonyhorowitz.com
Twitter: @anthonyhorowitz

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: Magpie Murders
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Pages: 502
Publication Year: 2016

Book Review: Nutshell by Ian McEwan

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Nutshell by Ian McEwan

August has been the month of thrillers for me and I guess the month where I have read the maximum number of books as well. Do not go by the count of book reviews posted on this blog since at times, I miss writing reviews the month I have read or write reviews of too many books at once (like the time in Dec 2017 when I wrote review of I guess 20+ Agatha Christie books read over last 3 months). And when I say thrillers, it is not only by the same author; that would have been an easy pick and I have plenty of time to scroll through book blurbs and recommendation posts now.

Even though Ian McEwan is more famously known for Atonement, while browsing through various books of his, Nutshell is the one that sparked more curiosity in me. By the way, this is my first McEwan. Reading the book, the non-fiction style of writing got to me at the start (if you are my blog follower, you would know that I only read fiction) but the way the book is written commenting on everything the foetus (yes, you read it correct) hears through his (or hers, the sex is not revealed) mom or surroundings, was a real piece of writing I have not read in a long long time. Haven’t we as Indians heard of the story of Mahabharata’s Abhimanyu who learnt the art of breaking into the Chakravyuha when he was in Subhadra’s womb? The same tale is extended but in a different fashion. A murder is planned and the only witness is the foetus. The entire book is narrated by the foetus itself who gets affected by the emotions of his mother and at times, his father as well.

In conclusion, I will say you need to read this book if you are looking for something serious and are not easily affected by what you read/ see.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

About the author:
Ian Russell McEwan is an English novelist and screenwriter. In 2008, The Times featured him on their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945” and The Daily Telegraph ranked him number 19 in their list of the “100 most powerful people in British culture”. Many of his books have been translated into movies.

McEwan’s works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites; the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and the Prix Fémina Etranger (1993) for The Child in Time; and Germany’s Shakespeare Prize in 1999. He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction numerous times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). He was awarded a CBE in 2000. In 2006, he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday and his novel On Chesil Beach was named Galaxy Book of the Year at the 2008 British Book Awards where McEwan was also named Reader’s Digest Author of the Year.

Website: ianmcewan.com
Facebook: @IanMcEwanAuthor

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery
Book Name: Nutshell
Author: Ian McEwan
Pages: 208
Publication Year: 2016

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

For years, I was scared to pick up Gone Girl, the famous psycho-thriller though I had read The Woman in the Window (click on the hyperlink to check my review of this book read a few months back) and The Girl on the Train (click on the hyperlink to check my review of this book read more than a year back). However, this time, I planned to skip my fears and give it the much awaited time it needs (for I have plenty of time these days ignoring the amount of effort it takes to raise a baby).

Have you read a book and felt deja vu? Not in the sense that you have read the book previously but that you have seen it or more like, you can predict the exact scene of what is to happen next. If you are wondering that perhaps I may have watched the movie, then no, I have not. I just watched the trailer of Gone Girl (2014) just before starting to write this review and it did not look at all similar to the scenes I saw in my mind as flashback while reading the book. In fact I googled to find out if there was any other adaptation of the book, but unfortunately, I could not find anything. If you do know any such movie or TV episode, please do let me know in the comments below, for I am stunned to think that I can also write psycho-thriller and if my mind works like the Amazing Amy! Just kidding…

So enough about me and my book finickiness, coming to the book, I simply loved it – the rise and fall of tempo, the two perspectives, the back and forth of timeline and the amazing skills of diary writing of Amy (hey, I am not giving anything away but I think I too can write such now). And the book makes me want to say that love is such a questionable entanglement! The book is definitely better than the other two psycho-thrillers I have read and if you are in love of such genre, you MUST pick this book.

Two of my favorite quotes from the book:

Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.

Wear this, don’t wear that. Do this chore now and do this chore when you get a chance and by that I mean now. And definitely, definitely, give up the things you love for me, so I will have proof that you love me best.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

About the author:
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. Her work has been published in forty-one languages.

Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, the literary mystery Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards—the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year. The book is now an HBO® limited series starring Amy Adams.

Flynn’s second novel, the 2009 New York Times bestseller Dark Places, was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice. In 2015, the movie adaptation starring Charlize Theron was released.

Flynn’s third novel, Gone Girl, was an international sensation and a runaway hit that has spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. Gone Girl was named one of the best books of the year by People Magazine and Janet Maslin at the New York Times. Nominated for both the Edgar Award and the Anthony Award for Best Novel, Flynn wrote the screenplay for David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of Gone Girl for the big screen, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Her newest release, The Grownup, is an Edgar Award-winning short story and an homage to the classic ghost story. Universal has optioned the rights to The Grownup.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Website: gillian-flynn.com
Twitter: @TheGillianFlynn

Facebook: @authorgillianflynn

Rating: 10/10
Genre: Thriller
Book Name: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Pages: 415
Publication Year: 2012

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Ethereal Jinxed | Book Review | The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

OMG, I absolutely loved it. Of course, it was more so related to the factor that I had not read psycho-thrillers since long. But then, I have not read many other genres as well since a long time while focusing only on the light reads and the detective ones. My last such psycho-thriller was The Girl on the Train (click on the hyperlink to check my review of this book read more than a year back) and gosh, it had given me nightmares for almost a week then. So, it was some trepidation that I picked a similar sounding book The Woman in the Window recommended in my reading group. So here is my review:

Have you been alone for a long time? If not physically, but mentally even when people surrounded you? Even if it was for a short time, but it felt mightily longer? So much so that the loneliness in your mind/ heart made you start assuming stuff and wondering what is real and what is in your dreams? You tell me no. But what about some bad dream or some single instance that affected you/ your thinking? And have you never ever ever been interested in the doings of others? Don’t tell me, but do not lie to yourselves. I have done that – online stalking and at one time, I was on the verge of breaking point. I still do now, but hey, what will a housewife (me temporarily) do other than reading books and eating chocolates (my two favorite tasks) to take a break.

That is the premise of the book of the human psyche. There is not a single thing I found in the book which was extraneous. Everything combined together perfectly in the end and the feeling for me was ecstatic. I could hear the background music hum-dum-dum with every rise and fall of the scenes. And if you would hear any negatives about this book, it is more because such books have flooded the market (like the craze of mythology fictions) – the psycho-thrillers where the protagonist is a female and unreliable. But heya, you should not doubt my high opinion of this book since I had tried it after very very long time.

I would not give anything away other than to tell you – read on this book if you love psycho-thrillers but not otherwise if you have a weak heart (I had that once but now I think I am super-strong keeping aside horror ones, or maybe I will give that genre also a try soon).

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

About the author:
A.J. Finn, pseudonym for Daniel Mallory, has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement(UK). A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years as a book editor before returning to New York City.

Tid-bit: Daniel Mallory, a senior editor at William Morrow, wrote his suspense-laden thriller under the nom de plume A J Finn where his own publishing house bought it without knowing the same. A well-known figure in the literary world, he was ‘terrified everyone would hate it and I’d end up with egg on my face’.

Instagram: @ajfinnbooks
Twitter: @AJFinnBooks

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Thriller
Book Name: The Woman in the Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Pages: 449
Publication Year: 2018

Book Review: C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton | Kinsey Millhone series

So tell me, as another book reviewer, how do you keep the interest going for reviews of similar books. Which by the way, brings me to a bigger question – how do authors keep the next ones in a series intriguing. And I am not giving credit to shitty Bollywood (a few Hollywood too) movies whose directors/ producers just for the sake of milking the success of first movie keeps on releasing next one in a series.

C is for Corpse is yet another rock-n-roll series where at the very start you know who is the victim/ client (both being the same in this case) and then along with Kinsey, you as a reader, have to explore and find out the correct sequence and motive. But you know all you hear is not true since people morph the telling suit their own personal needs. For example, a character was not so forthcoming to say he/she (hey, I am not giving any spoilers away and hence the neutral tense) was married once. But I tell you, this one is the best so far among A, B and C. So, keep your fingers crossed while reading the book so that there are no more murders in this one.

Next one on the line is, yes, you guessed it right, D is for Deadbeat. Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
C IS FOR CALCULATED
How do you go about solving an attempted murder when the victim has lost a good part of his memory? It’s one of Kinsey’s toughest cases yet, but she never backs down from a challenge. Twenty-three-year-old Bobby Callahan is lucky to be alive after a car forced his Porsche over a bridge and into a canyon. The crash left Bobby with a clouded memory. But he can’t shake the feeling it was no random accident and that he’s still in danger.

C IS FOR CRIME
The only clues Kinsey has to go on are a little red address book and the name “Blackman.” Bobby can’t remember who he gave the address book to for safekeeping. And any chances of Bobby regaining his memory are dashed when he’s killed in another automobile accident just three days after he hires Kinsey.

C IS FOR CORPSE
As Kinsey digs deeper into her investigation, she discovers Bobby had a secret worth killing for―and unearthing that secret could send Kinsey to her own early death.

About the author:
Sue Grafton was a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She is best known for her “alphabet series” featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies. Her earlier novels include Keziah Dane (1967) and The Lolly-Madonna War (1969), both out of print. In the book Kinsey and Me she gave us stories that revealed Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.

Grafton never wanted her novels to be turned into movies or TV shows. According to her family she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of these things, and out of respect for Sue’s wishes, the family announced the alphabet now ends at “Y.”

Grafton was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, the Ross Macdonald Literary Award, three Shamus Awards, and many other honors and awards.

Website: www.suegrafton.com

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: C is for Corpse
Kinsey Millhone/ Alphabet series, #3
Author: Sue Grafton
Pages: 305
Publication Year: 1986

Book Review: B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton | Kinsey Millhone series

When we have introduced our kids to A for Apple, B for Ball, C for Cat in Kindergarten, why should not we adults also have our own such naming games, right? And it seems that Sue Grafton answered many of our requests, what with her Alphabet series on murder mysteries/ thrillers!

So this is a book where I sort of expected what would happen. What with reading thrillers and murder mysteries back to back since past 6 months, and while having already read the first book in this series written by Sue Grafton. But this book B is for Burglar is the one where I finally started liking the protagonist or the female detective – Kinsey Millhone. In fact, there will be lot many people who would love her character – giving 100 percent of life to one’s job with no holds barred because of personal inclinations. Just kidding! I like Kinsey too. The mystery, of course, is not revealed till almost the end of the book. However, as a reader if you would have paid enough attention, you may have guessed a little this time. I, for one, sucked in this, for I was too much involved in becoming attuned to the regular characters of this series for the next ones to pick up.

Next one on the line is, yes, you guessed it right, C is for Corpse. Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Although business has been slow lately for P.I. Kinsey Millhone, she’s reluctant to take on the case of locating Beverly Danziger’s sister Elaine Boldt. It’s a small matter that Beverly should be able to handle herself. So why is she enlisting Kinsey’s services? Beverly claims she needs Elaine’s signature on some documents so that she can collect a small inheritance. But the whole affair doesn’t sit well with Kinsey. And if there’s something she’s learned in her line of work, it’s to always follow your instincts.

Kinsey’s hunch proves true when she begins her inquiries into Elaine’s whereabouts and discovers that the attractive widow was last seen in a flashy lynx coat boarding a plane for Boca Raton. But the more Kinsey searches for Elaine the more questions she encounters. Is Elaine’s disappearance tied in to the brutal murder several months ago of one of her bridge partners? And what happened to Elaine’s Persian cat who seems to have also vanished?

Things take a turn for the worse when a stranger vandalizes the home of one of Elaine’s neighbors and another neighbor turns up murdered. With her reputation and career on the line, Kinsey risks all to find a missing woman and a killer who’s waiting in the shadows to strike again.

About the author:
Sue Grafton was a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She is best known for her “alphabet series” featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies. Her earlier novels include Keziah Dane (1967) and The Lolly-Madonna War (1969), both out of print. In the book Kinsey and Me she gave us stories that revealed Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.

Grafton never wanted her novels to be turned into movies or TV shows. According to her family she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of these things, and out of respect for Sue’s wishes, the family announced the alphabet now ends at “Y.”

Grafton was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, the Ross Macdonald Literary Award, three Shamus Awards, and many other honors and awards.

Website: www.suegrafton.com

Rating: 8/10
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: B is for Burglar
Kinsey Millhone/ Alphabet series, #2
Author: Sue Grafton
Pages: 310
Publication Year: 1985

Book Review: A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton | Kinsey Millhone series

Last year I was able to complete 64 books, that too of my own choosing and I am proud of it since long back, I had given up taking book review requests from authors, publishers and publicists.  This meant reading the books I like with no qualms of leaving one in between because it was not interesting or not up to my expectations. And this is how I am going to keep this new year too. It is a pain to search which books to read next once one is done with, I propped myself up on the famous Alphabet series by late Sue Grafton. No no, I do not have any qualms on reading books of newbies, but I am just being my usual lazy. So this is my story of how I picked up the first one in the series – A for Alibi.

While reading the book, the first thing that came to my mind about the detective Kinsey Millhone is that she is a person just like me and you and not like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot who are self-obsessed that they can solve any crime, come what may! And it helps for a reader to understand her by reading the character sketch of Kinsey Millhone that she is a one with natural human flaws but takes painstaking efforts in coming to a solution and does not sit idle till the crime is solved. However, when compared to other detective series, you may find this slow for the very reason I said in the previous statement but you have to let it linger to like/ get the hang of the reading style. And if you ask me, I started liking this book only from the second book in this series on-wards.

The book is also aptly named since the crime can be committed by anyone because of the methodology of the committed crime and no alibi will hold good in that sense. So what are you waiting for? Rush and pick up this book at the earliest and start on your alphabet series.

 

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
A IS FOR AVENGER
A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she’s got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes.

A IS FOR ACCUSED
That’s why she draws desperate clients like Nikki Fife. Eight years ago, she was convicted of killing her philandering husband. Now she’s out on parole and needs Kinsey’s help to find the real killer. But after all this time, clearing Nikki’s bad name won’t be easy.

A IS FOR ALIBI
If there’s one thing that makes Kinsey Millhone feel alive, it’s playing on the edge. When her investigation turns up a second corpse, more suspects, and a new reason to kill, Kinsey discovers that the edge is closer―and sharper―than she imagined.

About the author:
Sue Grafton was a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She is best known for her “alphabet series” featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies. Her earlier novels include Keziah Dane (1967) and The Lolly-Madonna War (1969), both out of print. In the book Kinsey and Me she gave us stories that revealed Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.

Grafton never wanted her novels to be turned into movies or TV shows. According to her family she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of these things, and out of respect for Sue’s wishes, the family announced the alphabet now ends at “Y.”

Grafton was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, the Ross Macdonald Literary Award, three Shamus Awards, and many other honors and awards.

Website: www.suegrafton.com

Rating: 8/10
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: A is for Alibi
Kinsey Millhone/ Alphabet series, #1
Author: Sue Grafton
Pages: 320
Publication Year: 1982

Book Review: The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book Name: The Big Bow Mystery
Author: Israel Zangwill
Pages: 160
Publication Year: 1892

So, it so happened that after reading so many locked room mysteries by Agatha Christie, I wanted to explore books on similar analogy. Googling the concept gave the result of top books among which I found the summary of  The Big Bow Mystery most interesting. So, here is my story on how I started reading this book since this was also available free for Kindle devices through Project Gutenberg.

Keeping the mystery to mute in this review, the book has several interesting characters where the conversation and dialogues are kept simple. The twists and turns are handled beautifully, not what I had expected to be. The so-called sleuth seems to have a slight cocky attitude like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. But ah, the end, it is fabulous.  Only if, as a reader, we could also have participated in solving the mystery, it would have been perfect. However, luckily, the mystery books are not kept open-ended and most of the times, readers reach an end. Overall, this book is worth picking up.

 

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
East End landlady Mrs Drabdump is alarmed when she cannot rouse her lodger Arthur Constant. She summons the assistance of her neighbour, retired Scotland Yard detective George Grodman. He breaks down the door to Constant’s room, only to find the man lying dead on his bed, with a deep-cut to his throat. No-one it seems, could have got in or out of the locked room and there is no sign of the murder weapon.

Who was the killer and how will he be identified? A man is condemned to death for the seemingly impossible crime but Grodman is unconvinced that he is guilty.

With its sardonic style and vivid, Dickensian characters, Zangwill’s short novel remains a cleverly plotted and ingenious murder mystery which will still appeal to readers today.

About the author:
Israel Zangwill was a British novelist, short-story writer, dramatist and a Zionist leader.

Rating: 8/10

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
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