Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finished Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier yesterday. We read this for our mystery book club as a classic mystery selection. Actually we were to pick any Daphne du Maurier book but we will discuss Rebecca.

One of my favorite all time books is Wuthering Heights. I read this as a teenager. I saw the mysteriousness in it at the time more than the romance. I also have seen the movie many times - the original 1939 movie. Rebecca is the same style of book - gothic romance. But I had a harder time of reading this book although I enjoyed it.

I have seen 1940 Rebecca several times also. Again, I like the ghostliness of it, for lack of a better word. I had never read the book.

I love the story and the twists and turns. Even though I have seen the movie, I guess I had forgotten the surprises and was easily steered in the wrong direction as to who was doing what to whom. The ending was a surprise to me.

The story is told in the first person but the new, second wife of  Maxim de Winter, owner of the famous estate Manderley. We never know the name of this person that tells the story. I kept thinking I missed it somewhere. The newlyweds come home to Manderley after a honeymoon in Europe to the stern housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. The heroine is young and unexperienced in this life style and becomes more and more suppressed by the presence of  Mrs. Danvers. The first Mrs. de Winters drowned. Maxim is prone to dark moods and the heroine feels she can do nothing right. 

As the tale is told, there are several major twists and surprises that will keep you wanting to know what really happened at Manderley.

As I don't read this style of writing anymore, I did have a hard time getting through it. It is over 400 pages and very descriptive, which can lose me a lot of the time. The actual book I checked out had a bonus section of Ms. du Maurier talking about how she wrote it, how she chose and didn't chose the names of the characters and what her thought process was during the writing of Rebecca. I found that very interesting.

I will admit I did not realize that Daphne du Maurier wrote several of the Hitchcock classics. I am a big Hitchcock fan too. You may already know this but she wrote:
The Birds
Don't Look Now
Jamaica Inn


Did you watch A Caribbean Mystery Sunday night?

Did you catch the guest at the bird watchers presentation? Ian Fleming sat next to Miss Marple. Hmmm. He was starting a series and needed a name for his main character. He was stuck. Then the presenter introduced himself. "My name is Bond. James Bond." :)

That was great! He was nothing like the character James Bond by the way.  I haven't read A Caribbean Mystery, so I don't know if that is originally in the book.

I was thinking today about my upcoming October mystery book club meeting coming up and how I don't believe I have missed a meeting in the several years I have attended. I think it is a sign of a true book addict. I even plan my trips around the book club to make sure I don't miss it.!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Miss Marple returns to Masterpiece Mystery tonight, 9/21/14!

Tonight there will be two Miss Marple features.

First feature is A Caribbean Mystery at 7 p.m. central time. This is one of the 12 novels Agatha Christie wrote.

Here is a link to the summary if you would like a description of the story.

The second feature is Greenshaw's Folly. This is actually based on one of Agatha Christies' short stories. It will show at 8:30 p.m. central time.
This link describes all of her short stories. Scroll down to read about Greenshaw's Folly.

Should be a good night of mystery.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Just finished a delightful cozy;  Quiet Anchorage by Ed Lynskey.

Isabel and Alma Trumbo are sisters living in Quiet Anchorage together in their retirement. They try to keep busy but Quiet Anchorage is a small town, but are a bit bored.

There is a murder in this small town. The victim is their niece Megan's fiance and she is quickly accused by the sheriff of Quiet Anchorage. It appears to the sisters that Sheriff Fox has accused her only to be able to say he quickly solved the case, as he is running for re-election. And since they need a hobby and are avid mystery bood readers, they decide they will find the real murder themselves. They will be their own detective agency, and since they aren't being paid, they cannot get into trouble, right?

As they go about questioning people, go over the crime scene, sneaking into to places they don't belong, they pick up people help them with their detetive agency.

I liked the description of the colorful characters: the sisters, Sheriff Fox, his deputy who is running against him, the town's pharmacist who can't seem to get anyone's prescriptions filled and the sister's entourage.

When I read a book I often picture what I think the characters look like, from t.v. shows, movies or plays I have seen in my life. This book brought to mind any of Aunt Bea's friend's in Andy Griffith or the women in the "Tuna" plays - Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas. This book even has the men sitting outside nonchalantly daily who really have the scoop on the town, like the men Floyd's barber shop.

Quiet Anchorage is the first in series of three Isabel and Alma Trumbo series. Ed Lynskey also writes a crime fiction series with Private Investigator Frank Johnson. The first in that series is Pelham Fell Here.

If you are looking for a new cozy series I would recommend the Trumbo sisters. I hope to read the first PI Johnson book soon.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Masterpiece Mystery series:

Have you been watching the latest series on Masterpiece Mystery Breathless....?
Unfortunately I have only seen Part I due to DVR issues, (: but it looks like I can watch it on PBS online.

This series takes place in the early 1960's in London. It is fun to see the dress and d├ęcor from the time. But more importantly is portrays what was going on in the 60's for women.  Quitting jobs when they got married, figuring out what to do with their time while the husband's went to work, abortion, unfaithful husbands to name a few. There is a great scene that shows a street in a neighborhood, early morning, all the cars lined up on the street, with the wives lined up on the street sending off their husband's to work.

The story centers around one doctor who provides abortions behind closed doors and his other secrets. It appears he has a dark secret that someone is trying to uncover or expose him for.

Coming up soon is Miss Marple.  I always enjoy Miss Marple. If you have never seen the original Miss Marple movies from the early 1960's with Margaret Rutherford, you need to watch those. They are black and white movies. Margaret Rutherford is a great Miss Marple. I think maybe the best. Her real life husband, Stringer Davis, played her side kick, Mr. Stringer. Wonderful movies!

Are you a fan of the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny? I heard in my book club that the movie of Still Life is available to watch on Acorn TV. It may possibly be available in October on Netflix.