Tom J. - Reviews

1 to 17 of 17
After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot, Bk 30) (aka: Funerals Are Fatal)
Review Date: 10/22/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Well, 1953, but really good and fun "vintage" Christie! Unti the end when Poirot assembles the characters for his classic revelation, I was thinking at least one other person.
And LOTS AND LOTS of period details and subplots, etc.
I loved it!


Bachelor Brothers' Bed  & Breakfast
Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast
Author: Bill Richardson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 10/15/2014


One of the best books I have read in years! I could rave on and on, so I will say just two things: LOVED the lists of suggested readings for various situations, and the chapter where they go to the costume party is chickens is the laugh-out-loud (so much better than LOL!) funniest thing I have read in years! I scared the cat out of the room - it is one of the two best funny pieces I have ever read, the other being Richard Brautigan's "Revenge of the Lawn." Oh, so highly recommended!


A Blunt Instrument (Inspector Hannasyde, Bk 4)
A Blunt Instrument (Inspector Hannasyde, Bk 4)
Author: Georgette Heyer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 11/18/2014


Even though I had read this before, I have decided to reread all the Heyers, and am enjoying them so much more this time around!
This one - WOW! You are guessing until the end! There are a couple of what might almost be called red herrings, but Heyer doesn't cheat! Good period feel, too.


Creeping Venom (Rue Morgue)
Creeping Venom (Rue Morgue)
Author: Sheila Pim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 5/6/2012


I am greatly enjoying Sheila Pim's gardening-themed mysteries set in the Irish countryside - they all seem to be towards the end of World War II or just after. Clues all over the place, but I can't figure it all out which does not detract at all from the great characters, and Irish country atmosphere. This one has two zingers at the end! I sort of guessed at one, but only 85%!
I am loving them!


Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot, Bk 11) (aka Death in the Air)
Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot, Bk 11) (aka Death in the Air)
Author: Agatha Christie
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 10/10/2012


I must have enjoyed it somewhat, as I sat up until midnight to finish it! I had recently watched a television adaptation of this novel with David Suchet as Poirot, and yet, couldn't remember who the killrr was until the "denoument!" I was sure it was someone else.
A 1934/35 novel - evocative of the times - wish air travel was that civilized nowadays! Mrs. Christie doesn't disappoint here, great characterizations, gret detail in plotting, just enough humor and romance!


Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot, Bk 16) (aka Poirot Loses a Client)
Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot, Bk 16) (aka Poirot Loses a Client)
Author: Agatha Christie
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 7/31/2015


Always amazes me when I find a Christie title I didn't know about after all this time! I happened to see the David Suchet PBS movie based on this title, and so even though I sort of knew the ending, it didn't diminish my enjoyment. One of her better efforts, I thought - great settings, great characters, Bob, the dog, is a winner! And a more satisfying resolution to Bob's fate than the movie. Even the minor characters are good. I highly recommend!


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 1365
Review Date: 9/10/2011


My only question is why I waited so long to read this!
I started, and really had a rouogh time stopping long enough to do mundane things like sleep or go to work.
Set in the "epistlatory" style, a series of letters between many folks, and we watch the story unfold, AND relive the horrorsof the German occupation of Guernsey during World War 2. Happily for me, it is in the past, so we know things are now fine, but we do experience some tragedy as it happens. All in all, probaby one of the two best contemporary novels I've read in the alst several years!


In the Last Analysis (Kate Fansler, Bk 1)
In the Last Analysis (Kate Fansler, Bk 1)
Author: Amanda Cross
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 3/13/2012


I wanted to go back to the beginning and start the series over again. Still quite impressed by how well she wrote her first mystery! Loved the country setting, but found annoying the way the academics couldn't stop themselves from dithering and meandering, even when being interrogated by tthe police. But perhaps that was the point? Kaste and Reed - a couple to be reckoned with, and I enjoy their relationship as it progresses through the successive novels. A good read!


Looking good: A guide for men
Looking good: A guide for men
Author: Charles Hix
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/4/2011


Of course, it's dated, but still a lot of fun! I remember going through it religiously in the late 1970.s Hix's books are still a kick tor ead, once you can get past the "disco" era fashion shots, and te hair that we all thought was THE "do" of the times.
At the time we all thought that photograph on page 131 of the naked couple covered in mud was quite daring!
A not so blatant gay subtext - in some ways a precursor to the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" craze.


Murder After Hours  (Hercule Poirot, Bk 25)
Murder After Hours (Hercule Poirot, Bk 25)
Author: Agatha Christie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 10/7/2012
Helpful Score: 1


One of the very few Christies in which I have been underwhelemd, She seems to dither around for MANY chapters - and Poirot keeps saying he is baffled, and says it too often, and finally something happens.........eh, a semi-typical country house murder, with lots of red herrings, and not enough excitement, and very few of her famous twists and turns. A sad disappointment.


The Murder at Hazelmoor
The Murder at Hazelmoor
Author: Agatha Christie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 8/8/2014
Helpful Score: 1


Excellent example of vintage Christie! And not one of her famous detectives, either - but none the less entertaining for that. I passed it on to a friend who said, "Oh, this Christie person is real good!" Wonderful characters, the expected light romance, and a really clever and unique solution. I recommend! I learned that it was also published as "The Sittaford Mystery."


Murder With Mirrors or They Do It With Mirrors
Murder With Mirrors or They Do It With Mirrors
Author: Agatha Christie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 7/11/2017


Not one of her absolute tip top, but good. I had just watched the TV movie wit Helen Hayes as Miss Marple and Bette Davis (at the end of her career) as Carrie Louise - perhaps I should not have seen the movie first - the novel is SO MUCH better. Set later on, so not the usual period atmosphere. A surprise ending - I was stunned at "whodunnit." Worth the read for Christie fans. And always fun for me to find one I have never read!


Off the Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men--And the Women Who Love Them
Review Date: 8/3/2011


Kressley writes in a loose, breezy style, just about like he talked on the show. Throws in a lot of humoroous little jabs - sometimes it can get old.
HOWEVER, when it comes to clothes, fit, color, styles,e tc. he really knows his stuff. AND I always follow his advice when packing for a weekend!
ALl in all, a keeper!


The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories
The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories
Author: Agatha Christie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 8/8/2014


You have to like short stories, and you have to like Mrs. Christie's short stories, in particular. I got this because of "Trouble at Sea," which I had just watched as a television production. At best, I can say, the quality is uneven - some are slight, in more than one sense, some are quite engrossing.


Still Life (Chief Inspector Gamache, Bk 1)
Still Life (Chief Inspector Gamache, Bk 1)
Author: Louise Penny
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 180
Review Date: 7/11/2014
Helpful Score: 3


Oh, what a great book! I FELL right into it.
I am always happy to find an ongoing series. The murder is only the beginning of a series of events, which literally chill us, and cause us to think deeply.
The other plot of Gamache's "downfall" is also explored, and woven expertly into the murder investigation. Great characters, both the local residents and the murder investigation team. Great settings. My only quibble would be - the food descriptions make me want to go right to Three pines and settle in and eat and eat and eat.
Best book I've read all year!


The Unfinished Clue
The Unfinished Clue
Author: Georgette Heyer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 9/27/2014


One of Heyer's earlier mystery forays. Set in the very early 1930's in the classic English country house setting, with the various characters assembled for a weekend house party (what a life they must have had then!) centering around the irascible "lord of the manor," who conveniently for many is soon found dead - a variation on the locked room situation. Heyer had great characters in this one, that requisite touch of romance, witty dialog, and I must admit, I was completely taken in by the ending - and I was sure, positive, etc. that I KNEW "whodunnit!"
Highly recommended!


Wings: A Tale of Two Chickens
Wings: A Tale of Two Chickens
Author: James Marshall
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/14/2014


This book is as wonderful as I remember it! I bought it as a Christmas present for my nephew - nope, I'm keeping it for myself! AND the copy was perfect, and got here almost immediately! Many thanks! P.S. He may get it SOMEDAY!


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