So two years ago, (I wasn’t kidding when I said I was behind on my posts), I won theEllery Adamsgiveaway. You know me and free, I just can’t resist.
Anytime I see a giveaway I have to enter it.
So I ended up winning a copy of Solve it With Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Gripping Casebookof Stories.
I loved the Solve It book as I have always been a huge fan of Encyclopedia Brown and other mini mysteries. As I’m also a giant Sherlock Holmes fan, it was just perfect for me and I was so happy to have won it!
I also enjoyed Sherlock Holmes: A Gripping Casebookof Stories; whichhas the first Sherlock Holmes book (A Study in Scarlet) and fourteen other cases. Loved it!
Ellery Adams also give me a cute I Love Mr. Darcy Bag, which you might have spotted I some other posts. It has popped up in several photos.
She also included a copy of her book, The Whispered Word (Secret, Book, & SconeSociety #2).
We decided to read it for my book club, and of course as we read that one, we ended up reading the first book in the series.
The Secret, Book, & Scone Society (The Secret, Book, & Scone Society #1) by Ellery Adams
Nora Pennington has a terrible secret, and equally terrible burn scars. She moved to Miracle Springs, North Caroline to get away from it all and start her life anew. She runs a little bookshop called Miracle Books where people can come and receive bibliotherapy; books to help with whatever sadness, depression, anxiety, or other issues they are facing.
A businessman comes to town who is very upset and Nora recommends him getting a comfort scone from the bakery while she gathers a stack of books to help him overcomes his troubles. Before he can make his appointment with her he is found dead on the railroad tracks.
The man made a real impression on Nora and she starts investigating; being joined by three other women-Hester Winthrop, owner of the Gingerbread House bakery; Estella Sadler, owner of Magnolia Salon and Spa; and June Dixon, Miracle Springs Thermal Pools employee. None of these women want any friends, but they find themselves growing closer together and creating their own little book club, sharing their secrets along with their hopes and dreams. As they investigate into a development scheme, things turn to more troubling than they originally thought with one of the book club members getting arrested. Will the ladies be able to discover the truth and save their friend? Or will things turn deadly.
All those in our book club really enjoyed the book and the way that Adams incorporated all these twists and turns in the mystery. We also loved the characters, each of them were very unique but also very real; reminding you of people you know or people you have met.
As this was an indie author, our group had a few questions and reached out to her. She very kindly responded to them.
Me: Hello, my book club is reading your first book and we had a couple questions for you: Where did you get the idea of the comfort scone? Had someone ever made that for you? And the different secrets the ladies have, how did you come up with them? Did you know people who had experienced similar traumas? Was there anyone you knew that had suffered burns?
Adams: I witnessed a terrible burn incident at a county fair about a year before I started writing this book. She was a beautiful young woman and I couldn’t stop thinking about her. After that, I did lots of research on burn victims.
Adams: As for the womens’ pasts, I knew women with similar secrets. I was in a Bible study group with about 30 women for years and the women were of all ages and backgrounds. I heard all kinds of stories during that time but never repeat anything exactly out of respect for them.
Adams: The comfort scone just popped in my head 😊
Me: We loved the comfort scone and all those scenes. What about the bibliotherapy? Is that something you did or someone did for you?
Adams: I feel like all book lovers do it—we offer certain books to certain people, knowing they’re a good match. I’ve done that for years, but like Nora, I’m not trained in the practice and haven’t had a session myself.
Me: Thank you so much for taking time to answer our questions. 😊
The Whispered Word (The Secret, Book, & Scone Society #2) by Ellery Adams
In book two, Nora and the woman have formed a strong bond and are ready to handle anything…that is until an injured, emaciated woman shows up in the bookstore. The woman want to help this “Abilene Tyler”, but it’s hard when they know so little about her and she’s not sharing anything. To further complicate things a woman all disliked turns up dead, presumed suicide; however Nora feels it is murder. And even though the woman was unpleasant in life, Nora still plains to honor her.
The ladies are not sure if they can trust the new sheriff, and end up on the case, although when it turns out that Abilene might have a connection to the murder, will their group grow closer or split apart?
And if that wasn’t enough on the ladies’ plate, a new business rolled into town that seems too good to be true. Many of their friends and neighbors are falling victim to the scheme and these ladies are doing all they can to stop them.
Will the ladies be able to handle this mystery as well? Or will this be their final case?
We also all really liked this book as we saw the characters continue to grow and trust each other from the previous one. I really enjoyed that the characters wanted to help this stranger, as they could see she was in need of it, but at the same time were still cautious. I read another book, Patterns in the Sand (A Seaside Knitters Mystery #2) by Sally Goldenbaum, where something similar happened and I did not care for it at all. In Patterns in the Sand all the women instantly trust this stranger found in the shop and defend her innocence because she is a “talented artist”. This was super annoying as a reader. I think Adams did it better by having the women want to help, they could see she fled a troubling situation, but were also hesitant as they don’t know her or anything about her past.
We also loved the solution to the mystery, one we all did not see coming at all. I read so many mysteries, but this solution was right in front of my face and I was completely blind to it. Very well written.
If you enjoy mysteries and are a book lover, you should definitely give her books a read.
So today marks the birthday of a very important writer:
I first was introduced to Agatha Christie when my nana noticed me reading Sherlock Holmes. As she was a lover of mysteries herself, she gave me a few Agatha Christie novels and then that was it, I was an utter fangirl.
Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. She revolutionized the way mysteries are written, and created a wonderful collection of characters. Not only are her plots amazing, but I like how she presents all the information to you that she gives her detective characters, putting the two of you on equal footing, although, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot tend to always be smarter.
This year I have been honoring her and her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, turning 100-by reviewing a mystery every month. But as I was rereading The Tuesday Club Murders AKA The Thirteen Problems and it got me thinking about some similarities to Jane Austen.
I know you are probably confused, but hear me out.
Mystery, you say?
So one of Agatha Christie’s detectives is Miss Marple. Miss Marple is an elderly spinster aunt, always watching and observing. People overlook her because of her age, her inexperience (she has lived in a small village), but she is extremely intelligent and has amazing powers of deductions.
When asked how she knows and can figure these things out, she always remarks it is because of her village life. She shares that being in the village she has learned a lot about human nature, and as people are alike all over there is always someone from “back home” that reminds her of others and the clue that reveals the ending-the solution.
In a lot of her books, not just Miss Marple, we see how the characters, their motives, their reasons for why they do what they do are relatable-often many characters you find yourself sympathetic. Agatha Christie knew how to write people so that you connect to them.
Reading that made me think of Jane Austen immediately. Here is a woman who spent a majority of her life in a small village, but yet with what most people would say are limited experiences and a lack of human knowledge-she was still able to write characters that are relatable to people all over the world, 200 years later.
I mean that is one thing I love about her books, how the stories and characters transcend Regency England so that the motifs, personalities, and points raised in her books are still relevant today. Who hasn’t meet a social climber like Caroline Bingley? A schemer like Lucy Steele? Manipulators like Isabella and John Thorpe? Had a regret like Anne Elliot? Met a flirt like Henry Crawford? Known a person who wanted so badly to have a friend they did whatever someone asked of them like Harriet Smith? Haven’t we all been accused of being an ice queen like Elinor Dashwood? Let our heart rule our actions like Marianne Dashwood? Misjudged someone and actively disliked a person when they insulted you like Elizabeth Bennet? Had to make a choice whether to stick to what we believe in, even if it meant losing something you hold dear like Fanny Price? Disliked someone because they were better than you at some things like Emma Woodhouse? Let our imagination run away with us like Catherine Morland? Lost someone we love like Anne Elliot?
I mean it is just so easy to connect to her work.
If you haven’t read Agatha Christie, I definitely recommend checking her works out, and of course:
So I commented I wanted Chai tea (as my entry) and won this package of Classic Red, Green Rooibos, Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, Rooibos + Chai, and Rooibos + Ginger.
Now I didn’t pay close attention when I entered the giveaway and didn’t realize it contained Rooibos in it. I avoid Rooibos after I had the one by Tea Forté, and it did not agree with me. I resolved to not drink any again, until I saw that this was Rooibos.
That’s not good.
Well I won it and needed to review it, so I decided to stop wasting time and start drinking some tea.
I drank some…and loved it!
The other one I had must have had something wrong with it or something, because these were fantastic. I expected to like the Chai, but was just blown away by the Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla. I drank it and drank it, until I realized I only had one teabag left.
I mean you know how I feel about Earl Grey Tea:
But I was just drinking Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, at least until it was all gone.
The others were good too, but that one was the best!
Delicious!!!! I know I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.
So a few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.
And eat scones!
Since then I try my best to repeat it whenever I try out new teas. 🙂 As this is Chai teas and Rooibos, I tried to do my best to connect it with books that are set in Africa or India.
Tea #1: Classic Red
This Classic Red was a wonderful tea. It had everything you wanted in it and I enjoyed it so much I finished it before I realized it-picking up the cup to drink some more and finding it empty.
You can tell at first sip why it is a “classic”.
Around the World in 80 Days is one of my favorite books and an amazing classic. It is the story of mysterious, wealthy Phileas Fogg being bet to travel around the world in 80 days. It was to be an interesting challenge-made more so when he is mistaken to be a bank robber and followed by a detective; along with having some people try to sabotage him from winning. It has action, adventure, romance-everything you could want and more! It is a real page turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if Phileas is going to make it or not!
One of my favorite parts is when they go to India and the group rescue Aouda, an Indian princess, from her dead husband’s evil relatives trying to sacrifice her so they can inherit everything. This is a great scene because in it we see Phileas change from his “mechanical” way of being (everything planned and thought out) as he steps out to help, becoming a “classic” hero. I love him and Aouda together-you know me and biracial relationships. A great book and great tea.
This tea was exactly how I expected green tea to taste, no surprises-but I mean that in a good way. It’s nice to have something and know you are going to get exactly what you want to get.
This tea made me think of Death on the Nile. Death on the Nile isn’t my favorite Agatha Christie novel as to me there wasn’t any big surprises or truly innovative or amazing characters (except Cornelia Ruth Robson). But like this tea, sometimes you want the predictable, to get exactly as you expect.
The story is of Linnet, a wealthy woman, who marries her best friend’s boyfriend, Simon Doyle. For their honeymoon they go on a trip through the Nile, and of course run into Hercule Poirot (he never gets a vacation). He sees the former best friend, Jacqueline, threaten them and they ask Poirot for help. He declines, but warns Jacqueline to stop or else she will open herself to evil. She refuses and follows the Doyles on their boat trip on the Nile, joined by 11 other interesting characters. Linnet is found dead (of course), and everything points to the two characters who could not have done it. Who could the murderer be? Poirot is on the case.
So I thought I would like this tea, as who doesn’t love vanilla? But OMGoodness I was not prepared for how amazing this tea was. It was so delicious I just drank it and drank it and before I knew it, I had drank it all up. It was sweet, wonderful, and smelled so good.
What I felt for the tea, I felt the same way about this book. When I saw the art deco style cover, I thought I would enjoy this mystery, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. The story is of Perveen Mistry, female Indian lawyer, in the 1920s. She is sent out to a small princely state to speak to the Dowager Maharani (grandmother) and Maharani (mother) about the young Maharaja’s schooling. She is the only one who can as the ladies are observing purdah (and cannot speak to any men not related to them). Preveen travels out there and finds things are not well in the palace. The Dowager Maharani and the Maharani are both fighting for control, the circumstances of the older brother’s death are very suspicious, and Perveen believes the young prince might be next-especially after a monkey eats her bread and dies. Will Perveen be able to figure out who is responsible in time to save the prince, or will she be next?
Not only is this an intriguing mystery, but Perveen has an interesting and heartbreaking backstory. It was fantastic and so easy to have your attention captured-and keep flipping pages to find out what happens next.
Tea #4: Rooibos + Chai
This was absolutely delicious and just what I wanted in my chai tea-spicy but not too much, sweet but the right amount-i.e everything I wanted. It was so good that after I finished the bourbon one, the chai was gone just like that “snap”.
Like the tea, The Sign of the Four has everything you could want in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. You have a beautiful woman in need (Watson notes she is very attractive [he’s in love with her]), a disappeared father, jewels, a mysterious note, a secret treasure, a peculiar mansion, a villain with a wooden leg, a puzzling death, a bloodhound, and the sign of the four.
It is an amazing mystery, Holmes and Doyle at their finest, and like I said gives you everything your could want. It also is what I believe The Great Mouse Detective was based on, so if you love that movie-you’ll love this book.
So I didn’t think I would like this tea as ginger tea is often too strong, but this was not overpowering but the right amount. It was enjoyable but still had a bit of a kick to it. It’s not something that I would drink all the time, but is perfect for every now and then or if I have a stomachache.
I felt this book was perfect to pair with it as it is a good story but the sam time has a “kick” to it that gets you thinking…I will actually discuss the book fully below.
So it has been over three months since I did a book club book review, I was only a few behind but then things happened and I fell behind.
I am 13 books behind…
I know, I know-stop looking at me like that. I just will have to try harder to catch up.
Anyways…so quick recap for those who haven’t heard of my book club.
So as you all know I started a book club a few years ago, because you know me and books…
Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books and need to be around others who feel the same.
There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time our member chose:
The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken
So as I read this book 13 months ago, I was hoping to reread it as it had been a while and I wanted to make sure I got the timeline right. So I went to the book from the library…but it turns out the person who checked it out never returned it. Called (I work in the library) and sent notices but the book has not been returned.
I HATE when people do that!!!!!!
I then thought I would ask the other book club member, (one member had borrowed my library book) but she lent it to a friend who never gave it back.
So I’m doing this all based on what I remember from reading this 13 months ago, hopefully this go well. Right now I apologize for anything I write that is wrong.
So the first thing that struck me about this book, was the title. “Insanity of God”? What does that mean? Why did he choose that title?
The story starts off with Nik Ripken (a pseudonym) sharing how he came to know Christ. He was a kid that loved baseball, but God took a hold of his life and set him out on a new path.
He ends up going to a Christian college and meets and marries a pastor’s daughter. After both graduate, they both feel the strong call of the mission field and when they ask to be sent out, they are asked for their qualifications. For Nik, he quotes the Great Commission.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
That part made me laugh so hard.
As Nik hadn’t been raised in church he didn’t know what exactly was being asked. They want to know his education, spiritual journey, youth mission trips, background, etc-but Nik is confident in that the Great Commission tells you to go all throughout the world and he wants to answer the call.
If he was on his own he would have been denied, but his wife knows the lingo and what is being said so they are able to be sent out. They both have a heart for Africa and get sent to Somalia in 1992.
Nik and his wife aren’t able to have a “church” but are sent with an aid group, of which they try and preach to people but find it extremely difficult. Christianity is illegal and having a church is illegal, and anyone who becomes a Christian is often taken away and never seen again. Nik and his wife really struggle with questioning what they are they doing there, is it right being here? Are they helping people?
Things get more unsettled in the country, and the Somali Civil War breaks out. His charity group requests the UN to come take action, and when they do send help, he is one of the people that helps map out the unknown areas of Somalia. I remember him describing the villages and the horror-but one really sticks in my mind. There was a village that was full of kids and had no parents and one of parents with no children, so they went and took the kids to the adults.
Also it was really hard to get the people in need the supplies as the leaders and soldiers would steal them and sell them or use them, and the people would continue to go hungry and without. War is sad and hard.
Ripken’s father didn’t care for him becoming a minister, but when Black Hawk Down came out, he was suddenly proud of his son telling all his friends that Ripken made that happen-the military going in.
The first part of the book was on his mission trip and they later were moved out of Somalia into South Africa, but were moved again. A big milestone in their life and faith was when their son grew ill and because the conditions of their home they lived in aggravated it, their son died. After this, they became heartbroken and returned to the states.
They return to the United States and teach at a bible college to young adults going out into the missions but feel really mixed up. Did they help anyone? Going through trials and tribulations every day was hard and wore them out-how do they keep people going? How do they bloom, survive, and keep going when everything is bleak, when it would be easier to give up and go home?
Ripken then goes on a quest to get this information, to speak to people who have had to go to trials and survived still praising God.
There were two incidents in the quest that really struck me, and I can’t remember their names exactly-but I remember pieces.
The first one took place in Russia. This man was jailed during the communist reign, when Christianity was outlawed and the only religion allowed was the worship of the state. He was thrown in jail-often in isolation, but the thing that kept him going was writing down the word of God. He wrote verse after verse that he remembers, helping to lock it in his brain. The beatings, isolation, lack of food, cold, etc-it was all bearable when he could get a scrap and write something down. That is what got him through.
Ripken later goes to China and their he mets several secret churches, as the church is illegal there. These Christians actually delight in getting thrown in jail or having tribulations, as they feel that is a real marker of being a Christian and consider that is when they go to “school” and recieve their “theological education”. Before anyone can be a pastor they have to have been thrown in prison.
When Ripken leaves he asks what they need and all they want is bibles, a bible. He gives them his and they take the pieces apart and hand them off to different people so they have a book to memorize, and it reminded of how they memorized books in Fahrenheit 451.
It also makes me think of how lucky we are in the United States, how many bibles are available in my home, in my parent’s home, for free, online, in a phone app, etc-and here are people begging for a page.
The rest of the book has different stories-and I enjoyed it. It defintely made you realize how lucky you are to be in the United States and how grateful we should be for everything we have, even in the midst of COVID-19.
At the end of the book, I concluded that the insanity was not in reference to God, him being insane, but how we feel as humans. We can only comprehend so much of what God’s plan is with our tiny human brain-it seems insane, but God has a plan for us-a bigger picture.
In 2009, I was 17 years old. A senior applying to colleges, trying to figure out what to do next with my life-planning prom and other senior activities.
I remember when this film came out, it was a big deal at the time as Penn Badgley was super popular from Gossip Girl (it being in its third season) and this was to be his big film role (prior to this he was in John Tucker Must Die! as the little brother). I wasn’t super interested in it at the time- I was more angry about the Fame remake (which sucked as much as I had thought it would), that Where the Wild Things looked depressing instead of the fun book I remembered it being (it was both boring and depressing), and thought Dare, New Moon, and Avatar all sounded dumb. The only thing I was looking forward to was Robert Downey Jr. and Judd Law in Sherlock Holmes.
In fact I never probably would have even remembered anything about this movie, except my mom was so against it. But I was 17, I could watch whatever I wanted. I remember saying some smartmouth reply and getting in trouble for it.
I never did go see it in theaters as I didn’t really care about it.
Flashforward to the beginning of this year and I’m housesitting/catsitting for a friend who has cable-and not just cable, Lifetime!
I LOVE Lifetime and can’t help but watch the Lifetime movie channel. That day it was playing The Stepfather, so I decided what the hey? Why not check it out?
NO! NO! This was not good at all. I should have listened to my mom and passed this one by!
Yes, always listen to your mother!
So typically I do not review a movie without reviewing the original, but I didn’t get a chance to fit it in, so the review of the remake must go on.
So the film starts off with “the Stepfather” (Dylan Walsh) having killed his family and their dead bodies not even phasing him as he leaves and moves on to the next town to find his “new family”.
In the supermarket he meets Susan Harding (Sela Ward), with her two kids-Sean and Beth. He charms them quickly and he, now going by David Harris, and Susan begin a relationship.
If I’ve learned anything from movies and TV is the supermarket is nor the place for women to meet men. I mean the mom gets set up with a Vampire in Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire, Susan gets with a serial killer, and Fran with a liar-guy is a hot dog vendor pretending t be a stock broker in The Nanny. Just cross that place off the list.
Don’t go there to look for men!
So David and Susan become engaged-which is something that really bothers me. I mean it is called The Stepfather, but David is NOT the stepfather. He and Susan live together, but they don’t marry. So why call it that? Because it is better than The Man My Mom Lived With or My Mom’s Evil Fiance or My Mom’s Serial Killer Boyfriend or Don’t Let Mom Marry the Serial Killer? Actually that last one sounds pretty good. It could be super serious teen drama or ’90s kids comedy-someone write a script, make a ton of money and give me 10% for the title.
Finally! This is almost over!
So anyways, it is the summer and Michael Harding (Penn Badgley) has just returned from military school. He was acting up after his parents’ divorced and was sent away. Depending on his behavior he can stay or will be shipped back.
He meets David and feels weird about the whole thing-everything has seemed to move toooo fast and he’s worried his mom might end up with another bad relationship-another guy like his dad.
Now here is where the film first failed with me. This film could have been a lot better if they went in a different direction then what they chose. Now I have never seen the original film this is based on, but think how much more horrifying if David seemed so nice, developed a great relationship with the kids, maybe even Michael opening up and sharing what happened with his dad-what he saw between his parents that made him not be able to stand his father and react so destructively. Then to have him realize David is not who he seems-I think much more interesting.
But instead David tries to bond with him but it is all so fake and creepy-Michael doesn’t tust him, second guesses him, and the suspense/mystery/horror is missing. We know David is a psycho and Michael knows it too-there is no buildup.
I mean Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this much better on their Ted episode. Buffy wanted to like her mother’s boyfriend, she tried to like him-but then felt something off-and she felt bad about being so down on her mom-convincing herself it was her problem not anything wrong with Ted. But then Ted starts being extremely controlling, he threatens her. He continues to treat her cruelly but others nicely, causing no one to believe her or make her think she is imagining it. It is emotional and mental abuse-and makes you wonder what will happen next.
That would have been a better path to take, but they didn’t do that.
Michael isn’t the only one who is unsure about David as Susan’s sister, Jackie, points out that there is a ton about David she knows zero about, although Jackie’s wife/girlfriend (it doesn’t state their exact relationship) thinks Jackie is being overprotective-as David’s hot. So what if they don’t know his family, religion, history, friends where he grew up, etc, and he’s not working-David’s hot.
Yeah, Susan really? I mean you are a single mom, don’t you want someone more stable for your kids? Don’t you think you want someone with a real job?
And David’s plan doesn’t make sense! He creates fake identities but has nothing to back him up? I mean he just plans to move from town to town with no social security number or anything and expect to work and live there? I mean they could have had him buy dead people’s identities and then have Michael do some research and stumble on to it! And then he presents it to his mom and she’s like, “oh that, it’s a common name that’s not him.” And then David doing something creepy like almost kill him, kind of like Joseph Cotton in Shadow of a Doubt when he starts sabotaging things around his niece because she knows too much, and everyone thinks she is just imagining things.
Anyways, one day Sean isn’t listening to Susan, so David decides to “discipline” and chokes him. When Sean and Beth visit their dad, he tells him and when Jay returns the kids he gets in a fistfight with David. Now this is my other issue with the movie-Jay confronts David about choking Sean and is freaking out and DAVID ADMITS IT and what does the mom do? Get angry at her EX-HUSBAND THE MAN PROTECTING HIS CHILD AND NOT THE MAN WHO JUST ADMITTED TO CHOKING OUT HER BABY. And afterwards Sean is all it my fault, and everyone is mad at Jay for making a scene and overreacting, and Sean apologizes to David and everyone is its okay, we forgive you. And later when Sean is freaking out, Michael is all its okay Sean David won’t hurt you again.
Uh, no. NO, NO, NO, NO! Jay was totally in the right and I completely 100% agree with his decision to pummel the guy ABUSING HIS child. And Susan, really? What is wrong with you! This man admitted to abusing your child because “he forgot what it was like being a father and discipling and maybe went too far. But don’t worry, he’ll learn how to do better, Uh, no! Get out of my house and out of my life and I am calling the police on you.”
But Susan loves him. After that I checked out-I just couldn’t get over that scene. Now if they had David not admit to it, and change it around so it sounds like Sean is lying as he is upset at the changes, or Jay made it up, or twisted it in any way-I’ll buy that. But he admits it, and Susan cannot see the warning signs? Now I’ve been in an abusive relationship I now how they can meld your mind and practically brainwash you with their emotional and mental abuse- but your kids Susan! Your kids!!!
So Michael investigates, David goes on an anti-climatic killing spree, Michael’s girlfriend walks around in tiny clothes and bikinis, and the movie is just boring.
There is no suspense or buildup, no twists, it is all bland and very oatmeal-you know what you are getting and it happens-just as expected.
So the idea of Catherine Morland’s Reading List came mostly from the fact that I am a huge Gothic fiction/mystery fan. Before I met Jane Austen I devoured all these books that I know, if Catherine was alive, she would have been reading.
It started with reading one, and then before I knew it I had a list of 30 I was planning on eventually reviewing. What can I say…
Of course, if you are into Gothic fiction, you have to be into Edgar Allan Poe
I LOVE Edgar Allan Poe. I grew up reading his short stories over and over and over again. It’s funny, but I actually got interested because of the Ray Bradbury short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” from The Martian Chronicles. The story references all these Edgar Allan Poe stories, so I had to read them-and after one I was hooked!
So with his stories, I’m going to review them one by one as there are sooooo many. It would be an incredibly looooooooooooooong post to do them all in one.
Today we are going to start with the first Edgar Allan Poe story I have ever read, AND one of my favorites!
This story and detective, C. Auguste Dupin, are also believed to be the first detective mystery story ever written (not first mystery-first detective mystery.) Dupin is thought to being the forerunner to Sherlock Holmes in his ways of observation and sleuthing, Many believe that Doyle copied Poe, even though Doyle insists that Holmes is based on a professor he had while attaining his medical degree.
Whether it is a copy or not, I don’t care. I love both-you know me:
Mystery, you say?
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue (C. Auguste Dupin Mysteries #1)” from The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allen Poe
C. Auguste Dupin is from an old, established, wealthy family, but has lost all his money and is now poor. He still has a little bit of money, enough to let him live and afford his greatest vice, books.
Dupin lives with his friend, the nameless narrator, and astounds him with his deductive reasoning, being able to tell what he is thinking!
One morning they look in the paper and see the headline EXTRAORDINARY MURDERS.
The night before Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, residents of Rue Morgue, were heard screaming in the middle of the night. People heard and tried to get in, but every door and window was locked on the ground floor. They eventually gained access by using a crowbar.
When they came in the room they found it in incredible discord and destruction.
It gets pretty dark here, just a ***SPOILER ALERT***
The women were found with a razor caked with blood and the Madame’s gray tresses also dripping in blood, looking as if ripped from the head. Both women’s necks were cut so badly they were practically separated from their necks.
Both women were also shoved up the chimney.
Everyone was questioned but no one knows why it was committed, who did it, or how. Everyone who came in heard the voice of whoever committed the act but could not understand the language. Some think it was Spanish, others Italian, etc.
Dupin becomes interested in the case and follows it in all the papers. The only thing that was open was a window on one of the high stories. But how could anyone get in?
Dupin believes he has the case solved and places an ad in the newspaper to catch the killer. Has he figured it out? Who could have done such a horrible act?
I love this story and the ending is fantastic. I personally think this is the best of the Dupin mysteries, even though everyone always goes on about The Purloined Letter.