An Insane Doctor, A Hysterical Herbalist, and Murder in a Magician’s Mansion + A Possible Persuasion Reference?

Ready for any case

So this year’s theme is “mysteries” in honor of Agatha Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles turning 100 years old. To really have this theme be present I decided to review a mystery every month…somehow and ideally connecting it to Jane Austen.

Mystery, you say?

In January, I wasn’t sure what to do when I received a goblin in my mailbox.

It turned out to be a a mysterious package from The Mysterious Package Company

Ah, mysterious

So the last package seemed to be saying that there is something wrong with 27 East Heath Road

Haunted house!

The architect, Henry Griggs, had been going crazy trying to finish building the house, after his wife died-using all his money. He even felt as if something was there making him continue, something altering his plans, something controlling him.

The house was almost complete, but Griggs has descended into some kind of madness.

“The madness in the walls must not escape…I fear I shall be gone altogether…I fear harm may come to her [Lizzy]  if she is not sent to safety.”

He ends up putting his daughter in an orphanage and Griggs disappears, presumed dead.

Or is it?!

This package contained a lot of items and goes on a bit:

  • 1 Deed
  • 1 Letter from Dr. Jack S. Aigner
  • 4 Small Memorandum/ Doctor’s notes from Dr. William Elliot
  • Arsenic Druggist Note
  • A Page from Baldwin’s Physician’s Guide
  • 1 Large Memorandum/ Doctor’s notes from Dr. William Elliot
  • Dr. Elliott’s Tincture Receipt
  • 1 Poster for The Great Goodyear
  • 1 Great Goodyear flip book that showcases two of his illusions
  • Garden Diary of Héléne Ashworth
  • Elise Face Cosmetiques Label
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • A page from Charles Dickens’ The Chimes

So first of all, I saw Dr. Walter Elliott on the letters:

And as a Jane Austen fan my mind went:

This is 1888, I am going to believe this is Mr. Elliot’s great or great-great grandson, named after Sir Walter. I mean I don’t know if he married Mrs. Clay, but I do know that eventually he would have to secure his family line and inheritance.

So Dr. Walter Elliot, descendent of Mr. Elliot, has purchased 27 East Heath Road and everything inside the building for £420 sterling. I think he will regret this…

So Dr. Elliot has a conservatory and grows herbs but according to his former instructor Dr. Jack S. Aigner, Dr. Elliot is sensitive, insecure of whether or not he is a good doctor, creates different tonics and medicines; AND medicates/tests himself. Uh, oh. Oh no, that does not sound good.

Dr. Aiger mentions the room he is using to treat patients and that it holds a mirror, but it is placed strange on the wrong wall. It should be behind the patient, not in front, but it will be good if he wants to try self-hypnosis. There is a young girl he is trying to help that is an interesting case. Hmm…could it be Elizabeth Griggs?

Then we have Dr. Elliot’s notes on the patient, although not all of them. He mysteriously chose to remove the notes in his patient from September 1889-October 1891, us picking it up in October 1891.

His patient is interesting…she wants to be in the room alone and when he stepped out as she said she heard footfalls in hallway, she moved the flowers in the office, why?

She likes the tincture he gave her, which pleases him as he is really getting the use out of his conservatory.

The next notes are from February 1889, and we are given that the name is on Beth Siggers 15 years old. The DOB is inked out, but we know it is 1874. Could this be Elizabeth Griggs? Just her name changed so the Doctor doesn’t connect it to the architect if the house?

Hmm…

Beth comes to see Dr. Elliot because she is suffering headaches and shortness of breath, but when she came in she would not sit, instead touching and knocking into everything-walls, tables, the mirror, etc. Searching…but for what? He thinks she faked the illness but why? He gives her some tincture and she leaves.

Weird…

March 1889

Beth continues to return to the Doctor’s office, but every time she has a different ailment. Obviously she is suffering from a mental issue rather than a physical ones, but what and why?

She returns another time and says she left her bag behind, but when he finds her he sees she isn’t in the reception area but on the main staircase as she got “turned around”. Strange behavior, the doctor prescribes tonic.

Hmmm…

April 1889

She seems much better, although she is fixated on the mirror. The doctor looked at it and thought he saw a face in it, but that is just nonsense. He gives her 1/2 bottle of tonic.

She returns later complaining the tonic is too strong, and Dr. Elliot watered it down and 1/2 the dose-1/4 tonic. It’s strange, he notices the hallway door is ajar. That keeps happening every time Beth comes to his office.

Spooky…

May 1889

Beth returns, upset and acting strange: pulse elevated and pupils dilated. Dr. Elliot thinks it is just “spring fever” and gives previous mixture and dosage.

Hmm…strange

June 1889

Beth has been by again and Dr. Eliot thinks he saw a figure in the mirror, again. He has always hated the way the mirror was fixed in the wall. He searches, but there is nothing there. Dr. Elliot begins to worry that maybe the tincture he took and tested on himself might be giving him hallucinations.

July 1889

Dr. Elliot has decided to no longer see Beth. He tells her and later that evening he discovers she has hid in the parlour…weird why? She begs him to let her come back and he agrees for one more time.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! Something is wrong with this girl-you need to get way from her.

January 1892

Dr. Elliot feels watched and puzzles over the patient. Maybe he should stop seeing her, nothing seems to be changing.

YES!!! STOP SEEING HER SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT!! But of course he won’t listen. He will continue and things are going to go wrong.

February 1892

Things are getting worse. After Beth comes poking on walls, knocking here and there, looking in corners, seeing things that aren’t there, Dr. Elliot too starts to feel as if there are spirits, ghosts, or something in the house. He tries to talk himself out of it but wonders.

He continues his experiments and taking the tincture. Oh no Dr. Elliot, don’t test on yourself!

In another set of letters from February 1892 to Jack, Dr. Elliot mentions a page with ciphers from Baldwin’s Physcian’s Guide. The page is included with these lines underlined:

“…what can be gained from inclusive speculation on the subject?”

“…physiognomy is mere judgement, assumption, and, in some cases, coincidence.”

On the back is an image that looks out of the Grimm texts and has some strange ciphers on it.

In his letter he has figured out what two of the symbols mean, an E & R.

Meanwhile, Griggs’ daughter, Beth, continues to see the doctor and every visit something odd happens. The flowers espechially always seem to be moved.

Beth keeps talking about something she sees under hypnosis so Dr. Elliot decides to test it and takes extra tincture.

Don’t Do it!!! Stop!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

There is a receipt for his tincture and on the back it says:

“You’ve got the right bottle, doctor.” With a bunch of symbols.

DON’T DO IT!!!!!

Dr. Elliot gets some cramps but about 30 mins in, he sees a figure in the mirror, or looking to come out of the mirror…

He leans toward the mirror and the figure was gone. He searched the house for it and found the dispensary unlocked, even though he always locks it.

He decides to increase the dose and do it again, adding to his letter later-he does and it says:

“I see it! It comes…”

And that is the end of Dr. Elliot. I’m assuming he died. Poor guy, you shouldn’t have tested on yourself-you shouldn’t have delved into the unknown, espechially on your own.

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

There is no more correspondence, we then switch to the second half of the package.

Time to get on the case!

The next item in the package is the garden diary of Héléne Ashworth.

June 1892

The house has been sold to the Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear, and his muse, assistant, and wife Héléne Ashworth. The name sounds familiar, but I’m not sure why.

Where have I read or seen that name before?

Their friend, Lilibeth, let them know about 27 East Heath Road becoming available after the doctor died. It seems he accidentally took too much of his medicine, although some whisper it was a suicide.

Claude loves the room with the mirror in it, as it can help him to practice his tricks and Héléne loves having the conservatory as she is a gardener. She has taken inventory about the plants and discovered hemlock. Hemlock? Why would a doctor need that?

Strange…

Claude jokes about ghosts in the walls as the house does make noise, but Héléne is not afraid. She loves her new house.

Ghosts?

July 1893

Héléne’s garden is doing well except for the calla lilies and forget-me-nots she planted. Instead the hyacinth, lavender, and dragonwort are doing extremely well-even though she did not plant them. There is no way Claude did so where did they come from?

At 27 East Heath Road.

Héléne believes in the language of flowers and these ones that mysteriously appeared mean constancy, devotion, and twice twisted. Hmm…maybe it means something twice twisted in the house? Devoted to it?

Hmm…

Let’s see-hemlock was poisonous, are these too? Let me look…yes, hyacinth bulbs are poisonous and touching them causes skin irritation. So lavender is used in food and perfumes so it is okay to take, but it can cause constipation, headache, and skin irritation in some people. Dragonwort is used to stop bleeding. So again, doesn’t seem too bad.

Hmmm…

There are a lot of strange herbs Héléne doesn’t know growing as well. She also discovers two more letters of the cipher-M & Y.

Another entry:

Claude is doing extremely well and even gets to perform at the famous Egyptian Hall. Héléne is so excited to perform, but Claude wants her to quit now that they are married. Hmmm…

Meanwhile, Héléne feels watched in the house. She wants to mention it to her husband, but decides not to worry him before a big show. On a sad note all the Calla lilies died, just like their hopes for a baby.

May 1895

Héléne is no longer allowed to perform, Claude thinking that is what caused them to have a miscarriage. Try as she might the yellow hyacinth (jealousy) keeps growing, and Héléne is convinced there is a curse on this house-a curse keeping a cild from being born, her nice and kind flowers from growing, and the hyacinth strong.

Later entry:

Héléne finds more and more deadly plants-nightshade and monkshood. She also sees the gruesome figure from her nightmares. She tries to tell her husband but he doesn’t listen, saying the illusions have turned her head.

June 1895

Claude has refused two engagements and is very upset. He is convinced spies are coming into the halls and watching/copying his ideas. He continues to practice in the room with the mirror and won’t let anyone into it, not even Héléne.

Héléne is very hurt and upset as she and Claude grow farther and farther apart. Sometimes Héléne pus on the old costumes and performs in front of the plants-wishing she could still be on the stage.

Lilibet has grown worried about Héléne and has taken up spiritualism and becoming a very famous medium. Lilibet and Héléne have known each other since girlhood and Héléne decides to throw a get together and help Lilibet. I’m starting to think Lilibet is Elizabeth “Beth” Griggs. Maybe Héléne was in the orphanage? I’ll check. The records say she is, ah “…the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life” (A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) is Elizabeth Griggs.

And it is “…our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.” (A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Mystery, you say?

September 1895

Liliibet otherwise known as Mrs. Alizbeta Divak has asked Hélene to join in. Helene has created the character Madame Solandra, wears black bombazine, and pale makeup that comes from the Elise makeup company. There is a label from Elise Cosmetiques and it has a message on the back:

“YOU THINK TO HIDE YOURSELF FROM ME?”

Followed by the ciphers.

Claude does not approve of spiritualism, Helene has to hide it from him.

November 1896

They held the seance but things did not go as planned, A real spirit came from the mirror shouting at them “interlopers! Be gone!”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

When Héléne did the automatic writing it was if someone else was controlling her. Helene faints and when she awakens, it is Lilibet giving her smelling salts.

Oh no, the smelling salts were poisoned with the Doctor’s medicine.

Nooo

Lilibet preetends it didn’t happen, but Héléne knows it was real. She however feels very sick.

December 1896

Helene is still sick and supposed to be in bed, but has found a strange hidden doorway and secret hidden rooms in the house  But is it real? She is fading in and out and unsure.

But no! She found it! She has found a secret door in the conservatory, as soon as she is stronger she will investigate it!

Time to get on the case!

January 1897

Helene’s passage is a strange one. She believes the phantom is walking the house and Claude has all but disappeared. Is there a spirit in her home? A man? Or is her husband gaslighting her?

Gaslight (1944)

And all her flowers were ripped up? Why would the phantom want to do that?Why put dirt on her hands after?

Claude is yelling and locking Helene in her room refusing Lilibet to come in. But she has found a way out. She will follow the wallpaper and escape that way…

That is the last entry in the journal.

This felt a lot like The Yellow Wallpaper, the short story where the lady goes mad and her husband locks her up (or did her husband lock her up and then she went mad?)

Hmmm…is there a phantom or just an evil husband?

Gaslight (1944)

Next we have a newspaper clipping “Murder at the Mad Magician’s Mansion”. 

The wife of The Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear, has been found dead in her home, found by her husband when he returned from performing.

Héléne’s face was frozen in terror and the inquest found that she had been poisoned-even though she was alone in the house and it was locked up tight. But by who? And how?

Of course authorities looked at the husband first, but it was impossible for him to slip away as he was performing and his every moment had witnesses.

Hmmm…

Her body was strangely found, it looked as if she was trying to crawl out of a small under-stairs cupboard with her face frozen, and hair turned white.

It appears Claude has lost his mind at his wife’s death. He warns people of a gruesome phantom moving in his house, warning people to stay far away.

After two incidents, one of him claiming a police constable to be a monster, he was relocated to the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Aw, that’s sad.

And last a page ripped out of Charles Dicken’s The Chimes with the following words underlined:

“Monsters uncouth and wild, arise in premature, imperfect resurrection; the several parts and shapes of different things are joined and mixed by chance..”

“Haunt and hunt him…”

“Bleak his slumbers…”

“he saw this WITH Goblin sight…”

“…saw these creatures, not only among sleeping men but waking also…”

There are more marks of the secret language written in the margin.

Hmmm…

I have been working on decoding it, and I think I’ve figures out a few letters based on what they gave me and just common sense of filling in the blanks, but there are some I am just not sure of.

Hmm…

So I am getting a Phantom of the Opera vibe from this (I love The Phantom of the Opera)

So in the original story of The Phantom of the Opera, one of Erik’s (the phantom’s) many talents was architecture and he builds the opera house-creating his secret home and all the passages, using the mirror as a door to bring Christine to his lair.

I think Henry Griggs is alive! And living in the house he built, probably a secret passage in the mirror. I’m just not sure if he is killing people because he us possessed by something or because he thinks if he does he will have his house back. I’ll have to wait and see.

Hmmm…

A lot of stuff came in this package and I did my best to try and put it all in one picture:

For more from The Mysterious Package Company, go to A Goblin in My Mailbox

For more insane doctors, go to Mr. Hyde Versus the Werewolf: Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

For more Persuasion, go to The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more mysteries, go to I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

For more ghosts, go to North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

A Goblin in My Mailbox

So this year’s theme is “mysteries” in honor of Agatha Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles turning 100 years old. To really have this theme be present I decided to review a mystery every month…somehow.

Mystery, you say?

So I had wanted to start the year off posting my review of the next Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery/ Jane Austen mystery, but didn’t get time to edit it.

My life motto right there…

I wasn’t sure what to do-when the problem was solved for me…with a mysterious package.

Ready for any case

I went to my mailbox and had a large envelope from a company I hadn’t heard of. I thought it was odd, but realized it might be a gift from a friend and they sent it from the company they purchased it from.

I opened the package and was freaked out!!!!!!!!!!! What the heck?????!!!!!!!!!

G is for goblin who lives in the mirror, when I am quiet it sneaks even nearer

I then screamed internally for like five minutes.

I then continued to open the package and relaxed. It is a mysterious package from The Mysterious Package Company

I received a “notice” from a bank that they have been cleaning records and discovered a safe deposit box from a client that wants to remain anonymous. If they did not collect their items in a certain amount of time it was to be forwarded to me.

The items from 27 East Heath Road included:

  • 1 Set of Personal Notes
  • 1 Set of Letters
  • 1 Mourning Card
  • 1 Child’s Drawing and Poem
  • 1 Page from an Orphanage’s Records
  • 1 Notice of Foreclosure Upon a London House
  • 1 Photograph

The note also has a warning:

“When I was growing up in London, the property at 27 East Heath Road was known as ‘The House of Death’. No one was ever sure of exactly what happened there, but it was infamous as  dark and dangerous place.”

That house sounds like this one:

The story is set in 1873 where amazing architect Henry Griggs happily designs his dream house for him, his wife, and his family. But all did not go well…

Griggs starts building his dream home, but things are…strange. Unexplained things happen, items moved, a spooky feeling is over all the workers, his foreman leaves frightened, and even his wife is saying there is a evil spirit.

Laura Griggs passes away and Griggs starts to go off the deep end-his notes/memorandum gets crazier and harder to read.

Something is going wrong. The plans change from what Griggs wrote to someone else modifying them, but if not him-then who?

Hmm…

The house is almost complete, but Griggs has descended into some kind of madness.

“The madness in the walls must not escape…I fear I shall be gone altogether…I fear harm may come to her [Lizzy]  if she is not sent to safety.”

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

So he fires Coldfield, and sets up his daughter in an orphanage with a trust when she is of age. Coldfield is against this as he would like to take Lizzy if Griggs is unable, but alas he does not and Lizzy goes into the orphanage, (as shown on the list). Griggs disappears, presumed dead.

Or is it?!

There are also some marks, like some kind of cipher. But I need more clues to figure it out.

I’m on the case!

Here is everything together.

For more wonderful mail, go to Northanger Soapworks Review

For more mysteries, go to The Last Puzzle: The Last Christmas, Shadow Island Mysteries (2010)

The Mysterious Affair at Jane Austen Runs My Life

Happy New Year!

It’s 2020, you know what that means! 1920s style is coming back!

So throw on your glad rags and let’s go putting on the ritz!

Love Me or Leave Me

So the past few years, I have done “theme” years. 2015 was Back to the Future, 2016 Star Trek: The Original Series, 2017 Star Wars: A New Hope, 2018 Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and 2019 Dystopian future with The Running Man and Blade Runner. This year I’m all about the 1920s, especially one particular thing that came out:

For those of you who don’t know, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the first mystery that Agatha Christie wrote and introduced one of the greatest detectives: Hercule Poirot.

So that is where this post’s title comes from, I will be reviewing a Poirot or other Agatha Christie movie for Horrorfest IX, and will attempt to work in mysteries somehow and sometime throughout the year.

You know how I love mysteries!

Mystery, you say?

But enough of that. Let’s move on to the year in review!

Let’s get started!

The Views

 

This year I had over 74.700 views!

Wow!

The most viewed day of the year was August 12th with 752 views! That was the day I posted I Wrote Mr. Darcy a Letter

 

Although the number one post viewed that day was from Horrorfest VII Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

The Top Five Posts

Here are the top five most viewed posts of the year, although strangely none were posted this year-and amazingly my number one post for the past six years was knocked down to number 2. I know why too, the number one post is a confusing movie that I and my friend googled to figure it out-so I’m sure that’s what bumped the numbers.

5) A Real Man from 2014

4) Tea Time from 2015

 

3)Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949) from Horrorfest VII, 31 Days of Horror Films from Halloween 2018

I don’t know who to trust!

2) Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember (2002), from Romance is in the Air14 days of my favorite romantic moments (2013)

1)What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)from Horrorfest VII, 31 Days of Horror Films from Halloween 2018

The Followers!

So this community has really grown in numbers and I can not describe how pleased I am about that. We have gone from 14 followers in 2012, to 439 in 2015, to 1021 in 2017, and now 1,647 in 2019.

Book Club Picks

My book club read:

I am actually 11 books behind, but I will catch up in this new year…at least I hope!

Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers

So in 2018 I started a series on books to read after you have read all the Jane Austen novels and want elements of Jane Austen, but something fresher than another adaption or retelling. The following books I recommended for Austen fans last year are:

Dangerous to Know

So I was given the book Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd, in exchange for an honest review, and started reviewing it in 2018-but as I broke it up into multiple posts I didn’t finish it until 2019. We had:

Jane Austen

So of course there will be Jane Austen posts, that’s the name of the blog! I reviewed the following:

On Jane Austen & her works:

Sense and Sensibility:

 

Pride and Prejudice:

 

Mansfield Park:

 

Emma:

 

Northanger Abbey:

 

Persuasion:

 

Lady Susan:

Recipes

As C.S. Lewis says

Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”

And sometimes you want something to nibble on when you read Jane Austen or watch the films. This year we had the following recipes:

Books, Books, Books!

I love books and reading:

Holiday, Celebrate, Holiday, Celebrate…

I LOVE holidays, and love to celebrate. Here are the holiday posts:

Tea Time

What goes better with Jane Austen than tea? I love tea and we have the following posts on it:

Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans

So as I enjoyed doing the Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, that I decided to expand to another series- Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans. This has films that are not based on Jane Austen, but have elements we love from the films in a fresher source. I recommend Austen fans to watch:

Desire & Decorum 

So Jane Austen has entered the 21st Century with Pixelberry creating a video game based on Jane Austen’s works and set in the Regency time period. I started playing in 2018 year and continued last year:

Catherine Morland’s Reading List

Another series? Yes…I know, I just can’t help it. Yes, this series will be on gothic novels that Catherine Morland would totally love to read, if she existed:

Painted Portrayals of Christ

For Easter I discussed different artworks of Christ, (have to put that Art History degree to work). Last year I chose:

Jane Austen Stuff

Last year I reviewed a few companies’ Jane Austen stuff:

Austentatious (2015)

Last year I decided to review one episode from Austentatious (2015) every monthAfter I finish it, I’ll be picking another one to do this to. I really, really, really hate this show-so be prepared for the sarcasm and the hate.

Giveaways!

Last year I won five giveaways. The ones I have reviewed:

Rational Creatures

So like Dangerous to Know, this book was given to me by Christina Boyd in exchange for a honest review. Rational Creatures has stories by Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Jessie Lewis, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams-all on the women of Jane Austen:

 

Horrorfest VIII

25 Films of Christmas

Christmas is hard to do posts on as it is so busy! However, in 2018 I watched a Christmas film every day and posted it on Instagram. Last year I decided to do it again (and ended up watching 29 films). Here are the 25:

The Thin Man (1934)

Somewhere in Dreamland (1936)

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) (In my family it counts as a Christmas movie)

Jack Frost (1979)

Babes in Toyland (1986)

A Garfield Christmas (1987)

Die Hard (1988)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

Die Hard II (1990)

Home Alone (1990) I watched it twice!

Batman Returns (1992) It was my Friday the 13th pick

Jumanji (1995)

Jingle All the Way (1996)

The Christmas Card (2006)

The Christmas Candle (2013) I watched it twice!

Christmas in the City (2013)

Dashing Through the Snow (2015)

The Mistletoe Promise (2016)

Once Upon a Christmas Miracle (2018) Recommended to me by martha.leith on instagram

Klaus (2019)

Other Posts:

Other posts that don’t fit a theme:

For 2018 in review, go to The Future is Bulletproof

For 2017 in review, go to Life Seems But a Quick Succession of Busy Nothings

For 2016 in review, go to A New Hope

For 2015 in review, go to To Boldy Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

For 2014 in review, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For 2013 in review, go to Looking at the Past, Focusing on the Future

For 2012 in review, go to Looking Back, Moving Forward

Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Did the niece poison Mrs. Harlowe?

So I have been wanting to watch this movie Gosford Park for a while and when I saw it was returned to the library-I was so excited! Unfortunately, it was dirty and would not play for me.

I didn’t have any other movie planned and decided to fill the place I would choose something that was on my Amazon Prime queue suggested list.

So this movie is based off a book and is the second remake, (3rd version of the story) filmed in and by a production crew in England.

On with the review!

The story takes place in France, the old stately Lady Harlowe, has just died. Her brother-in-law, Boris Waberski, thinks that he will inherit everything- he has even borrowed against his future gains-but to everyone’s surprise-the money is left to her adopted niece-Betty Harlowe!

Boris becomes so angry he accuses Betty of murdering his sister-in-law. They have the body exhumed and it turns out that she was poisoned.

Uh oh

Betty’s friend, Ann Upcott, is worried and sends to England for help. Jim Frobisher arrives to investigate, aiding the very intelligent and top french detective, Inspector Hanaud.

I found the story very boring

Meh.

And the inspector a complete rip off Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. You have the accented inspector-“the greatest mind in the world” and an old manor house with a “locked room mystery” and puzzles. Except Poirot was much better.

I think it was incredibly boring and that the characters were just too bland. Skip the film if I were you.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

For more private investigators, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more remakes, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

A Whole Lot of Fanfare

Benedict-Cumberbatch-people-obsessedFandom

So here we are in part four of my fandom posts. You know, I originally planned this as one post and now I am laughing at myself for even thinking that. I guess I didn’t realize how many things I loved. It seems that every time I start on another post, I add like three more things to the list. Well I hope you all are enjoying these and that it sparks your interest in checking these things out.

hearts banner

Agatha Christie

AgathaChristieAndThenThereWereNoneAgathaChrisie75thanniversary

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. She also does not shy away from doing extremely radical ideas, such as having a child be the killer or having a part of the narration be through the killer (although at the time you don’t realize that person is the killer.) Her work is so great that every time I am in a bookstore I hunt down her books as I hope to one day own them all. I strongly recommend reading any of her novels. When you start one, you just can’t stop.

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I’m such a fan that I have not only read her mysteries (and watched the films and TV series) but I have read her biography and romance novels that she wrote prior to the mysteries.

Here are a few that I absolutely love: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary, The Secret of  Chimneys, Murder on the Links, The Murder at the Vicarage, The Sittaford Mystery aka Murder at Hazelmoor, Peril at End House, Murder on the Orient Express, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans aka The Boomerang ClueDumb Witness, Death on the Nile, Appointment With Death, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas aka A Holiday for Murder aka Murder for ChristmasAnd Then There Were None aka Ten Little Indians, One Two Buckle My Shoe aka Patriotic Murders aka An Overdose of DeathThe Body in the Library, Murder in Retrospect aka Five Little PigsThe Moving Finger, Murder After Hours aka The HollowCrooked House, Murder is Announced, They Came to Baghdad, Funerals Are Fatal aka After the FuneralWhat Mrs. McGillicudy Saw aka 4:50 from PaddingtonThird Girl, Nemesis, Curtain, and Sleeping Murder. I know that seems like a lot, but there is so much more of her books I could have also included.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Quite a Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011)

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Awkward

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So I was a huge fan and fangirled over the first season of this show. After that, it kinda went downhill for me and I stopped watching it, so I have no idea how it is now. But that first season, that first season is gold.

So I was flipping channels one day and just happened upon Awkward. As I was watching the episode I decided that I would watch the first one to see what’s what, and that’s it. I was hooked.

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I watched all the episodes I could to catch up, and then reached the point where I had to be like all the other fans and watch one by one.

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And I was a mega-fan. I actually went on the message boards.

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I would write constantly my thoughts on the episodes, how I felt about the whole love triangle, who I wanted her to end up with, and promoting the J-train all the way (will explain in a minute).

So what is the show about? Well, Awkward is about Jenna Hamilton, nerd girl, who hopes this year will be different. Jenna has had a crush on this guy Matty McKibbon, forever.

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She is surprised when at summer camp he wants to have sex with her. She thinks that maybe this could work out, this could happen, but nope. After Matty gets what he wants he ignores her.

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She gets home and gets this horrible letter stating everything wrong with her. She is reading it in the bathroom when she accidentally slips and falls. The big prob, her blow dryer fell in the tub, she spilled all her razors and asprins, etc. It looks like she was trying to commit suicide.

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Everyone thinks she was trying to commit suicide, even though she keeps telling them she wasn’t. Now she has to go to counseling sessions all the time.

Not only that, but she constantly picked on by the most popular girl in school, Sadie, who is jealous of how pretty Jenna is. Now this was one of the reasons why I liked this show. Jenna reminded me of a more sexually active (as I abstain) and more passive version of myself. As I was bullied too by other girls. Of course, I would have reacted differently.

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Now to further the drama of the year she has the guy issues. First there is Matty who only uses her for sex.

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He never wants to publicly be seen with her, never acknowledges her, and puts her down in front of everyone.

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Then you have Jake. The two start of as friends, then Jake realizes he has feelings for her.

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He breaks up with his girlfriend and tries to date her, never pressuring her for anything, not caring who knows he likes her, etc.

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And now Matty gets mad. As soon as Jake mentions he’s into Jenna, now Matty is into Jenna. Eventually it all comes down to Jenna having to make a decision as to which boy to pick. And I of course was all about Jenna and Jake, the J-train as us fans called it. Jake was just so perfect!

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Sweet, sensitive, funny, and completely secure in himself that he didn’t care what anyone said about him dating Jenna. Plus, the best thing ever: he showed Jenna that a relationship is more than sex. Sure that’s what he wants, but he can wait a long time, making sure he got to know the person, before he did anything.

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So season one was great, and ended perfectly.

Season two was where I had issues. Matty purposely tries to do stuff to break the two up as he wants to be with Jenna. That whole, you have it I want it.

And not only that, the kept writing it so Jenna was unsure if maybe Matty really loved her and that’s the guy she should be with.

Girl Please

This dude only wanted you for sex! Only sex. He never wanted to have a conversation. He didn’t care how you felt. He paraded other girls in front of you. He treated you horribly! Horribly! And you think that’s love?

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Plus he was too ashamed to even be seen with you.

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And, and he made fun of you in front of the whole school!

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He is a horrible human being.

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So like I said, I stopped watching it. First season is golden! And that is where it ends for me in my mind. So defintely check out the first season, the rest of it depends really whether you are a Matty or a Jake fan. J-train all the way!

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Deadwood

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Deadwood was one of those series that ended too soon. It lasted only a season, but was so cool. It tells the history of Deadwood, South Dakota; one of the most famous Western towns.They combine a lot of historical figures; such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp,George Crook, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, Jack McCall, and George Hearst; along with blending it with fictional people. It’s not 100% accurate, but is really awesome! I loved this show as I love practically anything Western. Plus it has the handsome Timothy Olyphant.

This doesn't feel right.

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Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder was one of my absolute favorite TV shows growing up. It came on every Thursday night on PAX, now ION, and it was the only time that my parents would let us stay up past our bedtimes on a school night.

Dr. Mark Sloane (Dick Van Dyke) is the super intelligent doctor at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. He always loved mysteries and wanted to be a detective, achieving this dream by helping his police detective son, Steve (played by his real son Barry Van Dyke). The two are rounded out by Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell), the medical examiner; and Jack Stewart (Scott Baio); guy from a crime family turning on that life and making something of himself. Jack ended up leaving to go to Denver, and they brought on Jesse Travis(played by Charlie Schlatter), my second favorite character. Jesse is the sweet, handsome, and adorable resident at Community General, and later head of the Emergency Room.

It was one awesome show that balanced mystery, medicine, and crime. You used to be able to watch them all on Youtube, but for some strange reason they took them down. 😦

But if you can get a chance, you should definitely check it out.

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Frank Peretti

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Frank Peretti is one of my favorite authors. In fact I was able to meet him once and totally fangirled over him. But he was super nice as he autographed my books and actually spent a long time talking to me. It made the other people in line mad, and I can’t blame them, but I didn’t care as I had just met FRANK PERETTI!

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Frank Peretti started out being a pastor, but discovered that it wasn’t the life for him. He drifted from job to job, and while working in a snowshoe factory he wrote his first novel, This Present Darkness. He has now written over 30 books for adults, teens, and children. His books are amazing as they always have great, realistic characters, action, adventure, suspense, and a moral message. Everytime I read his works I feel great! Although also like this:

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So I haven’t read everything, but I’ll tell you what I think about the things I have read.

Hangman’s Curse– This was the first of the Peretti novels I read, and when I read this one I was hooked. The Springfield family of four- mom, dad, teenage twins (boy and girl), work for the government as an undercover unit to infiltrate places the FBI, CIA, and Police departments can’t. A sort of 21 Jump Street. They are sent to a small town to investigate the mysterious deaths of students. Students who are bullying others, are being killed. How? By a ghost of a student who hung himself. Or at least that is what everyone is saying. When the team goes in, they discover that there is much more to this plot then they could ever have imagined.

It was an amazing book! Suspenseful, supernatural, action, etc. It had me on the edge of my seat furiously flipping pages to discover what happens next. And the ending is so unexpected and fantastic!

This book was turned into a movie, in which it was absolutely amazing. I’ve been meaning to do a post on it for Horrorfest, and will soon.

Nightmare Academy– A healthy, extremely intelligent boy runs away from home and is found a few months later naked, incoherent, and with the mental capacities of a one-year old. The only thing he seems to remember is two words-Nightmare Academy. The government calls upon the Springfield family, who once again go undercover. The twins pretend to be runaways and are approached by a woman from the Knight-Moore Academy. They agree to go, but this school is more sinister than they imagine. The two are drugged and wake up in a place where there are no morals, no truths, but a world where anything you believe is right is right, and absolutes are non-existent. Their parents had been keeping an eye on the twins, but find they’d been carried away right under their noses and there is no trace that they even existed. Who are these people? What are they doing to the kids?

This books was freakin’ amazing.

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It is suspenseful, it is mind-boggling, it is realistic, is crazy…I could go on. Let me just say that if any of you are a fan of Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Divergent this will totally be something you’d love.

This Present Darkness– His first novel and a really amazing one. In this book a small town becomes the battleground in a war between the angels and demons. A collection of people want to take over the town and its college in order to indoctrinate the students into believing their untruths. On the other side of the battle is an agnostic editor, Marshall, and his star reporter, Bernice, trying to figure out what is going on in the town as nothing sits right with them. Fighting alongside, but unbeknowest to them, is Hank, the pastor of a little church and a true prayer warrior. It has action, comedy, suspense, drama, and the supernatural

Piercing the Darkness The sequel to This Present Darkness. In this novel, a group of people are set on closing down a Christian school, removing kids from a widowed Christian teacher, and causing their school material to be the only thing taught. Once again people find themselves fighting in the earthly and spiritual realm. This book is its own story with its own characters, but Peretti does bring back a few favorites such as Marshall, Hank, and Bernice. It was a great read, and almost as good as the original.

Prophet– John Barrett is the attractive and most popular news anchor on his station. He is estranged from his father and son, but in everything else doing absolutely splendid. Money, fame, adoring fans. Everything changes when his father dies, and no one seems to find the circumstances suspicious. Later he finds out that his news station is being selective in what has actually occurred and changing stories so they are sensational, instead of truthful. This causes John to start looking for the real truth and sets him down a path he never thought he would ever go down. It was a great book that sucks you in.

The Visitation– I have yet to read this, as you all know my to-read list is in the millions, but I have seen the film. In this a man comes to town who seems to have miraculous powers and claims to be the son of God, Jesus. Yet, there is more to this man than meets the eye. The film was amazingly good and you can all expect a review of it to be coming in some future Horrorfest.

House– House is actually a collabaration between Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker (the Christian version of Stephan King). This is not my all-time favorite books of his, mostly because Ted Dekkar style really doesn’t suit me. He’s just a bit too dark. I wouldn’t read this until I had finished all of Frank Peretti’s other books. They made a movie out of this and it was on Amazon Instant Watch, a while back, but I couldn’t watch it. I’ll get around to it eventually, and you’ll probably see it popping up on a future Horrorfest.

For more on Frank Peritti, go to A Little Bit of Love

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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I can still sing the intro to this show 100% perfectly. Oh I loved this show growing up, and of course Will Smith. I think everyone was in love with him, I mean come on funny and attractive? Carlton was another of my favorites because he was so incredibly straightlaced. And don’t forget Geoffrey the sarcastic butler. But wait…I’m getting ahead of myself

So the story is about Will (played by Will Smith) who in West Philidelphia was born and raised. And on the playground is where he spent ost of his days. Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool-shooting some b-ball outside of school. Then a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in the neighborhood. He got in one little fight and his mom got scared, and said your moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.

His uncle Phil and Aunt Viv grew up poor, but have moved up the social ladder-him a judge and her a professor, and are now rich. They at times seem to have forgotten their past, which Will reminds them of.

Their oldest daughter is Hilary, vapid, only cares about shopping, and for lack of a better word-bimbo. She is sweet and always providing comic relief.

Their second child is Carleton, who is about the same age as Will and always butting heads with him. Carlton is a super prep, nerd, ultra-conservative; but extremely hilarious. And a great dancer.

In fact “The Carlton” was so popular they reprised it on Dancing With the Stars.

Just Dance you guys need to add this to your repitoire.

The youngest child is Ashley. Ashley is still trying to figure out who she is and, as her siblings are older and in that phase where they want nothing to do with their younger sis, she gets really close to Will and bonds with him. She ends up with a singing career, encouraged by Will.

And rounding out the the household is the British, sarcastic butler. Hmm…I wonder who had it first? FPBA or The Nanny?

Anyways, it was a hilarious show and the essence of the ’90s.

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LifeasaFangirl

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For Part 3, go to Fantastic Fantasies

Stay tuned for Part 5

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For more posts on my love of books, go to A Sad and Lonely Place

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Over and Over Again