The Big Four by Agatha Christie: A book review

The Big Four by Agatha Christie: A book review

It has been a while since I posted a review of a book as soon as I finished reading it. But today is one of those days! I finished reading The Big Four by Agatha Christie just yesterday and I spent more than half a day today talking about it and here I am ready to write a review.

Is that a good thing or not? Read ahead to know more. 

I finished reading #TheBigFour by #AgathaChristie just yesterday and here I am ready to write a review.Is that a good thing or not? Read ahead. #ClassicsNChristieClub #ReadChristie19 #Spythriller Click To Tweet

About the Big Four

The big four

Book Name: The Big Four

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings,  Li Chang Yen,  Madame Olivier,  Abe Ryland, Number four

Setting: England, The UK

Plot summary of the Big Four

We are used to reading and loving the various murder mysteries set in London or other British cities and suburban towns. But with The Big Four, Christie sets us for a crime thriller with not one but four international super villains aiming at world domination against the grey cells of our Poirot and his dear friend Hastings.

A random guy dies in Poirot’s apartment, which ends to be a foul play. This sets the duo on wild goose chase against The Big Four – A Chinese mastermind, a French woman, an American and a mysterious number four, who always seem to be a step ahead of our dear detective. 

How does he stop them from reaching their evil goal forms the rest of the story in The Big Four!

Book review of the Big Four

The Classics N Christie has been reading Agatha Christie’s books based on the publication dates. This has been very helpful for me to understand the different writing and story telling styles that the author has been trying. I wish I could The Big Four is one of those attempts, that kinda bombed for me. 

Earlier in the Murder on the Links, Dame Christie tried her hand at romance in mystery novels which I didn’t enjoy much. I enjoyed her take on spy thriller even lesser. I just can’t wait to get back to cozy little town mysteries from her. 

Things that worked for me

  • The Big Four reminded me a lot of Sherlock vs Moriarty (I love that).
  • It may work better if you pick the book when you are in the mood to read a spy thriller. 

Things that didn’t work for me

  • The Big Four seemed like a bundle of short mysteries badly woven together, which I found out to be true later. The Big Four was indeed published as a twelve short mysteries during a particularly bad time of Christie personally.
  • There are too many named characters and most of them do not even reappear after a scene or two.
  • I don’t like how Poirot somehow turned into James Bond at the end of the book. That is so not our Belgian detective. 


If you are looking to read a typical Christie or Poirot’s mystery you will be disappointed. I never thought I would read Christie’s book that would disappoint me as much, but here it is. 

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The Big Four by Agatha Christie: A book review

Book review: The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window is a book that everyone I know has read and reviewed already. So when my book club chose this one as our March BOTM I knew I had to read it. And having been focusing on the classics until now this year, I loved the chance of reading a contemporary thriller. So let us check how that turned out shall we?

The Woman in the Window is a book that everyone I know has read and reviewed already. So let us check how that turned out for me, shall we? Click To Tweet

About the book

Woman in the Window

Book Name: The Woman in the Window

Author: Finn A J

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Dr. Anna, Ed and Olivia Fox, Alistair, Jane and Ethan Russell, Dr Fielding

Setting: New York, The USA

The plot

Dr. Anna Fox, a child psychologist suffering from agoraphobia, has not left her house for almost a year now. Her daily routine includes drinking a lot of wine while being highly medicated, watching retro movies and peeking into her neighbours’ house through their respective windows. Her life is fairly “usual” until the Russells move into her neighbourhood. 

Soon they become her new obsession, especially their young son, Ethan. But when she sees something untoward happening at her nieghbours’ she has no grounds to report about it. How she proves that she did not hallucinate and finds out the culprit form the rest of the story in The Woman in the Window.

My initial thoughts

Though a little long winded in the first half of the book, The Woman in the Window kept me fully entertained. The author takes a lot of time to get us into her world but once you get past the draggy first 100 pages, the pace fastens and the book turns unputdownable. 

If you have read as many thrillers as I have done or more, you will find the twists coming a mile away. Yet #thewomaninthewindow turns unputdownable.  Click To Tweet

If you have read as many thrillers as I have done or more, you will find the twists coming a mile away. Anna is not a protagonist that I liked or related to, but I think that is what the author was going for – an unreliable narrator with ‘the whole should I believe or not’ vibe. And maybe that is why there are a lot of comparison with the Girl on the Train, and rightly so. 

Things that worked for me

  • Despite the predictability, The Woman in the Window kept me hooked with its short chapters and fast pace (the second part).
  • Like me if you had a special interest in the unreliable narrator category, you are in for a treat.
  • There are quite a number of twists to keep the readers on their toes sprinkled all through the book.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • As I already mentioned, The Woman in the Window is totally predictable and it takes quite a while for something to actually happen.
  • I didn’t relate to any of the characters in the story, and the narrator was borderline annoying.


The Woman in the Window might be old wine in a new bottle but will keep you occupied in a pinch, and might even turn to be unputdownable. With the movie version coming before the end of the year, you might wanna read it already.

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The Big Four by Agatha Christie: A book review

Review shots: Christie’s murder mysteries

It is a brand new month and that means it is time for mini reviews AKA review shots. And this week am gonna bring in three books from one author, who is one of  my all time favorites, Dame Agatha Christie. Don’t we all need some mystery thriller every month?

These are our monthly picks for the ClassicsNChristieClub and I thought I can club them up together for our review shots. So shall we get on with it?

Read my thoughts on three #AgathaChristie #murdermystery that we read in our #ClassicsNChristieClub in this month's edition of #reviewshots Click To Tweet

The Murder on the Links

Christie murder

Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings have been invited to  Merlinville-sur-Mer, France, to help Paul Renauld, a millionaire. Upon arriving to the Villa Genevieve, they find him dead. He is stabbed in the back with a letter opener and pushed into a newly dug grave near their golf club. His widow claims that two masked men tied her up around 2 AM and took her husband away.

As the duo proceeds to investigate the case, Poirot gets a competitor in the form of Monsieur Giraud from the French Sûreté who has a history with Poirot. Who murdered the millionaire and why forms the rest of The Murder on the Links. 

My thoughts

I am not a big fan of Poirot – Hastings combo, but I couldn’t help rooting for them here. I couldn’t guess the culprit right until the end which makes the book a win for me. The only thing that didn’t work for me is the romance story for Hastings and making him a besotted fool till the end. 

Bottom line

If you like the usual Poirot novels, you are in for a treat reading The Murder on the Links. 

The Man in the Brown Suit

Christie murder

In The Man in the Brown Suit we have a new lead detective Anne Beddingfeld. Anne leaves the country in search of a new adventure after her famous father dies. Soon enough she witnesses an accidental death and she finds a clue that might have something to do with death. She throws caution to the wind and decides to chase the clues that may prove it was not just another accident.

Her journey takes her to Africa and further on the trail of the murderer. Anne forms new friends, saves a stranger and makes stronger enemies. But does she make friends with the right person? How far will her sense of adventure take? You need to read The Man in the Brown Suit to know if the murderer was caught and who was the mastermind behind it all.

My thoughts

Christie has a bunch of recurring detective characters but Anne Beddingfeld appears only in The Man in the Brown Suit. I didn’t like her at all, and I can say she was too naive and annoying for my taste. Of course others might find her lively and perky compared to Tommy and Tuppence or even Poirot.

Bottom line

I definitely didn’t solve the case, so that is a positive thing I guess. But it bored me during some parts and I was wishing it would end soon.

The Secret of Chimneys

Christie murder

The story begins when James McGrath gives a manuscript to Anthony Cade and asks him to hand it over to the publishers in London. Cade doesn’t realize it to be arduous task with men threatening for it and a political troop trying to steal it away from him. He is also requested to return a few personal letters to a lady he has only a name of. 

There are quite a few characters who assemble to have a political and business agreement at the Chimneys, where Cade is also invited to discuss about the manuscript. Unfortunately that is where a murder takes place and Inspector Battle is called upon to investigate. Soon enough we are suspecting everyone present at Chimneys that night. Who committed the murder and what is the story behind it follows in The Secret of Chimneys.

My thoughts

Yes I am saved the best for the last. The Secret of Chimneys was our March BOTM and I should say I liked this the best among these three. I loved the array of characters especially Bundle and her father Lord Caterham provided the much needed comic relief.

Everytime I zeroed in on someone to be the blacksheep I was proved wrong, which made it all the more interesting. There is a bit of romance in this one too but it was not a hinder like in the other two. 

Bottom line

The Secret of Chimneys is definitely worth a read, pick it right away. 

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The Big Four by Agatha Christie: A book review

And Then There Were None: Book review

When I love a book, I give myself some time to let my thoughts brew and write my review in a day or two. Sometimes, that day comes never. That is what happens to my favorite books and I never get around to write those amazing 5 star reviews. But here I am, finally attempting to talk about one of such books – Agatha Christie’s And then there were none.

There have been numerous adaptations based on And then there were none by Agatha Christie, and frankly none of them are closer. Read my review here. Click To Tweet

About And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None

Book Name: And then there were none

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Justice Lawrence John Wargrave, Vera Elizabeth Claythorne, Philip Lombard, General John Gordon Macarthur, Dr Edward George Armstrong, Anthony James Marston, William Henry Blore, Mr Thomas Rogers, Mrs Ethel Rogers, Emily Caroline Brent, Isaac Morris, Fred Narracott.

Setting: Devon, England, The UK

Plot summary of And then there were none

Eight strangers are invited to a private island near the coast of Devon, England by an eccentric millionaire, Mr Owen. The guests are welcomed by a cook and a butler. But their host is nowhere to be seen and they realize none of them know him well.

All they find is a framed copy of an old nursery rhyme with the tale of ten soldiers who one by one leave, disappear or die until none of them are alive. Everyone is intrigued to find ten figurines depicting the ten soldiers in their dining room.

At dinner, a voice booms that every one of them was guilty of murder and they will all be dead soon. Immediately one of them chokes on their drink and dies. And then they find that one of the figurine is broken. Soon one by one each of the guests begin dying, following theme of the childhood rhyme.

Each of them starts suspecting the other, as they are all stranded in secluded island. Who is the murderer and who survives their stay forms the rest of the book ‘And then there were none’ by Agatha Christie. 

And then there were none Book review

For me, And then there were none would be one of the best mystery ever written. I read this for the first time when I was around 13 years old and it was not a surprise that I was not able to solve the whodunnit.

Incidentally, I forgot about this book for about another five years until I gave it another read in my late teens. I still didn’t solve it but that’s when I realized how much I loved it. I keep reading it once in a while and it has never lost its charm on  me.

And to make matter worse (or better) it has become a sort of benchmark to compare the other mystery novels and ‘whodunnits‘. There have been numerous adaptations based on And then there were none by Agatha Christie, and frankly none of them are closer to the book.

Things that worked for me

  • There are so many mini plots within the story that makes it hard to guess the murderer. 
  • The murders get more and more exciting as it follows an old rhyme and everyone has a theory that someone else’s involved.
  • I liked the strong emphasis on ‘fair’ justice system, even if it meant eye for an eye. I understand it is a fantasy but it sounds so good. 

Things that didn’t work for me

  • I don’t think anyone could guess the murderer on their first read. I mean there are literally no clues, but many many red herrings, you have been warned!. 
  • There are so many characters that you stop feeling related to them, in a while. There are, more or less, no descriptions for any of the characters.
  • Unfortunately, there is a huge plot hole which is a part of the solution. But it is kinda easy to ignore it (at least it was for me).
  • The book obviously feels dated but the casual racism and sexism might should turn you off.

Content warning

Casual racism, Sexism.


I consider And then there were none as a masterpiece and I am sure everyone would love it. I can’t recommend it enough. If you are going to read only one Christie’s in your life, choose And then there were none.

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The Big Four by Agatha Christie: A book review

One of us is lying by Karen M McManus: A Book review

Do you know who is up to date on all book trends and posts reviews as soon as they finish a book? Not me. Even when I rarely catch up with trend and read something that everyone likes and raves about, everything doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Let us take the example of One of us is lying by Karen M McManus, a YA ‘whodunnit thriller that rocked the Twitter and blogs last, read on to know more.

Almost a year ago, everyone I knew and followed read and spoke about One of us is lying. After a tedious hunt I found the book and read it as fast as could. You see, I do try to keep up. But I never posted a review because I am generally forgetful and I forgot about the book. Read further to know why the book was so forgetful.

About One of us is lying

One of us is lying

Book Name: One of us is lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Mystery

Characters: Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, Jake, Cooper, Simon

Setting: California, The USA

Plot Summary of One of us is lying

The story begins at detention with five students that fit the popular stereotypes – Bronwyn the class nerd, Nate the brooding bad boy, Addy the pretty and popular girl, Cooper the athlete, and Simon the outcast.

Simon holds a knife over everyone else’s head with help of the school’s gossip website and he knows a lot. Things go haywire when Simon dies of an allergic reaction right in front of them at the detention center.

The police suspect foul play and the four teens are brought under spotlight. Did the fact that Simon was going to publish their secrets the next day had anything to do with his death? You will have to read One of us is lying to know more.

Book review of  One of us is lying

As someone who loves reading whodunnit, I sorta guessed the murderer easily. Well, my theory almost worked, though not completely. Karen M. McManus’s writing was fast at some places, especially around the murder, and then lagged in other places. I wish it had a consistent pace but it was not a deal breaker.

Things that worked for me

  • It is definitely an easy to read book and I finished reading it in a few hours. And needless to say it was un-put-down-able.
  • Kudos to the author for writing such a mostly fast paced story with typical characters and yet, make her mark. 
  • I liked Addy’s character growth, from an airhead to sort of empowered(?). It would have been great if there was such a character development for all the other characters as well. 
  • Though marketed as a thriller, it has much more of romance and drama from the other side plots, which kept the story moving, all though slowly. 

Things that didn’t work for me

  • The multiple POVs for various characters sounded pretty much the same to me. 
  • How many red herrings are too many? ‘One of us is lying’ many. Since I kinda already guessed it, I felt the clues were too many apparently misleading. 
  • The romance kinda felt forced and the book might have been more crisper without it.
  • I think I keep repeating this on all my YA reviews. Where are the adults? And why is the police so incompetent? 

Bottom line

Despite the cliched characters and events, One of us is lying held my attention for the few hours it took for me to finish it.If you like a YA mystery that is more on the side of YA, you might like One of us is lying. If you are looking for more solid mystery/thriller, there are better options.

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The Big Four by Agatha Christie: A book review

Book Review: The Fourth Monkey Killer

It is no secret that I love a serial killer and of course a good cop chase. specially when I receive a book from an author I already have read and loved who now promises an ‘impossible to catch’ psychopath. Well I had to grab the chance to read The Fourth Monkey Killer by J D Barker.

I know you all love my rant induced reviews and are dying to read more from me. Of course you do. (YOU DO, right???). But for once I thought I will let you guys read something from a friend who is not a book reviewer as he begged for a chance to write for my blog (one of these is a lie). So here we go.

Book Name: The Fourth Monkey Killer elgeewrites Book Review: The Fourth Monkey Killer The Fourth Monkey Killer
Author: J D Barker
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Characters: Sam Porter
Setting: Chicago, The USA

Three years after the critically acclaimed and multiple award winning Forsaken, Barker comes up the first book of the series named after the central character of the plot; The Fourth Monkey Killer (4MK).

A major portion of the novel covers events across just a couple of days and the narration moves at a brisk pace. Even the flashback portion that runs parallel to the live narration pertains to a reasonably short period of time and keeps the plot on its toes.

Non-linear narration has been handled professionally and I wouldn’t be far from truth when I say that this does not come across as the work of an author penning just his second novel.

The setting up of the flashback narration, read as: diary entries, is a small dampener in what is a near-flawless price of work. There aren’t many places where unnecessary details or deliberate mis-directions drag the story which helps sustain one’s interest. The fact that Barker has been able to give us a fabulous view into the killer’s head despite the brevity deserves appreciation.


4MK would appeal to you if you are a fan of detective novels, if you are into stories involving serial killers and to those that like fast paced thrillers.

Hey, it is me again. Do you like the psychopath and troubled cop trope? Do you miss me already? Are you interested in posting on my blog? Talk to me in the comments. 

P.S Hint: I would be really glad if you did miss me!