Sittaford Mystery, The: A book review

Sittaford Mystery, The: A book review

Do you read mystery thrillers? If you do, you will understand my frustrations about being able to guess the culprit in the first few chapters. But when you are reading a book by Christie, you don’t have to fear. So how did The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie fare on my scale?

About the book

Sittaford Mystery Cover

Book Name: The Sittaford Mystery

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Mystery,

Characters: Major Burnaby, the Willets, Captain Joe Trevelyan, Emily Trefusis, James Pearsons, Inspector Narracott

Setting: England, The UK

The plot

Major Burnaby visits his new neighbors, the Willets and finds himself participating in an Ouija board game (“tableturning”). The seemingly harmless game ends with the “spirits” announcing that Captain Trevelyan, his long time friend and landlord, is dead.

Burnaby gets restless and takes it upon himself to make sure the Captain is well, trudging through the thick snow. But as it turns out to be, the Captain is really dead and his nephew is arrested.

Emily Trefusis, the fiancée of the nephew takes it upon herself to acquit him and find the real culprit. Was it just coincidence that the séance pronounced the death? If so, who killed the Captain forms the rest of the story in The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie.

My initial thoughts

I am not even surprised anymore that I failed to solve an Agatha Christie’s murder mystery. While I had two or three lines of suspicions, I was not even close to the actual murderer. I bow down before the Queen of mystery, once again.

The set up of secluded Sittaford was a good choice and gave the perfect eeriness required for this whodunnit. And you all know how much I love small town/village set ups.

Emily Trefusis and Inspector Narracott worked well for me, and their styles never clashed with each other. No negativity, but I liked him more than some of Christie’s regulars themselves.

I loved the ensemble of colorful characters – puzzle loving Major Burnaby, the Willets who have made a bizarre decision to spend their winter in an isolated place in Dartmouth, absolutely unlikeable heirs of the Captain and the weak, naïve accused James Pearson and of course Emily Trefusis herself!

Emily was a welcome change. She spoke her mind, put on a bit of act and was earnest in freeing her fiancé, and had a great sense of humor. And Charles Enderby played the perfect sidekick. Well, how many times do we get the female to do the heavy lifting and the male being the humble sidekick!

What worked for me

  • I really liked Inspector Narracott and his working style as much as I enjoyed Emily’s.
  • I loved the snowy and secluded Sittaford background, perfect for my small town loving self.
  • The tableturning or Ouija board game was nice add in too. I confess it misled me a bit more than it should have.

What may have been better

  • I wish we heard more about the Captain Joe Trevelyan, the misogynistic, money loving victim. Literally that is all we hear about him.
  • I didn’t want to read the men fighting over Emily. I want mystery, murder, and mayhem and no romance please.

Bottom line

The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie is a perfect mystery thriller for the lovers of the whodunnit genre. If you like an ensemble mystery this one is for you and again you can’t go wrong with Agatha Christie.

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Sittaford Mystery, The: A book review

Before I let go by Marieke Nijkamp: A Book review

I picked this book when I was looking for another book of Marieke Nijkamp and I could not find it on the store. I read the blurb, which I rarely do, and got ready to dig into the mystery set in the obscure town near Alaska. Let us see how Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp turned into, alright?

About Before I let go

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp Cover

Book Name: Before I let go

Author: Marieke Nijkamp

Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young Adult

Characters: Corey, Kyra

Setting: Alaska, The USA

Plot summary of Before I let go

The story begins with Corey returning to her small town called Lost Creek,
Alaska after she heard her best friend Kyra is dead. As she tries to understand what happened to Kyra, Corey is pushed away from the very town she grew up in and lived for sixteen years. 

Kyra and Corey have been best friends since childhood. They have stood together through thick and thin, especially when Kyra was diagnosed as bipolar and the villagers started treating her differently.

But now everything appears to have changed. Everyone speaks of Kyra lovingly and treats her like someone special, now that she has gone. What happened in the past few months and how did Kyra even die? You need to read Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp to know more. 

Book review of Before I let go

For starters, I don’t think it was meant to be a mystery novel, thanks for nothing, Goodreads!, because there was no suspense, like at all. Somewhere in the middle of the book, we already know the ‘what, when, why and how’. The plot had a lot of things going on, but the storyline became so predictable and lacked pace. 

Well, the book talks about mental illness and the kids are sexually diverse (a pansexual and an asexual) but I can not be the judge of the realness of the representation. The atmosphere was creepy and sinister until the end, which I liked. 

Things that worked for me

  • The friendship between Kyra and Corey was strong. The whole story revolved around that instead of romance. for a change.
  • I liked the writing style and it kept me invested until the end despite the other flaws.
  • I liked the eerie setting and frankly just reading about this small town in a remote place.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • I felt the pace was so slow and it became kinda repetitive after a while. 
  • I didn’t particularly relate to any of the characters, which were bland and flat.
  • The non-lead characters seemed under developed as well.

Bottom line

Before I let go talks a lot about strong friendship in an eerie and hostile environment. If you like reading about mental health with diverse characters you might like Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp.

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Have you read Before I let go by Marieke Nijkamp? Would pace of the book make you like or dislike it? Have you read this one? Let us talk.