Different Authors

ConversesAgatha Christie

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Different Authors

1HolmesGirl221b
Editat: jul. 8, 2013, 10:41 pm

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

2alaudacorax
juny 13, 2022, 5:42 am

I've always had mixed feelings about Christie as a writer. Some of her stuff I like, some not so much.

I've recently read the first three books in P. D. James' 'Adam Dalgleish series, though, and she's given me a new appreciation for Christie's craftsmanship. In particular, she just doesn't have Christie's skill at characterisation: particularly in the first two books I really struggled to remember who was who. I don't think I'll be reading any more of them.

My problem is that Agatha Christie didn't write enough Miss Marple books; I'd love to read more. I've never come across her equal at her best. I think of Dorothy L. Sayers and she was a wonderful writer, but I don't think she was writing quite in the same genre as Christie—Sayers is so often doing deeper stuff on top of the basic detective story and is not, to my mind, quite in the 'cosy' territory. I think the most enjoyable alternative to Christie I've found so far is with Heron Carvic's 'Miss Seeton' books. These are an affectionate parody of 'Miss Marple' books and very funny, but really good stories in their own right.

And writing this post has reminded me that I still haven't got round to Margery Allingham, been meaning to for years ...

3kaggsy
març 26, 2023, 3:15 pm

>2 alaudacorax: Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver books are supposed to be very good in a Golden Age kind of way!

4tealadytoo
Editat: març 26, 2023, 10:11 pm

>3 kaggsy: I've started on the Miss Silver series recently, and I'm enjoying them very much. They aren't quite on a par with Miss Marple, but very good Golden Age reading.

5alaudacorax
març 27, 2023, 5:58 am

>3 kaggsy:, >4 tealadytoo:

Thanks for that. I'll hunt them up.

6tealadytoo
març 27, 2023, 8:45 am

>5 alaudacorax: I'd recommend Margery Allingham even higher. :=) They have a bit more weight to the stories, particularly as the series progresses. (the Campion books).

Of course, I'm only up to book 3 of Miss Silver, so those might become less frothy as they go on.

7alaudacorax
març 28, 2023, 5:48 am

>6 tealadytoo:

Interesting observations. Thanks. Though 'frothy' or 'more weight' entirely depends on what mood I'm in—don't really have a preference.

8alaudacorax
març 28, 2023, 5:54 am

Actually, I have a good plot for a mystery. It's all about how a normally inoffensive chap manages, against all the laws of science, to put his arm down the phone and rip the throat out of a plonker who kept cold-calling him in the mornings when he was trying to post on LibraryThing ...

9alaudacorax
març 28, 2023, 5:56 am

>8 alaudacorax:

All the apparent laws of science—I'm still working on it ...

10alaudacorax
març 29, 2023, 7:22 am

>3 kaggsy:

I bought the first of the 'Miss Silver' books, Grey Mask, for my Kindle. Wasn't impressed. I wrote a review - https://www.librarything.com/review/237538554.

I'm wondering if it isn't a mistake to start with the first book of a series like that. Perhaps I should have chosen one from the middle—given the author time to get into her stride ...

11alaudacorax
Editat: març 30, 2023, 7:06 am

>6 tealadytoo:

Got the first of the 'Albert Campion' books, The Crime at Black Dudley, for my Kindle. Was impressed—enough so to immediately download and read the second book, Mystery Mile.

The Crime at Black Dudley had its flaws, and Albert himself is an obvious steal of Lord Peter Wimsey (who himself 'borrowed' a bit from Bertie Wooster—at least in his earliest appearances), but I found it quite exciting, and enjoyed it. And I believed every word of it (see my review of >10 alaudacorax:). I thought Mystery Mile was a bit better again, and I shall certainly carry on reading the 'Albert Campion' books at some point, and there seems to be plenty of them. I look forward to it.

12kaggsy
abr. 4, 2023, 7:59 am

>10 alaudacorax: That's a good point. Authors like Dorothy L Sayers definitely improved as the series went on...

13kaggsy
abr. 4, 2023, 8:00 am

>11 alaudacorax: I love the Campions and they definitely do change as they go on - Campion himself becomes much less of a silly ass, for starters!!

14tealadytoo
abr. 4, 2023, 1:58 pm

>13 kaggsy: Agreed. By The Tiger in the Smoke he's pretty much a different person altogether!

15alaudacorax
maig 18, 2023, 5:40 am

Just thought I'd pop in and say that I've been finding Margery Allingham's 'Campion' books a very worthy alternative to Agatha Christie. I'm currently five or six in and I've been thoroughly enjoying them.

I've been reading them in publication order and I'm getting an impression of a sort of alternating thing going on: darker and more tense stuff alternating with lighter and more fun. Just writing off the top of my head there—I haven't checked back to confirm that.

16alaudacorax
maig 18, 2023, 5:48 am

>15 alaudacorax:

Also, I was noticing in my last read, Death of a Ghost, the author herself starting to peep through, Austen-style. For example, she was quite abrasively funny about the contemporary art market.

17alaudacorax
set. 17, 2023, 10:02 am

Continuing my Albert Campion theme, I've been reading the novels in order of publication and I'm reading Traitor's Purse at the moment. I have a problem.

I was enjoying them until the last I read, The Fashion in Shrouds. With that one, I felt that Allingham was trying to give her books more weight by putting more nuance into the dialogues between characters, and I felt she wasn't making a very good fist of it. I still enjoyed the book on the whole, but there were these bits that irritated me. Now, with Traitor's Purse, she seems to have given up on that and to be consciously trying for something new in the 'cosy mystery' line with her amnesia story line (if you haven't read it that's not a spoiler—it will be clear what I mean from the very start).

The trouble is, I'm really getting to hate this book. I've been pretty much bored since the start. According to my Kindle, I'm 32% through the book and I've had no sense of the the story unfolding at all. Neither Campion nor I have any more idea of what's going on than we did at the start. I'm not sure if Allingham intends a build-up of tension, but all I'm feeling is the book is getting sillier. Reading it is really getting to be work!

My problem is, I'm tempted to cut my losses and give up on this book and Allingham altogether, except ... except ... except ... I've got really invested in what's going to happen with Albert and Amanda! Plus I've picked up the idea that The Tiger in the Smoke was one of her best and I'd been looking forward to getting to it. So, please, can somebody tell me this book is an aberration and Allingham gets back on track later.

18alaudacorax
Editat: set. 17, 2023, 10:14 am

>17 alaudacorax:

Come to think of it, I think the Albert-Amanda thing is pretty much the only interesting thing about this book and there's precious little of that.

19kaggsy
set. 22, 2023, 3:20 pm

>17 alaudacorax: The Tiger in the Smoke is pretty amazing so maybe persevere...