Trying New Private Detectives.

I had been fiercely loyal to my detectives, all this time.

The creators of Hercule Poirot, Ms Marple, Sherlock Holmes, AXL Pendergast and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache made them so unique that every other detective I tried to acquaint with, did not move ahead of that first date.

Recently I tried a few more.

1. Lord Peter Wimsey By Dorothy. L Sayers

Lord’s Wimsey’s loyal fans please forgive me

Busman’s Holiday is the book which read. I loved the characterization of Lord Wimsey and Harriet vane. The wealthy British aristocrat, who quotes Shakespeare and other poets  and has Bunter as his “man” has a definite charm.  He is a brilliant sleuth and I would have loved and spent time enjoying the delectable banter between him and Harriet if it were in a drama, but not in a murder mystery.

The problem was, I had to wait till the sixth chapter for the murder to be discovered even though the absence of Mr Noakes , the victim, is hovering over as the shroud of mystery from the first chapter. After a point of time I got bored of the slow pace and somehow I managed to complete the book. 

2.  Kinsey Millhone by Sue Grafton

I started with A is for Alibi. Kinsey Millhone doesn’t conform to society’s expectations. She is a free spirit who isn’t concerned about her appearance at all. These characteristics about her are underlined in the very first book of alphabet murder series. She is a private investigator and operates alone without a side-kick. I loved her but the plot of the book was shaky. But I am still going to have a go at the remaining books too.

3. Isaiah Quintabe by Joe Ide

I read two books of Isaiah I.Q Quintabe.

I loved him in the first book titled IQ. He is from the hood and is a private investigator. Left on his own after his beloved older brother Marcus dies, Isaiah, an honour student with a supercharged brain , drops out of high school. He has inductive reasoning skills which is not as well developed as Holmes or Poirot. He has built his own Audi when he was working with TK in his scrap yard, has a baton and a self made pellet –gun as weapons. His character is painted in grey and he has a self proclaimed partner, Dodson whom Isaiah just tolerates in the book as their relation goes way back.

It was a gripping plot. So after the first book, I went ahead and read the fourth book in the series, Hi Five which was my big mistake. It bumped off a favourite character, Beaumont, in the beginning.

IQ has to deal with a complex character with multiple personality syndrome who is the only witness to murder. The plot was more gun-violence and white supremacy and involved more shoot-outs than crime-solving. I had started falling in love with Isaiah and this plot revealed him as giving in to his vulnerability , losing everything and running away from the hood.

I am not sure if I am going back to read book 2 and 3 in the series.

But I am planning to watch the Peter Wimsey series with Edward Petherbridge as Lord Wimsey just to see if could rekindle that initial spark of love which I felt for him after my first book.

Use Your Little Grey Cells Mon Ami

“My name is Hercule Poirot and I am probably the greatest detective in the world.’

2020 October marks 100 years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles – the book that introduced Hercule Poirot to the world.

Mystery is my favourite genre when it comes to both books and movies and I found Agatha Christie and her crime solving Belgian detective in the vast library of my College in 1989.

Apart from his egg-shaped head, his moustache was also something which fueled my imaginations—  enormous, stiff and military which he used a curling iron for maintaining its perfect upward curl and which got in the way of hot chocolate and soups.

Solving cases with Hercule Poirot has indeed trained my little grey cells so much that half way through any current read, the plot becomes predictable. Even though he rebuked me “Use your eyes. Use your ears. Use your brains—if you’ve got any”, I never could guess even once who did it till his grand reveal in the end. He was my imaginary grandfather who helped me hone my sleuthing skills which I have used many times to solve “Who took the last cookie from the jar?” kind of crimes at home.

I have been on a crime solving spree with many other fictional detectives. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot , Aloysius Pendergast, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache remains my all time favourites.

Here is some trivia for Christie fans

Agatha Christie wrote her first book on a dare. Her sister told her she couldn’t write a mystery novel and she wanted to prove her wrong. Christie came up with the idea for the novel whilst working in a dispensary during WWI.

Her first published Hercule Poirot book was The Mysterious Affair at Styles.It was rejected by many publishers and finally she got paid 25 pound without control or copyright

After her first husband, Archibald, asked for a divorce, Christie disappeared for 10 days. The mysterious disappearance of the mystery writer was on the front page of every newspaper and prompted an extensive manhunt that included thousands of police officers and volunteers. The movie Agatha and The Truth Of murder is an interesting take on her disappearance.

In addition to her prolific production of mystery stories, Christie wrote six romance novels. These novels were published using the pen name Mary Westmacott.

Christie’s preferred methodology for slaying her characters was poison. She had worked in a dispensary during wartime and had knowledge about pharmaceuticals. Rarely did her protagonists carry a gun; her two most famous detectives, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, were virtual pacifists.

Her second husband was an archaeologist and she too became passionate about archaeology. She traveled with her husband for his digs  and their preferred method of transport was frequently the Orient Express, a fact that likely inspired her Murder on the Orient Express.

Sophie Hannah, the bestselling writer of contemporary psychological crime thrillers, was commissioned by Agatha Christie estate for reviving Hercule Poirot and her fourth novel in the series The Killings At Kingfisher Hill was published in August 2020

More facts can be found here