The Five Orange Pips and Other Cases – a review

When the Buzzwordathon prompt in February asked for a book with a colour in the title I had limited choices (looks like the books I pick up don’t match Kayla’s!) so this was my only option, but I wasn’t mad because I adore Sherlock Holmes and I knew I would fly through this!


I’m sure you know the Holmes stories by now, we follow our detective in the 1800s as he uses his powers of deduction and his knowledge of 243 different types of tobacco ash to solve mysteries of death, murder, and deception. Despite being Conan Doyle’s least favourite character to write, he captured the heart of a nation and we would not let him go!

I had read some of these stories not that long ago, when I read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. So I decided to skip over those and pick the ones I hadn’t read this. There were actually one or two new to me in here which was lovely as I had been worried they would all be rereads.

This was exactly what I expected, a fun read, an enjoyable romp through the deductive mind of Holmes/Doyle and I will always enjoy these books!

Highlight here for trigger warnings: death, violence

For my CAWPILE ratings I gave:

Character: 9

Atmosphere: 8

Writing: 9

Plot: 8

Intrigue: 9

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 9

With an overall score of 8.71 which gives me a 4 star rating! I think that’s pretty reflective of how I feel about these, never quite five star reads but always immensely enjoyable!

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – a review

Sherlock. A name synonymous with wit, mystery and a damn good story. Many of us have read these books and I am no exception! I’ve read a good many of the tales within this bind-up before, but not all of them and never together. My lovely mum brought this home for me when she worked in WHSmiths (a bookshop/stationary shop here in the UK) and given that she left that job back in 2014/15 this really took me far too long to read.

The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes (Timeless Classics Complete & Illust -  BookXcess Online

Do I really need to explain Sherlock Holmes to you? Probably not, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle captured the mystery tale with perfection and ease. He didn’t even like writing these books! He found them boring and simple! But they’ve captured the world for over a century after he first wrote the stories and sadly for him they live on forever linked to his name.

With twelve stories in this collection, and the book being A4 sized (a bit bigger than US standard letter paper I believe) this was a surprisingly quick read. As always I speed through Conan Doyle’s writing and find it difficult to put the book down. I love how Watson is utilised in different ways throughout the books, and now that I’ve experienced more adaptations than I had the last time I read these books, I love how the different stories bring to mind different iterations of each character. The BBC Sherlock, CBS’s Elementary, the House of Silk book that Anthony Horowitz published. All of them and more have done great adaptations of these works and I loved seeing the various influences that they pulled for their representations.

If you haven’t ever read a Sherlock book, and if you like a good mystery, I really do recommend picking these up. There are copies everywhere and you’re likely to find one in a secondhand shop with relative ease! It’s definitely worth a shot, as these stories have captured reasons for over a century (despite the authors best efforts!) for a reason.

Poirot’s nursery rhymes


Book 2 in my Buzzwordathon stack was yet another Poirot book, I was really happy that the next book that I owned from Christie had a number in the title! This mystery is from 16 years in the past and Poirot is attempting to see if a woman who was convicted of murdering her husband is actually innocent.

There are as always many twists and turns within this novel which keep you on your toes as the information is slowly dripped through to you. Despite really enjoying these books I never seem to rate them 5 stars, and I think I have finally figured out why. I think it’s because Christie never shows us all of the information until the reveal and so the reader never gets the chance to figure out the plot twist themselves. Despite this, however, I still really enjoy the books and intend to read them all.

I gave this book 3 stars and enjoyed the viewpoint of a long dead case and Poirot’s deduction of the events from fallible memories. Definitely a fun and quick read!

Alphabetised Death

A serial killer is working his way through the alphabet, killing off not only those who’s initials fit his theme, but those with this feature who also live in a town with the same first letter. A very specific event, and to add to this predictability, letters are also sent from the murderer to Poirot before each event! What on earth is occuring?

Agatha Christie does it again, of course! This book, I knew from the title and the cover, was going to be one of my favourites. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did! From the start Christie lets you further in to behind the scenes, similarly as to how the killer lets Poirot in more than usual. However, of course, things are not quite as simple as they seem and multiple twists and turns occur throughout with so many intertwining sections that you’ll need to focus to keep track! But don’t worry, the story is as gripping as always so you’ll have no issue with being completely immersed.

Another greatly enjoyable Christie book, although you guys knew that before even clicking on the review soooooo…. 😀

Poirot and Christie strike again with a peril and a young woman

Yes yes, another Poirot! These are just such easy reads, and while I’m in the end stages of my MSc that’s really what I need if I’m going to read at all (spoiler alert these reviews are normally quite behind my actual reading schedule and I haven’t read anything in weeks. Blimmin’ thesis taking up all my time!!!)

This one really got me riled up at the end, even after reading so many books from Christie in a row she still manages to astound me and take twists that are more than surprising! Of course I won’t spoil the twist but Poirot is helping a young girl who seems to be the target of various failed assassinations for an unknown reason. This specific Poirot novel goes through twists and turns as Christie analyses her view of the young people of her time and that makes it such an interesting read as always. Agatha Christie has such a good understanding of people and how they operate, as shown so clearly in her writing, but she also seems to be fully aware of biases which she may be victim to. This adds another layer of nuance to Poirot and Hastings’ portrayals, done in two very different ways, and I feel like this book is a beautiful example of that.

As always I recommend, I have quite a number of reviews on Agatha Christie’s work at this point so I definitely recommend going through my back-catalogue to find the right one for you!

The Mystery of the Blue Train

The Big Four

Poirot Investigates

The Monogram Murders

The Thirteen Problems

Death in the Clouds

The Mystery of Three Quarters

The Mystery of the Blue Train

Another Poirot! Yes, I always read these bad boys quickly once I get my hands on them. They just fly by!

In this story, Poirot is travelling by train from England to France when a murder occurs onboard, so of course the ever humble Poirot declares himself the only man fit to solve the case and begins to track down clues!

This case had so many twists and turns, and I actually ended up shouting at the book at one point because I had about 3 people that I thought were the murderer! One of those three guesses turned out to be pretty accurate, but the fact that I couldn’t pin the damn thing down speaks to Christie’s genius.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below! I want to know if you guessed the culprit!

Worldwide Crime Syndicate + Poirot = A Damn Good Book

A worldwide crime syndicate which wants Poirot out of its way, as he keeps foiling their plans. Such a classic plot point and I loved it!

This was such a fun read, with so many intense moments and interesting twists and turns. I always feel like my reviews of Christie are too short, but there isn’t all that much to say. Most people know Poirot, they know Christie and they know these classic mysteries. I don’t need to try and sell them as they sell themselves!

So instead, I guess I’ll ask you guys. Do you read any Agatha Christie books? Do you enjoy these sorts of mystery stories? Let me know in the comments!

The First Poirot Short Story Collection!

Book three in the Poirot series, and the first collection of short stories. These tales don’t have any linking between them other than Poirot being the great detective to solve them all!

I love reading Agatha Christie, I speed through the books so fast and struggle to put them down. I really enjoy short story collections as well, and read through those super fast, so this mixture of the two was bound to be a success for me.

The Short Stories:

1. The Adventure of The Western Star
2. The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor
3. The Adventure of The Cheap Flat
4. The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge
5. The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
6. The Adventure of The Egyptian Tomb
7. The Jewel Robbery at The Grand Metropolitan
8. The Kidnapped Prime Minister
9. The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
10. The Adventure of The Italian Nobleman
11. The Case of The Missing Will

I enjoyed all 11 of these and absolutely sped through this book, if you like a traditional mystery then this is an obvious pick up. Although to be fair I don’t need to recommend Christie. I hopefully will be able to read all of her books and complete my collection one day, as I really love her works.

New Poirot popping up

If you read my last post, you’ll know that I apparently needed a lot of Agatha Christie-esque stories in my life right now. But this one is not only Poirot instead of Marple, but it’s also not actually written by Christie! This book has actually been published in the past few years, with an author called Sophie Hannah writing in Christie’s style. Of course this sort of writing comes with risks, but I think Hannah did really well and captured the writing style as much as possible.

I don’t want to say much about the plot itself, as obviously this book is a mystery and I don’t want to spoil it. But I will say that this concept is really cool and something that I enjoyed with it darting around to different locations and having everything all wrapping up together at the end.

I actually read the whole book in one sitting, which doesn’t happen very often anymore as it was engrossing and I just needed to know the ending! This is the first book in a series of new Poirot (and there are at least 3 out so far) so keep an eye out for these guys!!

My first re-read of the year

I’ve been intending to participate with Alex Black’s rereadathon for a few months now (it’s a year long thing) but being away at uni means I don’t have access to all my books so I don’t have anything to re-read! But this re-read ended up being a happy accident. A friend bought me The Thirteen Problems from a charity shop as she knows that I want to read all the Agatha Christie books and I didn’t realise that this was one of the books included in the Miss Marple Short Stories collection. There are other short stories within this collation of works, however, this book is the core part of it. But I did read it again and I really enjoyed it of course!

As I said above, this is a Miss Marple book. In contrast to Poirot, Marple is an old lady who has lived her whole life in a small British town and ergo, when she manages to solve mysteries everyone is shocked. It’s a really fun series and the short story format means that you fly through and get lots of information in one small package.

If you’ve never read Miss Marple before, this short story collection is a great place to start because they all link together into one larger book. They are told from the perspective of people at a “party” taking turns to tell the others about a mystery they’ve encountered and then getting the others to guess who did it. Meaning lots of individual mysteries whilst having them all connected.

I’m glad this was my first book of the re-readathon (I’m counting it and no-one can stop me! Okay maybe Alex can but I don’t think she will haha) and I look forward to reading more Marple in the future!