TBR Thursday 308…

Episode 308

Another massive drop in the TBR since I last reported to 182 – down 4! Which is almost exactly the same number as my abandoned heap has grown by. An odd coincidence, eh?

Here are a few more that will discover their fate soon. Exciting, isn’t it?

Christie Shorts 

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie

Courtesy of HarperCollins. Another of the HarperCollins series of special edition hardbacks of some of Christie’s short story collections, and again much more gorgeous than the cover pic makes it look. I’ve read this collection before but it must have been a long time ago since I haven’t reviewed it on the blog, so I’m looking forward to revisiting it. I also received a copy of The Tuesday Club Murders, which I’ve quite recently listened to on audio and reviewed, under its alternative title, The Thirteen Problems. So I’ll probably save it for a while before reading it again, but do recommend it – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Blurb says: First came a sinister warning to Poirot not to eat any plum pudding… then the discovery of a corpse in a chest… next, an overheard quarrel that led to murder… the strange case of the dead man who altered his eating habits… and the puzzle of the victim who dreamt his own suicide.

What links these five baffling cases? The little grey cells of Monsieur Hercule Poirot!

Contains the stories:
• The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
• The Mystery of the Spanish Chest
• Four-And-Twenty Blackbirds
• The Under Dog
• The Dream

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

Murder in the Basement by Anthony Berkeley

Courtesy of the British Library. The last Berkeley novel the BL re-issued was a standalone, but this one stars his regular amateur ‘tec, Roger Sheringham, whom I’ve encountered before in a few short stories. I’m looking forward to seeing him in action in a full length novel.

The Blurb says: Roger and Molly Dane have something of a surprise in their new house. When Roger explores the basement on return from their honeymoon, he discovers something odd with the flooring. Hoping to find buried treasure, he digs up the body of a woman instead. Chief Inspector Moresby and Roger Sheringham are then left with the task of discovering who the lady was, how she came to be there, and who shot her in the back of the head.

* * * * *

Thriller

The Chateau by Catherine Cooper

Courtesy of HarperCollins. This is another of the unsolicited thrillers they send me from time to time, some of which end up quite quickly on the abandoned heap, and some of which I unexpectedly enjoy! I’m hoping this one will fall into the latter category… 

The Blurb says: They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…

A glamorous chateau

Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.

A couple on the brink

The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.

A secret that is bound to come out…

Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.

The Sunday Times bestseller is back with a rollercoaster read, perfect for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

* * * * *

Dalziel and Pascoe on Audio

The Wood Beyond by Reginald Hill narrated by Jonathan Keeble

Continuing my slow re-read of my favourite crime series of all time. A new narrator has taken over, so I’m hoping I’ll like him as much as I’ve grown to like Colin Buchanan who did most of the earlier books. My memory of this one is that I wasn’t as keen on it as most of the others in this middle section of the series, but it’s a long time since I last read it so we’ll see…

The Blurb says: A ravaged wood, a man in uniform long dead – this is not a World War One battlefield, but Wanwood House, a pharmaceutical research centre. Peter Pascoe attends his grandmother’s funeral, and scattering her ashes leads him too into war-torn woods in search of his great-grandfather who fought and died in Passchendaele. Seeing the wood for the trees is the problem for Andy Dalziel when he finds himself fancying an animal rights activist, despite her possible complicity in a murderous assault and her appalling taste in whisky. A mind-bending puzzle leading us on the wild side of the pastoral.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

44 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 308…

  1. Well, as a former expat to France myself, I thought The Chateau might be amusing. I went in expecting at least a nice feel for location, a satiric swipe at expats and their foibles, an exciting murder mystery… but it was utter drivel.

    Liked by 1 person

        • I always try to read a Dickens over Christmas – it’s a tradition now! The Old Curiosity Shop was last Christmas’s, and the last of his novels I hadn’t read, so they’ll all be re-reads from now on. Fortunately he’s always well worth re-reading!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Absolutely true. I’ve had the chance to read most of his novels and am now planning to try and pick up some of the shorter fiction, sketches, etc. The only one I don’t want to is Edwin Drood since it is incomplete (if it weren’t a mystery, I might have)

            Liked by 1 person

            • I read Edwin Drood many years ago but don’t remember much about it. It’s on my list for a re-read, simply for completion’s sake, but I rather wish publishers wouldn’t publish unfinished novels.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Same here; with some though it doesn’t matter much like Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters which wasn’t missing much and one could well gauge how it would end. But yes, if one can’t figure it out or only part of the book is available, there’s no point. I also don’t much care for ones completed by someone else since they rarely get the same flavour into it

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you have The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding on your list, FictionFan. Those are good stories, and, I think, right for the time of year. And you can’t go wrong listening to a Dalziel and Pascoe story! I’ll be interested, too, in what you think of the Berkeley. I’ve read a few of his Roger Sheringham books, and I wonder what you’ll think of him in a full-length novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m looking forward to The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. A couple of the stories are familiar from appearances in recent anthologies but there are one or two that I don’t really remember at all, which is always fun! This particular Dalziel and Pascoe isn’t a favourite, but even the less loved ones are always good. And the Berkeley should be interesting – I’ve enjoyed him when I’ve come across him in short stories, and of course, I remembered after I’d posted this that he’s in The Poisoned Chocolates Case, which I loved. Fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Always tempted by Christie. As a matter of fact, I just checked out a book called The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries and The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding is in it! I probably won’t read the whole book but I’ll definitely read that story, it’s one I’ve not yet read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, I bought that book a few Christmases ago and, like you, have just dipped into it occasionally. It’s got some great stuff in it! Must have another go this Christmas! I read The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding – the story, not the whole book – today, and it’s a lot of fun! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As with the other Christie collection, I’m sure I may have already read some of these, the Adventure of the Christmas Pudding definitely rings a bell, as does the Thirteen Problems, I’m sure that was on one of my old Hugh Fraser tapes. I’m glad they are all being re-released though, and they’re great for this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get confused because so many of the stories turn up in other anthologies, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read this whole collection before as a collection. There are a couple of stories that I can’t remember much about at all, though, so that’ll be fun. I think it was the Joan Hickson version of The Thirteen Problems I listened to, but that was just a few months ago, so too soon to re-read, I think. I’ll keep it for next year!

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  5. Let’s see… The Poirot collection is one of my favorite Hugh Fraser audiobooks and the D&P is one I’ve read, but don’t remember that well. The Murder in the Basement sounds intriguting, but The Chateau, not so much. Hope all of them hit the spot for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have the old Fontana edition of The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, which for reasons unknown has a very old (early Victorian?) era picture of a woman holding a steamed pudding in a cloth. Even the picture of the cover here, which you say doesn’t do it justice, is more festive – so I’m quite tempted to get this one, and send my copy to the charity shop!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually love the old Fontana ones but I don’t think I have that one. This cover is lovely and the end papers are very Christmassy! I’m thoroughly enjoying re-reading the stories too – it’s been a long time since I last read most of them. 😀

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    • Oh dear, I hate to say it, but I abandoned Learwife very quickly. Don’t let that put you off though – it was simply that I didn’t get on with her poetic style of writing. Plenty of other people are loving it. I hope you enjoy Murder by the Book – highly entertaining! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohhh that Christmas story by Agatha Christie looks fabulous! Have you been saving it up for December – what wonderful timing! There’s something about murder in the holidays that feels so right this time of year hahah

    Liked by 1 person

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