TBR Thursday (on a Friday) 350 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 350

(A reminder of The People’s Choice plan. Once a month, I shall list the four oldest books on the TBR, then the next four, and so on, and each time you will select the one you think I should read, either because you’ve read and enjoyed it, or because you think the blurb looks good. And I will read the one you pick within three months! If I begin to fall behind, I’ll have a gap till I catch up again. In the event of a tie, I’ll have the casting vote.)

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OK, People, time for another batch of four – still in 2020, and all from authors I’d previously enjoyed and want to read more of. I like to run three months ahead with these polls, so the winner will be a December read. Rodney Stone is on the list because I keep meaning to read more Conan Doyle beyond the Holmes stories. After I re-read Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, I briefly thought it would be fun to re-read all her books in order – the idea only lasted about ten seconds, but long enough to add her second book, The Murder on the Links, to my TBR! I randomly pick up any Maigrets that turn up as Kindle deals, which is why Maigret and Monsieur Charles got onto my list. And I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of Naguib Mahfouz’ Cairo trilogy, Palace Walk, so added the second part, Palace of Desire.

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…


Rodney Stone by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Added 28th February 2020. 219 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.63 average rating. 264 pages.

The Blurb says: Rodney Stone and his best friend, Jim Harrison—the relative of a blacksmith and former boxer—have always been drawn to dark and dangerous places. When they wander into Cliffe Royale, an old, deserted mansion that was the scene of a gruesome murder fifteen years earlier, they’re both frightened and strangely excited to cross paths with a ghostly figure.

Before they can identify who the ghost is and what it wants, Rodney’s wealthy uncle, Sir Charles Tregellis, arrives in Brighton and leaves later with Rodney in tow. Rodney soon learns that Tregellis, a typical dandy, is connected to just about everyone in London and has focused his attention on an upcoming boxing match to be witnessed by thirty thousand spectators. If Tregellis’ unnamed challenger wins the fight, it could mean grave trouble for Tregellis and everyone he’s associated with—including Rodney.

Distracted by the upcoming fight, Rodney almost forgets about the chilling discovery he made at Cliffe Royale with Jim—until the past comes back to haunt them all.

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Vintage Crime

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Added 20th March 2020. 72,630 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.86 average. 220 pages.

The Blurb says: Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to France after receiving a distressing letter with a urgent cry for help. Upon his arrival in Merlinville-sur-Mer, the investigator finds the man who penned the letter, the South American millionaire Monsieur Renauld, stabbed to death and his body flung into a freshly dug open grave on the golf course adjoining the property. Meanwhile the millionaire’s wife is found bound and gagged in her room. Apparently, it seems that Renauld and his wife were victims of a failed break-in, resulting in Renauld’s kidnapping and death.

There’s no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger served as the weapon; his embittered son, who would have killed for independence; and his mistress, who refused to be ignored – and each felt deserving of the dead man’s fortune. The police think they’ve found the culprit. But Poirot has his doubts. Why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse…

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Vintage Crime

Maigret and Monsieur Charles by Georges Simenon

Added 19th April 2020. 628 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.88 average. 167 pages.

The Blurb says: When an elegant but nervous woman appears in Inspector Maigret’s office and reports her rich and successful husband missing, Maigret and Lapointe find themselves on the trail of a man leading a double life: a prominent Parisian solicitor by day, a playboy known as “Monsieur Charles” by night.

In Simenon’s final novel featuring Inspector Maigret, the famous detective reaches a pivotal moment in his career, contemplating his past and future as he delves into the Paris underworld one last time, to investigate the case of a missing lawyer.

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Historical Fiction

Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz

Added 27th April 2020. 9,109 ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.24 average. 432 pages. 

The Blurb says: The sensual and provocative second volume in the Cairo Trilogy, Palace Of Desire follows the Al Jawad family into the awakening world of the 1920’s and the sometimes violent clash between Islamic ideals, personal dreams and modern realities.

Having given up his vices after his son’s death, ageing patriarch Al-Sayyid Ahmad pursues an arousing lute-player – only to find she has married his eldest son. His rebellious children struggle to move beyond his domination as they test the loosening reins of societal and parental control. And Ahmad’s youngest son, in an unforgettable portrayal of unrequited love, ardently courts the sophisticated daughter of a rich Europeanised family.

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

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(Click on title and then remember to also click on Vote, or your vote won’t count!)

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39 thoughts on “TBR Thursday (on a Friday) 350 – The People’s Choice…

  1. Palace of Desire gets my vote! Though I have to say I have been reading the Christies (mostly) in order for the past few years, and it is a very enjoyable project – though quite an undertaking because she wrote so many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still quite fancy the idea of reading the Christies in order but I don’t think I have the willpower! I’ll be quite happy if Palace of Desire wins. I need to read it soon or I’ll have completely forgotten what happened in the first book!


  2. I voted for Palace of Desire as it sounds interesting and you said you liked the first book. I love Christie, as you know, but The Murder on the Links isn’t one of my favourites. Simenon is always good, though, and the Conan Doyle sounds intriguing, so hopefully you’ll enjoy whichever one is chosen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t read The Murder on the Links for many years, which suggests it wasn’t a favourite for me either although I don’t remember it much now. I’ll be quite happy if Palace of Desire wins – I need to read it soon anyway or I’ll have forgotten what happened in the first book!


    • Yes, they all look good this month! I’ll be quite happy if Palace of Desire wins. I’ll need to read it soon anyway or I’ll have completely forgotten what happened in the first book!


  3. I wouldn’t have anticipated this, but after looking into each of the titles, it was the ACD story which most appealed to me and got my vote. I especially liked the historical context and the ‘things to learn’ aspect of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad – I was frightened for a while that poor ACD wasn’t going to get any votes at all! It’s not going to win, bar a miracle, but I really must read more of his stuff. He’s such a great storyteller, and he himself preferred his historical fiction to his Holmes stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I voted for the Maigret, because I always want to see reviews of those books. I have read so few of them (in the last few years). But you should definitely read Murder on the Links and I would like to see what you think of it, so either would be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, Maigret and the Christie are tying for top place at the moment, so it could still go either way! I’ll be happy with either of them – I always love Christie, and I’ve been enjoying dipping into the Maigrets recently.


    • I think everyone’s been torn between those two this week – they’re tying for the lead! I’ll be happy with either of them. Christie’s always a winner, and although the Maigrets can be variable I always find something in them to enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

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