The BBC have made a new mini-series, Partners in Crime, out of the Tommy and Tuppence series by Agatha Christie. I have read before that these were Christie’s favourite sleuths to write – and I love them too! Their pluck, banter, relationship and sense of fun make their adventures a delight to read. But apparently, they’ve never quite worked.
The tiepin killer is targeting prostitutes, and on an assignation with a married society portraitist actress Nina Land sees someone who she suspects is him. Meanwhile theatre critic Jimmy Erskine fears his fading career and his long-suffering assistant Tom meets a young woman who helps him after an episode – but we learn she too has secrets – that lead to the killer.
So, I read this book because I thought it looked like an Agatha Christie. And in some ways, it wasn’t far off. The setting and time period were similar, the characters endearing, flawed, dramatic and well painted and the sequence of events gradually affected by the deaths. I was drawn into the stories of the characters – but not so much the mystery.
I have read every Poirot book I’ve ever come across, and watched every TV version I’ve ever come across. I love the world, the characters, the intrigue, the writing and that love for this obsessive rotund Belgian was felt by both my Cockney and genteel Scottish grandmothers.
But hearing that Sophie Hannah has written a new Poirot book leaves me in a quandary.
Where better to read than sat atop a giant book? When I heard about this temporary art exhibition from The National Literacy Trust I decided to hunt them out – and I did! I love the concept and design and hope it will encourage people to read some of these excellent examples of British literature. There are 50 book benches spread around the city and I’ve found three so far – find the rest and more details here.
Whether you’re fleeing the memory of last night’s match or just trying to drown out the sound of any football at all here are five fantastic immersive books to take your mind off things.
These are repeatedly-read books that have managed to transport me to new worlds and fix their place within my favourites. In no particular order.