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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Music Shop: A Novel
Rachel Joyce
The Vintage Bradbury: The greatest stories by America's most distinguished practioner of speculative fiction
Ray Bradbury
Peanuts Classics
Charles M. Schulz
Progress: 66 %
The Bungalow Mystery
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Bungalow Mystery #3
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
Progress: 204/204 pages

After the Funeral ★★★★☆

After the Funeral (Audio) - Agatha Christie, Hugh Fraser

This is the third Agatha Christie novel I’ve read, and I’ve definitely passed the threshold from wary curiosity to fandom. The first two (And Then There Were None; Orient Express) were so famous that even a detective mystery averse reader like me knew of them, but I’d never heard of this one. It was almost as good. The characters were fun, the mystery was interesting, and the whodunnit was a surprise, but definitely not a cheat.


I will say that I was a little surprised at the attitude towards women expressed throughout the story. Especially women “of a certain age”. Especially women who are childless. Especially unmarried women. I know it’s at least partly a function of the time in which it was written. I get – even expect – it as coming from particular characters, but it was so pervasive that I can’t help but wonder if it reflects the author’s beliefs as well, which would be disappointing to me, especially because I enjoy the female characters she creates, across the spectrum from hysterical and useless to strong and competent, from ignorant to intelligent. It’s a puzzle to me, but maybe it will become more clear as I read more in her body of work.


I am becoming even more fond of Poirot. He really is delightfully arrogant. Even his mustaches are delightfully arrogant.



Audiobook via Audible. I’m so glad I spent the Audible credit on this one. I could fall in love with Hugh Fraser’s voice. I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Terrifying Women Authors: mystery, horror, suspense or supernatural written by women.