YVO’S SHORTIES #27: The Orphan’s Tale & Murder On The Orient Express

Another day and another round of Yvo’s Shorties! Bringing you more shortie reviews of books I read during my hiatus. The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff has been on my list for a long time, and turned out to be just as good as I thought it would be. And I have been meaning to read more of Agatha Christie‘s work for a long time, so accidently watching the Murder On The Orient Express movie turned out to be the perfect excuse to do so.


Title: The Orphan’s Tale
Author: Pam Jenoff

Genre: Historical Fiction, War
First published: February 21st 2017
Publisher: Mira Books
Finished reading: May 18th 2018
Pages: 353

“Sometimes our forever life does not last as long as we think.”


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After a very difficult but extraordinary visit to the Auschwitz camps, I wanted to read another historical fiction story set during WWII to commemorate. I was browsing my kindle and my eyes fell on The Orphan’s Tale, a title I have been meaning to pick up for a long time, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do so. While not exactly the story set in one of the camps I was looking for, this story shows the struggle and fear of the Jews trying to hide their true identity. The Orphan’s Tale has a wide variety of different characters and this diversity was one of the reasons this story worked. The circus setting with all its descriptions and opportunities for plot twists and new angles definitely was another key element. The writing is solid and makes it really easy to fully emerge yourself and keep reading to find out what will happen to the main characters. There comes the only minor flaw I experienced myself though: I didn’t agree with every decision of the characters and somehow it wasn’t as easy to get a proper feeling of some of them. This feeling of slight uneasiness and frustration made me lower the rating slightly, but overall The Orphan’s Tale is without doubt among the better WWII historical fiction stories I’ve read to this date.


Title: Murder On The Orient Express
(Hercule Poirot #10)
Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Classics
First published: 1926
Publisher: William Morrow
Finished reading: May 21st 2018
Pages: 256

“I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose their head and do the most absurd things.”


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I’ve been meaning to pick up another Agatha Christie book ever since I finished And Then There Were None back in 2015, but somehow I never did. So I guess accidently watching the Murder On The Orient Express was a blessing in disguise, because since I normally never watch the movie before reading the book, of course I had to immediately remedy that. I had high hopes for the book, and even though I haven’t read the previous Hercule Poirot books yet, I was able to enjoy book number ten anyway. Because Agatha Christie writes in a way that will draw your attention from the start, and she gives just enough background of the main characters to be able to form an idea of their past without the previous books. I still want to read the other nine titles before this one as well of course, and the copies are on my list. But the fact is that Murder On The Orient Express can easily be read as a stand-alone as well and what a good story at that. From the main character to the development of the other characters, the mystery, the way Hercule Poirot conducts his investigation… There is just something about it that will fascinate you completely and any mystery/thriller fan will find themselves flying through it. I personally liked both movie and book equally, although I still wish I would have read the book first, because I had the actors stuck in my head and the descriptions of the characters in the book don’t really match. Thankfully the script itself follows the original plot closely; one of the reasons the adaptation was so successful to me. Murder On The Orient Express has shown me I really need to get copies of more of Agatha Christie‘s books soon, because I have truly been missing out by not reading them.


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BOOK REVIEW: And Then There Were None – by Agatha Christie

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Title: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Classics, Mystery, Thriller
First published: 1939
Finished reading: April 14th 2015
Pages: 300
Rating 5

“But no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is a natural craving for recognition which cannot be gain-said.”

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How I’ve managed to ignore the work of Agatha Christie for so long, I still don’t know. The mystery/thriller genre is one of my favorites, and her work is considered to be a classic… And now I’ve finally read And Then There Were None, I can see why. The prose is simply brilliant and the many plot twists make it hard to lay down this novel before reaching the end. The little Indian nursery rhyme that is revealed in the beginning gives you a glimpse of what will happen later on in the story… And the end is definitely shocking. And Then There Were None has all the ingredients of a great mystery read! Even though it was written back in 1939, the story doesn’t feel outdated. I instantly became an Agatha Christie fan after reading this classic, and I will definitely start reading more of her work in the future.

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Ten people that at first glance don’t seem to have anything in common are invited to spend some time on an island close to the Devon coast. Some of them as employees, other as guests… And none of them seem to have met the mysterious U.N. Ownen before, the man that is supposed to own the island. But still they decided to come, each of them convinced in a different way. When the guests first meet, they start suspecting something is a bit off… Their hosts are still not on the island, and they are greeted by two servants. The ten seem to be alone on the island, and there seems to be no way to go back to main land before the next morning…

There is a nursery rhyme displayed in every bedroom, and ten little Indian figures stand on the table. What do they mean? The guests soon find out they are unwilling participants in a macabre game… As they start dying one by one, and there doesn’t seem to be a way off the island. Is there someone else on the island hidden? Or is there a murderer in their midst? Tick tack, the clock is ticking and time is running out…

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Simply brilliant. And Then There Were None is considered as a modern classic and now I’ve read it, I can understand why. The prose, the plot, the characters, the plot twists… Everything just works together perfectly and makes this novel by Agatha Christie into one of my favorite mystery/thriller reads ever. The nursery rhyme is a great unique touch that definitely adds to the reading pleasure, and the end will blow you away. Definitely recommended for fans of the mystery/thriller genre!

WWW Wednesdays #35 – April 15th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thestorytellerI’ve finally picked up my copy of The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult yesterday. This novel was first chosen with the help of my TBR jar a while back, but at the time I wasn’t in the mood for a historical fiction read… I guess right now I am. 😉 I’m not too far into the story yet, but so far it’s definitely good. I will have to check out more of her work in the future if The Storyteller stays this good!

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

redqueenandthentherewerenoneI managed to finish And Then There Were None yesterday, and I must say I instantly became an Agatha Christie fan. I don’t know how I’ve managed to not read her work for so long, but I will definitely be starting to read more of her novels in the future. I also finished Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard a few days ago. I was afraid this would be yet another overhyped book, but I ended up loving the story. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for the sequel! (Although the estimated publish date is set for 2016 and there isn’t even a title yet; sigh…)

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

evensongSince I will have only three months to complete my Ready For Spring Bingo chart, I decided to pay more attention to the empty squares when deciding my next reads. I picked Evensong by Krista Walsh for the Plants On Cover square… It’s an Amazon kindle freebie I found thanks to the BookBub page. Access at your own risk; this page is dangerous! 😉 Credit goes to Ashley @ Dear World… for first introducing me to that page… Make sure to check out her blog. 🙂

Teaser Tuesdays #38 – April 14th: And Then There Were None

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I started reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie the other day, and so far I’m really enjoying this read. This novel is considered a modern classic and I can definitely understand why. The prose is brilliant and the plot intriguing! The little Indian nursery rhyme that is shown in the beginning gives you a glimpse of what will happen later on in the story… I’m currently about 63% into the story, and since it’s hard to stop reading I will probably end up finishing it later today.

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My teaser (25%):

“A bit unsporting, what?” he said. “Ought to ferret out the mystery before we go. Whole thing’s like a detective story. Positively thrilling.”

What are you reading right now?