Parker Pyne Investigates : Are You Happy?

I’ve left this alone for so long because to me Agatha was always Poirot or Miss Marple.

I reluctantly read Tommy and Tuppence – and quite enjoyed.

I’d never heard of The Mysterious Mr Quin and when found – he and Mr Satterthwaite became firm faves.

Agatha used her knowledge of the Commedia dell’arte to full here. Harley Quin – the sprite?

Enter Mr J. Parker Pyne.

He’s spent his working life in an office doing statistics.

Not the best blurb for a book cover.

BUT…..I’m really enjoying the 12 stories now. Read by Hugh Fraser aka Captain Hastings of the most relaxing voice ever :o)


That’s what my Nan used to call the radio. But then she was born in 1911 or thereabouts. She was in her 30’s when my mother was born.

Wireless. Wi-fi. Ether messages. Inexplicable. Antiquitech. OR TELEPATHY?

Hamlet got it right when he said ….

“And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

We seem to’ve lost that wonder of the awesome, innate, magical side of life. We seem to’ve lost FAITH.

How? Why? When? Where? Who? What?

I’m tele-pathetic-ally connected to an ego so big that he’ll NEVER admit to the magical, strange etc above his gi-effin’-nor-mous EGO.

Shrug. So be it.

Wealthy Mrs. Harter has a heart condition. Her nephew, Charles, who lives with her, buys her a radio for amusement, but strange messages come from it. Could her dead husband really be sending her messages? And why is he warning that her life is in danger?

F1RST story here. I prefer Christopher Lee reading it but – m’eh.

Standing On the Shoulders of Giants | The Herb of Death

Foxgloves. I love them. Somehow they self-seed and just pop up. We now have two outside the front door. Somehow.

The Herb of Death – a short story by Agatha Christie, a story within The 13 Problems, has a glorious writing device.

Dolly Bantry is unable to tell a story like all the dinner guests. She’s very open and honest about it. So she begins with a short precis and then flounders.

Sir Henry Clithering rescues her by suggesting that she CAN tell the whole story via questions asked by her fellow diners.

Dolly answers. The guests guess. Miss Marple KNOWS.

Love From a Stranger : Lost in Translation

Being a restless and busy person, I have little time to sit and read nowadays. But I love books.

The PERFECT solution for me is audiobooks. I still have a little original ipod that’s easy to carry around in a pocket as I whizz back and forth.

I’ve been listening to many free Agatha Christie short stories on youtube. Philomel Cottage is one that I really liked.

The story became a play. The play became several films. I like the version below because it has Basil Rathbone in (a great Sherlock) and Joan Hickson – whom Mrs Christie herself saw as a perfect Miss Marple…when she was old enough.

Plot Twist coming. After a few minutes from about 48 mins to 52 mins in the film below.

I KNOW that music quite well. And I’ve always hated it when my name was spelled Grieg. Even though I knew the connection. From childhood……or before. 36% Scottish, 29% Scandinavian :o)

Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway (then part of Sweden–Norway). His parents were Alexander Grieg (1806–1875), a merchant and the British Vice-Consul in Bergen; and Gesine Judithe Hagerup (1814–1875), a music teacher and daughter of solicitor and politician Edvard Hagerup.[6][7] The family name, originally spelled Greig, is associated with the ScottishClann Ghriogair (Clan Gregor).[8] After the Battle of Culloden in Scotland in 1746, Grieg’s great-grandfather, Alexander Greig (1739-1803),[9] originally of Aberdeenshire,[10] travelled widely before settling in Norway about 1770 and establishing business interests in Bergen. Grieg’s paternal great-great-grandparents, John (1702-1774) and Anne (1704-1784),[11] are buried in the churchyard of the abandoned Church of St Ethernan in Rathen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.[12]

My thanks to a Wonderwall who showed the very worst of man’s ability to cause pain and anguish.

WHOA : A Poison Pen Letter?

Yup. We’ve just been delivered a poison pen letter.


It’s signed and ends with “I WILL be calling the police. As advised.”


Gotta love a person who gets everything that they demand and then still find fault.

Long story. Total shite. No Case To Answer. Just a poisonous mind from The Church of the Poisoned Mind.

My life is….errr…interesting but full of BS. Fact!

 “To Harlequin the invisible”

Another day of boring chores but my mind has been elsewhere.

In audiobooks and the gold I’ve found therein.

I’m such a lover of Agatha Christie stories but my knowledge has proved to be extremely limited. Do you all know about Mr. Quin and Mr Satterthwaite?

Apparently they were two of Agatha’s fave characters…and she even dedicated her book of short stories – The Mysterious Mr Quin – as shown in the title above.

I’m on only my second story with these two and a thought just struck me. POW!

Harley Quin (Mr Quin) IS the aged Mr Satterthwaite’s subconscious mind.

Harlequin the Invisible appears and disappears at strange times in the old man’s life. And propels Satterthwaite in deep and mysterious adventures.

I’ve not watched the video below yet.

I don’t want any spoilers :o)

Devil’s Breath aka Hyocine

Can’t remember the yt name – youtube free audiobooks or somesuch.

I’m on day three.

About 15 hours of Agatha and a ton of short stories that I’ve never known about before.

Listerdale Mystery, Midwinter Murders.

I’m hooked :o)

Philomel Cottage got me today. Sheesh. It’s a kind of silly story but strangely fas-kin-ating.

Hyocine. I can’t even pretend to understand the video below. I failed chemistry. We were too interested in what a bunsen burner could do and breathing in the asbestos mats underneath them. Aha. That explains too much about my mental health (!)

Philomel Cottage is all about The Power of Suggestion

Three Blind Mice

I usually love the quiet.

But today I had something to do that was complicated and not much looked forward to so I put on a yt free audiobook in the background to keep me going.

Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie.

It’s a series of short stories. Some I know and some I’ve never heard of. The First Story – Three Blind Mice – was totally new. And thoroughly gripping.

Deep mid-winter. A newly married couple who knew little about each other (but it was just after WW2 and so many were damaged by what they’d experienced.)

Molly and Giles are given a gift via a relative of Molly’s. A manor house. They decide to sell it and then (after a few real life realisations) decide to keep it. Victorian furniture and all and set up a Guest House. Charging 7 guineas a week. Meanwhile – in London – there has been the strange and mysterious murder of a woman.

Molly and Giles have no idea what they are doing and accept a few bookings, even though the area is in the grip of 5ft snow drifts and they are almost out of coke to fire the central heating.

Enter a cast of strange characters.

I was entranced….until the end.

If you know Agatha’s work and I say – Poirot’s Christmas, The Mouse Trap, a touch of Endless Night, Greenshaws Folly – you’ll understand the feeling of OK. Whatever.

But I’d still recommend :o)

On to the second story. Oh. I know that one. On to the third story.

And Then There Were None : A Follow Up of 12 Angry Men

This is beyond PC but I respect her for it.

I took this book out of Amesbury Library in the early 90’s and read it….The Original Title.

Only Owen Benjamin (White American Male) is allowed to unashamedly say that word out loud today.

My childhood dog – a black Labrador was called the Blankety Blank N-word.

This is such a powerful book. But read an original edition for the full meaning.


BTW – I don’t see skin colour. I just see good people and bad people. FACT!

He Knows Me Too Well!


We watched the video below very early this morning.


My comment : 28 hours…I’d not even bother to sleep. Too much to see.

His Comment : You’d NEVER eat all that food.

His eyes were huge watching. Caviar on tap. Lobster. Caviar. And a whole caviar menu.


But French bread and saffron butter and croissants and Veuve Cliquot are nice!

I’d be so high on champagne, running up and down the whole train and looking into everything and quoting scenes from all three Murder on the Orient Express films + book that I may’ve been thrown off about 5 miles outta Calais.


P.S. One single word came up with us throughout the entire video.


Watch and see.

Oh. Hello…Ranty Review by Books Like Whoa

I was caught by an advert today for this film. Much as I looooove KenBran, French & Saunders, any film with Russell Brand in is an IMMEDIATE GTFouttaHere vibe to me.

He’s NOT a nice person.

But then, being NOT NICE is what everyone aspires to now…It totally fills up the bank account, yes?

P.S. You know those faces (R.Brand) that you just want to slap from here until next 12th of Never? ? ?

Meanwhile – back with the very nice Oh. Hello :o)

Why is Cottagecore so Gay?


I must’ve been “Gay” all my life and never knew it.

That’s a bummer.

I’ve done ALL that Rowan describes, all of my life.

OK. That’s me out of the wardrobe.


I’m also a huge Agatha Christie fan and she uses “GAY” to mean happy & “QUEER” to mean strange.

BTW : When I was 6 years old and we had to live with Nan for a while before moving to Scotland, I gathered all the fallen petals from her roses and squished them into a jar of water – to make rose water.

I made a jar full of stinky sludge :o)

A Train Writes History

I have such a love for train travel.

Maybe because my Dad did not learn to drive until he joined the Civilian Police aged 30.

We went everywhere by train until I was 8 years old.

From Devon to the Arbroath, East Scotland – From Arbroath to Lincolnshire and all train stations in between.

From the age of 17 to 21, I was still travelling everywhere by train, plane, ferry.

Of all the train journeys in existence, the one from London to Istanbul and back is my DREAM.

On the train that Wrote History :oP

P.S. It’s been almost a week and I’m still only half way through this but I’m on a train vibe today…….Sherlock incoming

Was That a Ghost?

I’m still stunned by that comment to my son…about me!

I’ve been rather pale (but always interesting!) for over a week now.

Something doesn’t like me eating. Use your imagination.

So, yes, I did look like an effing ghost :o(

The ghost of Jacqueline de Bellefort?

I’ve just seen an advert for this. February….Wooohooo !

P.S. I once told the French Gendarme girl who was taking a statement from me in Paris, for a judge, that she’d spelled my name wrong. She told me that this was the way they spell it in FRANCE.

That shut me up :o)

Your Baby Has Gone Down The Plughole

The video is no longer available.

When the perp is about to be hanged and sings this song.


Someone else seems to be skinny and thin. His mate earns 10 times more a week than he does. His like ratio is high. His comment ratio is VERY HIGH but…his views are now VERY LOW.

Mmmmn. Propped up by his merry band of mods, methinks. ‘Cos no one else is allowed inside this sacred, hallowed ground (?)

Hey. If that’s the way y’all swing your pants – keep swinging mes braves :o)

Oh. Where was I?


Oh. Hello !

P.S. The Shakespeare quote in the above is from Julius Caesar. Spoken by Et Tu Brute aka Brutus. One of the assassins.


Agatha Christie. Wow. She KNEW how to use words.

Murder on the Orient Express.

The link?

Youngest son needed a set of socket ratchets. Today his S3COND delivery came. With the right sizes.

Effing computer blowing pictures up and lying about the measurements. Anyways – his job accomplished…finally :o)

OMG. 2017? This was my son’s birthday present to me. Tickets to watch the film in Lincoln……see image above (?)

Pale Horse vs Ashen Horse & Hell vs Hades

Oooh. Another Revelation.

In searching for an image to go above this post I had a choice. I chose the one I KNOW.

But times and words and meanings have changed…

I’ve learned so much from Agatha Christie.




Oh. I have NEVER subscribed to the Mandeloooop Effect. It reminds me too much of Lawyers in Court arguing about FALSE MEMORIES in order to totally total a viable witness. Or NARCS who will go to court and swear on the Bible that they NEVER EVER said what you’ve just accused them of. It must be YOUR faulty memory and not their FAULT!

What Connects Poirot & Macbeth?

Kenneth Branagh?

YES. Too Obvious though.

It’s a quote. See above.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is one of those books that I like slightly less than the David Suchet TV version.

Only slightly.

It is such a fitting book for me to listen to tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Christmas Eve….!

I love Mara though.


Dissing The All-American Hero!

Why does nobody tell me these things?

Sheesh. I’ve just come across the book above. OhMyGiddyAunt.

In the depths of the Depression, millions worldwide followed every twist and turn of the Lindbergh baby kidnap/murder. Yet what was reported was largely fake news. Nearly a century after undocumented immigrant Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the dastardly crime, questions still linger. If the wrong man was convicted, who did it? When? Why? Where? How? The shocking answers this book suggests have eluded all prior authors. Extensive research into dusty archives yielded crucial forensic evidence never before analyzed. Readers are invited to reexamine “the crime of the century” with fresh eyes focused on a key suspect – a tall man wearing a fedora that obscured his face. He was spotted with a ladder in his car near the Lindberghs’ driveway early that fateful night. The police let an insider who fit that description oversee the entire investigation – the boy’s father, international hero Charles Lindbergh. Abuse of power, amorality and xenophobia all feature in this saga set in an era dominated by white supremacists and social Darwinists. If Lindbergh was Suspect No. 1, the man who got away, what was his motive? Who else was involved? Who helped cover up the crime? Read this book and judge for yourself.

All I know about Lindbergh is through my knowledge of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. The kidnapping of the child had only recently happened when she (Agatha) was travelling home on that famous train and decided to combine her real life experiences (being stuck in a snowdrift in Yugoslavia) with the latest news.

But…Oh. Was Lucky Lindy REALLY that nasty? Was his first born…born with rickets and other issues? Was Charles really a Eugenicist who believed that he had PERFECT sperm? Did he really say in public that America should let England be over-run by Germany?

Heyho. Learning something new every day :o)

THREE SECRET FAMILIES IN GERMANY ? ? ? Wow. He was a one-man sperm factory.

Journey : Marrows/Boyzone/Poirot

I’m not making this up!

My Nan had a meal that she’d cook us. Stuffed marrows. She used Grandad’s marrows out of the garden, boiled some mince and STUFFed. It was revolting. Sorry, Nan. Marrows are 99% flavourless water.

OK. Nan’s daughter, my Mum was a HUGE fan of Coronation Street. So I got to know this soap opera quite well as a child/teenager/adult.

And then – Corrie went all bent out of shape with dark, crazy storylines and…a member of Boyzone as a major new character. AND Nigel Havers whose sexual activities are shagtastic. Even he admits this!

Don’t get me wrong – I love Boyzone.


The girl in the video below the video below will explain. Maybe. Shrug.

Pssst. I KNOW whodunnit. It was the marrow :o)

The Cult of IAGO

For some reason, of all the Shakespeare characters, Iago fascinates me the most. And I don’t mean that in a good way!

Iago-ism is RAMPANT in the world today. Well, it always has been been but TODAY this energy is suffocating.

We all know many an Iago-ist.

The ear whisperer with gilded tongue and poisoned kiss and empty promise and ….BOOM!


I’ll approach this character by two routes. KenBran is self-explanatory to those who know me…… :o)

BUT – what about Agatha Christie’s final Poirot book?

She wrote Curtain very early and locked it in a safe for 3 decades because her readers loved Poirot so much. And she hated him so much.

Curtain contains an Iago whose whispers result in the most UNEXPECTED murder EVER!

WARNING ; Mara does spoilers in the video below the video below.

Ruy Lopez Opening

It took me a long time to finish this round of The Big Four audiobook listening!

I’ve always wanted to know about the Ruy Lopez opening and why it was used to camouflage the non-chess expert in the book.

I’ve never played a game of chess in my life. I’ve never had someone in my life who had the patience to teach me…I ask too many questions.

OK. I understand the tactics (ish) let’s hear the History (?)

Thank you

The Big Four

I’ve been listening to this book every night since last Tuesday.

It’s probably the 4th time (no pun intended) that I’ve listened. I fall asleep. Lose my place. Miss lots of stuff..

This is one of the few AC books that I didn’t read before watching David Suchet’s rendition on TV.

Uuurm. I have to say that I prefer the book.



P.S. Linked to image above – I was stupid enough to try Sophie Hannah’s “new” Poirot mystery. I didn’t get past chapter one. I may have to try again…sometime!

Correcting Myself on My Secret Pash


I was so wrong about the Flash Pash for Timothy Dalton. I’d seen him before. In Agatha.

He and Vanessa had a passionate affair for a long , long while.

I cannot believe he is 75 now.

Agatha. 1979.

I’ve read so much about AC. Biographies, her auto-bio, her writing notebooks…a book about the TRUTH of those 11 missing days.

11 Days.

I’m not so sure about that truth as now told. Yes, her husband was bonking a younger model whom he later married. But Agatha kept her married name.

She wanted to kill Nancy? I think NOT!

Kinema in the Woods

This is my local cinema. I’ve been watching films here since I was 10 years old.

And I brought my kids back to my childhood….well almost teenage…home, so they’ve watched many films here too.

It’s about 5 miles away. Just down the road from the Petwood Hotel. Most famously famous for housing the Dam Busters AND GUY GIBSON of Nigger dog fame. From whence the name of the Black Labrador that I grew up with was called. NIGGER. NIGGER. NIGGER.

My dog was called Nigger.

As in Agatha Christie’s Ten Little NIGGERS which became PC’d to And Then There Were None.

BTW : I was given a Black Doll Girl for my 5th birthday and my favourite bed companion throughout my childhood was a Golliwog. Much the same as the one on the image above.

Take that as y’all will. Sigh.

I saw NO offence then and see NO offence now.

The Mystery of the Blue Train

In the David Suchet show, this episode has a scene where Kettering (husband) and La Roche (lover) play cards on the train.

It’s pivotal to the story.


Know when to hold them, know when to fold them comes to my mind :o)

P.S. Ruth is played by the same actress who plays Stacey in Hustle. Jaime Murray!

Death In The Clouds

There are very few people who INSPIRE me now. As in, they make me move forward.

I’m about – hang on, just checking, 50 minutes into the latest Owen Benjamin stream and BLOW DART hit home.

WOW. He’s one effing switched on man. In my humble opinion.

Most others just make me go SIGH. Really. Same Old. Same Old.


This great OH. HELLO . Girl gives away no spoilers.

Y’all’ll have to read the book. And then Agatha Christie taking the piss out of herself via Ariadne Oliver about the length of the BLOW DART.

Shrug. Only a few can make the links.


Oh. Hello: Lord Edgware Dies Day 8

God’s Honest. I’m on about day 7 or 8 of my audiobook.

Like I don’t know the story…that’s not the point.

What is piddling me off is the fact that I’m so fatigued by the end of the day, when I snuggle down in bed with my ipad and audiobook – I fall asleep about 2 paragraphs in.

Next night. Rewind. Rewind to a scene I remember. Hit play. Listen. Toss. Turn……..zzzz!


This is a good book. Read by Hugh Fraser aka Captain Hastings.

BTW – it was filmed under it’s other title 13 at Dinner with Faye Dunaway as Jane and DAVID SUCHET as Inspector Japp.

Suchet says that this is his most pathetic role ever and he is ashamed of his performance.

Maybe watch the episode where he plays Poirot ?

Pilar Estravados 

Yet again, I’m being shown my total slowness and stupidity.

It has been there in front of me the whole time time.

SMH and bow it in shame.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is a wonderful book. And the TV adaptation is too.

What I failed to see was that KenBran’s film changed the Swedish Greta Ohlsson (brilliantly played by Swedish Ingrid Bergman years before) with Penny Cruz (Spanish) named after the Spanish imposter in the book mentioned above.

Clever. Very clever.

Sheisters. Merde :o)

Five Little Pigs

This is probably my favourite David Suchet Poirot episode.

Not only is it beautifully filmed but also perfectly cast.

If you’ve never read the book nor seen this show…the misinformation is placed perfectly. The mental illusions are superb. The entire story is so poignant.

It’s all Alright. It’s ALL alright.

The Pale Horse

I did not even know that there was a new adaptation of this book.

I’ve just watched the trailer below and was beyond piddled off.

The old TV adaptation that put Miss Marple in the limelight was bad enough but this one….WoW!

If my kids were much younger, I’d NEVER recommend this show to them.



Meanwhile : back in the land of the Non_TV Drama girl…..