Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's time for the Book Blogger Hop with Jennifer at Crazy for Books. You get the whole weekend to browse various other blogs and all book genres. Believe me you will be chatting up a new friend immediately.

This week's burning question: Do you have any pets?
Answer: Yes! I have this blog's namesake, the gato otherwise known as Kitty. He helps me select a new book to read each week. Kitty and I also share our home with our dog, Sadie.

Kitty otherwise known as The Gato

The lovely Sadie

I recently completed a review of And Then There Were None by the master of mystery, Dame Agatha Christie. To read it, just click here!

The Gato, Sadie and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: And Then There Were None

The Backstory: Who hasn't enjoyed a well crafted mystery, especially one by the master herself, Agatha Christie. I have gotten to know the characters of Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and Tommy and Tuppence through the written word and of course through the PBS Mystery series. Unfortunately, it's been way too long since I've read a Christie novel so when I saw And Then There None at a local used book sale, I was beside myself with anticipation.

Ten visitors to a remote island off the Devon coast are about to face their worst nightmares. They each have something fuzzy in their past. Some try to forget while others try justify the event in their minds. Upon reaching their destination they discover that their host/hostess is not on the island. As dinner winds up on their first evening, a clear and mysterious voice seems to come out of nowhere and addresses each guest in turn with shocking news of their past crimes. Justice has come calling and the first death occurs that evening as they struggle to come to grips with what is happening.

Eventually, the group comes to the realization that the murderer is one of them and this is where the story get very tense with each person suspecting the other. One by one they meet the fate that was planned for each of them until...there were none.

How we find out who the murderer is may be a bit fanciful but then again he did declare he was a romantic. I said he, but could it have been a she?

My Take: Imagine you get an invitation to Kim Kardashian's wedding except the invitation is not from the bride but a dear long lost friend of yours who invites you to come as her guest. Never mind that it's been forever that you've seen this friend and actually you're just a bit hazy as to how you met or know her - it's Kim K's wedding and you are so there!

Ten people also say yes to similar invitations and find themselves lured to a private island where one by one, like a ticking time bomb, they fall prey to murder. Rretribution is being meted out and planned to unfold according to an old nursery rhyme. Frankly, how anyone could call this a nursery rhyme is beyond me. You can read it here.

This book has held up since it was first published in 1939. I first read it as a young teen in the 60s and it creeped me out. Guess what, it is still creepy and it is still a spectacular read. If you haven't read this book I highly recommend it. You'll discover what great mystery writing is all about.

Book Quotes: It's mad! - absolutely mad - we're all mad ..... I've no doubt in my mind that we've been invited here by a madman - probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic ..... Ten people dead on an island and not a living soul on it. It doesn't make sense.

Author: Agatha Christie

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Agatha Christie is the best selling author of all time with William Shakespeare the best selling author of any type.

Agatha Christie describes her childhood as being a happy one but during a particular period in her adult life things turned out to be as mysterious and full of drama as her books.

During the First World War, Christie worked as a hospital nurse a job and later at a hospital pharmacy which would become critical to her writing as most of the murders that occur in her books feature poison as the cause of death.

On Christmas Eve 1914, Agatha married Archibald Christie and eventually had one child, a daughter. In 1926 after an argument with her husband in which he revealed he had a mistress, he left their home. Later that same evening Agatha also left their home leaving behind a note for her secretary. Despite a massive manhunt she wasn't found for 11 days. In 1930 Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowen and by all accounts their marriaged was a happy one until Christie's death in 1976.

A very proper young English lady. Doesn't she look great?

Advice on Writing: The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.

A Side Dish of Controversy: I knew that there was some controversy with what I thought was the original title of this book, Ten Little Indians but there was an even more distasteful title that you can read about here. I think you will be more than a little shocked as I was.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Ready for another weekend of Book Blogger Hopping? Join us over at Jennifer's Crazy for Books and get ready to make new friends at the Hop. All genre's are represented so you'll be able to find to find a new friend easy.

This week's mind blowing question: Let’s talk crazy book titles! Highlight one or two (or as many as you like!) titles in your personal collection that have the most interesting titles!

My answer: Well, perhaps not crazy titles but I do have a few titles that are a play on words like, Sticks and Scones by Diana Mott Davidson or how about Claws and Effect by Rita May Brown.

As I write this there are 163 entries on the Blog Hop so make sure you're next! You have until Monday to participate, so get hopping!

In the meantime, the Gato and I would like to introduce you to two kitties who wanted to be a part of the Book Fiend's Gallery. Madlynn (top kitty) McKaela (below) live with their family that includes an African Gray parrot named Willie and a soon-to-be little sibling who arrives in March. Everyone is over the moon!

If you have a cat who is just itching to join the Book Fiend's Galley, just drop me a note. The more the merrier!

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

I'm happy to be joining up with Jennifer at Crazy for Books once again! If you haven't already go visit with Jennifer and meet up with your fellow book bloggers for some fun.

This week's question is...

Question: What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?

Answer: I really don't know. Perhaps the latest Elizabeth Peters.

You can check my latest cozy mystery review, Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson right here!

Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson

The Back Story: I read my first Goldy Schulz mystery back in the 90s when we did a book swap at work. I got my hands on Catering to Nobody the first book in the series. It was the first time I had heard of a cozy culinary mystery. I loved it; still love it, though I’ve yet to make one of the recipes!

Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson

This is not Goldy’s first turn at the rodeo but she does get a few surprises thrown at her. Goldy, a Colorado Caterer and owner of Goldilock’s Catering “where everything is just right,” finds herself in a bear of job. Simply put, why did she decide to cater the wedding reception of Bridezilla Billie, a spoiled, indulgent little rich girl? They make reality shows about girls like Billie. Unfortunately for Goldy, her penchant for espresso is not going to help this case one bit.

The sudden death of Aspen Meadows’ beloved doctor in a car crash is thought to be an accident but was it really murder? Goldy’s godfather Jack is convinced that is the case as the doc was investigating some shady goings on at the Golden Gulch Spa. So Goldy slips into her chef‘s whites and does a little digging at the spa where she also happens to be catering Bridezilla Billie’s reception.

My Take: If they did a reality show about bridezillas – oh wait, they do! – then this bride would take home the cake! I have enjoyed Goldy’s adventures in the past but perhaps it has become a little too familiar for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a girl who can make lemonade when life throws her lemons and then some. But I missed Tom, Arch and Marla and wish they weren’t relegated to the background so much but I did enjoy meeting Yolanda, a spitfire of a chef.

About the Author:

Diane Mott Davidson is the author of 16 cozy mysteries with a culinary theme featuring Goldy Schulz. Mott Davidson studied political science at Wellesley College and interestingly enough lived across the hall from Hillary Clinton. I’m assuming there was no cookie baking going on in the dorms! You can visit with Diane at her Harper Collins website or follow her on Facebook.