Thank you for all your thoughtful and kind comments on my last post. Things haven't got any better, in fact, they're a whole lot worse. We got called into the hospital on Tuesday to see the consultant who basically told us that my dad isn't going to get better. They've now referred him to the palliative care team in the hospital and are keeping him as comfortable as they can with pain relief. We're allowed to visit for as long as we want and as often as we want, though only one person at his bedside at any one time. His deterioration since his hospital admission on the 30th of May is drastic. He was unable to speak when I visited yesterday and I'm not even sure he's fully aware. It's such a very sad time.
It was back in 2015 when I started my Agatha Christie challenge. I wrote about my 2015 Challenges, one of which was to read all sixty six of Agatha Christie's murder/mystery novels in chronological order.
I started with the very first novel Christie had published, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which she wrote in the middle of the First World War in 1916, and which was first published in the United States in October 1920. Quite fitting that I've come to the end of my challenge exactly one hundred years after that first book was published. I decided that I'd read one book each month, in between reading other authors. I'm pleased to say that I kept on track with this, sometimes reading more than one each calendar month, but then I might go a month or two without reading any, but I've just read her last published novel, Sleeping Murder, so I've averaged exactly one book each month. At this rate, sixty six titles equals five and a half years, which is quite a long challenge, but one I've enjoyed.
Although Sleeping Murder was Christie's last published novel, it wasn't the last one she wrote. It was set in the 1930's, written during the Second World War and published posthumously after her death.
Looking now at the list of titles of all sixty six books, some are definitely more memorable than others. There were a couple of real duds in my opinion, Endless Night particularly springs to mind, and some which I definitely enjoyed more than others. Particular favourites are And Then There Were None and Evil Under The Sun. I really enjoyed the one I've just finished too, Sleeping Murder, though I did guess the murderer very near the start. I must have found a knack to solving these crimes after reading all sixty six books.
Christie created some fabulous characters. She had three particular collections, those featuring Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective with the egg-shaped head, Miss Jane Marple, the elderly spinster who lives in the village of St.Mary Mead, and Tommy and Tuppence, the 'Young Adventurers' who appeared in four novels and a short story collection. Of course, there were many other characters who appeared regularly throughout her books, Hastings, Ariadne Oliver, Inspector Japp and Superindendent Battle to name just a few. You often find that people who have read a number of her books have a particular favourite from Poirot and Miss Marple, I have to say that I do enjoy the Miss Marple stories, but Poirot is my favourite.
I've got a couple of short story collections by Agatha Christie which are sitting on my bookshelf so I shall read these at some point, but my challenge has now come to an end. I've enjoyed this little venture so much that I'd like set myself another reading challenge but what that will be, I've no idea just yet.
Agatha Christie is such a popular author, she began writing during the First World War. Postern of Fate was the last book she wrote before her death in 1976, but Curtain: Poirot's Last Case, which was written in the 1940s, was published in 1975 before her death, and as mentioned previously, Sleeping Murder was published posthumously in 1976. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in 100 foreign countries. Her books are outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. As well as her crime novels and short story collections, she also wrote nineteen plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.
How about you? Have you read any Agatha Christie books? Which ones have you read and did you enjoy them? Do you have any particular favourites?
So sorry about your dad, Jo. Hugs to you from me. As for AC - I confess I haven't read any of her books.ReplyDelete
It's sad when you reach the end of a set of books, and in this case no chance for any more to be published. Are you going for another set of classics? If you fancy American crime, there is a set of 25 books by Sue Grafton, all with the same private investigator, Kinsy Millhone, starting with A for Alibi to Y is for yesterday, they are the ABC set, sadly there is no Z, Sue passed away before finishing it and her wish was for it not to be published after her death, she also refused to allow her books to be made into TV series, and her family respect her wishes.ReplyDelete
It's so sad regarding your dad, I am glad you can visit whenever you need, but it's still hard, you can't visit your brother, it's a time when you should support each other, and your own family as they need support.
I'm not sure about what my next reading challenge will be yet. I have heard of Sue Grafton's books before and how good they are, I shall have to take a look at them.Delete
I'm so sorry Jo. It's awful watching the end of a loved one's life, feeling so helpless and sad, but at the same time wanting their suffering to end.ReplyDelete
I think I've read all AC's books, poirot is my favourite.
Sorry to hear about your father and thank goodness you are allowed to visit now.ReplyDelete
A 5 year challenge is quite an achievement - well done. I just read my first Tommy and Tuppence book - have read the majority of her others back in the 70s.
Jo, I am so desperately sorry to read this, even though it is probably what many of us were expecting 😢ReplyDelete
I wish there was something I could say that could ease your pain, or take away some of the hurt. When I was struggling with my own grief last year you wrote some beautiful things, kind & thoughtful words that made me cry and helped greatly, and yet this morning I don’t know how to repay the kindness you showed me.
I can only think of your Dad - with a family who have never let him down, never let him struggle alone, never stopped caring for him, never stopped loving him. That is a gift and blessing that so many people, not just the elderly, never experience. I hope one day the knowledge that you are such a brilliant daughter to him will give you some comfort. Much love. xx
So sorry to hear about your Dad - I hope he will be kept as pain free as possible.ReplyDelete
My favourites by Agatha Christie are Death on the Nile, Sleeping Murder and Nemesis. I do like all of the Miss Marple books though and have enjoyed the Joan Hickson dramatisations over the years (even if elements of the stories are changed slightly). When I read a Miss Marple story, I always think of Joan Hickson - she was perfect casting as far as I'm concerned - right down to the sparkly eyes!
My sympathies regarding your dad.ReplyDelete
Well done on reading all the Agatha Christie books in date order. I'm sure that I've read them all, some more than once, but don't really have any particular favourites although I do like the Miss Marples ones. Take care. xx
So sorry to read your Dad is unlikely to recover but he is in the best place and they will make sure he is comfortable. Sending hugs to you xxReplyDelete
I haven't read any Agatha Christie books, well done on completing your challenge
I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, Jo. You are both in my thoughts. A hug.ReplyDelete
I am really sorry to hear about your dad Jo. I am so glad to hear that you can visit him as often as you want and as long as you want. I hope that brings you some comfort at this really difficult time.ReplyDelete
I am so impressed with your Agatha Christie challenge, I remember reading about you doing that in previous posts. To keep it going for five and half years! I haven't read many of her books and certainly none that you mention here which I have never heard of, I also had no idea that she had sold so many copies of her books either. Thank you for a really interesting post.
I am so very sorry Jo, sending my love.ReplyDelete
Oh Jo, I'm so sorry about your dad :( I remember when we were likewise called about my mum. I'm thinking about you Jo. Take care, Jane xReplyDelete
Hi,I too am so very sorry to hear about your beloved dad,it is so very hard to come to terms with knowing what you have already been through.Thinking of you and sending Huge Hugs.I am an AC fan but don't think I'v read any of her books yet.I really love your book reviews,you read brilliant books and I make a note of them so I can get them.I am a complete bookworm.xxReplyDelete
You have been in my thoughts Jo and I am so saddened to read this journey you and the family are taking has been given by the doctors. So good that the hospital are allowing you all to spend time just being there with dad. It's hard to watch this circle of life come to an end, but i'm certain dad is so proud of the lovely daughter he has had the privilege to watch grow and nurture her own family. (hugest of hugs)Take care xReplyDelete
Sorry to hear about your father. Maybe its a blessing thats he is not aware of what's happening and it's good to know he's not in pain. I read or listened to most Agatha Christie books but I've never come across the chocolate pudding one.ReplyDelete
I have read a few Agatha Christie books and enjoyed them, this makes me want to try a few more.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear about your Dad, life sucks sometimes doesn't it and we wonder what it's all about, I know I do. We were asked if we wanted to do and end of life plan for Tom but we declined, we know its inevitable but neither of us want to go that far yet. Who knows.
Keep your chin up Jo.
Love and hugs
Thinking of you Jo as you go through this difficult time. Love, Linda.ReplyDelete
I've been wondering how your Dad was & so sad that he's not getting better. I'll be in touch via email. As for Agatha Christie, I've read a few, but quite some time ago. Well done with the challenge. Take care, stay safe & big hugs from us.ReplyDelete
Oh, so sorry to hear about your dad Jo,there are no words! How I feel for you. I am pleased to hear you can visit though. That is a huge achievement reading so many books over so many years! I haven't read any but do enjoy watching them on TV.xxxReplyDelete
I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I will keep you, your dad and your family in my prayers.ReplyDelete
I read a couple of AC books many years ago... I don't even remember the titles. Congratulations on finishing your challenge you really have what my mom called
"stick-to-it-iveness"! Well done!
I'm so sorry to read about your dad Jo, I've read your previous posts and really hoped he would greatly improve. I can only echo what Jayne says in her last paragraph.ReplyDelete
Well done on completing your Agatha Christie challenge. I read all her books years ago and while I enjoyed most of them there are a few which weren't as good. I didn't particularly like the Tommy and Tuppence characters but loved Miss Marple and Poirot.
Dear Jo, I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad but I'm glad that you can visit with him now. Take care of yourself, Lynne xReplyDelete
Congratulations on reaching the end of your AC challenge. I haven't read her in years but you've planted the seed now :)
First-time reader and so happy to find a fellow Agatha Christie fan. I've read mostly her short stories, but enjoyed the Acorn/Britbox depictions immensely. My favorite is 'A Murder is Announced' mainly because the acting was so wonderful. So very sorry to learn of your sorrow at this time of failing health of your Father.ReplyDelete
I m so sorry . I m praying for you all!ReplyDelete
I adore the Angela Thirkell novels set in an updated Barsetshire and following the descendants of Trollope's characters. There are (I think) 32 of them and, to add to the fun, most of them are now out of print. It took me nearly 20 years to get the full set from second hand book shops. I was almost disappointed when I found the last one on eBay but I can read them over and over again.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on finishing your challenge, no mean feat! I'm amazed you were able to read them in order and were able to find the next book when you needed it. I suppose having a kindle helps. Give your Dad a big hug from me.ReplyDelete
So sorry to hear about your dad - it’s awful when you are given that sort of news. Watching them suffer you are torn between wanting to hang on to them and wanting their suffering to be quickly over.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear about your dad, not easy when it isn't that long since you lost your mum. I hope he is as comfortable as he can be. And I'm sorry the virus means this is made even more difficult.ReplyDelete
I like what I've read of Christie's, I liked The Murder of Roger Ackroyd most.
I'm so sorry that your Dad isn't going to recover Jo such sad news, spend as much time as you can with him while you can. I love Agatha Christie books they kept me sane when I first moved to Syria in the mid 70's, I took a whole load of them with me when I moved there and surprisingly found a few in the book shops out there. I think I've read them all my favourite was And Then there were none, I read it with the original title back then. That was quite a challenge you set yourself, well done on completing it. Sending hugs, take care xxReplyDelete
Sending you and your lovely family positive thoughts Jo as you travel this tough path.ReplyDelete
Oh Jo, I'm am so sorry about your Dad. Sending hugs your way XO. A big congratulations on achieving your goal - that was quite the challenge! While I've seen a few AC movies, I haven't read any of her books, that I can recall anyhow.ReplyDelete
So sorry to hear about your Dad being so poorly. So difficult with the restrictions, but at least you are allowed to visit him. My thoughts are with you. take care xcxReplyDelete
So sorry to read about your dear Dad. I am sure the caring hospital staff will ensure he is comfortable. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and your family at this time.ReplyDelete
I've only read a few Agatha Christie books, so well done on completing your challenge.
All the best Jan
Can you believe I've not yet read an Agatha Christie? I raelly should pick one up.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry to read about your Dad.