Friday, September 15, 2017

An "I Cracked the Case!" Weekly Link Round-Up

If you've been ambling down this trail with me for very long, you know I've had  decades-long problems with Golden Age mysteries. One of the problems is just the way it is when one tries to compare apples with oranges. Golden Age mysteries tend to emphasize plot over character, and I'm a reader who prefers character over plot. But I keep plugging away, trying to find mysteries during that time period that I like. I seldom have success-- especially with the Queen, Dame Agatha Christie herself.

I've never been able to finish a full-length Agatha Christie mystery. She is a woman of her times, so I can find the inherent racism difficult, but my real problem with Christie has always been her smugness. As I've read her novels, I can hear her whispering in my ear, "See how clever I am? So much more clever than you, m'dear. You'd never be able to create these complicated plots!" You're undoubtedly correct in your assumption, madame, but kindly refrain from rubbing my nose in my inability.

But I keep trying because (1) I don't like to fail, (2) she is the Queen of my favorite genre after all, and (3) the television adaptations of her work are some of my favorite viewing. There's gotta be a way!

I am happy to announce that I've finally had a breakthrough. I've learned that if I stay away from novels and read her short stories that I can actually enjoy and appreciate the shorter fiction. It's as though the woman didn't have time to be smug in her short stories (although it did creep into one of the Miss Marple stories I read). I'm so pleased with myself that I'm going to mosey out to the corral and give all those links an extra carrot before I... head 'em up and moooooove 'em out!


►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • African wild dogs sneeze to vote on group decisions. Gesundheit! 
  • Thirty-one adventurous dogs exploring the world.
  • Prize-winning images capture birds in all their feathered glory. 
  • Stress is killing these tiny lemurs, and the story is in their hair.
  • A southern Arizona winery is mourning the death of Trevor the Peacock.
  • A mysterious Amazon animal has been spotted for the first time in eighty years.
►Fascinating Science◄

►The Happy Wanderer◄

►I ♥ Lists & Quizzes◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. I'm so glad you're finding that you can enjoy Christie's short stories, Cathy. Some of them really are excellent, I think. And she was prolific, so you've got lots to enjoy. Now, while you do that, I'm going to go have a look at that ancient Canadian village...

    1. Yes. I've read what Miss Marples are available for Kindle, and now I've started on Poirot.

  2. I can't deal with Christie's writing, racism, anti-Semitism, that I was attuned to at age 19 and that ended my attention to her writings.

    On those lists, peculiar inclusions and exclusions. One list claims to be top 10 women detectives in fiction written by women. It includes Alexander McCall Smith's series with Precious Ramotswe. Although this is a wonderful set of books with a fabulous main character, the writer is a man.

    Also, it leaves out some of my favorite women detectives: V.I. Warshawski, Irene Huss, and more. If it's going to go global, then it has to be inclusive. And there are so many more if one thinks globally.

    Also, the list of women who won Pulitzer prizes omits a lot of women writers. Toni Morrison won for her manificent, heartbreaking book about slavery, "Beloved." Jhumpa Lahira, an Indian-American writer won for "Interpreter of Maladies."
    And more are listed at the Pulitzer Prize website.

    If people are doing to write lists, they should be inclusive and not leave out top writers. I mean Toni Morrison also won the Nobel Prize for literature for her body of work.

    "Beloved," although painful, is one of my lifetime top book selections.

    1. There can be real pain in making lists of that nature. Someone is always going to be left out. Always. I seldom ever entirely agree with the lists other people make when it comes to subjects that are close to my heart, but I respect their choices and make my own list. :-)

  3. I don't necessarily respect those choices. A lot of one's "favorite women detectives" is one thing. We can agree or not on that as it's subjective.

    But on a list of women who won the Pulitzer to leave out Toni Morrison, a leading African-American woman writer, recognized as one of the best writers in the U.S. and world, who later was awarded the Nobel Prize, is wrong.

    And to omit Jhumpa Lahiri, a daughter of Indian immigrants, is also wrong.

    These awards often are limited and forget about diversity, but in 2017 when people make these lists, major women of color and immigrant voices shouldn't be left out.

    Also grating is that the Man Booker Prize finalists were just announced. With the exception of one Pakistani-British author, the rest of the list is limited to white Americans and British authors.

    Omitted were Colson Whitehead, highly commended U.S. Black writer; Arundhati Roy, brilliant Indian writer and activist and Zadie Smith, Caribbeean-British writer, also creative and noteworthy.

    I wonder when these awards givers and list makers will recognize the need to be inclusive and recognize multi-cultural writers. It's disappointing, like this is going backwards.


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