Friday, July 29, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
- Inspector Sidney Wang (Peter Sellers) who is supposed to be Charlie Chang.
- Dick and Dora Charleston (David Niven and Maggie Smith) who are Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man series I previously shared. They take the Charles' quips and risks of each other a few extra steps.
- Milo Perrier (James Coco) who plays the ever-hungry Christie character, Hercule Poirot.
- Sam Diamond (Peter Falk) who plays the gruff, sexist, Bogart character Sam Spade.
- Jessica Marbles (Elsa Lanchester) is the seemingly simple character of Christie's creation, Miss Marple.
The classically necessary other characters include the Butler, played by Alec Guiness (who is blind), and the Maid, played by Nancy Walker (who is mute and deaf), and of course, the man who invites them all to dinner at his spooky mansion: Lionel Twain played by the master author Truman Capote with his distinctively creepy feminine falsetto.
The mystery itself is less interesting as just watching the characters interact and play off their previously established roles and stereotypes. By the end, they are each "calling" each other on the random or contrived methods of deduction and for anyone familiar with the characters, this is a hoot! The way the main detectives treat their sidekicks is hilarious too.
I hope that, especially after reading your mystery story this month, you can pick up this movie for a view.
I love watching it time and again. And my favorite part is that you really don't need to pay attention to the details because pretty much everything is a red herring. :) So sit back, relax, and...
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Sshhh....don't tell my dad I'm giving away his super secret recipe! ;) He's pretty proud of this salsa recipe that he came up with many years ago. We LOVE spicy foods in my family and this is my dad's specialty here.
1 Pablano Pepper
2-3 large tomatoes
You can do this 2 ways:
1. Blend up all ingredients in a food processor to create a soupier salsa, or,
2. Cut everything finely by hand for a chunkier salsa- this is definitely how I prefer it!
Add salt and a little lemon juice for some extra flavor.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Several months ago I stumbled upon Amazon's free Kindle downloads and went a little berzerk. I began downloading more than I'll ever read, but in the midst of my frenzy, I discovered Mary Roberts Rinehart. I read The Circular Staircase in two days. As I was reading, I thought, "wow! This woman is the American Agatha Christie!" (Turns out I'm not as clever as I thought as I've now seen on several websites that she's already been dubbed as such! :-)
Mary Roberts Rinehart was born in 1876 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. She married a physician she met while in nursing school. In 1903, she and her husband lost all their savings in the stock market and she began to write as a way to earn money. She began with short stories and moved on to mystery novels. She won many awards and even started her own publishing company with her sons. She died in 1958 at the age of 82.
MRR was a few years ahead of Agatha Christie, but doesn't have the lasting fame that Agatha Christie has. MRR often uses a female narrator who tells the story of a mystery that happened to them. Her writing style is a little more wordy and descriptive than Agatha Christie, but she's very engaging and weaves an intriguing story that you won't be able to put down. Like AC, there is usually a big, exciting finish that you probably didn't expect. If you enjoy the classic British detective novels, like I do, then you should definitely give the American, Mary Roberts Rinehart, a try!
List of MRR books
Friday, July 8, 2011
Have you begun your book yet?! Typically the mystery novel starts off with a murder or other scandalous crime. What crime has been committed and needs solving in your book? What were the circumstances surrounding the crime?
My husband's favorite food is a hamburger. He is always experimenting and making different types of burgers, but he's been making this one since before we were married and it's my favorite! They are sweet and spicy and so delicious! Added bonus: Pineapple!! Eat one during your 2 week wait! ;-)
2 lbs ground beef
1 can crushed pineapple
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp diced jalapenos
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 c bread crumbs
First, drain your pineapple really well. You don't want it to be too juicy or the burgers will fall apart. We put ours in a strainer over a bowl and let it sit and sift for a few minutes making sure all extra juice seeps out.
Next, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. When everything is mixed together, form patties. This recipe will make 8 burgers. Grill burgers until cooked through. After burgers are mostly cooked, you can drizzle the pineapple juice from before on top of the burgers for a little added flavor.
Yummm! We had these yesterday at my parent's house while our dogs played in the pool. Almost everyone ate TWO burgers! There were none left for the dogs!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
When I was 15 years old, I randomly bought And Then There Were None in a book store and read the entire book that day. Since then, I have devoured every Agatha Christie book including the romances she wrote under a pseudonym and her autobiography. She is truly the Queen of Crime and is my favorite author of all time.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, England in 1890. She married Archer Christie when she was 24 years old. During World War II she became a nurse at a Red Cross hospital . She has said it was her work in the dispensary of the hospital that led to her knowledge of poisons and drugs, which are often her character's weapons. During this time, she wrote her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles which was published in 1920. Later, Christie divorced and married Max Mallowan, an archaeologist. With him, she spent a lot of time in the Middle East, where many of her later novels are set.
Agatha Christie wrote over 70 books in her lifetime (of which, I only need 7 to complete my collection at home!), including some non-fiction about her time with her archeologist husband and a book of poems. She died in 1976.
What makes Agatha Christie special is how the reader can never predict the end. You can keep notes on every clue and a case file on every shady character and still never guess the ending! All of her books end with a fantastic bang- a touch dramatic and flamboyant, but in the exact style that she perfected and others try so hard to mimic. Her most famous recurring characters are Hercule Poirot, a retired Belgian detective, and Miss Marple, a busybody spinster. Witty detectives coupled with butlers, parlor maids, the English countryside and a locked-room-style murder makes every Agatha Christie book well worth the read again and again!
Official Agatha Christie Website
List of Agatha Christie Novels
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
From Agatha Christie to Janet Evanovich, there's a lot to choose from in the mystery genre! Go find a new book or pull out an old favorite and join us for Mystery Month. We'll start a roll call and discussion questions next week!