Sunday, July 11, 2010

Steve tries to see what Mrs. McGillicuddy saw

I've been trying to get back in the swing of reading, especially since some of the blogs I like to regularly read focus on books. I'm referring mostly to Dibbly Fresh and Literary Crap, although there are others that I follow, so I apologize if I've overlooked you!

Unfortunately though, I've misplaced by library card. While I'm enough of a regular at my local library - the excellent Cross Mills in scenic Charlestown, Rhode Island - that they'll let me take books out by just using my license, it does mean that I can't put books on hold. Similar to most state library systems, in Rhode Island you can use the computer system to request books from any state library, and they'll be delivered to your local library. The system also has VHS tapes, CDs and DVDs, making it a great way to see some classic flicks as well.

So, I had to settle for grabbing a book from the stacks. While I love detective shows like Criminal Intent, I haven't read many detective stories. The only Agatha Christie book I've read before is And Then There Were None (12 Little Indians), so I checked out What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw (also known as 4.50 From Paddington). I'm only a couple chapters in, but it's interesting so far, although a bit slow-moving. Also, I'm quite pleased that everyone is so prim and proper. Smashing, really!

Anyway, I'll give a full book review when I'm finished reading. Sure, the book came out in 1957, but that's no reason to deny it a proper review! I'm also planning a future entry on the stunning revival of MTV's programming schedule, thanks to Warren The Ape and The Hard Times of R.J. Berger, and an entry on The Boondocks cartoon, and the new Loveline host Psycho Mike, and Dave Dameshek's podcast Daves of Thunder, and Columbo and Top Chef, and Justified...

... heck, I have a lot of stuff to write about.


  1. At first I thought the post was going to be about I Love

  2. Confession - I've never seen an episode of I Love Lucy from start to finish.

  3. I thought it was going to be about that, too. Not because I've really seen much Lucy but because they referenced this in a, uh, Babysitters Club book, and...yeah. Heh.

    Thanks again for the mention. Just noticed this post. :) You're too kind!

  4. haha, You gals and your Babysitter's Club. Every woman seemingly reads it.

  5. If there's a woman born after 1975 who didn't grow up with Claudia Kishi as her sartorial mentor, I don't want to know about her!

  6. I'm going to assume that she's part of this "club" and her name makes me suspicious. I think it's time for Babysitter's Club: The FBI Snitch, because someone needs to have the courage to break up the monopoly those bitches got on the game.

    ... I think I've been watching too much of The Wire.

  7. Hi Steve, I found your blog through my sister's (OBG). I have to tell you that I am currently obsessed with Agatha Christie! Like you, I had only read And Then There Were None, and wasn't really into reading any others, but out of boredom, I picked one up at the library, and now I'm hooked!

    Did you finish this one? While all of her books are at least decent, I prefer the ones she wrote as Mary Westmacott. Her grasp on the psychology and motives behind behavior is amazing and her characters are always well developed.

    Happy Reading!

  8. @ Krista - Cool, thanks for commenting! OBG is one of my favorite blogs :)

    I thought I had written a follow-up to this post, but it looks like I didn't, from searching my own blog. Harumph! :(

    Anyway, I liked What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw, although the title gives much more credence to the character than the book does. The real star is the plucky, comely housekeeper, and while there are some revelations that seem a bit convenient, it is a pretty good tale. Not as good as And There Were None, but still quite good.

    After this, I tried to read an anthology of five Christie tales, which were about her stories taking place on trains and overseas and what not; I think the anthology's title was something like Murder Abroad. However, the first story, The Blue Train, had a bunch of too-coincidental revelations to me, and I returned the book to the library after not being able to slog through the second story. I'd actually like to read more of her work that is like And Then There Were None, but she has soooo many novels that it is hard to discern which are good and which aren't.

  9. To date, I have read 45+ of her books, (did I mention that I'm a stay-at-home-mom?) and I have found that the majority of her plots follow the same pattern, and have come across a few that are actually the SAME story, but with different names and minor details. Obviously those did not make it to the top of my favorites list.

    In my opinion, the better ones are the ones written as Mary Westmacott because they AREN'T the same as any other, they are not mysteries in the typical sense, and involve a lot of character development, which I think makes a story more successful. I would recommend checking out any of those.

  10. @ Krista - Sweet, I will add the Westmacott books to my list then. Maybe I'll find them a bit more enjoyable than her normal work.


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