The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence, #1)

The Secret Adversary
(Tommy and Tuppence #1)
by Agatha Christie
Narrator: Nadia May


 

~ MY REVIEW ~

I must admit that, after listening to this audiobook, I find that the voices inside my head now have British accents. Whatever am I to do?!

Haha! Sorry about that. It’s just that I’ve always been able to hear the voice in my head saying whatever it is that I’m about to write and right now… that voice doesn’t sound like my normal self one whit! I keep wanting to say things like “ol’ chap” and such like that. But– That is one thing that I absolutely love about books like this! (That’s not weird, is it? I mean, come on, I know I’m no the only one who feels this way!)

Moving on! That’s not the only thing I liked about this book. No, indeed!

I have been meaning to read Agatha Christie for quite a long time now. I even borrowed several of her books from my sister a few years ago, only to have them sit on my bookshelf unread for those few years until I finally gave them back. I did try to read them, but for some reason… I just couldn’t. I’m thinking that I might should borrow them from her again, though.😉

The setting, the mystery, the dialogue, etc. were all enjoyable! My favorite thing about this book, though, was the main characters: Tommy and Tuppence. I can honestly say I adored this couple. They remind me of Nick and Nora Charles from Dashiell Hammett‘s The Thin Man, who I have loved for a long time now.

I listened to the audiobook and– everyone who listens to audiobooks probably can relate to this– the narrator can often make or break a book for me. I thought this narrator (Nadia May) was quite good and I really enjoyed listening to her read the book.

I definitely recommend this book, especially to folks who enjoy classic books and films.

Note of Warning: For the readers out there who are looking for a clean read, this is not Christian fiction– there isn’t any sex or anything, but there is bad language in this book.


 

Click HERE to see more review posts on my blog!  :)

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Psalm 147:3-5

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
Psalm 147:3-5

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Through All Of It ~ Colton Dixon

Through All of It

There are days of taking more than I can give
And there are choices that I made that I wouldn’t make again
I’ve had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This has been the story of my life

I have won
And I have lost
I got it right sometimes,
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret
Oh, and You have been my God through all of it

You were there when it all came down on me
When I was blinded by my fear and I struggled to believe
But in those unclear moments You were the One keeping me strong
This is how my story’s always gone

I have won
And I have lost
I got it right sometimes,
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret
Oh, and You have been my God through all of it
Oh, through all of it

And this is who You are, more constant than the stars
Up in the sky, all these years, all my life
I, I look back and I see You
Right now I still do
And I’m always going to

I have won
And I have lost
I got it right sometimes,
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret
Oh, and You have been my God through all of it
Oh, and You have been my God through all of it
Oh, and You have been my God through all of it

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7 Shorty Reviews

Sometimes I simply do not have the time (or perhaps the desire) to write a very long book review, but I still want to say a little something about the book.  When I share a review on my blog, I like it to be a “full-sized” review post so I don’t often share these shorties here, but I figured I could do a compilation post and share several shorties in one post.😉

Heads-up: most of these are books I gave 2- and 3-star ratings to– that’s part of the reason I only did shorty reviews for them.


His Love Endures Forever (Land of Canaan #3)His Love Endures Forever (Land of Canaan #3)
by Beth Wiseman
2 stars

This was okay– not really good, but not really bad either. Honestly, if I had remembered that it was an Amish book (couldn’t see the cover very well on my library’s site & didn’t bother reading the blurb because I was trying to hurry & I knew it was Christian fiction), I probably wouldn’t have even given it a second thought. And I most likely wouldn’t have finished it, except that it was the audiobook and I needed something to listen to at work and I couldn’t find a different book to listen to. So yeah… I finished it and it wasn’t a bad book, it’s just not the type of book that I really like.


Summer of Dreams (From This Moment #0.5)Summer of Dreams (From This Moment #0.5)
by Elizabeth Camden
2 stars

I was looking forward to this book, but it was actually rather disappointing. And, after reading this book and the preview of the next book… I’m wondering how this series will progress. It definitely has me curious enough to read the next book, at least. We’ll have to see how that one goes…


The Baby TreeThe Baby Tree
by Beverly Farr
3 stars

This one is pretty good. I enjoyed the idea of the story, though I felt that it was an awful large space of time to fit into this book because it ended up feeling a bit rushed and… “scattered” is the only word I can think to describe it. I just never felt like I connected with Michael and Olivia, especially as a couple.
It is a cute fun read, though. One that I don’t regret spending time on.😉


The Boden Birthright (The Cimarron Legacy #0.5)The Boden Birthright
by Mary Connealy
2 stars

I can see I’m definitely in the minority here– being the only person on GR so far to rate this book at only 2 stars– but I couldn’t give it more than that.

Maybe I’m just in a funk? I did feel like I was being kinda nit-picky at times, but I just didn’t really enjoy this book. Certainly not as much as I usually enjoy Mary Connealy’s books. I know it’s a novella and I shouldn’t expect quite as much from it as I would a full-size novel so I went into it with that in mind. Still, I was surprised by how rushed and shallow it was. I didn’t realize until later just how short it actually is– only 72 pages? If I had known that, I wouldn’t have even bothered opening it up. I considered giving it 3 stars… until I got to the ending, which was quite abrupt and disappointing.


A Matter of Trust (Mia Quinn, #1)A Matter of Trust (Mia Quinn, #1)
by Lis Wiehl & April Henry
3 stars

Interesting. This book isn’t super good, but it’s good enough that I did enjoy it and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

I must say that, if I was adding the narrator into the equation, I would have only rated this 2 stars. I really didn’t care for the narrator at all so I would recommend skipping the audio version and just reading the actual book.


A Deadly BusinessA Deadly Business (Mia Quinn, #2)
by Lis Wiehl & April Henry
3 stars

This series is pretty good– good enough that I plan to finish it if my library will get the third book– but definitely not as good as some I’ve read.
Also, I don’t know that I would actually classify these books as Christian Fiction (which is what I was told they were). Clean? Yes. Though, perhaps, not entirely as I do recall hearing (it was an audiobook) at least one curse word and a scene or two that may make some more sensitive readers… uncomfortable.

One last thing: if I was adding the narrator into the equation, I would have only rated this 2 stars. I really didn’t care for the narrator at all so I would recommend skipping the audio version and just reading the actual book.


Distortion (Moonlighters, #2)Distortion (Moonlighters, #2)
by Terri Blackstock
1 star

Okay, y’all… I wasn’t able to make myself finish this one.:/

Perhaps it was the fact that I had so recently read another book about a woman who’s husband was killed and ((click here to see my review if you want to see the spoiler)). Or perhaps it was the narrator, who got on my nerves. Or perhaps it was simply the storyline, the writing, the….?

I think it was just a bad combination, to be honest.

Anyway, I’ve found that I seem to have a lot more patience for an audiobook (don’t know exactly why) so I listened for a good long while before finally giving up because I was about bored out of my mind.

So, yeah. I don’t think I’ll even try the third book in the series. Too bad.


 

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Be Sober, Be Vigilant, & Resist

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
I Peter 5:8-9

Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw night to you.
James 4:7-8a

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Seventeen Years Ago…

Seventeen years.

That was my, rather surprised, answer to a question asked of me the other day.

This question: How long have you had your ears pierced?

Honestly, I hadn’t even realized that it had been that long!😯


Back in 1999, I believe… when I was almost 9 years old, I won Reserve Grand Champion in a 4-H “Impressive Dress” competition.  The prize?  A Walmart gift card.

When my mom asked me what I wanted to do with the money, I told her that I wanted to get my ears pierced.  I had wanted to for a while, but Mom wasn’t sure I was old enough.  (Totally unfair, I thought, considering my sister was only four when she got hers pierced!😦😛 )

Anyway!  Mom and Dad decided it was okay so off to Walmart we went!😀

I’ll just go ahead and say: this was not a good first experience.

I’m sitting there… and the lady is taking simply forever to get the dots marked on my ears.  Which was making me kinda nervous.  (And she still got the earrings ever so slightly off, but that’s okay.)  And Mom is standing there with this mom look on her face, making me more nervous.  Then a friend of hers sees us and decides to come over and watch… and talk to Mom about how nervous I look.  Making me even more nervous!!

Seriously?!😐

So- finally! -the lady decides she’s ready to do the piercing.  She gets me all pumped up and ready for it…  She puts the piercing gun up there and– BOOM! –all finished.  Right??  Nope!  Ya see, the back of the earring somehow got stuck in the piercing gun.:/

She couldn’t get the earring out of the gun, therefore, she couldn’t get the gun off my ear.  She was tugging– as gently as she could, I’ll admit– and trying so hard to not hurt me, but it still hurt.  Not excruciating pain or anything, but still!

When she finally freed me from the piercing gun and was able to get the back out and snap it onto the earring post… I think she probably figured I wasn’t up for getting the other ear pierced.  But I still wanted her to do it.  And she assured me that, in all the years she’d been piercing ears, she had never had this happen before so I wasn’t worried about it happening a second time.

I should have worried.

This is what my first earrings looked like, only they were gold with darker blue petals.

Because it happened a second time.

Yes, the earring back got stuck in the gun on the second piercing too.  And again we went through the whole tugging and pulling and twisting– and trying to be so gentle and not cause pain…..

News flash: it still hurt!

By the time we were done, I was nearly crying… she was nearly crying!  It wasn’t even that it hurt all that bad!  I mean, I definitely remember it hurting, but I think most of it was just fear that had me nearly freaking out.

We finally went home and my mom made sure I knew to be careful of my ears and to be sure I cleaned them regularly…  But I was a tomboy.  And I wrestled with my brothers all the time.  Seriously– all. the. time.

So I ended up getting an earring pulled out (not ripped out, so please don’t freak out!)… 4 times, I think, before the 6 do-not-remove-the-earrings weeks were up.  (It wasn’t the same earring every time, but what does that matter, right?)

“I don’t know how it happened, Mom! We were just wrestling…”

Yes, it hurt.  Yes, it bled a couple times.  What did we do?  Mom cleaned the earring, cleaned my ear, and put the earring back in with a stern admonishment that “Y’all need to be more careful!”  Sure enough, though, about a week later, there I was placing an earring in Mom’s hand again and explaining that we were just doing _____!😛

Anyway, I made it through the 6 weeks without any damage done and I’ve never really had any trouble with those piercings for the nearly 17 years that I’ve had them so– Yay!  Thank God!😀

I love to wear dangly earrings.  A lot.  And, though many people have told me things such as:  “You’d better not wear those big earrings around the kids– they’ll pull ’em out!” – or – “I work with (or have) small children and I’m afraid they’ll pull my earrings out if I wear long ones!”  I can’t say I’ve ever really worried about that.  (I suppose I got over that in those first 6 weeks- haha!😛 )

I am around kids of all ages (newborn-teens) all the time!  And I have never had one do any damage to my ears.😉  Sure, the little ones like to play with or tug on my long, dangly earrings from time to time…  They’re curious!  But you just have to be careful.  And teach them, as you do with everything else, to be gentle or simply “don’t touch”.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing anyone who has these worries… if you’re worried about it, certainly don’t wear long earrings!  I’m just telling how I’ve dealt with it.

❤ Love babies!❤ Love long earrings!❤

And… travel forward in time to just a few years ago.  (Gosh, I can’t even remember how long ago it was now!)  I decided that it was time to get another set of piercings!

Good idea, right?😀

This time, my younger brothers came along for the ride– determined that getting your ears pierced hurt bad enough that it was gonna make their 20-something-year-old sister cry.

Brothers…..😛

Anyway, this time went a lot better!😀

Until she was finished.  She seemed to think they looked good so…. I turned to my brothers……  And they were like: I, um… I think maybe you should look at those.  They’re a little… off?

My reaction:

Yeah… they were way off.  Well, at least, one of them was.  (Seriously, only a person with severely bad eyesight could possibly have thought that looked good!)  So we talked to a manager and she told me that I could take out the one earring and let that hole heal over for a couple months, then come back and they would re-do it for me.  I agreed.  With one whispered stipulation to my brother– “I’m not getting it re-done unless it’s a different lady doing the piercing.”😛

And that’s what I did!  I spent two months letting that hole heal, feeling kinda ridiculous at first for having two earrings in one ear and only one + a hole in the other.  Several people, when they noticed, were kind enough to let me know that I had an earring missing & then I had to explain what had happened.  But the second time around (with a different lady), things went much better and I’m quite happy with the end results!😉


So how about y’all… do you have your ears pierced?
Tell me about it!😉

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An Elegant Façade

An Elegant Façade (Hawthorne House, #2)
An Elegant Façade
(Hawthorne House #2)
by Kristi Ann Hunter


 

~ MY REVIEW ~

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I truly love it when an author can make me genuinely like a character that I previously could barely tolerate.

From the beginning of this series, I didn’t like Georgina. I loved Colin from the moment I met him, but Georgina..? She annoyed and aggravated me, and I knew that if I met a girl like her in “real life” I most likely wouldn’t choose her as a friend or even want to be around her at all. But all the while, I also felt that there was more to her than what the readers had, so far, been allowed to see. And I knew that the author was going to do her best to make me like this character in a later book. The question was: will she actually succeed in making me like Georgina? The answer is: Yes. It did take a little while… but yes, I do like her very much now.

The beginning of this book overlaps the previous book, A Noble Masquerade. I can understand how some readers might not like that, but I really enjoyed seeing some of the situations from the perspectives of other characters. I especially enjoyed reading some of the scenes (the Ryland/Colin scenes in particular) from Colin’s pov. Talk about getting a good laugh out of a book!😀 Also, if it had been a while since I’d read the first book and maybe I didn’t remember it super clearly (this wasn’t the case for me, but if it had been… ;P ), this would have provided a nice refresher of previous events.

May I just say (again) that I really loved Colin? I mean, how could you not like this guy?? I like the way he very slowly wades into discovering who Georgina is beneath the façade. He thinks he know everything there is to know about her. He thinks he knows exactly who and what she is. But he’s wrong. (No big spoiler there, right?) He doesn’t want to be around her, he doesn’t want to get to know her any better, and he certainly doesn’t want to like her! But he gets dragged into it…😉 And I just have to say that I thought fairly early on that Trent was rooting for Colin all along, hoping that something would develop between him and Georgina. That thought had me chuckling quite a bit.😉 One thing I truly loved about Colin was how he was constantly encouraging Georgina to tell the truth and trust her family. He accepted her so called “flaws” and that was such a huge thing for her: she needed to know that people could accept her as she was.

Georgina….. What can I say about this girl without giving anything away? Her secret is one that… Well, I’d never really considered how such a thing would have affected a lady in her position. It would have been a very difficult thing for anyone, but so much more for her– or for anyone in “high society”, really. After a while, I could see why she had become the way she was and why she had built such a high, defensive wall around herself. Seeing those walls come down and not only seeing her true self revealed, but seeing her true self change as well– that’s what made me like her. Oh, and her relationship with Harriette… There is really too much to say about that and I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but that was one of my favorite things about this book.

Well, I’ve not said everything I wanted to, but this review is getting quite long already so I’ll try to wrap it up right quick.

I love Kristi Ann Hunter‘s writing style. She pulls me into her stories and I find myself wanting to just sit and read until I reach the end– and then pick up the next book and read some more! I can’t wait to read more in this series! And I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more books from this author.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


 

~ WHAT SOME OF MY FRIENDS ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS BOOK ~

Her characters are intelligent and witty and charming and engaging, her heroes are also intelligent and more than sufficiently swoon-worthy (a word you can really only use in relation to historical romance set in England), her settings are excellent, her writing outstanding, and her Christian themes strong without being overbearing. In other words, close to perfect.  Read more…  (One of my favorite reviews of this book.)
~Iola

Sometimes when an author takes a chance, it can pay off in a big way. In this case, Kristi made several bold decisions in her writing, and they all paid off for this reader!  Read more…
~Beth

The last quarter of the book made my spirit soar and my heart sing. Is it any wonder that I became a Georgina fan by the end?  Read more…
~Kav

After adoring this author’s debut novel I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book and thankfully I loved this one too!  Read more…
~Abbi


 

~ SOME FAVORITE QUOTES ~

Colin– “Please don’t shoot me, Jeffreys.  I’m quite fond of this coat.”

Something was disturbing the normally unflappable duke, and being the good friend that he was, Colin couldn’t wait to hold it over the other man’s head.

Honestly, of all the unnecessary things her mother had taught her in the last eighteen years, she couldn’t have found two minutes to say, “A lady always brings something to occupy herself while she waits”?

He would likely either leave engaged or unconscious, depending on how things went with Lady Miranda and her brothers.  Women weren’t usually forgiving when they learned they’d been fooled, and men were rarely restrained when a sister felt her honor had been slighted.

Griffith– “What do you know, Mr. McCrae?”
Colin– “More than I should but not enough to say more than I have, Your Grace.”

Colin’s Mom– “Trust God to give you what you need when you need it.  If you get it too early, you might misplace it.”

Why did she have to spend the evening dealing with two Colin McCraes?  That was insupportable.

It was a shame, really, that one couldn’t go to the store and buy a play to watch at home like one could purchase a book.

If he didn’t know better, he would be convinced that there were actually two women of like name and appearance, switching places at will for the express purpose of driving him mad.

Colin tried to remember if he’d prayed for the Lord to teach him patience recently because he could think of no other reason why God would constantly be throwing Lady Georgina into his path.

Perhaps that’s what he needed in this situation.  A new perspective, particularly on from God.  Yes, some time alone with God was exactly what this situation needed.

 


Check out the entire Hawthorne House series!
And join me in waiting for book #3!
A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House, #0.5) A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House, #1) An Elegant Façade (Hawthorne House, #2) An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House, #3)


Click HERE to see more review posts on my blog!  :)

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2 Samuel 22:2-4

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
2 Samuel 22:2-4

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Thy Will ~ Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

Thy Will

I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not
So…

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees
All that comes to me is

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store

So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees
All that comes to me is

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

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Looking Back on August 2016

A Matter of Trust (Mia Quinn, #1) The Boden Birthright (The Cimarron Legacy #0.5) A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House, #1) Obsession (A Shefford-Johnson Case, #2) A Deadly Business Distortion (Moonlighters, #2) The House of Lurking Death: A Short Tory (Tommy & Tuppence) The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger: A Short Story (Tommy & Tuppence) The Case of the Missing Lady (Tommy & Tuppence Series Short) The Case of the Middle-Aged Wife: A Short Story The Case of the Discontented Soldier Trial By Fire (FBI Task Force #0.5) Misery Loves Company The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence, #1) Cold Shot (Chesapeake Valor, #1)

New-To-Me Authors:  4

And the places I “visited” in my reading…
I did not keep good track of all the places I visited this past month so this may not be a complete list.😐

States: Massachusetts – New Mexico Territory – Washington – Florida – Texas – Pennsylvania – Maryland

Countries: England

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