Accident by Agatha Christie

Accident is a short story by Agatha Christie, first published in The Sunday Despatch in 1929 under the title The Uncrossed Path. In 1934 Accident was included in a collection of short stories, The Listerdale Mystery, published only in the UK. And in 1948 it appeared in another collection, The Witness For The Prosecution and Other Stories, published only in the US.

Captain Haydock, an old sea captain, had learned to leave alone the things that did not concerned him. His friend Inspector Evans had a different philosophy, ‘Acting on information received’ had been his motto. Even now, when he had retired from the force, and settled down in the country cottage of his dreams, his professional instinct was still active. Evans had identified a local woman, Mrs Merrowdene, with Mrs Anthony a former heroine of a cause célèbre. Nine years ago she was tried and acquitted of murder Mr Anthony who was in the habit of taking arsenic. Was it his or his wife’s mistake? Nobody could tell, and the jury, very properly, gave her the benefit of the doubt. But Evans regarded his duty to prevent another crime.

This short story is an absolute gem of detective fiction, another proof of Agatha Christie’s genius. It will sure make the delights of everyone, whether or not true fans of the gender.

This short post is my humble contribution to the Agatha Christie Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Kerrie, don’t miss the next issue, due on 24 July 2011.

Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse por la pantalla hacia abajo

Afrikaans title: Infanta (2005). Translated by K. L. Seegers, 2007. First published in English: 2007. Hodder & Stoughton, 2008 (paperback). 410 pages. ISBN: 978-0-340-82266-1

Devil’s Peak unfolds in three parallel narratives. On the one side we find the story of Thobela Mpayipheli, a former freedom fighter, who turns into a vigilante when his young son is killed during a store robbery. On another side the story of Benny Griessel, an alcoholic policeman whose wife has kicked him out of their home after having beaten her. He is close to loose his family, his house and his job. In between them the story of Christine van Rooyen a young mother who has become a sex worker to support her daughter.

But this book is much more than these three stories and how they finally converge. It also provides a magnificent panorama of present day South Africa, with some reflections on the consequences our own decisions together with some considerations about the shortcomings of our justice system.

Devil’s Peakkeeps you totally enthralled by the almost constant changes between the three plots. Thus requires the full attention of the reader, but the effort is worth it. It’s a superb thriller. The only drawback I’ve found is that some scenes towards the end are a bit difficult to believe. But all in all is a great read, just shy of the maximum score.

Deon Meyer lives in Durbanville in South Africa with his wife and four children. Other than his family, Deon’s big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby. In January 2008 he retired from his day job as a consultant on brand strategy for BMW Motorrad, and is now a full time author.

I count this book for the 2011 Global Reading Challenge(Africa).

Devil’s Peak has been reviewed at Euro Crime, Mysteries in Paradise, Crime Scraps, Reactions to Reading, reviewing the evidence,

El pico del diablo de Deon Meyer

Traducción de Alberto Coscarelli. RBA Libros, Serie Negra, 2010. 464 páginas. ISBN:  978-84-9867-771-3

El pico del diablose divide en tres relatos paralelos. Por un lado nos encontramos con la historia de Thobela Mpayipheli, un ex combatiente por la libertad, que se convierte en “vigilante” cuando su hijo es asesinado durante un robo en una tienda. Por otro lado la historia de Benny Griessel, un policía alcohólico cuya mujer le ha echado de su casa después de haberla golpeado. Está a punto de perder su familia, su casa y su trabajo. Entre ellos, la historia de Christine van Rooyen una joven madre que se ha convertido en un profesional del sexo para mantener a su hija.

Pero este libro es mucho más que estas tres historias y sobre la forma en que finalmente convergen. Nos proporciona además una magnífica panorámica de la Sudáfrica, actual y contiene algunas reflexiones sobre las consecuencias de nuestras propias decisiones, junto con algunas consideraciones sobre las deficiencias de nuestro sistema de justicia.

El pico del diablo te mantiene completamente cautivado por los cambios casi constantes entre las tres historias. Por lo tanto exige toda la atención del lector para no perderse, pero el esfuerzo merece la pena. Es un thriller magnífico. El único inconveniente que le he encontrado es que algunas de las escenas finales me han parecido poco creibles. Pero en general se trata de una gran lectura que apenas se queda algo por debajo de la máxima puntuación.

Deon Meyer vive en Durbanville en Sudáfrica con su esposa y sus cuatro hijos. Aparte de su familia, sus grandes pasiones son las motos, la música, leer, cocinar y el rugby. En enero de 2008 dejó su trabajo como consultor de estrategia para dedicarse profesionalmente sólo a escribir.

Currently Reading

For this weekend I’ve pick from my bookshelf A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell. This book was sent to me by Norman at Crime Scraps, you can find HERE the reason. Thank you Mr and Mrs Crime Scraps. It was just luck but I appreciate it.

From the Publisher:

Journalist Hannah Vogel returns in A Game of Lies by award-winning author Rebecca Cantrell

In preparation for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Nazis have rid the streets of anti-Semitic material and other propaganda, and present a peace-seeking face to the world. Journalist and part-time spy for the British, Hannah Vogel, shudders to think of what lies under the temporary coat of gloss.

Posing as travel reporter Adelheid Zinsli and lover of SS officer Lars Lang, Hannah has been collecting Nazi secrets from Lang and smuggling them back to Switzerland. Wanted by the SS, her travel in and out of Germany has always been fraught with danger, but this trip is especially treacherous.

Surrounded by former colleagues who could identify her, Hannah tries to keep a low profile while reporting on the Games as Adelheid. Her relationship with Lang gets more complicated as he sinks into alcoholism; the whispers she hears about his work in the SS give her chills. Whose side is he on?

Hannah agrees to meet her mentor, Peter Weill, at the Stadium, but before he can reveal information that will expose the Nazis, he dies in front of her. Hannah suspects poison.

Hannah must discover who killed Weill and get his secret package out of the country before the Olympics end and the Nazis tighten their noose…and before her true identity is revealed. And her partner may be the very one about to expose her…”

About the Author

“Award-winning author Rebecca Cantrell majored in German, Creative Writing, and History at the Freie Universitaet of Berlin and Carnegie Mellon University. She currently lives in Hawaii with her husband and son.”

Visit Rebecca Cantrell’s Website