Must Reads (Mystery)

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Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.

-neil armstrong

Mystery literally refers to something, that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain. It is a fiction genre in which an event such as a crime or a murder keeps unfolding without much revelation till the end of the book. Mystery books are the kind of reads that keep readers hooked and on the edge of their seats. Mysteries are a joy to read with unanticipated plot twists and turn-outs that it blows ones mind. Mystery is one of the widely read genre with many prolific writers.

Below is a list of five must read mystery fictions.

1. And Then There Were None:

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One of the most prolific writers in the genre Agatha Christie, describes this book as one of the most difficult to write. Following a group of people onto Indian Island, this story explores crime and murder. The ten people on the island including a former governess, an adventurer, an ex-detective, each think they have been hired to do some particular job not knowing the mysterious labyrinth on the island that consequently traps all ten people on the island. With each death the story is thrown into a deeper mysterious aura, leaving the reader befuddled with thoughts and guesses.

A brilliant mystery and an absolute must read!

2. The Guest List

Lucy Foley’s, ‘The Guest List’ is a mystery set amidst a wedding. A happy couple joining in matrimony is faced with a gruesome wedding surprise- a dead body!

A wedding planned right down to the last detail of a T.V star and a magazine editor was bound to catch eyes and garner attention but it might all just shift focus.

A series of guests all dresses to the nines, a volley of drinking groomsmen, expensive champagne and awkward speeches later does a mystery unfold involving all the guests on the list. Loads of suspects with killer motives all enclosed in a big wedding.

3. The Last of the Moon Girls

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Barbara Davis’s ‘The Last of the Moon Girls’, revolves around Lizzy Moon, a girl who wants nothing to do with Moon Girl Farm, which is passed down in their family and has evoked questions and rumours about their strange legacy. Tragedy struck! Lizzy’s beloved Grandmother Althea dies, taking the severe accusation of killings to her grave, Lizzy must do everything to clear her Grandmother’s name and her family legacy. With Andrew Greyson, one of the few in town believing in Althea’s innocence, Lizzy is determined to et things right.

A gorgeously artful story-telling with tints of magic and craft.

4.The Secrets of Lost Stones

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Melissa Payne’s book, ‘ The Secrets of Lost Stones’ tells the story of a 32 year old woman  Jess Abbot who has loses everything from her home to her job and her eight year old son  Chance, to a tragic accident. Unable to cope with the humongous loss,  Jess bundles up what’s left and leaves for the small mountain town of Pine Lake, where she gets a place as caregiver to strange old woman.

Surrounded by numerous rumours, Lucy is a strange old woman who has taken in several other people besides Jess including a Star, a teenager on the run with a painful secret and a little boy with heart-shaped stones. Jess soon learns the extent of pain and loss in the world and discovers above her suffering, grief like no other. Perhaps it was fate.

5. Where the Forest Meets the Stars

Glendy Vanderah’s ‘Where the Forest Meets the Stars’, is a story of Joanna Teale, who, after overcoming her mother’s demise and battling breast cancer, determined to prove that she has not given up, throws herself into her work, researching on nesting birds in rural Illinois that is until a mysterious child shows up at her cabin door, barefoot and in a ragged condition. The girl, Ursa, claims to be sent from the stars to witness five miracles. Joanna concerned about the girls home, reluctantly takes her in. Jo seeks help from her aloof neighbour, Gabriel Nash, to find out more about Ursa.

What follows is a series of unexpected events and beautiful bonds.

To Read List – 2021

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

As it is rightly said, “Between the pages of a book, is a lovely place to be.” Books fit all the cliché surrounding them, they put dreams in your eyes and give wings to your dreams. Reading is an exercise like no other. It sweeps you into a magical universe and transmutes your mundane into a bewitching dream.

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There is such diverse content available in the literary spectrum today that leaves ones mind in a state of bafflement and awe.

Today we explore some of the genera of the great literary abyss.

1. Mystery

  • Murder on the Orient express – Agatha Christie
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  • Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
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  • The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
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  • The Da Vinci CodeDan Brown
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  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Edgar Allan Poe
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2. Romance

  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
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  • Me before You – Jojo Moyes
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  • Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
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  • Red , White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
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  • The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
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3. Fantasy

  • A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
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  • The Golden Compass – Phillip Pullman
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  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
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  • Or What You Will – Jo Walton
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  • Gardens of the Moon Steven Erikson
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4. Sci-Fi

  • The Time Machine – H.G Wells
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  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
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  • Nineteen Eighty- Four – George Orwell
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  • To Sleep In a Sea of Stars Christopher Paolini
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  • Children of Ruin – Adrian Tchaikovsky
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5. Non- fiction

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck- Mark Manson
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  • A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
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  • Becoming – Michelle Obama
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  • We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
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  • Ghosts Of The Tsunami – Richard Lloyd Parry
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“Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.”

– Lena Dunham

Agatha Christie: The Queen of Crime

Introduction

When it comes to the genre of mystery, the name Agatha Christie is one bound to be discussed. She has left a long-lasting impact and influence on the genre with her various works even today. Her creations of the detective Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are immortalized in the crime novel genre. According to the Guinness World Records, Agatha Christie’s works have sold more than 2 billion copies worldwide, making her the best-selling fiction writer of all time. According to UNESCO’s book translation database Index Translationum, she is the most translated individual author in record. Her mystery novel ‘And Then There Were None’ is the world’s fifth highest selling book of fiction and highest selling crime novel of all time, having sold around a 100 million copies. Her play ‘The Mousetrap’ holds the record for longest running initial run for a play, and ran from the 25th of November 1952 to March 2020, being closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Early Life

Agatha Christie was born on the 15th of September 1890 as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in Torquay, Devon, England. She was born to Frederick Alvah Miller and Clarissa Margaret Miller and was the youngest of three siblings, having an elder sister and brother. From early childhood, Agatha Christie had an enormous love for books and reading. She wrote her first piece of writing, a poem titled ‘The Cow Slip’ at the tender age of 10.

Career

Agatha Christie started writing at the age of 18. However, it wasn’t until later that she would be successful in her writing endeavours. She wrote a series of short stories and submitted them to various magazines, however, they got rejected most of the time. In 1916, she wrote her first detective novel. It was titled ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ and starred the Belgium detective Hercule Poirot. It was also the first of the ‘Hercule Poirot’ series of her detective novels. Like her endeavours with her short stories, she was initially unsuccessful in getting a publisher to accept publishing the novel. Finally, it was published in 1920 by the publishing company ‘The Bodley Head’ was a change in the climax of the story. This was a turning point in her career and the start of her rise to the summit of the crime and mystery genre. Her second novel ‘The Secret Adversary’, published in 1922 starred new characters, a crime-solving detective couple named Tommy and Tuppence. In 1927, she created the character Miss Marple, an elderly detective woman. Miss Marple would then be featured in various short stories and novels.

Although Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are Agatha Christie’s most famous detectives, she wrote multiple other crime novels starring other detectives like Tommy and Tuppence, Harley Quin and Parker Pyne.

Christie’s work extended to beyond the crime and mystery novels. She was also a successful playwright and found great joy in it. She also wrote non-fiction works based on her travel experiences around the world. She also published 6 mainstream novels under a pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.

Hercule Poirot
Hercule Poirot
Miss Marple
Miss Marple

The Untold Story of The Easter Island

The Easter Island lies in the Pacific Ocean and is around 4000 km away from the mainland. A Dutch explorer named Jacob Roggeveen rediscovered Easter Island in 1722 and it was nothing but a large wasteland.


The Island was destroyed and there was not much vegetation or other creatures present.
Research excavations found that Polynesian people were the first ones to arrive at Easter Island and start their settlement there. When these Polynesian people arrived at Easter Island the natural resources and food were abundant. With an abundance of food and natural resources, their population started increasing. Soon there was a time when the population outgrew the food and natural resources availability.


On the island, large statues of moais were also seen. They built a lot of structural figures of their ancestors. Which also caused overutilization of the existing natural resources. They cut down almost all the trees present on that island and disrupted the whole ecosystem.


They exploited the existing ecosystem to that level that there came a time that they do not have anything to eat and the food scarcity was at its peak. There was no vegetation, fishes, animals, insects or birds for them to eat because of the large-scale man-made destruction which took place.


With population rising high they had no choice but to adopt cannibalism and the excavations which took place there prove that when there was no natural resource available at the Eater Islands the Polynesians adopted the cannibalism lifestyle which is eating their own species because there was no choice.
In the end, the whole island was collapsed and when after so many years the Dutch explorers arrived, they found dead bodies and remains of human civilization.


Till today many theories have been stated about Easter Island but it is still a mystery what really happened at that place.
But the most famous one is the destruction theory according to which the way they destroyed the environment over the years was the cause of their degradation and dying at the end.


The theory also suggests how we humans are destructing the environment and this destruction may get backfired on us in the end.

Read Again! It isn’t what you think it is…

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It was 10 a.m in Mumbai when Anjali rushed towards the fishermen’s bridge, Most fishermen have left the shore by this time making the place quiet and solitary. In haste, she lost track of her brown leather bag clinging to her right hand. Her eyes held more moisture than the sea, she couldn’t stop thinking about Nick.

‘How can he do this to me? How can he kill—’, she screamed to herself at the end of the bridge.

She couldn’t stop blaming herself for what her eyes had transpired a few moments ago. Her legs were not in her control as she kept walking from one end to the other of the bridge.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a voice, ‘Hello, Can you hear me?’ She turned back and saw an old man waving at her. He was having her bag in his hand. At that moment, the bag was aught to Anjali, her thoughts continued and she started running in the direction of the sea.

The old man was confused and tried to approach her. His doddering legs couldn’t match the motion of her. After running a few blocks his legs trembled and he fell on his knees. The crashing sound reached Anjali for her to look back. She had always been a person who liked to help others. She reached out to the old man and acknowledged his name to be Shantilal. He was a local fisherman who had come to the sea with his fishing hook to catch a fish. Anjali assisted him in getting back to his feet.

‘Are you ok kaka?’, she asked.

‘I am fine, beta but how are you? What’s wrong? Why are you crying?’, Shantilal inquired as he saw her moist eyes.

‘No, No, I am fine kaka—’ Her eyes could no longer hold her tears. Weeping she only muttered two names- Nick and Rajesh.

Shantilal sensed the distress and stayed back with her. He tried to calm her down and ask her whereabouts but her weeps only got vulnerable with every question. He feared the worst that might occur if he left her but he also had no idea of how to console her and decided to summon his wife. He stepped a few steps away from the weeping woman and dialled his landline number from his Nokia 3310 to describe the situation to his wife, Meenakshi.

Meenakshi reached the spot in a rickshaw and paid the amount shown on the meter. She saw Shantilal and walked towards him.

‘Kai Zala? (What happened?)’, She asked Shantilal. Shantilal pointed towards Anjali. She recognized her as the daughter-in-law of Sharma’s where she used to work as a maid. She rushed towards her and hugged her to calm her down. Seeing a familiar face Anjali’s emotion had no control but to flow out. After getting Anjali back to her senses, Meenakshi asked, ‘What’s the matter bibiji, why are you crying? Rajesh baba did something? Sharma Aunty said something to you? Tell me please….’

‘Sab khatam ho Gaya maushi— (Everything is over, Aunty)’, Anjali continued after catching her breath ‘Rajesh destroyed it all’ Meenakshi started assuming the extra-marital affair Rajesh might be having which was breaking Anjali.

There was a sound of a ship sailing which got the attention of Anjali who was calm now. After looking at it for some time, Anjali asked Meenakshi to get her bag. Meenakshi asked for the bag from Shantilal who was standing there trying to understand the situation. Shantilal took the bag and handed it over to Meenakshi.

Anjali opened the bag and took out a picture of herself with a man, ‘I loved him so much, I don’t know how will I survive in this world without him.’ Meenakshi and Shantilal were shocked. Meenakshi found herself thinking if her Rajesh Baba has left them all and felt a moment of guilt for assuming him having an affair. Less did they know a larger shock awaited them.

Consoling Anjali for her loss Meenakshi said, ‘I’m so sorry to hear about this. God is examining you. Just have faith everything will be fine.’ Saying this Meenakshi took the photograph from Anjali’s hand and hugged her again. Meenakshi always admired how good Anjali and Rajesh looked together and glanced at the picture only to find out it wasn’t Rajesh in the picture. It was Nick, Anjali’s colleague.

BERMUDA TRIANGLE

As we all know that earth has so many wonders in it….nature show us its beautiful creation but there are some mysterious places also present on earth…Bermuda triangle is one of them….


The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle or Hurricane Alley, is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Popular culture has attributed various disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings.
The earliest suggestion of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area appeared in a September 17, 1950, article published in The Miami Herald (Associated Press) by Edward Van Winkle Jones. Two years later, Fate magazine published “Sea Mystery at Our Back Door”, a short article by George Sand covering the loss of several planes and ships, including the loss of Flight 19. Sand’s article was the first to lay out the now-familiar triangular area where the losses took place, as well as the first to suggest a supernatural element to the Flight 19 incident.
In February 1964, Vincent Gaddis wrote an article called “The Deadly Bermuda Triangle” in the pulp magazine Argosy saying Flight 19 and other disappearances were part of a pattern of strange events in the region. The next year, Gaddis expanded this article into a book, Invisible Horizons.

There are some explanations also about the Bermuda triangle-
Compass variations- Compass problems are one of the cited phrases in many Triangle incidents. While some have theorized that unusual local magnetic anomalies may exist in the area, such anomalies have not been found.

Gulf Stream- The Gulf Stream is a major surface current, primarily driven by thermohaline circulation that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and then flows through the Straits of Florida into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and, like a river, it can and does carry floating objects. It has a maximum surface velocity of about 2 m/s (6.6 ft/s). A small plane making a water landing or a boat having engine trouble can be carried away from its reported position by the current.

Human error- One of the most cited explanations in official inquiries as to the loss of any aircraft or vessel is human error.

Violent weather- Hurricanes are powerful storms that form in tropical waters and have historically cost thousands of lives and caused billions of dollars in damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla’s Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of a destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle.
A National Hurricane Center satellite specialist, James Lushine, stated “during very unstable weather conditions the downburst of cold air from aloft can hit the surface like a bomb, exploding outward like a giant squall line of wind and water.”


Methane hydrates- An explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of large fields of methane hydrates (a form of natural gas) on the continental shelves. Laboratory experiments carried out in Australia have proven that bubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water.
However, according to the USGS, no large releases of gas hydrates are believed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 15,000 years.

HERE ARE SOME INCIDENTS –
Flight 19 was a training flight of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared on December 5, 1945, while over the Atlantic. The squadron’s flight plan was scheduled to take them due east from Fort Lauderdale for 141 mi (227 km), north for 73 mi (117 km), and then back over a final 140-mile (230-kilometre) leg to complete the exercise. The flight never returned to base. The disappearance was attributed by Navy investigators to navigational error leading to the aircraft running out of fuel.

One of the search and rescue aircraft deployed to look for them, a PBM Mariner with a 13-man crew, also disappeared. A tanker off the coast of Florida reported seeing an explosion and observing a widespread oil slick when fruitlessly searching for survivors. The weather was becoming stormy by the end of the incident. According to contemporaneous sources the Mariner had a history of explosions due to vapor leaks when heavily loaded with fuel, as it might have been for a potentially long search-and-rescue operation.

G-AHNP Star Tiger disappeared on January 30, 1948, on a flight from the Azores to Bermuda; G-AGRE Star Ariel disappeared on January 17, 1949, on a flight from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica. Both were Avro Tudor IV passenger aircraft operated by British South American Airways. Both planes were operating at the very limits of their range and the slightest error or fault in the equipment could keep them from reaching the small island.


• On December 28, 1948, a Douglas DC-3 aircraft, disappeared while on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami. No trace of the aircraft, or the 32 people on board, was ever found. A Civil Aeronautics Board investigation found there was insufficient information available on which to determine probable cause of the disappearance.

Connemara IV a yacht was found adrift in the Atlantic south of Bermuda on September 26, 1955; it is usually stated in the stories (Berlitz, Winer) that the crew vanished while the yacht survived being at sea during three hurricanes.


• On August 28, 1963, a pair of US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft collided and crashed into the Atlantic 300 miles west of Berm