A LOOK AT BRIDGERTON: #MeToo with a Dash of Mmm Hmm Hmm

My friends are chattering about Bridgerton, the new Shonda Rhimes-produced series on Netflix. They compare it to Sanditon, the recent series based on an unfinished novel by Jane Austen that recently played on Masterpiece Theatre. There is little, however, of Austen beyond the surface of this new series. Bridgerton is more Agnes Nixon than Jane Austen; it is All My Children wrapped … Continue reading A LOOK AT BRIDGERTON: #MeToo with a Dash of Mmm Hmm Hmm

FAST FORWARDING INTO ‘21

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) Does anybody want to hear me vent about 2020? Because, you know, I can do it, and I will . . . that is, if anyone wants to listen. To be honest, however, … Continue reading FAST FORWARDING INTO ‘21

A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE – THE FINAL CHAPTER: The Millennium and Beyond

“In my end is my beginning.” Many books begin with an epigraph; Agatha Christie’s characters speak in them. The occasion, more often than not, is dark. After all, these people are bearing witness to – or maybe committing – murder.  “Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” … Continue reading A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE – THE FINAL CHAPTER: The Millennium and Beyond

A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SEVEN: Mistress of Media in the 80’s

When I was a student, focused on the study of literature and theatre, I learned a hard lesson: there was a schism between those works which are deemed “art” and those classified as “popular culture”. As a child, my love of comic books was derided as . . . well, childish. Studying drama at U.C. … Continue reading A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SEVEN: Mistress of Media in the 80’s

THIRTEEN EGYPTIANS SAT DOWN TO DINE: Christie’s Death Comes As the End

When we talk about Death Comes as the End, Agatha Christie’s 1944 tour de force set in ancient Egypt, conversation hovers around personal opinion about how well Christie balanced the mass of detail in this, the first ever historical mystery novel, with her trademark GAD plotting. But now that the book is about to receive its first … Continue reading THIRTEEN EGYPTIANS SAT DOWN TO DINE: Christie’s Death Comes As the End

GAD = GORY AND DARK: Sarah Phelps Takes On the Establishment

The latest BBC rendition of an Agatha Christie classic , 1936’s The ABC Murders, has just dropped onto Amazon Prime. Now we forward-thinking Americans can add our two cents to the European reaction over Sarah Phelps’ treatment of the Mistress of Mystery. (I believe the words “Burn the witch and her laptop!” have been uttered in … Continue reading GAD = GORY AND DARK: Sarah Phelps Takes On the Establishment