Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 81 pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Basement Blues , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 19, Jason Mckinney rated it it was amazing. Basement Blues and Other Stories is a collection of spooky tales by Janet Sked to get you in the scaring mood.
Janet starts us off with Basement Blues a fun noir style story. Astrid, a vampire, Ruth, a ghost and Bill, well, you have to read the story to find out what he is, run Blue Moon Detective Agency. They specialize in handling the more unusual cases and they get a doozy of one when Susan, a zombie with a problem, shows Basement Blues and Other Stories is a collection of spooky tales by Janet Sked to get you in the scaring mood. They specialize in handling the more unusual cases and they get a doozy of one when Susan, a zombie with a problem, shows up. Susan has a ghost in her basement that is trying to kill her…again.
Why, you ask? Now, if I told you that I would give away a wonderful gasping twist in this fun spooky tale about how monsters can make the best of friends. In her next tale Dim, Janet wrenches your heart out with a story about a man turned child by the horrors of war and how they continue to haunt and terrify him into his innocence. Charlie went to war to serve his country and came back with half a brain, literally, and a fear of the dark. When his convoy was hit by friendly fire he was trapped for two days with his dead comrades under an overturned half buried truck.
Now he is being taken care of by his ailing grandmother and ignored by a sister he adores. What is it in the dark that scares him so much? When you find out it will make your skin crawl and want to scream in terror. And last, but not least is Pushing Janey, a tale about a young man, Phan, and a young woman who catch each others eye in Piccadilly Station. Why is it then that the young man is still seeing her at the Station with a strange star like dark spot on her back? To make things even weirder he starts to see other people that are there one minute and gone the next, each with the same star shaped dark spot.
Are these people trying to tell him something? Find out what the dead are saying to Phan in this physiological thriller that will leave your head spinning. Feb 12, Mia Darien rated it really liked it.
There are actually three short stories, as well as an excerpt from another Sked book, in this story. I won't say anything on the excerpt, and will only briefly touch on the two other stories, since my primary focus and it's the title story was on the first one. Really, my main summary is that it was fun. It was a funny short story to introduce us to the characters and the business. The plot was a pretty straight line and resolved quickly, but it worked. The characters were interesting and the f There are actually three short stories, as well as an excerpt from another Sked book, in this story.
The characters were interesting and the first person narrative was engaging. Sked's style in Billy's narrative voice could be a little choppy at times with a lot of short sentence, or so it felt as I read it, and that could sometimes be a little jarring. I liked Billy as a unique creature, and the bits about his mother were gold. Sked, in Basement Blues form has a very amusing, dry humor which anyone who knows me and my own writing will know that I'm a fan of. Lines like this: "As a negative, she brought with her quite a few dust bunnies, a number of centipedes, and a couple of large, extremely traumatised spiders.
I had some flashes to Being Human with the shifter, the vampire and the ghost all living together, but I don't know which story came first. It's not a negative, just an observation. The other two stories were Dim and Pushing Janey and of a far different variety than "Basement Blues" had been. Both good, although the narrative form of Dim could be a little hard to follow, but because of Charlie's character it was meant to be. I'm still thinking about that ending.
And Pushing Janey was interesting. Jun 12, Jeffrey Poole rated it it was amazing. Once again I'm being forced to open myself to the possibilities of expanding my tastes when it comes to certain genres of books. I've always told myself that I'm not a fan of werewolves, but thanks to this author, I read her first work, Wolfsong, and was very surprised to learn that I enjoyed reading a story that featured werewolves. When I learned Sked had come out with a collection of short stories, and the first had a vampire in it, I had to see if she could keep me interested.
After all, the description of Basement Blues included the line, "and her laundry equipment is trying to kill her all over again". Who was I to pass that type of intro up? Trust me, if I say anything it'll give spoilers, and I refuse to do that. I was genuinely disappointed when I reached the end of that story.
And yes, there was a vampire as an employee. There, that's all I'm going to say about it. The second and third stories are classified as horror stories and involve characters that have been traumatized in the past. While definitely not a fan of horror stories, once again I was drawn into the pages and kept wondering what was going to happen next.
The stories are short, so to say anything else would definitely give plot details away, so I'll just say that these stories are definitely worth checking out. Great job again, Janet! If you develop that first story into a regular series, you'll definitely have to let me know! Jun 14, Scott rated it really liked it.
Both Dim and Pushing Janey feature men who are haunted by their pasts. In Dim a man is terrified by the memory of what happened to him while serving overseas. Pushing Janey is a bit too hard to explain without giving something away. The title story Basement Blues is a short intro into a whole new series that J H will be starting sometime fairly soon. I very much enjoyed the story of the strange group of detectives and their unusual client. This is yet another series from J H Sked that I will be looking forward to. Their marriage was happy and lasted until Christie's death in Christie frequently used settings that were familiar to her for her stories.
She often accompanied Mallowan on his archaeological expeditions, and her travels with him contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. The hotel maintains Christie's room as a memorial to the author.
The Greenway Estate in Devon, acquired by the couple as a summer residence in , is now in the care of the National Trust. Christie often stayed at Abney Hall , Cheshire, owned by her brother-in-law, James Watts, basing at least two stories there: a short story " The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding " in the story collection of the same name, and the novel After the Funeral.
The descriptions of the fictional Chimneys, Stoneygates, and other houses in her stories are mostly Abney in various forms. During the Second World War, Christie worked in the pharmacy at University College Hospital , London, where she acquired a knowledge of poisons that she put to good use in her post-war crime novels.
For example, the use of thallium as a poison was suggested to her by UCH Chief Pharmacist Harold Davis later appointed Chief Pharmacist at the UK Ministry of Health , and in The Pale Horse , published in , she employed it to dispatch a series of victims, the first clue to the murder method coming from the victims' loss of hair. So accurate was her description of thallium poisoning that on at least one occasion it helped solve a case that was baffling doctors. Both properties are now marked by blue plaques. In , she and Max Mallowan purchased Winterbrook House in Winterbrook , a hamlet adjoining the small market town of Wallingford , then within the bounds of Cholsey and in Berkshire.
This was their main residence for the rest of their lives and the place where Christie did most of her writing. This house, too, bears a blue plaque. Christie led a quiet life despite being known in the town of Wallingford,  where she was for many years President of the local amateur dramatic society. Around —42, the British intelligence agency MI5 investigated Christie after a character called Major Bletchley appeared in her thriller N or M? The agency's fears were allayed when Christie told her friend, the codebreaker Dilly Knox , "I was stuck there on my way by train from Oxford to London and took revenge by giving the name to one of my least lovable characters.
From , owing to her husband's knighthood, Christie could also be styled Lady Mallowan. From to , Christie's health began to fail, although she continued to write. Recently, using experimental tools of textual analysis, Canadian researchers have suggested that Christie may have begun to suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. Dame Agatha Christie died on 12 January at age 85 from natural causes at her home Winterbrook House which was located in Winterbrook , Wallingford , Oxfordshire. She is buried in the nearby churchyard of St Mary's, Cholsey, having chosen the plot for their final resting place with her husband Sir Max some ten years before she died.
The simple funeral service was attended by about 20 newspaper and TV reporters, some having travelled from as far away as South America. Thirty wreaths adorned Dame Agatha's grave, including one from the cast of her long-running play The Mousetrap and one sent 'on behalf of the multitude of grateful readers' by the Ulverscroft Large Print Book Publishers.
She was survived by her second husband, Sir Max Mallowan ; by her only child, Rosalind Christie Hicks — , and by her only grandchild, Mathew T. Prichard b. Max Mallowan, who remarried in , died in at age He was interred next to Agatha Christie Mallowan. Christie had set up a private company , Agatha Christie Limited, to hold the rights to her works, and c.
In , Hicks founded the Agatha Christie Society and became its first president. After his parents' deaths, Prichard donated Greenway and its contents to the National Trust. James Prichard became the company's chairman in October In , Booker sold a number of its non-food assets to focus on its core business. In February , some years after a management buyout , Chorion found itself in financial difficulties, and began to sell off its literary assets on the market.
In late February , media reports stated that the BBC had acquired exclusive TV rights to Christie's works in the UK previously associated with ITV and made plans with Acorn's co-operation to air new productions for the th anniversary of Christie's birth in Subsequent productions have included The Witness for the Prosecution  but plans to televise Ordeal by Innocence at Christmas were delayed due to controversy surrounding one of the cast members. Christie's first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles , was published in and introduced the detective Hercule Poirot , who became a long-running character in Christie's works, appearing in 33 novels and 54 short stories.
Miss Jane Marple , introduced in the short-story collection The Thirteen Problems in , was based on Christie's grandmother and her "Ealing cronies". Both books were sealed in a bank vault for over thirty years and were released for publication by Christie only at the end of her life, when she realised that she could not write any more novels.
These publications came on the heels of the success of the film version of Murder on the Orient Express in By the end of the s, Christie wrote in her diary that she was finding Poirot "insufferable", and by the s she felt that he was "an egocentric creep". However, unlike Conan Doyle, Christie resisted the temptation to kill her detective off while he was still popular. She saw herself as an entertainer whose job was to produce what the public liked, and the public liked Poirot.
In contrast, Christie was fond of Miss Marple. However, the Belgian detective's titles outnumber the Marple titles more than two to one. This is largely because Christie wrote numerous Poirot novels early in her career, while The Murder at the Vicarage remained the sole Marple novel until the s. Christie never wrote a novel or short story featuring both Poirot and Miss Marple.
In a recording discovered and released in , Christie revealed the reason for this: "Hercule Poirot, a complete egoist, would not like being taught his business or having suggestions made to him by an elderly spinster lady. Hercule Poirot — a professional sleuth — would not be at home at all in Miss Marple's world. Poirot is the only fictional character to date to be given an obituary in The New York Times , following the publication of Curtain.
It appeared on the front page of the paper on 6 August Following the great success of Curtain , Christie gave permission for the release of Sleeping Murder sometime in but died in January before the book could be released. This may explain some of the inconsistencies compared to the rest of the Marple series—for example, Colonel Arthur Bantry, husband of Miss Marple's friend Dolly, is still alive and well in Sleeping Murder although he is noted as having died in books published earlier.
It may be that Christie simply did not have time to revise the manuscript before she died. In , the Christie family gave their "full backing" to the release of a new Poirot story, The Monogram Murders , which was written by British author Sophie Hannah. Christie's reputation as "The Queen of Crime" was built upon the large number of classic motifs that she introduced, or for which she provided the most famous example. Christie built these tropes into what is now considered classic mystery structure: a murder is committed, there are multiple suspects who are all concealing secrets, and the detective gradually uncovers these secrets over the course of the story, discovering the most shocking twists towards the end.
Culprits in Christie's mysteries have included children, policemen, narrators, already deceased individuals, and sometimes comprise no known suspects And Then There Were None or all of the suspects Murder on the Orient Express. At the end, in a Christie hallmark, the detective usually gathers the surviving suspects into one room, explains the course of their deductive reasoning, and reveals the guilty party, although there are exceptions in which it is left to the guilty party to explain all such as And Then There Were None and Endless Night. Christie allows some culprits to escape earthly justice for a variety of reasons, such as the passage of time retrospective cases , in which the most important characters have already died, or by active prescription.
There are instances in which a killer is not brought to justice in the legal sense but does die as a direct result of their plot, sometimes by their own hand at the direction or with the collusion of the detective usually Hercule Poirot. In the last of these Curtain , no fewer than three culprits die during the course of the story.
In The A. Murders , the murderer has killed four innocent people and attempted to frame an unstable man for the crimes. Hercule Poirot, however, prevents this easy way out, ensuring a trial and hanging.
In And Then There Were None , the killer's own death is intrinsic to the plot; the red herring is when and how the killer actually died. When Christie adapted Witness for the Prosecution into a stage play, she lengthened the ending so that the murderer was also killed; this format was followed in screen versions, including the Billy Wilder film from In Death Comes as the End , set in ancient Egypt , the culprit is killed by one of the few surviving characters before he can claim another victim.
In some stories, the question remains unresolved of whether formal justice will ever be delivered, such as Five Little Pigs and Endless Night. According to P. James , Christie often, but not always, made the unlikeliest character the guilty party. Savvy readers could sometimes identify the culprit by simply identifying the least likely suspect.
On an edition of Desert Island Discs in , Brian Aldiss claimed that Christie had told him that she wrote her books up to the last chapter, then decided who the most unlikely suspect was, after which she would go back and make the necessary changes to "frame" that person. Four are from Shakespeare :. In such cases, the original context of the title is usually printed as an epigraph. The title of The Mousetrap is purportedly an allusion to Shakespeare 's play Hamlet , in which "The Mousetrap" is Hamlet's answer to Claudius's inquiry about the name of the play whose prologue and first scene he and his court have just watched III, ii.
Similarly, the novel Mrs McGinty's Dead is named after a children's game that is explained in the course of the novel. Christie occasionally inserted stereotyped descriptions of characters into her work, particularly before the end of the Second World War when such attitudes were more commonly expressed publicly , and particularly in regard to Italians , Jews, non-Europeans, and sometimes Americans. For example, she described "Hebraic men with hook-noses wearing rather flamboyant jewellery" in the first editions of the collection The Mysterious Mr Quin , in the short story "The Soul of the Croupier"; in later editions, the passage was edited to describe "sallow men" wearing same.
In The Hollow , published as late as , one of the more unsympathetic characters is "a Whitechapel Jewess with dyed hair and a voice like a corncrake To contrast with the more stereotyped descriptions, Christie sometimes showed "foreigners" as victims or potential victims at the hands of English malefactors, such as, respectively, Olga Seminoff Hallowe'en Party and Katrina Reiger in the short story "How Does Your Garden Grow?
Jewish characters are often seen as un-English such as Oliver Manders in Three Act Tragedy , but they are rarely the culprits. However, many American characters are positive characters living in the UK, and are frequently misunderstood by their British associates. Nicoletis automatically assumes she will object to sharing house with students of other races. Another foreign student falsely labels Sally as being a fanatical anti-Communist simply because she is American the book was written just after the McCarthy period, in However, he is actually in counter-intelligence, and deduces correctly who the murderer is.
She is probably judging him by what a British character would have read in newspapers about American crime. Agatha Christie's father was American  , , although the author of this section does not know if this influenced the positive depiction of Americans or not. Often, she is affectionate or teasing with her prejudices. After four years of war-torn London, Christie hoped to return some day to Syria, which she described as "gentle fertile country and its simple people, who know how to laugh and how to enjoy life; who are idle and gay, and who have dignity, good manners, and a great sense of humour, and to whom death is not terrible.
She had trouble with an incompetent Swiss French nursery helper Marcelle for toddler Rosalind, and as a result she decided, "Scottish preferred The French were hopeless disciplinarians Germans good and methodical, but it was not German that I really wanted Rosalind to learn. The Irish were gay but made trouble in the house; the English were of all kinds.
Often referred to as the "Queen of Crime" or "Queen of Mystery", Agatha Christie is the world's best-selling mystery writer and is considered a master of suspense, plotting, and characterisation. In honour of the th anniversary of her birth, 25 contemporary mystery writers and one publisher revealed their views on Christie's works. Many of the authors read Christie's novels first, before other mystery writers , in English or in their native language, influencing their own writing, and nearly all still view her as the "Queen of Crime", and creator of the plot twists used by mystery authors.
Nearly all had one or more favourites among Christie's mysteries, and find her books good to read now, nearly years after her first novel was published. Several of the authors would be very pleased to have their own novels in print in years. Just one of the 25 authors held with Edmund Wilson's views. Her novels have sold roughly 2 billion copies, and her estate claims that her works come third in the rankings of the world's most-widely published books,  behind only Shakespeare's works and the Bible. Half of the sales are of English language editions, and the other half in translation.
Christie had a lifelong interest in archaeology. She met her second husband, Sir Max Mallowan , a distinguished archaeologist, on a trip to the excavation site at Ur in But her fame as an author far surpassed his fame in archaeology. She wrote novels and short stories, but also contributed work to the archaeological sites, more specifically to the archaeological restoration and labelling of ancient exhibits, including tasks such as cleaning and conserving delicate ivory pieces, reconstructing pottery, developing photos from early excavations which later led to taking photographs of the site and its findings, and taking field notes.
Christie would always pay for her own board and lodging and her travel expenses so as to not influence the funding of the archaeological excavations, and she also supported excavations as an anonymous sponsor. Their extensive travelling had a strong influence on her writing, as some type of transportation often plays a part in her murderer's schemes.
The large amount of travel was reused in novels such as Murder on the Orient Express , as well as suggesting the idea of archaeology as an adventure itself. Anecdotes, memories, funny episodes are strung in a rough timeline, with more emphasis on eccentric characters and lovely scenery than on factual accuracy. Many of the settings for Christie's books were directly inspired by the many archaeological field seasons spent in the Middle East on the sites managed by her husband Max. The extent of her time spent at the many locations featured in her books is apparent from the extreme detail in which she describes them.
One such site featured in her work is the temple site of Abu Simbel , depicted in Death on the Nile. Also there is the great detail in which she describes life at the dig site in Murder in Mesopotamia. Among the characters in her books, Christie has often given prominence to the archaeologists and experts in Middle Eastern cultures and artefacts. Most notable are the characters of Dr. Christie has been portrayed on a number of occasions in film and television. Christie has also been portrayed fictionally.
Some of these portrayals have explored and offered accounts of Christie's disappearance in , including the film Agatha with Vanessa Redgrave , in which she sneaks away to plan revenge against her husband , the Doctor Who episode " The Unicorn and the Wasp " 17 May , with Fenella Woolgar , in which her disappearance is the result of her suffering a temporary breakdown owing to a brief psychic link being formed between her and an alien wasp called the Vespiform , and Agatha and the Truth of Murder , in which she goes under cover to solve the murder of Florence Nightingale 's goddaughter , Florence Nightingale Shore.
Others, such as Hungarian film, Kojak Budapesten ; not to be confused with the comedy by the same name create their own scenarios involving Christie's criminal skill. Aiding the local detectives, Agatha finds inspiration to write her new novel. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Die Laughing (Blue Moon Detectives Book 1) - Kindle edition by J. H. Sked. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Die Laughing book. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The gods are back in town. Well, one of them is - and he doesn't play n.
Archibald Christie m. Sir Max Mallowan m. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The lure of the past came up to grab me. To see a dagger slowly appearing, with its gold glint, through the sand was romantic. The carefulness of lifting pots and objects from the soil filled me with a longing to be an archaeologist myself. Retrieved 6 August Martin's Theatre. Archived from the original on 26 June Retrieved 8 March Here you will find all the information you need about the longest running show, of any kind, in the world.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. Oxford University Press. Agatha Christie Limited. Retrieved 21 July The Agatha Christie Companion. Popular Press. The Independent. Retrieved 23 November Guinness Book of World Records, 11th U. Bantam Books. Editors of Publications International. Archived from the original on 7 April Retrieved 25 March The New York Times. Retrieved 26 January Retrieved 19 February The survey, of members of the Crime Writers' Association CWA of professional novelists, concluded that Christie's mystery The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the finest example of the genre ever penned.
Agatha Christie: A Biography. London, UK: HarperCollins. London, UK: Fontana Books. Agatha Christie. Testimony films for ITV.
Volume 2 Manga. The carefulness of lifting pots and objects from the soil filled me with a longing to be an archaeologist myself. Retrieved 25 January She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Popular Press.
Agatha Christie: An Autobiography. Hercule Poirot Central. Last sentence; death only. Retrieved 16 August Retrieved 30 December British Red Cross. The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February Retrieved 21 May London, UK. Retrieved 16 September