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All About Agatha is a podcast all about, well, Agatha. Agatha Christie, of course. The Queen of Crime, a real-life Dame of the British Empire and author of sixty-six mystery novels that spanned the Twentieth Century, defining a genre. Every month we revisit one of these novels in the order they were first published in the UK. Discussions range from plotting and interpretation to the impact of the beloved adaptations to an attempt at ranking them all. On the weeks in between, we take a breath ...
 
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It's been a while since we've had Mark on our show, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to fawn over his new book, Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World. This also gave us as good an excuse as any to chatter on about Poirot for an hour or so.... If you feel so inclined (and we wager you will), go to https://bookshop.org …
 
Puente de San Xoan de Furelos: Palas de Rei to Arzua on the Camino de Santiago, Spain Due to the pandemic and my retirement in August, I’ve had more time on my hands than ever before. One thing I’ve engaged in is to take virtual Spanish lessons through the University of Tennessee. I started the third and last course in the series this week and it a…
 
We are both HUGE Tana French fans, so we suspect many of you are too. This interview was a joy to record; we hope you enjoy it half as much as we did. And if you haven't yet bought Tana's latest book, The Searcher, or any of the titles mentioned in our conversation, we encourage you to check out https://bookshop.org/, which is a safe and streamline…
 
As this election season comes to a close, I am thankful for the extra time I will have when the winners is declared. Between, emails, texts, television ads and social media, it has been impossible to escape the barrage of truths, half-truths, and no-truths to which we have been subjected. Hopefully we can get back to a civil running of the country …
 
We're thrilled to have gotten to speak with author/screenwriter/producer Anthony Horowitz, who has brought us so much joy--and not only for the Poirot episodes he adapted in the course of the David Suchet series. Anthony is in the midst of two separate contemporary mystery series, both of which we discussed, with a particular (and spoiler-free!) fo…
 
Novenas are ancient public or private prayers that are repeated for nine days or weeks. In this election season, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church has called on everyone to gather and together pray for our nation and the election. The Rev. Jay Sidebotham speaks on the initiative: “In this election season, we carry out an import…
 
In a perfect world, we could apply Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” drugs campaign referenced in our first story to the questionable art restoration techniques discussed in the second. Alas--and this is probably not a newsflash--but the world we live in is not perfect. (Don’t worry, this will make a lot more sense after you’ve listened to the episode. …
 
Normally we use this space in our anniversary episode to bemoan the passage of time, but when it comes to 2020 we can all probably agree that we'd like to keep things moving right along, yes? At this point we have quite a roster of titles to discuss, and no shortage of opinions about them. As always, we welcome yours too.…
 
“The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew”, 1308-1311, Duccio di Buoninsegna, image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC For the past 6 months, I’ve seen a lot written around a basic question, “What is Church?” When I was growing up, church was a building I went to out of obligation. Strong Roman Catholic roots and post-colle…
 
We apparently couldn't stop talking about what Mrs. McGillicuddy saw! (Especially because this is in some ways still an open question by the end of the novel.) Sometimes the flawed Christies give us more food for thought than the superlative gems, and this was definitely one of those times....By All About Agatha (Christie)
 
NYT Magazine, September 20, 2020 “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17 (NIV)) In retirement, I’ve …
 
We encourage you to take a moment to check out not only our three interviews, but all the offerings available starting Tuesday 15 September via the International Agatha Christie Festival's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbc5NjYWmTw6VYlc2R9G3qw. Enjoy!By All About Agatha (Christie)
 
It’s time to drop the labels. Rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, Socialist or even Christian. The labels don’t mean anything any longer. Not only is “rich” and “poor” not well defined, it is a stereotype to apply to someone that I don’t know. Just because I live in a certain part of town or zip code doesn’t automatically mean I’m “rich” or tha…
 
Since I started in the working world in 1977, I’ve always had employer-sponsored health insurance. Because my employer has been the negotiator, I’ve had little direct interaction with the insurance companies with the exception of two denials: a denial for long-term disability insurance since I had breast cancer in 2006, and a denial for an open-sid…
 
Today starts a new chapter as I retired from my full-time job with HCA Healthcare yesterday. I’ve served in San Antonio and Nashville, and it has been the bulk of my pharmacy career; 23 years of the 43 I’ve been in practice. It has been a time the past few months during the pandemic of looking back over my adult years and since I’ve worked full-tim…
 
Our dear Hercules is still labo(u)ring his way through the twelve tasks in this standout short story collection, hooray! Appearances can be--and usually are--deceiving in any Christie, but we'd do well to remember this adage in both tales on offer here....By All About Agatha (Christie)
 
Brothers of SSJE at Br. Luke’s Ordination to the Diaconate, June 2020 I had the pleasure of seeing (yes, seeing via Zoom), two of the Brothers of The Society of Saint John the Evangelist this week as they facilitated a session for members of the Fellowship of Saint John. I have been unable to make my customary bi-annual visits to the Episcopal Mona…
 
A New Zealand Prayer Book Our Father save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. Giver of the present, hope for the future: save us from the time of trial. When prophets warn us of doom, of catastrophe and of suffering beyond belief, then, God, free us from our helplessness, and deliver us from evil. Save us from our arrogance and fol…
 
We have two more enjoyable entries to cover in The Labours of Hercules collection. Join us as we follow Papa Poirot up into the airy heights of the Swiss Alps, and then down into the very deepest and darkest depths, that special place in hell inhabited by [cue organ] the British tabloids!!By All About Agatha (Christie)
 
Dr. Chester A. Robinson Jackson State University I’m spending a lot of time at home like the rest of us. I’ve found that my garden has never looked better and I’ve started weeding out some things I’ve had in the attic for awhile. Photos bring back memories of fun days with family and friends. I found a letter. It was tucked in the wrong place in a …
 
We can't say we particularly relished reading this mid-career Christie thriller, but we CAN say we relished *discussing* our reading of this mid-career Christie thriller.... Make sure your tray is secure and your seat's in an upright position, because we're leaving on a jet plane for Morocco and things are about to get real bumpy, real fast!…
 
It is a confusing world now. With countries shut down and citizens relegated to our houses, our “normal” world has been turned upside down. In hearing the news, it appears our democracy is in danger when every person, regardless of race is regarded with dignity and honor. Our scientists caution us about the virus, “It isn’t over yet.” I’ve always b…
 
You get two Poirot short stories in this episode for the price of one--but the bargain gets even better, because the first of these felt very much like a Miss Marple story, while the second felt even more like one of our beloved Quin/Satterthwaite tales....By All About Agatha (Christie)
 
We were delighted to get Ruth Ware on the phone, author of five recent--and already quite beloved--psychological crime thrillers. (This is her preferred term for the books she writes; just one of many topics we discussed!) And we of course couldn't pass up the chance to talk Christie with a fellow aficionado....…
 
A friend just introduced me to a short service in the Book of Common Prayer, An Order of Worship for the Evening which contains the hymn: “O Gracious Light “ or Phos hilaron. The hymn was the appointed hymn at Evening Prayer last night at The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, an Episcopal Monastery in Cambridge, MA. It was first recorded in the…
 
We're not sure what to say about the length of this episode except that we seem to have a greater bandwidth for gabbing on about Christie these days.... Fortunately you, dear listener, probably have more time and inclination to listen too. So let's settle in together to discuss this incredibly bitter-tinged mystery novel inhabited by such unpleasan…
 
I was always too busy playing, golfing, or schoolwork Dashing off to the next event Lots of time in the car singing along to the latest song Now, each morning the sun rises first And delights with a hot orange or dusty pink The birds awakening beginning their chatter The first rays of sunshine appear I take my hanging baskets of begonias and set th…
 
We are making our latest Patreon episode, all about the Anthony Horowitz mystery Magpie Murders, free to download (and distract)! This glorious nerdfest of a novel is VERY much inspired by Christie, so chances are if you listen to this podcast, you will very much enjoy the novel itself, and (we hope!) our discussion. You can find it at http://www.p…
 
As a scientist and a member of the healing arts, I’ve been distressed about the “fake news” for a number of years, but even more distressed recently since lives are at stake. As of this morning there have been 172,120 deaths worldwide that were contributed to by the COVID-19 virus and 40,316 in the United States. It is presumed that there was commu…
 
We are so excited to be starting in earnest, at long last, The Labours of Hercules collection. Especially as it begins with such a charming Foreword and an even more charming--and intriguing--opening story. We also threw in some D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths for good measure; why not, right?By All About Agatha (Christie)
 
Israel, 2011 We live in a great time of mystery. We have not seen a time that is less explained by science since we dove headlong into the Enlightenment. Although we can identify the scourge as the COVID-19 virus, we can neither describe its boldness nor determine its weakness. We are at present powerless to contain its spread. The early church fou…
 
Antigua, Guatemala As we shelter at home, I have time to think more clearly about my life and purpose and to gain meaning from the past. I’ve been “running on empty” (a great Jackson Browne song) for years. I’m not sure when it started, or maybe it has always been there. Striving for good grades in high school and college, to make an impact in my c…
 
We both adored this (somewhat) unsung Christie gem... though not without reservations. Fortunately, for purposes of discussion, those reservations turned out to be slightly different. It's a truth universally acknowledged that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, and that certainly holds true for the various familial arrangements portray…
 
Santiago, my 7-1/2 month old golden retriever Although I normally work from home one or two days per week, my 7-1/2 month old Golden Retriever, Santiago, is not used to having me around 24/7. Not unlike my puppy, I have energy to spare right now. Although I’m occupied with work, my favorite distraction is to take Santiago for a walk. It used to be …
 
There is a lot going on in the world at the moment, but there will always be Agatha Christie. Join us as we celebrate our final Christie novella, which just may be more remarkable than it appears at first glance (or read, as it were). We also took this opportunity to clip heavily from the hijinks-riddled Suchet series. So let’s all bask in the ligh…
 
The Deluge, J.M.W. Turner, Exhibited 1805, courtesy Tate Britain This week’s meditation from The Society of St. John the Evangelist Monastery in Cambridge, MA is on WATER. The video has interesting reflections from many of the Brothers and the Rev. Becky Zartman. You can watch the 15:06 video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed-fP3huw30. Refle…
 
While we never do get the mirror the title seems (out of context) to promise, there was so much to adore in this imperfect yet rollicking early ‘50s novel. Take a deep breath, get out your Freud and Jung, and maybe take an umbrella for the trip down memory lane you’re about to embark on with one Miss Jane Marple.…
 
The love detectives are back--and in a story titled The Love Detectives, no less! Join us as we puzzle over why this perfectly delightful serialization was the only one not to be included in the Mysterious Mr. Quin collection… and potentially figure it out in real time! (Clearly the magic of Mr. Quin, that wily catalyst of problem-solving, was with…
 
I’m facilitating a new Coffee & Discussion Group on Saturday mornings: The WAY OF LOVE: WHAT WE BELIEVE. We meet at 8th and Roast Coffee House at 42nd and Charlotte in West Nashville from 8AM-9AM. ALL ARE WELCOME!!! During Lent, we’ll meet to discuss the SIGNS OF LIFE: WHY CHURCH MATTERS series from the Brothers of The Society of Saint John the Eva…
 
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