By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie Review

By the Pricking of My Thumbs. 1968. Review

This is the first Agnatha Christie book I have ever read. I am not much of a reader. I started reading only a year or two back when I moved from my home to Bangalore for studies. Till then my sole reading were my prescribed syllabus and quiz books. We had a lot of them at home. I was participating in lots of Quiz competitions at that time, in school as well as in other cultural programs and was winning a few of them even. I am saying this to acquiesce the reader about my relative ignorance to fiction in general. So don’t get offended by my writing.

By the Pricking of My Thumbs, I didn’t like it!

The story seemed dull and dragging. Some characters popped out of nowhere and was in the storyline as if they were in it from the beginning. Albert, the house help cook appears in the middle of the story and he is having conversation with the man of the house, Thomas Beresford. But I never remember meeting him before. Then there is this friend of Mr.Beresford, Ivor Smith. He is a friend what sort of friend? Where did they met? I’ve no idea. Probably my shoddy reading.

Apparently it seems the lead characters are some sort of detectives. Now in retirement. But it is not directly emphasized.

The plot in itself was not interesting me to start with.

Ada Fanshawe, Thomas Beresford’s aunt is in a retirement-home, Sunny Ridge. On their visit to their, Tuppence Beresford talk with another room-mate of the aunt. She says something about a poor child behind the fireplace and asks Tuppence whether it was hers. After aunt Ada’s demise the Beresford’s inherits  few of her belongings. A painting of aunt Ada, gifted by Mrs. Lancaster kindles Mrs. Beresford’s interest in a country house in the painting.  Story progress with the mystery of a series of child murders long ago and suspected murders at Sunny Ridge where aunt Ada died.

I finished it for the sake of it. Not for the story. It wasn’t interesting to me. If it is bearable, I will try to finish the book I started. I will underline interesting usages, add words I don’t know to my vocabulary etc. No book is a wastage of time. But if the story is interesting that is of prime importance.

Christie introduces the sub-plots in a boring way also, it was a bit too hard to follow and keep track of people and what they did etc., like Tuppence herself says in the story!

It was a disappointment for me. But I will continue to read other Agatha Christie works. I have Why didn’t They ask Evans with me and I am sure this one was just an off the mark item, different from my taste.

Things I was ignorant about common cold – #1 Getting Cold is a good sign :)

Q.Do you know how the name “Cold” came to refer, well, common cold?
A. It spreads in cold weather because we go indoors

The common cold makes fools of us. It’s not just the
runny nose and Daffy Duck speech; it’s our naiveté about preventing,
alleviating and curing the mess.
average, we catch between 100 and 200 colds in our lifetime
Why haven’t we found a
cure for the cold?
There is not just one
cold virus. There are actually more than 200 viruses that make up the common
but they all cause generally
the same symptoms — runny nose, sneezing, coughing, malaise.
With something
like the flu, scientists create a vaccine based on a prediction of which
strains will be most common that winter
That’s just not possible with the
cold, because there are so many viruses.

Why are the symptoms
similar if there are so many different sources?


I think what most
people don’t know, and it’s because the finding is relatively new in the world
of cold science, is that we cause our own cold symptoms. Most common cold
viruses don’t do any direct damage themselves. In response to the virus, the
body’s immune systems makes a whole slew of inflammatory agents, which causes
the runny nose and cough.

So people who have
healthier immune systems may be the ones who suffer the most?


Exactly right. One of
the big myths, I think, about colds is that having a weakened immune system
means being susceptible to colds. And that’s really not the case

Those people who
incessantly wash their hands with antibacterial soap are doing the right thing?
No, actually, this is
a really an important point
A huge misconception in the general public is that
antibacterial soaps and antibiotics in general are effective against colds.
They aren’t
They’re aimed at killing bacteria. The only advantage of antibacterial
soap is that they’re soap and it just helps to dislodge the cold the way
regular soap does.
But you have to do pretty vigorous rubbing for about 15 to
20 seconds, between your fingers, under your fingernails. And then antibiotics
is another critical matter
Is there any sure way
to avoid catching colds?
There’s really nothing
out there that will really help you prevent getting a cold
One of the experts in the book
said the only foolproof way to avoid colds is to become a hermit and the second
most effective way is to stay away from kidsRead more at

Germany prmoting “Jihad” against Britain

Only the times change, it seems. Whatever can be used against your enemy, will be used. Be it US or Kaiser’s Germany. Religion is just a façade to greed.

He has an argument to put, and he does it convincingly, not least on the question of whether the German aim of promoting an Islam-wide jihad against Britain was a hasty 1914 improvisation or a more circumstantial plan resting on the already decades-long relationship between Berlin and Constantinople, which had begun in the enthusiasm for all things Islamic and Ottoman acquired by Kaiser Wilhelm (“Hajji Wilhelm”) on his state visits to the Sublime Porte and its territories.
Few decisions in world history have been as fraught with consequences as Turkey’s entry into the First World War. From the closing of the Straits [the Bosphorus] for years to Russian commerce – a major cause of the economic upheaval which led to the Russian Revolution – to the creation of the modern Middle East out of the wreckage of the defeated Ottoman Empire, the Turks’ decision to fight in 1914 lies at the root of the most intractable geopolitical problems of the twentieth century, many of which are still with us today.

Continue reading

Interesting facts about Britain, Oil and Middle East

Here are two facts that might jolt your perception of current tensions in the Middle East. The first is that the empire which, at its height, had more Muslim subjects than any other empire ever – counting as subjects over one in three of the world’s Muslims – was the British Empire.
The second fact is that at the end of the First World War, Britain had more than a million soldiers in the Middle East, and in the years immediately following it cut up the map of the region into the shape it bears today, creating entirely new countries in the process and putting its nominees and clients into power in them.
in 1911 Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty, in charge of Britain’s mighty Royal Navy, the vast police-force of the empire.
Years of strikes by well-organised militant miners in the coal-fields of Britain had made Churchill worried that the far-flung fleets and therefore the empire itself could be held to ransom by – name of malediction! – socialists.
He therefore ordered the navy to switch from coal-fired to oil-fired engines.
That obliged Britain to help itself to parts of the world with oil wells: Persia was the first port of call, soon to be followed by British-created Iraq.
And how about a fourth fact: that imperial Britain never allowed any hostile power to threaten the approaches to its priceless milch-cow of India.Read more at