Friday, 26 July 2013

Agathon #13: The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)

Tansy and I started out with a challenge to read every book written by Agatha Christie, in order of publication – we’re blogging as we go along. We spoil all the things!
The Murder at the VicarageKATHRYN:
So, first, I just need to get it off my chest that one of my first shocks in this book is that Lettice Protheroe’s name is Lettice, and not Lettuce. I have read and seen this book several times before and to me she is always *Lettuce*. Having read the book before also meant that the murderer was not a surprise, nor were any of the other mysteries that were uncovered during the story. And this meant I could really focus on how Miss Marple is portrayed in her first full length book*. Miss Marple is certainly not the star of ‘The Murder at the Vicarage’, which is narrated, perhaps appropriately, by the Vicar (Mr Clements). She is introduced of one of several gossipy old ladies at a morning tea held by the Vicar’s wife, the inappropriate Griselda, and both the Vicar and Griselda have relatively low opinions of these ‘old cats’, as they are referred to often. Actually I suspect that Christie might have been writing this book so that Miss Marple herself was a surprise - it only becomes apparent that Miss Marple’s ‘gossip’ has rather more substance than Mrs Price Ridley’s or Miss Hartnell’s as the story develops. I wonder if anyone realised how iconic she would become.

The narration by the Vicar is quite reminiscent to that of Hastings narration for Poirot - or even of Dr. James Sheppard (the murderer) in ‘The Murder of Roger Ackeroyd’, and it seems to be a common technique for Christie to use in her proper ‘whodunnits’ (as compared to the slightly whacky spy stuff we have also seen to-date). I guess it’s a good technique because the narrator can be led on a few wild goose chases and suitably surprised when the murderer is revealed. The narrator can also be unreliable - quite spectacularly so in the case of Dr Sheppard - and even I think a little bit in the case of the Vicar, who I think doesn’t like to admit just how much he loves his inappropriate wife.

Miss Marple doesn’t have a constant companion, so I will be looking with interest to see how the narration is undertaken in future Marple books (because for the life of me I cannot remember!!) I was surprised that Miss Marple’s nephew, the writer Raymond West, was present in this, her first book. I had imagined he was an addition of later stories, and he was a good deal more fashionable and callow than I remember him, though again perhaps that again is coloured by the Vicar’s narration (and potential jealousy of the attraction of Griselda to Raymond!)

And just a word on the murderer(s). Is it my imagination, but have a number of Christie’s murderers to-date been rather charming men who turn out to be far more ruthless than first seems? Perhaps I should start a tally. I also wonder how scandalous it was that Lawrence Redding and Mrs Protheroe were having an extramarital affair in 1930. It’s not so shocking now, but there are a number of hints that several ladies could have been gallivanting around with Lawrence, which surely was a bit risque?

All in all, I really enjoyed this reread of ‘The Murder at the Vicarage’. It’s full of excellent misdirection, character studies and village gossip, which is really what I think of when I think of a Christie whodunnit.

*Apparently Miss Marple’s first appearance was in a short story ‘The Tuesday Night Club’, written in 1926. However the collection it was published in - ‘The Thirteen Problems’ - was not published until 1932, so we have a few books to go until we get to it...

I really enjoyed this! I hadn’t read it before so I was quite surprised at how unappealing Miss Marple was early on - she seemed really gossipy and horrible and gradually became more and more likeable as the story went on. By the end she felt more like the Miss Marple I know from later books - gentler and more knowing and subtle. Possibly this is a case of the character simply growing as the author wrote her, but I like to think it’s because, as you say, the vicar’s perspective also shifts throughout the novel.

The story felt so similar to Roger Ackroyd, largely because of the way the narrator was set up, that I was almost convinced that our lovely vicar had in fact done the murder himself, except that I was fairly sure if she had pulled that trick again I would have heard about it. The Len-Griselda relationship was fascinating, and itself something of a mystery to be unravelled. I was very happy that there was nothing at all to be suspicious about either of them, as Griselda in particular was such a funny character. How terribly modern of her to commit to being an appalling housewife, and to cleave to her bad maid in order to keep her!

Len reluctantly convincing Mary to stay was one of my favourite scenes in the book, but it was full of all kinds of domestic gems.

The plot of this one is fascinating too - it’s another tricky one, though not as famous I guess as ‘they all did it’ or ‘the narrator did it’ to be talked about more? But I like that once again Christie is providing meta commentary on the genre of the murder mystery, in this case noting that realistically, the most obvious suspect is usually the murderer. And of course this has the whole ‘if a murderer was clever they would act suspiciously because acting innocent is a dead giveaway’ trick to it, which is nicely done.

Raymond was quite appalling! I’ve never seen him on screen before, only remember Miss Marple talking about him, so I was quite amused by what a vulgar intellectual snob he seemed to be. Again, though, the vicar’s perspective colours everything.

All in all, this is a lovely launch for Miss Marple and I like how much we get to see her working out how exactly a little old lady should go about being a detective, from first principles. Can you believe it was another twelve years before she appeared in another novel? Thank goodness for short stories!

Coming up:
1931: The Sittaford Mystery (also Murder at Hazelmoor ), Emily Trefusis, Inspector Narracott
1932: Peril at End House, Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, Chief Inspector Japp
1932: The Thirteen Problems, Miss Marple Shorts
1933: Lord Edgware Dies (also Thirteen at Dinner ), Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, Chief Inspector Japp

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

What Baby Read (2013)

  1. The Very Hungy Caterpillar, Eric CArle (from Mummy, purchased in NYC, caterpillar is a boy)
  2. The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Beatrix Potter (from Grandma, baby's first story)
  3. The Little Read Hen, Retold by Vera Southgate (from A, good classic)
  4. That's Not My Angel, Fiona Watt (from E, touchy book)
  5. Where is Baby?, Sally Rippin (from Better Beginnings, short, probably better with interaction)
  6. Baby Boo, Katie Rowbottom (from C, great baby faces)
  7. Tickle time!, Sandra Boynton (library, a bit monotonous)
  8. Goodnight moon, Margaret Wise Brown (library, a bit weird)
  9. Busy buddies, Cece Bell (library, unmemorable)
  10. Squeak, squeak!, Beth Harwood (library, gimmicky - not useful at this time)
  11. The biggest thing in the world , Kenneth C. Steven (library, a bit mushy, bear is a boy)
  12. Hop on Pop Dr. Seuss (library, seustastic! would reborrow)
  13. Where is Lighty Faust the lion? Anna Hymas (library, couldn't get the point of this one)
  14. Books for babies, Annemarie Florian (library, uninspiring)
  15. Possum magic numbers, Mem Fox (library, very pretty! good counting book)
  16. Wow! said the owl : a book about colours! Tim Hopgood (library, great book! would reborrow, owl is a girl)
  17. Buster's zoo, Rod Campbell (library, not ready for touch books yet)
  18. Dancing feet! Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown (library, Publisher's Weekly Starred Review! And a good book!)
  19. What is black and white? Petr Horacek (library, short and possibly existential)
  20. Moomin's little book of opposites, apparently not Tove Jansson (library, Moomins! nice book to read)
  21. Don't lose Pigley, Wibbly Pig! Mick Inkpen (library, genuinely exciting! almost :-)
  22. Farmyard Beat, Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown (library, possibly better than Dancing Feet! Farmer Sue.)
  23. A Squash and a Squeeze, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (library, relatively long)
  24. Wibbly Pig likes pictures, Mick Inkpen (library, less story than 'Don't lose Piggely...' but still a good book)
  25. Where is the Green Sheep?, Mem Fox and Judy Horacek (library, a very long of a board book!; it will be good when baby is a bit older)
  26. Play Baby Play, Marilyn Janovitz (library, good rhyming)
  27. Toddle Waddle, Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt (library, quite clever)
  28. Find the Duck, Stephen Cartwright (library, not quite old enough for this book, why is the duck a boy?)
  29. My Family, Brimax Publishing (library, good photos and activity flaps, very heteronormative family)
  30. Animals should definitely not wear clothing, Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett (library, hilarious, definitely would reborrow. Update: And have reborrowed.)
  31. Margot and Mo... and numbers, Nina Govan (library, very pretty counting book, but quite short)
  32. 123 Zoo, Puck (library, great bold colours but no words, plus conversation starters that I never read... might be better when she's older)
  33. Wiggle, Taro Gomi (library, OMFG best book ever - I would BUY this book! Update: first book to be reborrowed from library)
  34. Jane Eyre: A Counting Primer, Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver (library, very pretty book but only hints at the story)
  35. Buster's Farm, Rod Campbell (library, touch and feel book and she is beginning to get into that (@ 6mo))
  36. baby, boo!, Beth Harwood (library, not as good as the one we own, lovely non-gendered faces though)
  37. Little Ted's Big Adventure, ABC For Kids (library, beautiful pictures. reading the back, perhaps this is actually a song?)
  38. Whose Baby?, Fiona Munro and Jo Garden (library, a little book with GIANT flaps - which sounds kind of wrong. Story ok, but the flaps are its strongest point. Some odd baby choices but i guess they needed variety)
  39. That's not my dinosaur, Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells (library, another touch and feel book. Textures are a little advanced but baby is defininely getting the idea)
  40. Up Close, Gay Wegerif (library, fairly abstract artwork - attractive but probably a bit advanced)
  41. 10 in the bed, david ellwand (library, very large board book, cute teddy pictures)
  42. Ollie's Song, Rob Lewis (bookcrossing, a story book rather than a board book. good bed time reading. ollie is a boy)
  43. Pride and Prejudice: A counting primer, Jennifer Adams, Alison Oliver (Mummy bought, very pretty but let's not kid ourselves that this was bought for the baby...)
  44. That's not my meercat, Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells (Mummy bought, most successful touch and feel book yet - fur is very good texture right now (@7mo) nicely non gendered)
  45. That's not my tractor, Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells (library, a bit advanced but a great mix of non-furry textures. shiny/sparkly most successful for now)
  46. baby's best friend, Rachael Hale (library, good and partly non-gendered baby faces, but a bit overloaded on the cute puppy front. too saccharine for mummy)
  47. My Dad is the Best Playground, Luciana Navarro POwell (library, nice sentiment but far too saccharine for mummy)
  48. Bunnies by the Bay: Shapes, Five Mile Press (library, very pretty, faurly subtle touch and feel - might be more appropriate when a bit older - nearly at 8 mo now...)
  49. That's not my tractor, Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells (library, another touch and feel book. Most successful non-furry touch and feel to-date - sparkly is of interest in particular)
  50. Baby's Treasure Hunt, Roger Priddy (from C, lovely pictures still a bti young to pick out the treasures (8 mo))
  51. That's not my santa, Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells (library, another touch and feel book.)
  52. Pop-up Peekaboo!, Dawn Sirett et al. (library, was more interested in the pop-ups than I expected.)
  53. Five Little Ducks, graphics by Mike Jolley and Emma Dodd (library, not super interesting, but nice to sing along too. Doesn't shy away from the traumatic account of Mother Duck losing ALL her children!)
  54. Peekaboo!, Taro Gomi (for Xmas, lovely pictures but haven't tried the mask aspect)
  55. Alice in Wonderland: A colour primer, Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver (for Xmas, such a pretty pretty book. better than P&P at this time (9 mo) - gasp!)
  56. Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles: A sounds primer, Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver (for Xmas, another very pretty book. sounds also very appropriate for this age(9 mo))
  57. That's not my bunny.., Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells (from J and S, more great touch and feel, though shiny eyes are a bit unsettling!!)
  58. That's not my elephant.., Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells (from J and S, touch and feel with a nice variety of textures)
  59. Peekafun Chunky Baby Book, Dawn Sirett (from S and W, lots of lovely pages to turn but sad there are 4 male characters ans only 2 female. why not 50/50?)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Agathon #12 - The Mysterious Mr Quin [1930]

Tansy and I started out with a challenge to read every book written by Agatha Christie, in order of publication – we’re blogging as we go along. We spoil all the things!  

What a bizarre collection of stories!

 I’m not sure if these are terribly meta or actually paranormal – it seems to me that in these tales Christie is actually pointing out the inherent ridiculousness of the coincidences and highly mannered events of her own novels by making the coincidence factor so terribly high that it borders on magic.

Satterthwaite and his odd friendship with Mr Quinn is a hard relationship to pin down – it feels almost seductive in some stories (totally slashtastic) and in others something more innocent and playful, reminiscent of when the Doctor breaks in a new companion in Doctor Who.

Many elements in the stories feel deeply like Christie – the characters and backgrounds – but the stories themselves are so tangled up with gothic romance, ghostly prediction and a kind of magical realism that they feel also totally unlike her other work.

I’m bewildered. What does the last story even MEAN? Did Mr Quin murder the Russian dancer himself? Is he Death? If he’s Death, why does he spend so much time trying to prevent tragedies and suicides, especially those involving young lovers?

Some of the stories are quite playful and fun – the one with the opal and the Chinese box made me laugh out loud. “He’s been in prison a year!” and they remind me at times of the Isaac Asimov Black Widowers short stories in their construction. I wonder at what the effect of them would be on their own, as originally published, rather than in this whole collection.

 Still bewildering, I imagine.

Also, have they made THIS one into a Poirot or Miss Marple TV movie? Because I would really love to see how the hell they could manage it.  

KATHRYN: The Mysterious Mr Quin
 So, like, I think this is my favorite Christie short story collection to-date. Which is not to say that I loved it and want to marry it, but it did irritate me much less than I remember previous collections (note: I am am opting to AVOID rereading earlier entries to check the veracity of my memory!!)

I totally agree that this collection had a very different, almost mystical, tone compared to Christie’s other works to date (second note: from Christie’s foreword in my copy, she refers to Quin as ‘not quite human’,and that she wrote ghost stories before she wrote crime, which suggests that the paranormal notes were intentional, and Christie did indeed write SPECULATIVE FICTION). However, I think it’s for this reason that I was happy to accept a level of melodrama and coincidence that I would have found unbelievable in a Poirot or Tommy and Tuppence story (or Miss Marple, but we haven’t technically got to her yet).

 I remain bemused by Mr Quin – he seemed to be just a useful plot point in more than one story. However, I did rather love Mr Satterthwaite, and his characterisation as a gossip who knows EVERYBODY (worth knowing, of course), but who also feels he lives outside of everything as an observer. It seemed to me that his character developed over the course of the collection (intentionally or not), and perhaps it was this development that made the collection more interesting for me, compared to the others where the main players have been previously developed in novels, and therefore remain fairly static.

In the forward to my copy, Christie also suggests that the collection also describes the story of the original Harlequin, but Wikipedia tells me there are many interpretations of Harlequin so I can’t work out which one she actually means… (Third note: I did check IMDB, though, and it does not appear that this particular work has been adapted for the small or large screen!)  

The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) 
The Sittaford Mystery (also Murder at Hazelmoor) (1931)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Agathon #11 - Partners in Crime [1929]

Tansy and I started out with a challenge to read every book written by Agatha Christie, in order of publication – we’re blogging as we go along. Sometimes we blog twice in one month! (Sometimes. At least once, anyway...)  

Oh, Tommy and Tuppence. I wasn’t expecting this at all!

I’ve been fairly meh on the Christie short story collections in the past, compared to the novels, but this one is splendid largely because it is a short story collection pretending to be a novel! Or possibly a novel pretending to be a short story collection.

The premise is basically that six years into their marriage (they are now in their early 30’s) Tuppence is bored and Tommy’s government job suddenly throw them a magnificent bit of espionage to play with. It is vital for King and Country that the cute married couple take over a detective agency (after the unfortunate death of its real owner) and play at being detectives until a Vital Piece of Espionage comes their way.

 And play they do. Every chapter represents a new case to solve, and Tommy and Tuppence throw themselves into their roles with great glee, impersonating and parodying every famous detective they know. I only recognised a few of them to my shame, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of Tommy and Tuppence’s indulgences.

Some of the cases are silly and some very serious, but Tommy and Tuppence are never ever serious (well, maybe a little towards the end) and are indulged in their fancies by a remarkably tolerant Detective Inspector, and their rather theatrical new footman Alfred who takes to their life of crime with such joy.

 Buttered muffins! Cheese Cakes at the tea shop! And oh, those little grey cells. How much do I love the fact that Christie parodies Poirot in this book every much as Holmes and the many other detecting gentlemen of the paperback novel set.

 This is one I suspect I shall come back to and read with joy several more times in my life. Possibly while eating buttered muffins.  

KATHRYN Partners in Crime

Ok, this is interesting, because I really didn’t like ‘Partners In Crime’ (and potentially this is the first major difference in opinion that Tansy and I have had!!). Granted, I did not find it as tedious as the first short story collection that we read as part of the Agathon (Poirot Investigates) but I did find the premise of Tommy and Tuppence taking over a detective agency to be a fairly contrived and shallow way to string a series of short stories together. Don’t get me wrong, they are both still charming and I find their interactions still *mostly* delightful (if sometimes a bit forced here), but I am yet to read a Christie short story that I find as satisfying as her longer works. A bit of internet research shows that all the stories in ‘Partners in Crime’ had been published before, though it’s not clear whether Christie intended to publish them all together in the end, or whether it was simply expedient to do so.

The one component I did like of this book was the on-going homage to other famous detectives. Most of these went over my head (because most of the detectives referenced are no longer as famous as they once were) but there were some nice references to Sherlock Holmes in ‘The Missing Lady’ – and Christie’s tongue in cheek references to Poirot’s little grey cells in the final short story did thrill me much more than it should have!

The Mysterious Mr Quinn (1930)
The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)... and finally MISS MARPLE!!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Agathon #10 - The Seven Dials Mystery [1929]

Tansy and I are reading every book written by Agatha Christie, in order of publication – we’re blogging as we go along. We spoil all the things! (Tansy's post is here: )

How much do I love Bundle in this story? She’s quite my favourite kind of character in old-fashioned novels: the relentlessly sensible young lady with a sense of humour and an adventurous spirit. I actually loved most of the characters, and would happily have read book after book featuring Bundle’s bumbling gang of chums and reprobates as they solve! Crimes! Together!

I’m rather in love with Superintendent Battle too, and was convinced until right at the end that he and Bundle were destined for each other. I was quite cross that her line about how it was a good thing he was married came AFTER she had got engaged to Bill, as I could have done with it much earlier so as not to get my hopes up.

Also, house parties. I think all novels should have house parties in them.

Plotwise, I was slightly in dread of another Agatha take on secret societies after The Big Four, but this one was actually clever and well executed. The twist as to who was the missing Number One, and the double twist about what the society were actually up to worked so very well, and just as I was breathing a huge sigh of relief about Battle not being a bad guy, I got whomped in the jaw by Jimmy.

Oh, Jimmy. You were so adorable and feckless. I wanted you and Bundle to fight crime together in a vaguely inept fashion forever. And NONE OF IT WAS TRUE.

I had been spoiled for Roger Ackroyd, but this is the first time a Christie has socked me with a revelation that made me seriously consider going right back and reading the entire book again from scratch. Because, JIMMY. He can’t be arsed getting out of bed in the morning, and he’s a criminal mastermind? Also his doe-eyed wench, whom we were told couldn’t be trusted, but in such a ‘oh she’s going to be cute and jump into the investigation too’ way as opposed to ‘by the way, she’s evil.’

I am a bit sad about Jimmy. Also that Bundle has now been married off and so probably won’t turn up again. Sigh. I would trade Poirot for 20 more Bundle novels in a shot.

My absolute favourite scenes were those between Bundle and her father, so witty and warm and teasing each other. His response to the boring chap asking for her hand in marriage was hilarious too. If we can’t have Bundle back, I’ll have Lord Caterham! He’d be a splendid amateur detective, doing everything from his armchair at the club, in between long naps and the occasional hand of bridge.

I have to say that this is my absolute favourite introduction to any of the Agathon books we’ve read so far. Hjinks with alarm clocks! House party! A girl inexplicably named Socks! (Subtle). And all leading quite effortlessly into the first murder of the book. The humour in the introductory chapters – and indeed most of the book – lies within with Christie’s excellent character studies of, not only the gay but scatty young people who are staying at Chimney’s, but also poor Lady Coote and her inability to deal with the servants she has inherited with the lease to Lord Caterham’s (and Bundle’s) stately home.

And (pending Bundle’s arrival on the scene), there’s Jimmy. Charming, sincere, and incompetent Jimmy, who I’m sure I’d find completely irritating if I knew him in real life, but is marvelous to read. Possibly one of the most shocking things for me about Jimmy turning out to be the villain was that he did not commit his crimes for some ideological reason. He was not part of some international spy conspiracy. Instead he committed theft and murder purely for financial gain. And, despite this being the most logical reason for Jimmy to be the criminal, it just seemed to totally at odds with his carefree nature. It broke my heart a little (though I guess that might be the point…)

Like Tansy, I was a bit in dread of the possibility that the ‘Seven Dials’ would end up being a copycat of the ‘Big Four’, so was relieved when we got to the twist and found out that the Seven Dials are the good guys. Still, like many of Christie’s conspiracy/spy books (as compared to her more cerebral who-dunnits), the mystery is a bit over the top and the plot somewhat haphazardly gathered together at the end. This story is not as well crafted as ‘Roger Ackroyd’ and I think Christie has simply removed most of Jimmy’s dastardly deeds to off-stage, such that there wouldn’t be too many pointers even on a reread, even in the sections of the story told from Jimmy’s point of view.

Still, this kind of action suits the characters, and I don’t actually think the main point of this book is the who-dunnit. For my mind the real value of this book is the charming characterisation of Bundle, Jimmy and their pals, as they race around making themselves useful (even though they often don’t get up until 11 am).

Partners in Crime (1929)
The Mysterious Mr Quinn (1930)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Book List 2013

What I read in 2013:
  1. Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (quite desperation)
  2. Before I Go to Sleep, S J Watson (louder desperation)
  3. The Light Between Oceans, M. L. Steadman (Western Australiana plus history)
  4. The Pilgrimage, Paulo Coelho (a bit hippy for me)
  5. Battleaxe (Book one of the Axis Trilogy), Sara Douglas (maybe this is dated, but I didn't find this particularly novel or exciting)
  6. Spirit Gate (Book one of Crossroads), Kate Elliot (Interesting enough, though not interesting enough to search out the other books)
  7. Assymetry, Thoraiya Dyer ()
  8. Mirror Mirror, Gregory Maguire (a bit of a slog)
  9. To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis (charming as ever)
  10. The Republic of Love, Carol Shields (also charming)
  11. Wanting, Richard Flanagan (meditative)
  12. A Trifle Dead, Tansy Rayner Roberts (totally want to go to Hobart now)
  13. A Storm of Swords, George RR Martin (many people dead (and not!dead!))
  14. The Murder at the Vicarage, Agatha Christie (first Marple!)
  15. Living Dead in Dallas, Charlaine Harris (fairy floss, but fun)
  16. Club Dead, Charlaine Harris (fairy floss, but fun)
  17. Dead to the World, Charlaine Harris (fairy floss, but fun)
  18. Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (modern fairytale)
  19. Sea Hearts, Margo Lanagan (dreamy, beautiful, and a tiny bit heartbreaking)
  20. Caution: Contains Small Parts, Kirstyn McDermott (excellent collection - still thinking about dolls)
  21. Dead as a Doornail, Charlaine Harris (fairy floss, but fun)
  22. The Dalai Lama's Cat, David Michie (instructional if a bit, twee)
  23. One Small Step, ed. Tehani Wessely ()
  24. Next, ed. Simon Petrie and Robert Porteous ()
  25. Tomorrow, ed. Karen Henderson ()
  26. The Sittaford Mystery, Agatha Christie (a bit ho hum)
  27. A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin (didn't feel as long as #3 - and very enjoyable)
  28. Save our Sleep, Tizzie Hall (in some ways the most terrifying book I have ever read)
  29. The Condimental Op, Andrez Bergen ()
  30. Peril at End house, Agatha Christie (more melodrama than a typical mystery. possibly?)
  31. The Bone Chime Song and other Stories, Joanne Anderton ()
  32. C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2012, C.M. Simpson ()
  33. Ugly, Robert Hoge (very readable, charming)
  34. Storm Front, Jim Butcher (nothing special)
  35. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 7, ed. Jonathan Strahan ()
  36. The Impossible Object, David Conyers ()
  37. The Uncertainty Bridge, David Conyers ()
  38. The Entropy Conflict, David Conyers ()
  39. The Nightmare Dimension, David Conyers ()
  40. Simple Broken Things, Anthony Sweet ()
  41. The Bride Price, Cat Sparks ()
  42. A Year of Ancient Ghosts, Kim Wilkins ()
  43. Prickle Moon, Juliette Marillier ()
  44. The Gate Theory, Kaaron Warren ()
  45. Tales from the Perseus Arm, ed. Sam Taylor
  46. The Tobacco Stained Sky, ed. Guy Salvidge
  47. Tales of Australia, ed. Stephen Ormsby
  48. Dreaming of Djinn, ed. Liz Grzyb
  49. Star Quake 1, ed. Sophie Yorkston
  50. The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2013, ed. Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene
  51. Focus 2012: Highlights of Australian Short Fiction, ed. Tehani Wessely
  52. Dreaming of Djinn, ed. Liz Grzyb