Knit to This: Phoebe Reads a Mystery

By Kay Gardiner
August 1, 2020

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42 Comments
  • Thanks SO much for this recommendation!

  • You must have read my mind, Kay. Literally, just yesterday I was contemplating an Agatha Christie mystery from Audible but couldn’t decide which one so went with something else instead. In my teen years I read all of them, some maybe, twice (especially when they were re-marketed with a different title). I hope you have fun with Hercule and his little grey cells! Chloe

  • How fun! I discovered Phoebe Reads a Mystery a couple of months ago. But because I am an avid Agatha Christie reader and have watched all of the wonderful BBC Christie shows, I chose to listen to something unfamiliar; The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. (For those who aren’t familiar with it, it is thought to be the first detective novel ever written.)

    • I first read the Moonstone at 8. I have forever been hooked on this genre ever since. Another brilliant early crime writer is Ngaio Marsh. Hard to find but am re reading and loving

  • Thank you for this wonderful recommendation! I will definitely give Phoebe Reads a Mystery a listen. I am loving MDK. Thank you for being there.

  • Just yesterday my niece and I were having a Dorothy Sayers vs Agatha Christie discussion. I’m for Sayers, she’s in Agatha’s camp. But I’ll confess I’ve never read more than a few of Dame Agatha’s books. I think I was such a compulsive reader in my younger days I was afraid I’d get sucked into all those hundreds of stories and never be heard from again. These days that doesn’t sound so bad….
    But no one will ever replace Lord Peter!

    • I love Christie but Lord Peter is my detective too –

      • Hoorah!

    • Oh Lord Peter Wimsey is wonderful! Need to add in Ngaio Marsh to this comparison. In my opinion, better again than either Christie or Sayers

    • Oh, youthful memories of my mad crush on Lord Peter. Thank you for the reminder. I’m inspired for a re-read.

  • Thanks to you, I just downloaded the first chapter of The Mysterious Affair at Styles. I am so happy to have read your post.

  • Thank you for this. Strangely I’ve never read any of her books either. This sounds like a plan.

    • I’ve read them all several times. Also like Dorothy Sayers and Georgette Heyer, who wrote mysteries in addition to historical fiction. For US writers of the same vintage, try S. S. Van Dyne (Philo Vance) and early Ellery Queen.

      • I would also add Margery Allingham’s (Albert Campion) to that list.

        • I came to prefer Campion over Wimsey.

  • I’ve listened to “Phoebe Reads A Mystery” from the beginning, coming over from “Criminal”. Just hearing Phoebe’s voice every day is soothing….

  • I read ‘The Leavenworth Case’ last year. Anna Katharine Green was ‘the mother of the detective novel’. This was a great read and also Anna’s life is fascinating.

  • Try the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. It’s an excellent mystery series.

  • Thanks for introducing me to one more source for audible books! I have been listening to books while knitting for several months and have found some great books on the app named Chirp. Great prices and interesting selections, many stories similar to my favorite old time author, Agatha Christie. I love to multi-task —- knit and listen!

    • Can’t wait to try. I’m currently rewatching, won’t say how many times, all the most recent Miss Marples. Joan Hickson is my favorite but all add a little something extra in their versions. Thanks for something new to try.

      • I’ve just watched the Miss Marples and Joan Hickson is excellent in it. Always good to see her knitting. I do also love Sayers and Marsh. I’ve ready many of them.

  • Thank you! I love Dame Agatha – and BTW, Miss Marple is a knitter.

  • Yes!!! Ty Kay, as always. When these run out…check out Taika Waititi and his pals reading James and the Giant Peach over on the YouTubes. It’s a fundraiser for Partners in Health in 10 episodes and it’s a wonderful hoot. https://youtu.be/29LDBdpNMRc

    • Thanks for this recommendation!

  • I too love Masterpiece theatre and PBS in totality. By mistake I ordered a audible book from the Library, if you like mysteries Louise Penny murder mystery set in Quebec is a good read, but when read by a Shakespearean actor was fascinating, he did all the voices. Great to sew and hand quilt to. Penny

    • Thank you for sharing your find, I’m a Louise Penny fan, too.

  • I’ve always loved The PBS and movies but I too had never read the boooks. By chance, I bought a used copy on a trip. Now I’ve read several. She’s as fresh as any contemporary author.

  • Wow! This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  • OMG you’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel???? lucky you, it’s a treat. i unfortunately, read all i could find by the age of 15- it’ s been a long dry spell. but i’ve never had them read to me; thanks for the recoomendation.

  • I can’t believe you’ve never read Agatha Christie, but I’m also a little jealous, because now you get to, for the first time. Among other things, as in first reading Shakespeare and the Bible, you’ll see where everyone got all their ideas.

  • I’m a “ Miss Marple” fan. Love her, her knitting, her garden.
    You are in for a treat.
    Also “Maisie Dobbs” books and Louise Penny. With both of these series, start with first book.

  • Just the kind of thing I’ve been looking for! I got the BBC radio plays of Christie’s shorts from my public library. Some of it was good… Some cringey. phoebe judge has a great voice and I think I’ll really like her Poirot.

  • How delightful! I sheepishly admit that I’ve only watched screen adaptations of Agatha’s work (until later today, I predict!).
    I’ve been a longtime Elizabeth George fan of her Inspector Lynley series, and in my opinion (I can’t overstate this) how much the televised version pales in comparison to her books. I think I’m in for a treat!

  • caught my eye – our darling daughter is called Phoebe ! Not to mention I share your love of anything involving the English country house. also any regional accents – have you seen Vera? that is a great police /murder detective series set in Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Thank you SO much. I love to listen to books, and this podcast is a real gem! I so appreciate your daily posts and weekend snippets!

  • It may be heresy, but I think that Agatha Christie mysteries are best as filmed, period pieces, so you can see the clothes, landscape, and architecture. They are cozy, but not really great literature (more heresy!). Listening to them while knitting sounds fun, too!

    • I just re-watched several of the Joan Hickson episodes (thanks to MDK telling us about Britbox) and was struck by the clothing–such great designs and fabrics. Fun period for fashion.
      Looking down everyone’s notes, I’m now struck by the fact that all of the series mentioned today were written by women authors: Christie, Sayers, Heyer, George, Penny, Allingham, Winspear. I’ve listened to/read all of these authors. I’ll add Kate Atkinson to the list–her Jackson Brodie mysteries are fun to listen to.

  • Thank you for a fabulous recommendation. I’ve loaded all episodes into my podcast app and can’t wait to get into them

  • Thanks, Kay for this post! I have been enjoying Iona Whishaw’s Lane Winslow series. Like Louise Penny, the setting is in Canada and shortly after WWII in which Lane was involved in England’s intelligence group. She moves to western Canada to leave the war and its memories behind. But what does she discover????

  • Wow. You have a brand-new vista open before you. Such fun!!

  • All I can say to you wonderful “cozy murder” innocents is welcome, enjoy yourselves, and wait till you get to The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd. Hold on to your hats.

  • Also Donna Leon’s books are seriously great, all set in Venice with Commissario Brunetti, a wonderful character!! Well written with great supporting characters, one being Venice as well!