Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

The Rose and the Yew Tree by Mary Westmacott

Blurb from Goodreads

Everyone expected Isabella Charteris, sheltered and aristocratic, to marry her cousin Rupert St. Loo when he came back from the War. She had known Rupert since childhood. He was handsome, strong, and deeply in love with her. Everyone agreed, it would have been such a suitable marriage, they were a perfect match.

How strange then that John Gabriel, an war hero and and one of the candidates in a post-war election in Cornwall, should appear in her life. Nobody expected Isabelle to fall for him. John was Rupert’s opposite — a man of ruthless ambition, overwhelming appetites, who desired Isabella, but despised everything she stood for.

From the moment they met, Isabella knew John would gladly destroy her… yet she could not resist him… For Isabella, the price of love would mean abandoning her dreams of home and happiness forever. For John, it would destroy his chance of a career and all his ambitions….

Why I Want To Read It

Happy Monday everyone! Today is the last Monday of January. This month somehow felt longer than it seemed. I kept seeing memes on social media saying this. I also felt it may be because I was busier than usual due to year-end closing activities and audits. Thankfully we are done now with both and I can finally take some time off. How about you fellow reader? I hope that you were able to recuperate during the weekend and that you are greeting the first day of the week with renewed enthusiasm. I hope that in this coming week, you will be able to accomplish everything you set out to achieve. I hope that your week will be productive. However, if you are not up to it, I hope you spend the week resting and recovering. More importantly, I hope everyone is doing well, in body, mind, and spirit.

To kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. Like what I did in the first two months of 2022, I found myself cramming with books released in 2022 that I currently have. I am currently reading Jennifer Egan’s latest novel, The Candy House. It is the reason I read her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Visit From The Goon Squad, despite my ambivalence brought about by the concern about the novel’s structure. I did end up liking the book which made me look forward to its sequel, The Candy House. However, the book I am featuring this week is not a recent release, rather, it is a book that is quite old. Not that old but still old, Agatha Christie’s The Rose and the Yew Tree.

I have long been a fan of Agatha Christie whose prolific career featured over eighty books of mystery and suspense fiction. This earned her the moniker of Queen of Suspense. My venture into her oeuvre started with The Murder on the Orient Express over a decade ago. A friend recommended her and so I decided to give her a chance. I was blown! I guess the intense reaction is partly due to the fact that at the time I read her novel, I was in a reading slump. I also lost interest in suspense and mystery fiction. The Murder on the Orient Express reignited that. It also marked the start of a reader-writer relationship that covered, so far, 30 books. Christie is currently my second most-read writer, after Danielle Steel.

To the uninitiated, you might be wondering why the writer’s name is different. Mary Westmacott is actually a pseudonym used by Christie. The backstory behind this is quite interesting. Back in 1926, Christie disappeared for a while after her husband asked for a divorce. Her sudden disappearance made it to mainstream news. She would, later on, be located eat the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire, 184 miles (296 km) north of her home in Sunningdale. There was a gap of 10 days between her disappearance and the time she was found. It was a sensation back then and even made global news. Until now, her disappearance remains one of the biggest mysteries in literature. Christie scholars are also divided.

Shortly after this phase, Christie adopted the pseudonym, Mary Westmacott. She would publish six works, including The Rose and the Yew Tree under this pseudonym. Christie managed to keep the secret from the public for nearly two decades. It is also said that the books she wrote using this pseudonym deviate from her typical works of mystery fiction, AKA Hercule Poirot/Miss Marple mysteries. These six books included elements of romance which makes me look forward to reading The Rose and the Yew Tree. I am also hoping to read the other books. As the book has been on my bookshelf for nearly six years, I have included it in my 2023 Beat the Backlist Challenge.

How about you fellow reader? What books have you added to your reading list? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!