Six Degrees of Separation: From Where Am I Now? to Strangers on a Train #6Degrees 

Here’s how it works: on the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

Kate says: Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal or esoteric ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge. Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the  comments section of each month’s post.   You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees


This month’s starting book is Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson. Click on the title to read the book description on Goodreads.

My first link is to a book, in a completely different genre, which also has a question as its title – Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie.  In the book, amateur sleuths, Bobby Jones and Lady Frances Derwent, team up to solve the mystery of  a dying man’s last words – the aforementioned question in the title.

Another pair of amateur sleuths feature in Francis Durbridge’s Paul Temple series, this time a married couple.  Originally created as a radio series, in the first book, Send For Paul Temple, Paul and his wife, usually referred to by her nickname ‘Steve’, are called in by the police to help solve a series of diamond robberies.  The book also features some enigmatic dying words – ‘The Green Finger’ – this time uttered by a  night-watchman attacked during one of the raids.

Diamonds are at the heart of James Bond’s fourth outing in Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming, in which Bond seeks to infiltrate a diamond smuggling gang.   Ian Fleming liked to spend time in his holiday home in Jamaica, a house called Goldeneye.  Amongst the many possible inspirations for the name of the house is reputed to be the title of Carson McCullers’ novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye.

Carson McCullers’ most well-known book is, of course, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute.

A deaf man also features in Colin Dexter’s The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, in which Inspector Morse investigates the murder of Quinn who was poisoned at a drinks party held at his workplace, the Foreign Examinations Board in Oxford.  The Inspector Morse books were  made into a successful Granada TV series, in which Colin Dexter famously made brief non-speaking appearances in some episodes.  (He’s in the background at the drinks party in this one.)

6Degrees_HitchcockAnother person famous for their brief appearances in films was director, Alfred Hitchcock.  For example, in his adaptation of Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith, he’s seen struggling to get on the train carrying a cello in a case.

 


Next month’s starting book is The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

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12 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: From Where Am I Now? to Strangers on a Train #6Degrees 

  1. Very clever first link!
    We all have horrifying gaps in our reading history (I think!) and one of mine is Patricia Highsmith. I’ve been meaning to read some of work (Ripley as a starting point probably) ever since I saw the stage play about her, Switzerland, which was truly one of the best plays I’ve ever seen – there were details about Highsmith in the play that I thought were so crazy they couldn’t be true… fact checked them all and they were correct – seems she’s as interesting as her books!

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  2. It’s so much fun to see the directions you took this. Agatha Christie is a mystery staple. I enjoy her books. I really want to give Strangers on a Train a try. I imagine I would like it. I hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. No, I haven’t (I’ll admit I haven’t read many of the Bond books either) but I did come across the book you mention while researching my list. Very mixed reviews on Goodreads so not sure if it will find a place on my already huge wishlist…

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