“The Body in the Library” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is another Miss Marple Mystery first published in 1942.

How did a female body get to be there in the library of the residence of Colonel and Mrs Bantry? Both were friends of Miss Jane Marple and therefore Mrs Bantry requested the help of Miss Marple to solve this mystery. The reputation of Miss Marple in solving murders was well known even to the police. Jane Marple studied human nature and drew parallels to characters of her village to match human natures to analyse the current case.

As I was reading the fiction, I was not nearer to establishing the killer until I was reaching the end of the book. The author, Agatha Christie kept me in the dark and I was frustrated just like the police detectives.

The plot of murder was convoluted for reason to provide alibi for the real killer. However with the clear explanation by Miss Marple, one could marvel at the ingenious plot and the killer nearly got away with it.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Walk at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

I have been to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve some years back. Since the end of last year, there is a new extension to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve that includes a coastal trail facing the Straits of Johor. The former Visitor Centre is now named as the Wetland Centre and the new and impressive Visitor Centre is now shifted to the end of the coastal walk nearer to the Kranji Reservoir (to the east of the Reserve).

If you drive using the Seletar Expressway (SLE) towards the Reserve, you would drive pass the road above the Kranji Dam. The view is magnificent with water on both side of the road. It is as if you are travelling cross-country to another part of the world.

On 15 June 2018 (Friday and a public holiday), five cars with twenty two people set off at 7.30 am for Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. We reached the car park nearest to the Wetland Centre at 8.10 am. In three hours, we walked the trail at the Buloh Tidal Ponds on the left of the Wetland Centre (so called old Sungei Buloh I had visited before) and proceeded to the newly opened extension to Sungei Buloh and the coastal walk to the right of the Wetland Centre. The rain came on when we were moving towards the new extension. We were lucky that the rain was not too heavy and umbrellas were sufficient to keep us going.

At this time of the year, we would not see migratory birds. In order to see them, October/November period would be ideal (so said a nature lover and enthusiast). According to NParks, September to March would be ideal for a visit. The tide was low in the early morning but we were still able to see birds, animals and insects. We saw crocodile, tree climbing monitor lizard, eagle, herons, woodpecker, spider, squirrel, hornbill, bats, water snake. Specific names of birds are beyond me. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve will be a good place for city dwellers to visit. No wonder this place is termed a living classroom for learning natural habitats on a mangrove swamp.

The old Sungei Buloh is a bit run-down and some construction works are happening. The new extension to the Wetland Reserve would release the pressure on the old Sungei Buloh. I enjoyed the new extension to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the coastal walk despite the rain. The coastal walk alongside the Johor Strait was a feast for the eyes. Looking across the Strait, we can see Johor, Malaysia quite near.

I am impressed with the observation pods (shaped like a bird nest to me) dotted alongside the coastal trail. These pods are named Mudskipper Pod, Kingfisher Pod, Dragonfly Pod, Eagle Point, and Fantail Pod. The names suggest the kinds of habitats that could be seen at each pod. Another attraction is the Mud Experience platform. Visitors can walk the rope balancing bridge to the mudflats at low tides and experience the soft mud and come up close to the living things thriving in mangrove swamp.

Because of the rain, we had a cool morning walk. We ended the walk at 11.10 am and proceeded for lunch at Bollywood Veggies (Poison Ivy Café). I recommend that one must make reservation to secure a seat in the air-con area. Otherwise, one may eat in alfresco style. It was crowded yesterday on account that it was a public holiday.

To wrap up the whole trip, we made a visit to Kin Yan Agrotech, quite near to Sungei Buloh Wetland Centre. Kin Yan Agrotech’s products are being sold in NTUC Fairprice. These include wheatgrass, pea sprouts, various mushrooms, black fungus, aloe vera, cactus, etc. If you have a group of at least twenty people, the company may entertain you with talk and instructional tour of their premises. You can also shop for these products on their premises instead of at supermarkets.

The biggest take-away for me was that I was with nature in their natural habitat environment (mangrove swamp). Next time round, I would visit when the migratory birds are coming in to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

You can see Johor across the strait. See new housing developments there.

Aerie Tower

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

Fledgling woodpecker Photo credit Lim Choon Huat
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Astrea IV PE Bond Alloted to All Valid Applicants

If you have applied for the public tranche of Astrea IV PE bond (Class A-1), you would have been allocated some units, if not all, of the bonds.

I had been lamenting that applicants of past initial public offerings (IPO) always had to go through lottery draws and the allocation process favoured the big players. The most recent one I had commented on was Netlink NBN Trust IPO in July 2017.

This time round, applicants applying for 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000 units of Astrea IV bond, get all they wanted. The rich investors applying for above $1,000,000 get only 11,000 units.

But we must not forget that the rich investors may have a second bite of the bonds through the placement tranche part of the IPO (S$121m, half of total).

Correct me if I am wrong. This is the first time that there is no balloting of applications for an IPO to the public (ie retail investors). I did not track all IPOs issued in the past.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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“The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is another Miss Jane Marple Mystery first published in 1962.

Miss Jane Marple believed to be close to 100 years old in the story still lived in St. Mary Mead. She belonged to a group of the elderly people who lived in Queen Anne and Georgian houses. She lived to see modern times such as a supermarket springing up in her town. Then there was new housing development across the stream that once was meadows with cows.

Through The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, Agatha Christie described great changes to her life since she lived through the period of 1891 to 1976.

Coming back to the story, I was brought to the world of pictures (films) with glamourous actress, Marina Gregg, moving in to stay in the neighbourhood as Miss Marple. On the day of the house warming party, Heather Babcock died suddenly on taking a cocktail drink. What was interesting was that the death occurred in front of so many people from invited guests to household personnel engaged by the celebrity couple. Who then had the opportunity to cause death and what was the reason to inflict this? Was Marina Gregg the target instead of Heather Babcock who was such a fan of the actress?

Miss Marple found out the killer and I guessed it correctly. This was rare for me. It was a good read to the end.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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“They do it with Mirrors” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is a Miss Jane Marple Mystery first published in 1952.

Agatha Christie created Miss Jane Marple in her first crime story The Murder in the Vicarage published in 1930. Since then, Agatha Christie had written thirteen books with Miss Jane Marple as the crime solver. Miss Marple was English, white-haired and a sweet old lady. Based on the few books I read of her, she came across as one who was friendly and could speak to people easily. Miss Marple had a knack to crack the mysteries of murders when the police could not.

In They do it with Mirrors, I was curious with the title of the book. It was an interesting title. I was wondering how a murder could be done with  the use of mirrors. Gun shots were heard coming from a locked study room by all present in the great hall connecting to the study. No one died in the study room. Instead a family visitor was shot dead in the guest room at the other end of the floor. This was the backdrop for investigation by the police.

Who had the opportunity to kill and for what motive? It was an Aha for me when I came towards the last few chapters of the book. I was not disappointed and Miss Marple had my admiration for her brain and insight.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Two bonds open for subscriptions – Astrea IV Bond and Singapore Savings Bonds (GX18070N)

Astrea IV PE Bond

Astrea IV private equity bond issued by Astrea IV Pte Ltd has a coupon rate (interest) of 4.35% per annum up to 5 years non-call period. It has maturity of 10 years if the bond is not called after 5 years with step-up interest of 1% add on to 4.35% p.a.

(There are a lot details on this retail bond backed by cash flows from a portfolio of private equity funds. Read the prospectus for details on rewards and risks of this investment.)

Astrea IV PE bond (Class A-1) will be listed on the main board of SGX-ST for trading. Value of this bond will be quoted in the Singapore Exchange.

Astrea IV PE bond has an indirect link to Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited. Astrea IV Pte Ltd is indirectly wholly owned through a structure back to Temasek Holdings.

Public offer closes on 12 June 2018 12 pm.

Singapore Savings Bonds (GX18070N)

After three rounds of oversubscriptions since April 2018 (Apr to Jun), SSB had been in favour with investors. The quantity ceiling allotted amount was $12,000 for the last issue (June).

“This Savings Bond was allotted using the Quantity Ceiling format. Applicants who applied for SGD 12,000 or lower were fully allotted, subject to the individual allotment limits. Applicants who applied for SGD 12,500 or higher were allotted either SGD 12,000 or SGD 12,500. Approximately 18.99% of these applicants were selected at random and allotted the additional SGD 500.” (Source: MAS public notice)

For July SSB (GX18070N), the average return per year (when held to 10 years) is 2.63%. Incidentally, this interest rate was similar to the SSB first launched in October 2015 (though not the highest).

Application closes 9 pm 26 June 2018.


I expect both bonds will find many investors interested. The higher coupon (interest) rate for Astrea IV PE bond of 4.35% p.a. compared with Singapore Savings Bonds of 2.63% p.a. is due to the risk level of PE bond when compared with SSB.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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“Hallowe’en Party” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is another Hercule Poirot Mystery first published in 1969.

A Halloween Party for eleven plus children held at the home of Mrs Rowena Drake went wrong. A thirteen year old child, Joyce Reynolds, drowned in a tub used for an apple-bobbing game. This happened because she claimed that she had seen a murder some years back. Why would anyone want to kill a young girl under this circumstance?

Hercule Poirot was invited to look into this unusual death by drowning in a tub. In fact there were several unexplained deaths few years back in this quiet town known as Woodleigh Common. Were these unexplained deaths had any connections with the death of young Joyce Reynolds? Could Poirot solve these mysterious deaths? Were there one killer or several unrelated killers? What was the story?

I was satisfied with the motives of the murders. It was clear and straightforward. Agatha Christie wrote a story that I have enjoyed.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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