“Peril at End House” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is a Hercule Poirot Mystery first published in 1932.

Miss Nick Buckley mentioned to Hercule Poirot that she must have a charmed life living in her own house called the End House. Three times Nick Buckley had accidental brushes with death. She thought nothing about them for they could be nothing more than accidents. One when a hanging painting fell on her bed she was in missing her by inches; two when a boulder fell onto the path she was walking on; three when the brake of her car failed.

Hercule Poirot thought otherwise when a fourth attempt at killing Nick Buckley was made. The start of investigating who was behind these attempts began in earnest in case the killer was on target the next time round.

The famous private detective Poirot had a hard time trying to piece together a coherent motive for wanting to kill Nick Buckley. Nick had no known enemies or was rich for motive of killing to make any sense. Until nearing the end of the book, Hercule Poirot was completely baffled. There must be a missing piece of information that had not come to light to Poirot and therefore caused confusion to me as I progressed with the book.

The ending was one of surprise and most unlikely. How did Hercule Poirot fare in his investigation? Who was behind this peril of staying in the End House?

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Cost of Living under spotlight

When I looked at my financial wealth, it wasn’t great for this year. 2018 is turning out to be worse than 2017. The Donald Trump impact on financial markets was felt keenly in recent months. My invested assets returned only 1.12% on costs so far and my overall portfolio was down nearly 2%.

Because my income comes from investments only (having no employment income), I am spending on my capital beyond the income on capital. This is one big worry on coping with cost of living.

Besides looking at the income side of personal wealth, I have to look at the expenditure side of the equation. Where else can I cut to cope with cost of living? For this purpose, I keep a record of major expenses and asset purchases.  I know where my money was spent on and will adjust my spending before the year ends.

Now I appreciate how my parents’ generation coped with cost of living. The methods were the same. Watch what comes into your hand and spends on what you have on hand. It was tough struggling to put food on our dining table. My parents did not travel for leisure and did not spend beyond the basic necessities of life.

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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“Elephants Can Remember” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is a Hercule Poirot Mystery first published in 1972.

Elephants can Remember was the second last book in the Hercule Poirot series written by Agatha Christie in her later years.

Some ten – twelve years ago, the father and mother of Celia Ravenscroft died with gun-shot wounds on top of a cliff. Did Celia’s father shot her mother or was it the other way round? Was it a suicide pact as the news reported back then? Or was there a killer who did the killing? Celia Ravenscroft was about nine or ten years old and was away at school when her parents died mysteriously.

Mrs Ariadne Oliver, the godmother of Celia Ravenscroft, together with Hercule Poirot went on an investigation to establish what actually happened on that fateful day some ten – twelve years ago. Would people connected with the case remember after all these years? The title of the novel Elephants can Remember was chosen by the author to throw light on the case because people do remember past events just like elephants were proven to have good memories. By pursuing leads from one person’s memory to another person’s memory, Hercule Poirot went on a hunt to the last person who might have the final version of the circumstances leading to the deaths of the loving couple.

It was a touching story with events happening many years back. Now readers know the truth as Agatha Christie unfold the mysterious deaths bit by bit until the end with revelations of deep love.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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DBS 50th Anniversary Promotional Sales Charge on Unit Trusts

When you buy unit trusts on-line from DBS/POSB websites, investors pay 0.5% promotional sales charge. This promotion sales charge is for period 22 July to 19 August 2018. Terms and conditions apply. See bank’s on-line web pages.

This limited period promotional sales charge is low when compared with OCBC’s 0.88%.

If you have been eyeing a particular unit trust, 0.5% sales charge makes sense.

Disclaimer: I have accounts in DBS, OCBC and UOB. I do not gain from this post, except to share information that are already available on their webpages. Do be careful when investing in this volatile financial environment.

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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Temple visits at Kunming, Lijiang and Dali (昆明/丽江/大理朝圣) – 30 July to 5 August 2018

Dali 大理is predominantly a Buddhist county with 80-90% having Buddhist faith. It is a place inhabited mainly by minority group Bai tripe 白族. Dali sits on the border to Myanmar, and along the ancient Silk Road to India, Nepal, Bhutan. Buddhist influence comes from these countries. It is a place to visit temples and pagodas that date back to ancient times.

There are beautiful temples, stupas, pagodas in places like Kunming and Lijiang 昆明,丽江.

County In Chinese Names In English Names
Kunming 圆通寺 Yuangtong Temple
  西山龙门 Xishan Forest Park
Lijiang 玉峰寺 Yufeng Temple
Dali 金顶寺 在 鸡足山 JInding Temple at Mount Jizu
  祝圣寺 Zhusheng Temple
  崇圣寺 三塔 Three Pagodas at Chongsheng Temple
  水木山国家森林公园 Dali Shuimu National Park (see Relics)

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Itinerary at Lijiang 丽江 – 31 July to 3 August 2018

Lijiang 丽江 sits at elevation of 2,400 metres above sea level.

Lijiang Old Town 丽江古城 is part of the Ancient Tea Horse Route where traders passed by some 400 years ago. It is striving and full of tourists. Look out for Square Street 四方街. Admire the architecture of these ancient buildings. The place had been rejuvenated and has become very commercial. Still it is a place to visit when in Lijiang 丽江。You will walk on cobblestone streets and see flowing water every where. There are many shops selling jades, silverware and local products. Every eating-place has live singer performing for the customers in its premises. This is very unique.

Shuhe Ancient Town 束河古镇 at Lijiang 丽江 is beautiful, impressive, romantic. It is a place for taking photos especially wedding photos. I enjoyed walking this ancient town. Walk the Qinglong Bridge 青龙桥. It was built during the period of Ming Dynasty 400 years ago. It was my favourite place.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain 玉龙雪山 is a very popular tourist destination. To get to this point, some 4,506 metres above sea level, we waited in horrendous queues to ride the cable car up (avoid travel on China’s public holidays and school summer vacations). The air was thin and walking a few steps could cause blackout. Everyone had a canister of oxygen (only 60 puffs of oxygen). We stepped out of the cable car building and spent about half an hour in the open. We were with the clouds and misty rain as it passed by. The view of the valley below was breathtaking. It was an experience once in my lifetime.

We watched an open air performance at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (at 3,356 m) titled “Impression Lijiang” (印象丽江) produced by Zhang Yi Mo (张艺谋)

Changjian Lashi Hai (长江第一湾拉市海)
Something we do not ordinarily do if we plan our journey. Horse riding! Went to this ancient tea horse road where horses carried tea leaves for trade on the Silk Road in the past. Now horse riding for tourists is a big attraction.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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“Mrs McGinty’s Dead” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is a Hercule Poirot Mystery first published in 1952.

Mrs McGinty went to homes to help clean the houses in a small village of Broadhinny. She was hacked to death on her head and a suspect James Bentley was convicted of her murder. James Bentley was at that time lodging with Mrs McGinty’s home. Evidences pointed towards him as the murderer. Lucky for him, the investigating police Superintendent Spence felt something was not quite right. Spence enlisted the help of the famous Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot to get to the bottom of it.

How would one start when the police had not been able to get headways with evidences on hand? Could Poirot find fresh evidences to prove the innocence of the convicted killer? The problem was compounded with the fact that James Bentley could not defend himself and was resigned to the guilty verdict.

For Hercule Poirot, he had to dig into the family histories of several individuals in the village to piece a motive for the murder of Mrs McGinty. That took a bit of time in the story. In the end, the key to solving the murder was indeed to look into the family backgrounds of some individuals staying in the small village. Who then killed Mrs McGinty? Let Hercule Poirot tells you.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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