Pray without ceasing. How can one do it who is surrounded by the cares of daily life? How can a mother love her child without ceasing? How can the eyelid, without ceasing, hold itself ready to protect the eye? How can I breathe and feel and hear without ceasing? I can do all these things because they are the functions of a healthy, natural life. And so, if the spiritual life is healthy, under the full power of the Holy Spirit, praying without ceasing will be natural… Pray without ceasing. How can I learn it? The best way of learning is to do a thing – in fact, the only way – is to do it. Begin by setting apart some time every day, say ten or fifteen minutes, in which you say to God and to yourself, that you come to Him now as an intercessor for others. If at first you do not feel any special urgency or faith or power in your prayers, let not that hinder you. Quietly tell your Lord Jesus of your feebleness; believe that the Holy Spirit is in you to teach you to pray, and be assured that if you begin, God will help you. - Andrew Murray
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Aside from giving us a top-notch mystery, Christie also deals with deeper questions such as patriotism and prejudice. Some of the characters wonder if loyalty to one’s country is worth dying for. Is ANYTHING worth dying for?, they wonder. Others discuss their hatred of the Germans and how it is easy to hate them as a whole, but harder when you think of them as individual mothers and shopkeepers, etc. The story was written in 1941 so I find it interesting that any sympathy for the Germans was expressed at all.
I loved all the literary and biblical references. One woman is described as having a fiercely determined look like Jael as she drove the stake through Sisera’s brain (Judges 4:21). One of the key plot points is based on the story of King Solomon.
The spy was caught about 2/3 of the way into the book and I wondered how Christie would fill up the rest of it. I needn't have worried! I spent most of my Sunday afternoon listening to the last two and a half hours because I couldn't wait to see what happened. Those final chapters were full of surprises and the closing paragraphs were warm and funny.
This is another remarkably clever book by Christie. I highly recommend the audio books in this series if you can find them. (They are on YouTube if your library doesn’t have them.) Be forewarned. There is more swearing in this book than in the rest of the series. You can skim over it in print, but not the audio. I linked to the single Kindle volume above, which is $5.99. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the deal of all five books for $1.99.