38. -41. Four By Christie

I absolutely blame my friend Michelle for this.  She recently came to visit, and she told me how she was re-reading (or maybe for some, reading for the first time?) Agatha Christie, and that made me start re-reading Christie, and luckily for you, the readers of this blog, I only got through four before featherbrained me again got distracted and started reading something else.  But, without further ado, here are four Christie novels.  I can’t even say that these are four of the best because I decided (with one exception) to re-read ones I was less familiar with, and the reason I am less familiar with them is because I’ve read the really, really good ones a million times, and these ones only, like a few hundred times.  Anyway.

On an unrelated note, it was absolutely shocking to me how much I had the exact same thing to say about each book when I re-read my old posts.  I’m either a cliche factory, or my Christie opinions are just set in stone...

38. Mrs. McGinty’s Dead

“Hercule Poirot came out of the Vielle Grand’mere restaurant into Soho.”

This is it the exception - a classic Poirot.  Having vauguely remembered a central plot point (four ancient murders are reported about in a newspaper article, and likely one of those murderers is the killer here), I sorted through the Christies until I found the right one, and had to then, of course, re-read it.  And it was just as good as ever.  A man has been convicted of a sordid crime - killing his landlady for a few pounds.  But the police officer who arrested him has second thoughts - and goes to Poirot for help.  Poirot agrees to investigate, against the clock (before th man is hung).  He goes to the small town and starts digging around, and soon learns that Mrs. McGinty’s death was much, much more complicated than people could ever have imagined…

This is definitely top tier Christie - good mystery, fun characters, Christie-stand in Ariadne Oliver bemoaning why she ever made her protaganist a Finn.  Recommended.

39. The Murder on the Links

“I believe that a well-known anecdote exists to the effect that a young writer, determined to make the commencement of his story forcible and original enough to catch and rivet the attention of the most blase of editors, penned the following sentence:

“‘Hell!’ said the Duchess.” ”

The Murder on the Links, Agatha Christie

 I made the mistake of re-reading my last review of this book, and now find I have almost nothing new to say about it.  Go read that ….  Ok.  What to add?  The romance between Hastings and Dulcie is sweet, the central mystery is absolutely ridiculous, and I’m actually glad that Christie wrote out Hastings. I think the Poirot only mysteries like Mrs McGinty work better that the very Holmes deriviate Hasting stuff.  Plus, Hasting is so, so stupid that it sort of wears on you.  How long does he have to know Poirot before he stops constantly being surprised that despite being a priggy foreigner, he is still the man?? 

40.  They Came to Baghdad

“Captain Crosbie came out of the bank with the pleased air of one who has cashed a cheque and has discovered that there is just a little more in his account than he thought there was.”

This is one of those adventure spy novel Christies, with a mysterious global plot at the back of it (with, of course, a strange and charismatic leader).  Those types of books are, frankly, not her strongest suit - Christie is amazing a domestic murders - I think The Hollow is truly a good book, not just a good Christie, but her spy stuff is always really, really goofy.  This is no exception.  Nonetheless, here we have a very plucky Christie heroine, which is always fun, and a nice bit of local color in Baghdad, and some stuff on a local dig, an area that Christie, with her archeologist husband knew well.  For fans only.  Previous review here 

41. Murder is Easy

England!

England after many years!

How was he going to like it?

This is actually a quite good stand alone Christie.  Luke Fitzwilliam has just returned to England after years as a policeman in the Malay Straitis.  He runs into a dotty old lady who says she is going to Scotland Yard to report a number of murders in her village.  He laughs it off, but when the woman is hit by a car — and the next victim she mentioned also dies in an accident, Luke decides to investigate.  There he finds that the woman’s suspicions were not as farfetched as it seems, and he also finds the beautiful Bridget Conway…  Murder, mystery, a pinch of love - what’s not to like??  (previous review here


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017