You know you’re reading the worst Christie novel ever when you start wishing you were reading The Big Four or Passenger to Frankfurt instead, which I previously regarded as her absolute worst mysteries. It was hard to imagine that any other book of hers could usurp the top spot on the rubbish heap, but this messy, confused and terminally dull novel managed it.
The Hollow may not be one of Christie’s most ingenious and inventive mysteries, but it stands out as one of her more unusual crime novels, where the crime itself is a distant second to the character study.
Miss Marple goes on a holiday in the sunny Caribbean and finds herself mildly discontented that nothing ever happens in the tropical paradise… until she suspects a murder.
This mystery, technically one of Christie’s Miss Marple novels, barely scrapes into the Marple series, since the much-loved elderly sleuth only makes an appearance three-quarters into the book and remains little more than a cameo. I’d go as far as say that the novel didn’t really need her and is strong enough to stand on its own.
My previous Christie novel was set in Jordan, and this entertaining standalone spy thriller continues the Middle Eastern pattern.
Petra in Jordan is one of my top bucket list destinations in the world. So while I can’t go there in real life, it was pretty exciting to discover it as the backdrop to one of Dame Agatha’s murder mysteries.
This is only the second Christie novel in my re-readathon that I genuinely don’t remember ever reading before. I had the right instinct about who dunnit all along, but this Poirot mystery still boasts plenty of surprises and twists.
I couldn’t recall much about this stand-alone murder mystery other than a few stray details, but that’s an unfair reflection on the novel. While it may not be one of Christie’s true classics, it definitely deserved to be remembered better.
Evil Under the Sun marks an important milestone in my re-readathon – if Wikipedia is to be believed, I’m now precisely halfway through Christie’s back catalogue of detective novels with the book review no. 33! Since I officially committed to this challenge back in August 2018, I should probably complete it by August 2022. Let’s hope that the world is in a decent shape by then, or at least limping back to normality.
I felt that it was time to strategically sprinkle in another of Christie’s big-time stinkers into my re-readathon. Like The Big Four, Passenger to Frankfurt is another of Dame Agatha’s failed attempts at a spy novel about a world-wide conspiracy out to destroy the existing social order. While the former is just plain terrible, the latter also has the dubious distinction of being probably the weirdest book Christie ever penned, and not in a good way. It was first published in 1970 to mark her 80th birthday, and, at the most charitable, it can be seen as a window into Christie’s view of the world she found herself in the twilight of her years.