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.
I’ve been watching a lot of crime drama/comedy recently for some reason. In addition to Hot Fuzz and Leon: The Professional, plus re-visiting Godfather I & II and all five seasons of Breaking Bad, I’ve now watched Martin McDonagh’s 2008 black comedy caper. And yes it made me want to go to Bruges.
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.
First published in 1923, The Murder on the Links is Agatha Christie’s third novel and the second to feature her famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. I remember it mostly as “the one where Hastings meets his future wife”.
I made a mistake in my review of The Murder at the Vicarage: while it was Miss Marple’s full-length novel debut, it wasn’t her first appearance, rather it was in a 1927 short story called The Tuesday Night Club. Later, it became the first chapter in this entertaining collection of thirteen short stories, which together form a sort of episodic novel. Midway through the book, I realised that I have actually read it before, but the details of each story completely evaporated from my memory so it was like reading them anew.
“Good title that, by the way. Lord Edgware Dies. Look well on a bookstall.” This Poirot novel may not be one of my absolute favourites, but you can tell that Christie had a lot of fun with it, including some self-referential winking. Though I’m not sure if Lord Edgware Dies is necessarily superior to the book’s alternative title, Thirteen at Dinner.