The biggest surprise of re-reading this book was discovering that, contrary to my memory, it wasn’t actually a Poirot novel. In many respects it feels like it should have been a Poirot mystery, since the setting and the psychology behind the murder feel like such a natural fit for the little Belgian.
This collection of short stories, first published in 1924 and featuring Christie’s own Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, may not be as satisfying as Christie’s Poirot novels, but it showcases the future Queen of Crime honing her craft.
One of my personal favourites, After the Funeral may not have the sort of shocking and daring high-concept solution that marks Christie’s most popular novels, but for me it’s simply a great example of the Queen of Crime excelling at her craft.
An earlier Miss Marple mystery that I pretty much completely forgot. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but there’s also little to make it stand out in the series with so many memorable entries. It could unkindly be called Christie-by-numbers.
An enjoyable posthumous short story collection featuring the deductive powers of Christie’s lovable sleuth, plus two additional supernatural stories.
This Miss Marple novel has many Christie tropes that I usually find very entertaining, among them a bickering family where everyone has a motive to bump off the detestable patriarch in charge, and murders that follow a nursery rhyme. On the whole though, the book just wasn’t as satisfying as some of its parts.
This solid Poirot mystery has the prettiest title of all Christie novels, which I didn’t realise was borrowed from an equally beautiful passage from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
It seems that, without really intending to, I’m reviewing Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence series in a reverse chronological order, with our pair of intrepid married sleuths getting younger and younger. This novel, set in the early years of World War II, sees T&T in their late forties. While their grown-up children are actively involved in the war, Tommy and Tuppence feel useless and mighty frustrated about the fact that their government considers them too old and unfit for work. Things change however when Tommy gets a visit from a secret agent, asking him to go down to a sleepy seaside hotel in order to uncover a dangerous network of fifth columnists.
I vaguely remembered reading this Tommy & Tuppence novel many years ago and not being very impressed with it, but after suffering through Postern of Fate (the undisputed low point of my Christie re-readathon) I was probably inclined to view just about any other book in a favourable light. This is not to say that it lacks real merits; while rather uneven and hardly one of Christie’s most elegantly executed mysteries, there’s a strong sense of cosy-yet-sinister atmosphere about the novel that I failed to appreciate first time around.