Monday, March 19, 2007

Lord Edgware Dies and Hallowe'en Party (by Agatha Christie)

Thanks to too much Saint Patrick's Day debauchery, I was not in the mood to do much yesterday except read. Plus, our free internet connection seems to be gone. No internet and no energy—what's a girl to do? So I read two Agatha Christie books lent by my friend Queen M. (The debauchery was totally her fault also, by the way.)

The first one, Lord Edgware Dies, is by far the better, at least as far as I'm concerned. The mystery is interesting; the characters are vivid; the clues keep you guessing. It's hard to know how to talk about these books without giving the mystery away. Basically, this guy Lord Edgware dies, and his wife is the prime suspect. And then a lot of things happen in the way of investigation and clues—you know the deal. You could probably figure out the ending if you were paying attention; I didn't figure it out, though, and it felt really obvious. I love to be cleverly fooled—nobody's better than Christie.

The second, Hallowe'en Party, is weaker. It's about a child being murdered at a Hallowe'en party, which is fairly unsettling but an interesting idea. Then there's a possible connection to one of several mysterious past murders, except nobody knows which murder is connected to the current murder, so a lot of the information seems disjointed. The whole thing comes off as a little disjointed, and all of the "modern" references to stuff like L.S.D. and free love makes it feel not quite so Agatha Christie-esque. Again, I didn't guess the ending, but I felt less cleverly fooled this time and more "who cares?"


Blogger K said...

The trouble with Christie for me is that she's both prolific and, well, self-similar. I can never remember which ones I've read, and I don't find her books sufficiently distinctive from one another to be able to remember until about chapter two, at which point I recall who did it...

That said, sometimes she's very good. But I don't feel she stands re-reading quite as well as, say, Dorothy L Sayers - I've read her books many times, and I don't care that I know who did it because the writing is so wonderful.

1:34 PM  

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