So, I previously wrote about my classics drive: my mission to read better books and acquire a richer reading repertoire. Since then, I have read a Dickens, Austen and Brontë, in the form of Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. I have branched out into classical horror in the form of Dracula and surely made my way into the once unexplored genre of crime.
My first Agatha Christie book was lent to me by a friend; ‘Death on the Nile’; and I was surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did. Despite the large number of characters involved, their gradual introduction allowed my mind to keep them all and I quickly sorted through them at every minor event to try to work out who the killer was. I almost got it right… but that’s the unique thing about Agatha’s books, you’re not supposed to get it right.
It is always the person you least expect it to be, the person that you tick off, you think they have no motive or a flawless alibi…then you’re proven wrong. That’s why, whilst reading another of her books, I decided to choose the most unlikely character as being the murderer…. again, I was wrong. It was the one that everyone expected it to be.
To me figuring out the mystery before everyone else does (especially Poirot), is the aim of my reading, the earlier I crack it, the better. I can not express the glee that I felt when I finally bested her and guessed correctly whilst reading ‘And Then There Were None’. I knew it all along…but I’m not going to spoil it for anyone. That would defy the point of reading. I was going to read ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ but I was ‘accidentally’ told who the killer was and now, I am pretty sure that I will remember it for as long as I live, so I will never get the pleasure of reading that book.
The language of Agatha’s book are straight-forward and easy to follow, mainly dialogue and nothing special. It’s a good thing that the appeal is with the plot because the characters are not explored in great depth, words do not stir emotions and regardless of how many people die, you will never feel sympathy. The plot is precise and the twists and turns are gripping but whilst your mind is exercised, your heart is barely moved. When a character dies, I don’t feel even the shadow of a twinge, I just get annoyed that I didn’t see it coming.
So, I have read a few Agatha Christie books, and although I was thoroughly entertained by them and highly recommend them, it is time for me to move on. So many books, so little time and on I go to ‘the Woman in White’.