Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Agatha Christie Review Round Up: Part Four


I've been reading more Agatha Christie!  For my last birthday, my parents gifted me a whole box full of Agatha Christie paperbacks (about 35, mostly Hercule Poirot) and I've been making my way through them.  Parts 1-3 are linked below.  Here are my thoughts on the last three that I've read!




Hercule Poirot #15

Rating: 4.5 stars

Blurb:
"It was the match-up of the century: four sleuths--Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard; Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, famed writer of detective stories; Col. Race of His Majesty's Secret Service; and the incomparable Hercule Poirot - invited to play bridge with four specially invited guests, each of whom had gotten away with murder! But before the first rubber was completed, the host was dead."

Review:
This is one of my favorites (although I didn't like it as much as Death on the Nile or others like that).  This book is slightly different than the others because of the process of figuring out who murdered the victim.  In other books, it's always the least likely person that you'd expect and the one who has been cleared right away.  In this book, each of the four suspects is equally likely to have committed the crime which made the investigative process really interesting.  There's also a beautiful twist introduced at the end that I wasn't expecting at all.  Of course you expect there to be a twist, but I thought it had already happened (it was one that you'd expect) but then an unexpected one happened!  Hercule Poirot also teams up with other people whose business relates to crime (Secret Service (Colonel Race), a novelist (Miss Oliver), and Scotland Yard (Battle)) and it was really cool to see him work with more than one perfectly capable investigative mind.  We also spend time following each of these people around which made the story more circular than some of the others.
The Final Verdict:
Well-rounded with a slightly different premise than other Agatha Christie novels with a wonderful compilation of characters.
4.5 stars



Hercule Poirot #19

Rating: 3 stars

Blurb:
"Among the towering red cliffs of Petra sits the corpse of Mrs Boynton, a tiny puncture mark on her wrist the only sign of what has killed her. Hercule Poirot has only 24 hours to solve the mystery.

A tyrannical old martinet, a mental sadist and the incarnation of evil. These were only three of the character descriptions levelled at Mrs. Boynton, the matriarch who kept her family totally dependent on her. But did she really deserve to die on the excursion to beautiful Petra? Hercule Poirot hears about the murder and feels compelled to investigate-despite the family's request not to do so. Do they have something to hide and, if so, can they keep it hidden from this master sleuth?"

Review:
I wasn't that big of a fan of this one although I won't deny it was an enjoyable read.  Mostly, I just have a quarrel with the ending.  It seemed like a cop-out, honestly.  There was a twist as to who murdered the victim, but it was somebody who was just totally out of the blue and for whom no clues were laid in the duration of the novel.  The reason I love these books is because of the deliciousness of the ending and how everything falls together once all the facts and psychology are put together to prove that this person that you may or may not have suspected did it.  This book just brought in an entirely new motive and character right at the end to solve everything and I didn't really like that.  However, the journey to get there, was really absorbing and the characters themselves are very interesting.  I have to say, the motives presented in this book (and the whole first half of the book, frankly) interested me more than other Agatha Christie books I've read just because it was so unexpected and almost hinted at dark magic (but of course, these books are grounded strictly in reality with no magic realism so it pointed more so towards the darker side of human nature).
The Final Verdict:
While the premise interested me greatly, the ending deeply disappointed me.
3 stars



Hercule Poirot #20

Rating: 4 stars

Blurb:
"Motives for Murder: A fortune in uncut diamonds, hidden by an eccentric old man - A woman's love, too freely given - A business empire built on ruthlessness. Each of them may have been a motive for the brutal slaying of wealthy old Simeon Lee. Coupled with Lee's family, each member of which hated him and wished to see him dead, they present Hercule Poirot with a baffling challenge--one which the astute detective solves only through his uncanny ability to see "the little things.""

Review:
I enjoyed this a fair amount.  Like Appointment with Death, it does end with a rather unexpected and slightly uncalled for solution but this time, it's a little more palatable.  It's slightly more plausible and there are more clues laid out throughout the book so that once you know the ending, it makes sense.  The ending of this one was actually thoroughly enjoyable because it did really bring together all the inconsistencies with the crime.  It's also thoroughly gruesome so there's no question of whether or not it's a murder or not so there's no time spent trying to figure out whether it was indeed murder and there is more time spent on what kind of people were in the house.
The Final Verdict:
Thoroughly enjoyable with a wonderful twist at the end that comes from left field, but still within possibility.
4 stars



That's all for now!  Have you read any of these or any Agatha Christie books in general?  What did you think of them?  Are you a fan of mysteries?  How do you like your mysteries to end?  Let me know in the comments!

8 comments:

  1. I used to love these types of mysteries but sadly never read Agatha Christie. I’m afraid they’ll all blur together in my mind.

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    1. Yeah, that's never a good thing. Sometimes it's best to just read the favorites and be done with it :) Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!

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  2. I went through a phase about 3 decades ago, where I read a lot of Agatha Christie novels. I became a huge fan of her writing... I'd love to reread some of her novels and also read ones I have yet to read. I always ended up liking the Hercule Poirot novels more than the Miss Marple novels.

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    1. Haha it sounds like exactly what's happening to me now! That's my opinion too; I don't know what it is about Hercule Poirot but I just enjoy his narratives more that Miss Marple. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. It’s so good that you’re into Agatha Christie! I’ve only read one book by her, The Mousetrap, but I remember absolutely loving it! I know have to read Five Little Pigs for school and I’m really looking forward to it.

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    1. I haven't read either of those yet but they're definitely on my list! Five Little Pigs especially as it's a part of the Hercule Poirot series and that's my favorite Agatha Christie series. I hope you love it and thanks for stopping by!

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  4. OH has told me that he's got a couple of Agatha Christie books on his Kindle. I think I might have a borrow :-)

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    1. You must! Some are better than others, but on the whole, I don't think I've come across one truly disappointing Agatha Christie novel! I hope you enjoy, Stephanie, and thanks for stopping by :)

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