There’s been a murder, but it’s teatime…
Crooked House – Agatha Christie (4/5 Stars)
It’s insane to think about, but before this, I had never read Agatha Christie. Her works have been adapted time and time again, and yet I never felt compelled to pick them up. That was until a few weeks ago when a friend recommended Crooked House. This is a prototypical murder-mystery where a rich family are all wondering who gets a piece of their father’s money after he passes in questionable circumstances. Reading this story, it’s clear the recent cinematic hit, Knives Out, drew at least some inspiration from Christie’s tale.
Christie created many of the mystery tropes we know today, which makes it hard to knock the book for any of them. Many elements of the plot are predictable, and the characters can oftentimes seem like caricatures of British high society, rather than believable humans. There’s a bit of fun leaning into tropes (I do it plenty in my own writing) and it serves to make the final twist all that more interesting. When all the characters are behaving according to some pre-written law of a mystery novel, it makes that unexpected ending even more satisfying.
Crooked House is a short read, coming in at just six hours for an audio book and less than 300 pages in paperback. As such, there’s never a dull moment, and I might not be the smartest reader, but the mystery had me guessing right up until the last minute. Watching Christie’s over-the-top characters interact is always interesting, even if they are the epitome of clichéd. If for some reason you love mystery and haven’t picked this one up yet, I highly recommend it. I’d also recommend it for anyone who was a fan of Knives Out, the set-up for both mysteries is similar, but each plays out in a unique fashion.
On to Murder on the Orient Express!
Alright, I don’t write sci-fi that is going to stick around for generations, but I do have a book series about a drunken monster-hunter traipsing through the Himalayas in search of a yeti. The sequel is coming out very soon, so it’s time to catch up! Here’s what some people think:
Kirkus – An often engaging, if sometimes-clichéd, tale with an acerbic lead.
John C. – An excellent drunken romp up and down “Not Everest”, complete with hunters and monsters galore.
Nathan – As the debut novel from a new author, Whiteout was a solid introduction. Readers will find that this will be the first in a series that (hopefully) runs several installments.