books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
Christy
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents


Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Agatha Christie Collection: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary

Agatha Christie Collection: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret AdversaryAgatha Christie Collection: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an old favorite that never disappoints.  I have found that Agatha Christie's plots are so complicated and the clues so complex that I have a hard time remembering who actually was guilty.  I can read most of her books every 10 years or so and enjoy them all over again.  Of course, there are a few that are so perfect that I could never forget the criminal.  This includes The Murder of Roger Ackroyd , Murder on the Orient Express , and And Then There Were None.

This book introduces Hercule Poirot to her readers. His character is so carefully delineated that it is hard to believe that he doesn't actually exist.  This is especially true once David Suchet was cast to portray the little Belgian.  While many of her characters are not as well drawn, her stars certainly are.

To me Christie sets a standard in mystery writing by which others are judged.  Her plots are complex, but all the clues are there to figure out who the murderer is if you can weed out the red herrings.  She also explains all the clues which point to someone else.  I've read too many mysteries where the reader is faced with red herrings which are never explained.  I want to know that I could have solved the mystery if I had paid attention (or was smart enough!) If you have a person standing over the sleeping and now dead victim with a knife in his hand dripping blood and he doesn't turn out to be the murderer, you need to explain what he was doing there.


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