Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Classics Circuit: Agatha Christie

The A.B.C. Murders
Agatha Christie

I don't read much mystery, especially Agatha Christie -- I read And Then There Were None when I was 12 -- so I was glad when the Classics Circuit gave me another reason to read her.

I settled on The A.B.C. Murders, because it seemed to have serial-killer potential, and those types of mysteries hold more interest for me than the "gah someone stole my diamonds!" type.

It all begins when Inspector Poirot receives a mysterious letter from the killer, kindly informing the inspector of where and when the murder will take place. (God, everyone ise SO POLITE in the UK, even murderers. Even the dicky, "superior" Inspector Crome is rather nice.)

Anyway, before you know it, Alice Ascher of Andover in assassinated. Egads! (Unfortunately no one actually says egads! in the novel, but I'll forgive the omission.) Fast forward a bit, another letter, another town, and bam! Betty Barnard of Bexhill is butchered. (Ok, she's strangled, but alliteration, you know.) The killer, identified in his letters only as "ABC," leaves an ABC Railway Guide at the scene of each crime.

Soon the murders pile up, and it seems not even Poirot's powerful intellect can prevent the killer from tearing through the alphabet!

Just kidding! The murderer turns himself in.

BUT WAIT! Poirot is not so easily fooled -- and soon, he proves to everyone through a series of really dramatic assumptions that SOMETHING ELSE IS REALLY GOING ON.


even babies are amazed by Poirot's sagacity

Poirot proves to his fellow investigators -- and to the reader -- that the true nature of the murders was always before them (and us), but had been rendered invisible by their previous assumptions.

Oh, Poirot. You are a sly fox indeed.

In a nutshell: A bit dry in places, despite all the murdering. And oy, what an intricate solution.

Bibliolatry Scale: 3 out of 6 stars

FTCBS: You know what I'm going to say, don't you FTC? Yes, yes you do. YES, YES, YES, personal copy here -- all I do is buy shit like books and shoes and DRESSES from FOREVER21, I can't stop myself, GIVE ME A BREAK ALREADY


Trisha said...

I have to admit I have a great fondness for the Poirot books in Christie's catalog. I can't fully explain why, but I just love that guy. I also loved the way you did this review. Too funny.

Karenlibrarian said...

I love the baby video! That's too funny. Thanks for the witty and insightful review. I look forward to reading your blog more often.

Aarti said...

Ooh, this sounds like a really interesting premise! I haven't read any Poirot except for Murder on the Orient Express, so I will look into this one for sure.

raych said...

.gifs are never not funny. Especially when they feature sly babies.

Hannah Stoneham said...

Hilarious review, thanks for sharing - there is a good film of this mystery if I remember rightly - well worth a look!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you weren't a big fan of this one--love the baby though!

Mystica said...

Even though you didnt much care for this one thanks for the review and the baby of course!

Bibliolatrist said...

Thanks everyone. I think it's pretty clear the baby was the real star of this post.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I read a lot of Agatha Christie when I was younger but completely missed the boat on the Hercule Poirot books. I am not a big fan of a super intricate break your brain solutions to mysteries because they get a little to complex for en to understand. I am glad that you did get some enjoyment out of the experience and got too re-visit with Agatha.

Thank you so much for participating in this round of The Classics Circuit!