Lord Edgware Dies – Review – ***

When I was a kid, my mom brought home from the library a new book for her budding little addict. She told me it was an Agatha Christie, and that’s not even close to where it began. Because I read one short story, the first one, about a woman who confessed to a crime she didn’t commit, one that, in fact, never even happened, and was jailed for the rest of her life in response. I was not pleased with this ending, and hiding the book under my dressing table didn’t help. It was years before I would give Agatha another chance.

So, it started years later, in Chapters, with The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side. Now, for the record, I have no idea what Christie book my mom got me from the library that day. I have read over 50 of her 80 novels since then, and haven’t yet come across that story. Perhaps it wasn’t actually her – perhaps one of us (my mother or myself) was confused. It doesn’t matter anyway. It had been a while since I read a Christie, and I’m WAY behind on the CBR, so I figured a quick mystery would be just the thing.

To me, this wasn’t a particularly special one. It was a fun, quick read with faintly likable characters. There’s not a heck of a lot more to say, especially if you’re a Christie veteran. It was exactly as I expected, you know? A little Hercule Poirot, a little Hastings, a little domestic disturbance, and a little murder. The solution wasn’t really surprising although I can’t say I guessed it (because I accidentally found out who the murderer was before I passed chapter 3 – long story).

I always enjoy the little swipes she takes at Sherlock Holmes mysteries (which I also love, and have read all of), and there are a couple in this one. I’ve said it before, but as much as I enjoy Holmes, I’ve always thought Arthur Conan Doyle didn’t always play fair. So often in his books, the culprit is a well known criminal who only Holmes and the inhabitants of his world can have heard about. Christie, except in her occasional international thriller, gives you just about as much information as she does her detectives, which makes it fun to try and play along.

The one thing this book DID do was cause me to add a new thing to my ever-expanding 1?? Things To Do List: (re)read all of A. C.’s books. I remember loving The Pale House, Destination Unknown, and The Secret Adversary as much as I’ve ever loved any books, and thinking Passenger to Frankfurt was one of her worst, but I read the bulk of her books 6-9 years ago, and I’ve always wanted to complete my set. Maybe for next year’s CBR?

Cannonball Read III: 9/52

Edited to add: Part of the reason this book might have seemed so predictable and familiar? Because I have already read it. I just forgot. Of course, that in itself says something about the book…

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Posted on June 30, 2011, in 100 things in 1000 days, Book Reviews, Books, Cannonball Read 3 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve only read one of Aggie’s novels, Murder on the Orient Express, and I just was not a fan. I liked Poirot, but overall, eh. I was recently introduced to the show Poirot X, though, and it’s fantastic. David Suchet is perfect, the mysteries are fun, and the new season is being shown on PBS, so no commercials. You should check it out if you haven’t already.

    Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tim from The Office, is also entertaining, although there’s only been one short season so far.

  2. You know, everyone mentions that as a big one, and it’s never been one of my favourites. If you ever feel like giving her another go, try Tommy and Tuppence for a bit of cute romance, or Destination Unknown, or Endless Night – I remember that one blowing me away, just because it was so different from her other writings. Although…I’ve been cleaning my room, and found some lists that make me think I was around 10-13 when I read most of them, so maybe my opinions will change on re-read.

    I’ve never watched the movies just because I’m afraid they’ll ruin the books :p But I’ve heard great things about Sherlock, and I love Martin Freeman (and Moffat, although I do not like at all what he’s done to Doctor Who…but that’s a rant for another time). Last time I was in HMV I nearly bought the first series, but stupid common sense and lack of money made me put it back at the last minute. I will watch eventually, though!

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