Agatha Christie

Second on my list of favorite dime store authors is Agatha Christie.  She is a genius of the mystery, usually murder most foul.  While I got an early start on reading Louis L’Amour, I started reading Agatha Christie novels in high school.  This delay was probably due to a few factors, not the least of which was that they were my older sister’s favorite books so I thought they were girly.  In high school, after I had burned through all of my ‘Louis’ (twice, at least), I was so desperate that I picked up some ‘Agathas’ from my dad’s library.  They were instant favorites.

Most Agathas include a mysterious murder and a cluster of suspects for the reader to choose from.  Like all good formulas, every Agatha is different enough to tantalize the brain buds.  Another important factor of is that Christie was British as they come (appealing to the Anglophile* in all of us).  Christie also created two of the more memorable detectives in mystey fiction, Miss Jane Marple and Monsuir Hercule Poirot.  Both are eccentrics who are easy to love.  Still, the best part of every Agatha is the solution.

Of course, the attentive reader has an opportunity to solve the crimes.  All the characters are gathered.  All of the evidence has been presented.  Usually, I am so excited that I do not even stop to figure out the cases, but when I do, I have noticed some simple trends.  The guilty always seem to be easily dismissed and sufficiently minor to be the obvious choice, and yet, I have never solved a mystery.  Some of my favorites include The ABC Murders, Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None, and At Bertram’s Hotel.  Expect features on these and others in the near future.

* Correction:  This post originally said ‘appeals to the anglophobe in all of us’

6 Responses to “Agatha Christie”

  1. walth says:

    i also enjoy agatha christie… in fact the only three AC books i have read are and then there were none, murder on the orient express and the abc murders in that order. i really like when they mention things about scotland yard in her books.

  2. aldred says:

    I think your older sister probably didn’t have a girly bone in her body past the age of 14.

    Also, as a Briton myself, I believe you mean “Anglophile.”

    Now down to brass tacks: Agatha Christie is a gem. One other feature that this reader would like to see in the future on dime.oftheweek would be a discussion of film adaptations of various Christie novels (I know of a fabulous one of “Death on the Nile” that features Mia Farrow) as well as the Bantam-Doubleday-Dell Audio Publishing versions of L’Amour classics, in particular the Bowdrie stories, now available on iTunes. Jimmeny, that sounds like a commercial, but it’s not. They’re just good enough to plug.

    Favorite Agathas: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Peril at End House, A Holiday for Murder, and Sleeping Murder. The ones you and walth have mentioned are classics for sure. And Then There Were None blows everyone’s socks off the first read through. Fluffy old genius.

  3. Mat Thomas says:

    Thanks, aldred. As per usual, you are right. An easy mistake on my part as well as a peril of blogging without an editor.

    To clarify:
    anglophobe – a person who hates England and everything English
    anglophile – an admirer of England and things English

    It seems they are antonyms. Tricky affixes…

    For a sweet list of affixes, check out wikipedia’s Affix page.

  4. Sam "Palabras" Tomas says:

    Also, if you are chronicling things you read in the High School years, I believe you copped a few of my Star Wars books and read them. And by a few, I of course mean a lot.

  5. Mat Thomas says:

    their time will come…

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