Friday, July 5, 2013
Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie
Synopsis From Dust Jacket:
"You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?"
Hercule Poirot overhears a young man saying these chilling words, then days later, the man's stepmother, known to all as a sadistic tyrant, is found dead. But beyond a puncture wound to the wrist, the exact cause of the woman's death is unknown - and murder is only on possibility. In his meticulous fashion, the exacting Belgian sleuth interviews each of the victim's beleaguered family members, then becomes interested in other members of the vacationing party: a doctor whose hypodermic syringe has gone missing, a domineering English matron, and an energetic young woman with an interest in the victim's son. While few mourn the dead woman's passing, suspense mounts as Poirot closes in on the circumstances surrounding her murky death.
I can't believe that when I started my Agatha Christie self challenge back in 2009, that I thought I would be able to read all her books within a year. Here we are, almost four years later, and I'm not even half way done with them. Now granted, I didn't know I would get the chance to review so many great new books, or that I would discover other authors, Mary Roberts Rinehart, who would throw me off course from time to time. Nor did I realize how much I really don't like Hercule Poirot, and that I really do need breaks in between his books. With a few exceptions, I can't stand the man, no matter how much I respect his brain.
He is an insufferable, egotistical, vain, pompous, blowhard who thinks way too much of himself. The fact that his ego is warranted, just makes it that much worse. Luckily for me, he isn't on every page of Appointment with Death, but honestly, even if he was, I would still have enjoyed the book. This was a reread for me, one I've ready many times before, and I never get tired of the "secondary" characters.
If I'm not falling head over heels in love with the Boyton children, I'm infatuated with Dr. Sarah King, who herself is falling for one of the Boyton boys. And while I won't disclose the murderer, I must say that despite their obvious flaws, I always found myself enjoying that person when they were on the page. Rounded out by a few others, including a rather wallflower of a woman, the cast, while smaller than most, is just as much fun to be around. Even the bitch, excuse my language, who is our murder victim, is fun to read.
And don't get me started on the setting, from Jerusalem to Petra, the journey takes us into some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. It's obvious from her writing, that it was a region that Christie loved, and cherished her time there with her husband.
All in all, Appointment with Death lives up to Christie's imagination and Poirot's brain. It's typical genius that only this author could create, and I know it will be a book I keep visiting over and over again, no mater what I think of it's main character.
Challenges: VM (International Detectives)