Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Was it a misstep that sent a handsome stranger plummeting to his death from a cliff?  Or something more sinister?  Fun-loving adventurers Bobby Jones and Frances Derwent's suspicions are certainly aroused - especially sine the man's dying words were so peculiar: Why didn't they ask Evans?  Bobby and Frances would love to know.  Unfortunately, asking the wrong people has sent the amateur sleuths running for their lives - on a wild and deadly pursuit to discover who Evans is, what it was he wasn't asked, and why the mysterious inquiry has put their own lives in mortal danger...

This was the first time I had read this book, though I had seen the PBS movie that inserted Miss Marple into it.  I must say that it is now on my ever growing list of Christie favorites.  It's just plain fun to read.

Bobby and Frankie are two young people, a little bored with life, who find themselves involved with something just a little bit exciting.  They can't not jump at the chance to find out exactly what is going on.  They throw themselves into the investigation and quickly find themselves way over their heads in danger and red herrings.  What I like about them is though they aren't very good at the sleuthing, they do it with gusto.  There is no room for self doubts or deep thinking for them and they quickly start making mistakes.  They confide in the wrong people and swallow false leads in a single gulp.  They are gut, emotional thinkers not intellecutals and it shows in how they handle themselves.  It's that wild abandon that makes the book so much fun to read though, and I would have to think Agatha Chrsitie had fun writing it.

The plost is ingenious and involves a decent sized cast of characters and a big gothic style house where things aren't always the way they seem.  Drug addiciton, insane asylums, mad doctors, suicide, wills, femme fatales, and helpless appearing women all add to the sense of drama that our two young heroes can't help but be intranced by.  They do end up solving the question of Why didn't they ask Evans?, though more by chance than skill.  So eerything works out in the end and like most of Christie's boy/girl pairings end up confessing their love at the end.

Challenges: M&S, FF, VM


bermudaonion said...

You're just reminding me of how under-read I really am. My mother was shocked when I recently told her I've never read any of Christie's work. This one has such a fun title!

Staci said...

I so want to read this one now. I absolutely LOVED your review!

Yvette said...

Ryan: great review. This book is also known as THE BOOMERANG CLUE, but WHY DIDN'T THEY ASK EVANS is much the better title - don't you think?

This is one of my favorites as well. Bassington-Ffrench. LOVE that name!

Ryan, there is an excellent 'film' version around that was done way back when in 1980. It is wonderful!This is the one starring Francesca Annis as Frankie and James Warwick as Bobby. They are perfection in their roles. This was done for Brit. television on tape rather than film. It follows the book exactly!

Netflix has a copy.

JaneGS said...

>The plot is ingenious and involves a decent sized cast of characters and a big gothic style house where things aren't always the way they seem.

I just love mysteries like this! I really need to start rereading Christie--such fun books for winter reading.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've read this one. Sounds good.

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks for the review! I've got it up at the Vintage site.

It's been a long time since I read this one...but it is great fun!

Whitney said...

Your descriptions of Bobby and Frankie reminded me of Barney Fife, he flubs a little along the way but always manages to end up on his own two feet. Nice review!