Monday, March 11, 2013

Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie

Synopsis From Back Cover:

How did a woman holding a pistol in her right hand manage to shoot herself in the left temple?  What was the link between a ghost sighting and the disappearance of top secret military plans?  Ho did the bullet that killed Sir Gervase shatter a mirror in another part of the room?  And should the beautiful Valentine Chantry flee for her life from the holiday island of Rhodes?

Hercule Poirot is face with four mysterious cases - each a miniature classic of characterization, incident, and suspense.

It feels good to have a Agatha Christie fix.  It's a pleasure that I have been ignoring, or not partaking in as much as I would like, lately.  That neglect is something I plan on doing something about this year.  In another review I commented on how a favorite book can fee like home.  I'm here to tell you that a favorite author can feel the same way.  No matter what else is going on in my life, even the worst book that Dame Christie wrote, can get me out of a funk and back into reading bliss.

When the first Christie book of the year is a collection of 4 short stories, that bliss is amplified.  While I may thoroughly enjoy her full length novels, I have a soft spot for her short stories.  She is so deft and brilliant at creating a believable plot line, well at least a plot line you can see happening, in her novels, that seeing her do the same thing in a shorter span of time, is a bigger treat.  She is able to form a full mystery story; plot, character development, and enough twists and turns to please even the harshest critic, even though the story may only be 80 or so pages.

I can't say I loved every story equally, because that will never happen.  I could have done without the second, and I absolutely loved the fourth.  Where Agatha Christie rises above the rest, is that even though I didn't enjoy the second story as much as the others, it was still better than most of the crap put out today.  That and the fact that Hercule Poirot is not one of my favorite creations of hers, doesn't help either.  I can only deal with him in small doses, so I don't tear through his books the way I do some of the others.

Challenges: A-Z, VM (Get Out of Jail Free: Short Stories)


Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Ryan, I concur with your view about Agatha Christie tranporting one back into reading bliss. P.G. Wodehouse and Edgar Rice Burroughs have a similar effect on me. I haven't read this particular book yet though it is part of my wife's impressive collection of Christie novels. She reads them over and over again. Interesting view about Poirot — wonder how many readers feel that way. Never thought of it that way.

Mystica said...

One of my comfort reads (or rather authors!) nostalgic always for me to go back to her books.

bermudaonion said...

Sometimes I think you were born 50 years too late. :-) I really do want to try one of Christie's short story collections.

Audra said...

Christie is a good one to return to -- Daphne du Maurier does that for me. Her Rebecca renews my love of reading whenever I get funky!

Bev Hankins said...

Love Christie too, Ryan! Glad to see you post a review of her for the challenge. I've got Death in the Air [aka Clouds] on the docket for this year.

Staci said...

What I've noticed is how freeing it has become for you to just read for you!!! I have several of her books on my shelves that I need to make time for!!!