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)


Heidenkind said...

This sounds like a Christie novel I need to pick up! I don't HATE Poirot like you do, but his books do tend to be meh reads for me. If you like this one then I'm sure I will. :)

neer said...

This is one Christie where I liked the play more than the novel.

And, come on, Hercule Poirot is not THAT bad. :)

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Ryan, I'm lagging behind in my own Christie self-challenge and I haven't come to this mystery yet. Part of the reason is that I need breaks between her books too. I like her secondary characters though there are often too many of them, not to mention sub-plots, both of which Christie uses very well to mislead the reader.

bermudaonion said...

I've only read one Christie book, so I'm even farther behind than you are! lol

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

I've been trying to read more AC books in the last few years myself. But HP isn't my favorite, so I tend to avoid those. Which I shouldn't do because eventually I will finish the others and then have nothing but HP to go. I should mix them in.