Well, as I suspected, with participating in the A to Z Challenge all month, I was not able to complete the Agatha Christie Readathon organized by Jay Cudney on time. I did finish though and here is my recap.
I read “The Secret Adversary” but didn’t have access to the second, “Peril at End House”, so I read “Hallowe’en Party” instead. It was a Poirot mystery so I felt that I could count it. It was a good one with lots of suspects as usual. My favorite part was the way the people made fun of Poirot about the way he walked in his patent leather shoes. They said he looked uncomfortable and at one point he admitted his feet hurt but he was setting aside comfort for style. Pretty funny. This story also had the character of Ariadne Oliver who is possibly Agatha herself as Ms. Oliver is a mystery writer.
Next was “The Body In the Library.” This one started right off with the murder, no beating around the bush. Try as I might couldn’t guess who done it. Oddly enough, it was someone that I didn’t even consider since, in my opinion, it seemed like almost a side character, not written too much about. Interesting note about this story is that according to Agatha Christie, she believed that if she wrote two books at the same time and alternated the writing, it would keep her fresh. She wrote “The Body in the Library” at the same time she wrote “N or M?” Now I want to read that one to see if I notice any similarities.
Finally, there was “The Murder at the Vicarage.” I thought I had this one figured out but of course I was wrong again. Since this was the first introduction to Ms. Jane Marple I enjoyed sensing the skepticism about her abilities to solve the puzzle and then at the end seeing her prove her mastery. Dame Agatha said about this story, “…I cannot remember where, when or how I wrote it, why I came to write it, or even what suggested to me that I should select a new character – Miss Marple – to act as the sleuth in the story.” You’d think she’d remember how one of her most famous characters came into being!
The quotes I used in this post came from “An Autobiography,” by Agatha herself but they were excerpts in a book called “The New Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie” edited by Dick Riley and Pam McAllister.
This is a very informative book with multiple quotes from Dame Agatha and a synopsis of each of her stories. It also gives a history of each of her main sleuths and a bit about the people who portrayed them in movies and on television. There are some crossword puzzles and things inside as well to test your knowledge of the great Dame and her work. If you are an Agatha fan, I highly recommend it.
Another book I would like to recommend is “Father Figure” the newest book by James J. Cudney.