Murder Is Easy (1939) by Agatha Christie

Murder Is Easy by Agatha Christie

6 stars (6/10 stars)

“It’s very easy to kill, so long as no one suspects you. And, you see, the person in question is just the last person anyone would suspect.”

Luke Fitzwilliam is amused that the sweet old lady sharing his train compartment believes that a serial killer is operating in her village. “A vivid imagination, that’s all,” he thinks indulgently. “Rather an old dear.” It becomes much less funny the next morning, when he reads that she was killed by a hit-and-run driver on her way to Scotland Yard. Could Miss Fullerton’s suspicions have been correct?

To find out, Luke must infiltrate a quiet village and probe its deepest secrets, without rousing the suspicions of a murderer who finds it all too easy to kill. Continue reading “Murder Is Easy (1939) by Agatha Christie”

The Hollow (1946) by Agatha Christie

The Hollow by Agatha Christie

10 Stars (10/10 stars)

“Blood and blue water—like the jacket of a detective story. Fantastic, unreal. The sort of thing that doesn’t happen to oneself.”

All the usual guests are confirmed for Lucy Angkatell’s house party. Her cousins, Midge and Edward, will be there. So will the brilliant doctor John Christow and his dull, plodding wife Gerda. And so will Lucy’s other cousin, Henrietta Savernake, a sculptor whose beauty and intelligence have placed her at the center of two separate love triangles.

There’s no reason to expect this weekend to be different from countless others, but an uninvited guest is about to crash the party: murder. The stage is set for a crime of passion quite unlike anything else in Agatha Christie’s ouevre. Continue reading “The Hollow (1946) by Agatha Christie”

Postern of Fate (1973) by Agatha Christie

Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie

3 Stars (3/10 stars)

“It’s a crime we’ve got to solve. Go back to the past to solve it—to where it happened and why it happened. That’s a thing we’ve never tried to do before.”

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford may be over seventy, but it’s never too late for adventure. Much to Tuppence’s delight, their new house comes complete with a collection of vintage children’s books. More than nostalgia lurks within these pages, however. One of these seemingly innocent volumes contains a hidden message: “Mary Jordan did not die naturally. It was one of us. I think I know which.”

Who is Mary Jordan? How did she really die? The solution to this decades-old mystery may be very close to home. Yet, even after all these years, someone wants the fate of Mary Jordan to remain a secret. Continue reading “Postern of Fate (1973) by Agatha Christie”

Evil Under the Sun (1941) by Agatha Christie

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

9 Stars (9/10 stars)

“It is romantic, yes,” agreed Hercule Poirot. “It is peaceful. The sun shines. The sea is blue. But you forget, Miss Brewster, there is evil everywhere under the sun.”

Once, long ago, pirates and smugglers roamed this section of the Devon coast. Today, the island is home to the Jolly Roger Hotel, where a very different sort of piracy seems to be taking place. The hotel is abuzz over the apparent romance between former actress Arlena Marshall and Patrick Redfern, a handsome younger man. Three guests are especially worried by the gossip. Two of them are the lovers’ spouses, Kenneth Marshall and Christine Redfern. The third is Hercule Poirot.

Such an explosive situation is bound to ignite. One morning, Arlena is found sunbathing on an isolated beach, her usual habit. The only difference is that this time, Arlena is dead. Continue reading “Evil Under the Sun (1941) by Agatha Christie”

Death on the Nile (1937) by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

10 Stars (10/10 stars)

“I am afraid,” he said simply. “Yes, I Hercule Poirot, am afraid.”

Heiress Linnet Ridgeway has everything. She’s beautiful, rich, and completely independent. When she meets handsome Simon Doyle, her happiness is complete. The fact that Simon is engaged to her friend Jacqueline de Bellefort is surely just a technicality. Jackie doesn’t see it that way, however. She devotes herself to making the couple miserable, trailing them wherever they go.

As Linnet confides to Hercule Poirot, the newlyweds hope that a Nile cruise will help them escape Jacqueline. But Jacqueline isn’t the only one who might be dangerous to them. Someone like Linnet, who has so much of everything and takes it all for granted, provokes strong reactions. In the shadow of ancient temples, death has never been nearer, leading to a shocking crime. It won’t be easy for even the great Poirot to uncover a shipload of deadly secrets. Continue reading “Death on the Nile (1937) by Agatha Christie”

Destination Unknown (1954) by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Destination Unknown book cover 1954

7 Stars (7/10 stars)

“Has it got to be sleeping pills? […] I’m suggesting another method. Rather a sporting method, really. There’s some excitement in it, too. I’ll be fair with you. There’s just a hundred to one chance that you mightn’t die. But I don’t believe under the circumstances, that you’d really object by that time.”

At the height of the Cold War, famous scientists are disappearing all over the world. Thomas Betterton is only the latest. Government agents are convinced the researchers have been recruited by Communists. Betterton’s wife, Olive, insists she knows nothing of his whereabouts, but Jessop of the Secret Service believes she does. He thinks she will lead them straight to her husband. All they have to do is wait.

Hilary Craven has also lost her husband, under rather different circumstances. He left her for another woman, just before the death of their only child. The holiday that was meant to cheer her up has only reminded her how little she has to live for. On the verge of suicide, she is offered a surprising opportunity. The lives of Hilary Craven and Olive Betterton are about to intersect, and the fate of the free world may depend upon it. Continue reading “Destination Unknown (1954) by Agatha Christie”

Lord Edgware Dies (1933) by Agatha Christie

Book cover of Lord Edgware Dies/Thirteen at Dinner by Agatha Christie (1933)

7 Stars (7/10 stars)

“When planning a murder never depend upon a woman doing what she says she’ll do.”

As a famous actress, Jane Wilkinson is used to being the center of attention. But this time, she’s the one seeking an audience with a celebrity, master detective Hercule Poirot. Her request is simple: “M. Poirot, somehow or other I’ve just got to get rid of my husband!” Continue reading “Lord Edgware Dies (1933) by Agatha Christie”