This year, I didn’t think I would be busy enough what with trying to finish a degree, book blogging and running a house with a craft business on the side.
As a result, I decided to set myself a few challenges, one of which was inspired by The ABC Murders
The BBC showed this over Christmas to great outrage (I personally loved it!) and as a result, I started looking at my Christie collection.
The Year Of Agatha inspired me , alongside the Official Agatha Christie to start my own readalong. Playing fast and loose with any chronology, I have made a start with Miss Marple’s Final Cases followed by Murder On The Orient Express
Miss Marple’s Final Cases
This final volume, contains 6 Miss Marple stories and 2 extras, which are quite creepy and unsettling to read. It’s an odd collection, there is no final farewell, merely Marple’s solving of the cases.
They serve as a sign off point for Agatha Christie’s most famous female detective.
Unlike ‘The 13 problems’, which centre Marple and get a bit wearisome by the end, these have characters and plots which lead up to the elderly sleuth intervening and solving each mystery she is presented with.
She uses her observations of human nature from living in a small village to apply logic and sense to things that others may not have given credence to- especially younger people.
In a gentle, chiding manner she draws each character back to the details, and that if you really observe, then you will have noticed a precedent for that behaviour somewhere else.
Such as in ‘Strange Jest’, where a hunt for inherited treasure leaves the younger characters frustrated that their efforts to locate a deceased Uncle’s bequest results in a recipe for ham!
Always ingenious, yet once explained, blindingly obvious she is the opposite of Poirot whose world travels and experience has shown him the darkest sides of human nature, Miss Marple uses her elderly gentle lady stature and general invisibility to wider society to correct wrongs.
Murder On The Orient Express
Filmed several times, with varying degrees of success (I am looking at YOU Kenneth Branagh!) this remains an all time favourite of many Christie aficionados.
A random act finds Poirot on board The Orient Express, the famed train is the quickest way for him to return to England after solving a case in mainland Europe.
During his first night, an American tourist named Ratchett, asks Poirot to take on the role of private detective. Appalled at the lack of manners that Ractchett has, and the willingness to throw any sum of money at Poirot, they retire for the night.
By morning, Ratchett is dead.
Trapped in a snow drift, with no means of escape, Poirot must try and work out which of the passengers or crew committed the murder before they manage to dig the train out of the snow, and the killer escapes at the next station stop.
An ingenious, twisting turning story that takes Poirot to the limit of his detecting skills, Agatha Christie has here created a timeless classic whodunnit.
Join me next week for my discussion post on ‘The Man In The Brown Suit‘ !
Feel free to join in, comment on what books I’ve read of hers and share your own as well!