For many years I have enjoyed reading but especially mystery. Cam Jansen Mysteries, Nate the Great, The Boxcar Children, A to Z Mysteries, Encyclopedia Brown, and Nancy Drew were a few my reads as a child. When I matured in my selections, I sought to find clever novels with intricate plots however I disliked the huge amounts of violence and sometimes too serious nature that were apparent in modern best sellers. Discovering the hidden to me yet famous name of Agatha Christie whose work in crime fiction has impacted the genre for years, made me especially hooked to the mystery plots. Ever since I have devoured every book of hers I could land my hands on, even adding many to my book collection. Her books are always exciting to read because they often have twist endings or imaginative solutions. Her unique characters make you enthralled by the plot and the process of solving with their special quirks. Miss Marple spunky independence and Hercule Poirot’s particular sensibilities makes their cases a fun read.
For those who have never heard of her, Agatha Christie is the Queen of Crime Fiction and holds the title of best selling novelist of all time and is only out sold by Shakespeare and the Bible. She was apart of the illustrious Detection Club of writers and also has written the longest running play called, The Mousetrap.
The first book I read of hers was A Murder was Announced, which was an interesting choice because it did not include her signature and most famous character Poirot, instead it featured the sweet Miss Marple. I had picked it up at a train station and was looking for any mystery that would entertain me. I was engrossed by the plot and finished the book in one sitting. A couple of years of later I made a fake trailer for that book for a class.
The novel is very inventive and clever due to its use of various of plot devices. I loved the unique characters and unpredictable story line. It features historical elements of the era and some jolly fun humor. Miss Marple is shown as a quick wit dear that helps the poor inspector solve the puzzling case.
The book that epitomized the amazement I have for mystery fiction is in the book of And Then There Were None. It is the book that has been adapted numerous times in different medias and is considered her masterpiece. It is marked apart because of the absence of a detective and the unusual plot. The success of this novel can be validated with the title of the world’s best selling mystery novel and seventh best selling overall. I would be surprised if any reader knew the ending before reading the epilogue. The novel explores the depths of theme of justice and morality and is one of the most serious in her collection. Though based on a black face song it holds such literary importance that it will be hold in great regard for years to come. Recently it was adapted loosely last Boxing Day on BBC 1 in a risque version of the story.
Last year, I read The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot by Annie Hart which examined the character that was featured in her most prominent books. It pulls information from various places to reveal a guide that will interest any fan of hers. I particularly liked the behind the scenes view of Christie’s character development including how she actually grew to hate the “insufferable man”. Every chapter gives more insight into his relationships and character.
Presently, I have read almost every book she wrote (excluding her romantic novels as I found them saddening) and am now looking for a series to fill that void. Her work will always hold a place in my bookshelf.
I would recommend any book as a great place to begin, except of course the last book, Curtain which is best saved for last. If you enjoy a cozy and wholesome mystery or an intrigued-filled murder there is novel for you in her reptoire. At any rate, you know about or more about a dame whose literary importance is timeless. I am looking for new authors to read so write some suggestions in the comments below.