Last week I was unaccountably overcome with a desire to read some Agatha Christie novels. I have no idea where this came from, as it is pretty far from my normal reading habits. I’ve never read any of her books before, I’m only familiar with some of the television dramatizations. But this coincided with me getting my Kindle, so I needed to buy a few books anyway to test that out, and I figured it was a good opportunity to satisfy that craving.
The first one I read was Murder on the Orient Express. The famous detective Poirot is travelling on the train when it is forced to stop due to a snow drift. A murder is discovered and it is soon clear that the murderer is still on board, and Poirot must figure out who is responsible for the crime. I was very lucky in that I had never had the ending spoiled for me, never seen any film version of it, even though it is perhaps her most famous book. This was great for me, because the book has a brilliant conclusion which I honestly did not predict. I thought it was a great book, very entertaining, and I liked Poirot a lot.
I enjoyed it so much that I followed it up with The ABC Murders, in which Poirot tracks down a serial killer who is writing him letters. I enjoyed this one too, although I thought it was nowhere near a good as Murder on the Orient Express. It just was rather more run-of-the-mill, I thought. But I was still enjoying this little forray into crime fiction, and I still liked the character Poirot, so I decided to read one more.
The last one that I’ve just finished reading was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. This one is narrated by a village doctor who is called out to discover the murder of one of his patients, a man he had dinner with earlier in the evening. Poirot has just moved to the village to retire, living next door to the doctor, and gets involved in the murder investigation, getting the doctor to assist him. There is an incredible twist ending which was just fantastic and again utterly unanticipated, which I thought was brilliant.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I ended up really enjoying these novels, I was glad I tried something a bit different. Two of them at least, Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, I thought were really excellent. I’m reading a few different things now, but I suspect that I will read a some more Agatha Christie novels in the near future - there are plenty to choose from!