Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? By Agatha Christie Review!

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Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934) by Agatha Christie is another wonderful read by the queen of crime.

 

Bobby Jones is out playing golf with Dr Thomas when they both find a dying man who has fell or possibly was pushed over a cliff. While the doctor goes to get help, Bobby is left with the man. The man’s last words are “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” which doesn’t mean anything significant to Bobby at the time. Bobby also finds the photograph of a woman in the man’s pocket.

 

The man dies and the mystery into his death, identity and what his last words meant begins. Frances Derwent, mostly known as Frankie, joins Bobby in his detective endeavors. Bobby and Frankie remind me a bit of Tommy and Tuppence from other books of Christie’s. Bobby is reasonably reserved but still up for a good adventure and Frankie is much more adventurous and seems to relish making plans for how they will go about solving the mystery. They are a very likable twosome and watching their friendship evolve into romance is very sweet and enjoyable. The pair have known each other from when they were young and their relationship overcomes the barriers of class. Bobby is son to the Vicar of Marchbolt while Frankie (Lady Frances) is daughter to the Earl of Marchington but neither could care less and good for them.

 

This is a standalone book which is a shame because it would be nice to read more of Bobby’s and Frankie’s adventures. But I guess Dame Aggie couldn’t be expected to do an on-going series with all her characters as much as many of her readers like me would like her to have. Some moments in the book do seem slightly contrived to move the book and the case on and you do find yourself saying to just go with it for the sake of the story. But it is a brilliant light read and I could forgive these moments of contrivances because the story was so entertaining and interesting. There is also a wonderful array of suspects in true Christie style and two great detectives in Bobby and Frankie.

 

I did guess who the guilty party/parties were but there was still great mystery to the book. How Christie weaved together the plot was really as always quite genius even here in one of her earlier works. She also kept back the mystery of the man’s final words very well and without giving too much away played a trick on any readers who like to assume too much. I’m not too fond of assumptions being made so I quite liked her bit of trickery to be honest. Still not giving too much away it was quite modern writing in this aspect which was fabulous.

 

A really great read. Light, fun, intriguing and engrossing.

 

To purchase Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie go to:

 

And for more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

https://www.agathachristie.com/

 

 

 

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Endless Night By Agatha Christie Review!

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Endless Night (1967) by Agatha Christie is a gripping book with a great twist in the tale.

 

This book is narrated by the main character Michael Rogers. Soon into the story the working-class narrator who changes jobs regularly meets a rich heiress Fenella “Ellie” Guteman near the spot where their future home is to be. They soon fall in love and marry. Ellie puts money forward to build Gipsy’s Acre to start their new life together and Michael brings his friend architect Rudolf Santonix on board to build the house. Like most of Christie’s mysteries there is many characters in this book which leaves the reader with many suspects to choose from. Always exciting. In this particular mystery we meet Miss Esther Lee who warns Ellie to leave or something bad will happen. I really like Esther, she’s my favourite character in the book. She is just this interesting and eccentric woman who is just wonderful and intriguing. Of course in the small village they all think (or maintain in any case) that she’s batty but as the book progresses we realise she’s quite clever and very in tune with what’s going on. We also meet Major Phillpot who is the village ‘god’ and becomes friends with Michael, Claudia Hardcastle who Ellie goes horse riding with, Claudia Hardcastle’s ex husband Stanford Lloyd, Greta Anderson who is Ellie’s secretary and friend who Ellie asks to stay with them, Cora Van Stuyvesant who is Ellie’s stepmother, Andrew Lipincott who is Ellie’s trustee and guardian, Frank Barton who is the husband of Ellie’s aunt and Mrs Rogers who is Michael’s mother.

 

As the story progresses, Esther’s warnings begin to scare Ellie and soon she is found dead after going horse riding. The inquest finds that it was heart failure and falling off her horse which killed her. But was it? Add into this, Rudolf  dies in hospital saying to Michael, “Why didn’t you go the other way?” Following this, Michael goes to America to Ellie’s funeral and gets the inheritance she left him in her will. But more death is around the corner when Esther’s and Claudia’s bodies are found and now Ellie’s death is being seen as possibly more sinister.

 

So this is a book with four deaths which makes it very intriguing because there is so many options for each death throwing the reader in different directions. I didn’t figure out the outcome of this mystery when I read the book but afterwards it was like, “Yeah, that makes sense”. Christie has weaved this mystery together wonderfully. It’s complex with four very different characters being killed but it ties together brilliantly and with that wonderful talent Christie had of a complex mystery been tied up with simplicity. It is a very clever mystery in which you can literally trust no one involved and the way Christie chose to write the story aids the overall thriller element very well.

 

Beautifully crafted and a great read that keeps you turning page after page and ending up reading more than you planned to read in one sitting. Wonderful.

 

To purchase Endless Night by Agatha Christie go to:

 

And for more about Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

 

The Murder At The Vicarage By Agatha Christie Review!

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I’m currently taking part in the Agatha Christie Readathon by James J. Cudney from the blog  This Is My Truth Now.

This is the final review of four books by Queen Agatha. 🙂

 

The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) by Agatha Christie is the first book featuring Miss Marple. The book is narrated by Parson Clement, who is the vicar of St Mary Mead, where Miss Marple is a resident. Fellow resident Colonel Protherone is killed in the vicar’s study and leaves Miss Marple in a dilemma as everyone seems to have a reason to do away with him. In fact Miss Marple can think of at least seven people who have a reason to kill the Colonel.

On the case with Miss Marple and Parson Clement is Chief Constable Melcheff and Inspector Slack. And there is a whole cast of characters joining them. As well as the highly unlikable Colonel Lucius Protheroe (R.I.P), there’s the Colonel’s wife Anne Protheroe, the Colonel’s daughter from his first marriage before Anne, Lettice Protheroe, the vicar’s wife Griselda Clement, the vicar’s nephew Dennis Clement, Parson Clement’s and Griselda’s housemaid Mary Adams, archaeologist Dr. Stone, Dr. Stone’s secretary Gladys Cram, the curate Mr. Hawes, the doctor Dr. Haydock, painter Lawrence Redding, Mrs. Lestrange who has just come to the village and the three busybodies Mrs. Price-Ridley, Miss Hartnell and Miss Wetherby.

Having grew up in a small town I can say that Christie really got the whole small-town atmosphere spot-on. The scenes with the older ladies talking about all the events in the town and in everyone’s lives in the village was so authentic to reality. I think the cast of characters together is a fantastic diverse mix which all work really great together and ensure that a variety of interesting events and situations occur. I love Griselda. She is so fun and down-to-earth and her relationship with Parson Clement is beautiful. Their interactions are golden and Christie wrote the chemistry so brilliantly in the dialogue between them.

The mystery itself, without giving anything away, is very clever. It has an understated brilliance about it. An excellent read that you will very much enjoy.

 

To get your free copy of The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie go to:

http://mylanguages.at.ua/The_Murder_at_the_Vicarage-Agatha_Christie.pdf

And for more on Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

 

 

The Body in the Library By Agatha Christie Review!

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I’m currently taking part in the Agatha Christie Readathon by James J. Cudney from the blog  This Is My Truth Now.

This is the third review of four books by Queen Agatha. 🙂

The Body in the Library (1942) by Agatha Christie is an intriguing Miss Marple mystery where the body of a young woman is found in the library at Gossington Hall. It is the home of the Bantrys, friends of Miss Marple’s.
Following the discovery, Colonel Arthur Bantry is hugely under suspicion and his wife Dolly and Miss Marple fear that if the case is never solved there will always be whispering about him being involved which they know he would not be able to handle. Meanwhile Dolly is finding the whole business of a body being found in their library quite exciting and with Miss Marple is trying to find out who is behind the woman’s death.
There is a whole list of suspects which makes this book brilliant. There is the Bantrys, artist Basil Blake and the woman he is intimately involved with Dinah Lee, Conway Jefferson who was set to adopt the woman who they believe to be dead in the library dancer Ruby Keene, Jefferson’s son-in-law Mark and daughter-in-law Adelaide, Raymond Starr who is a regular dance partner of Ruby’s, Josie who brought Ruby up to live in the area and George Bartlett whose car went mysteriously missing the night of the murder. Add into this the disappearance of a Girl Guide Pamela Reeves who was last thought to be going to Woolworths and a body found in Bartlett’s burned out car believed to be Pamela and you have a classic Miss Marple on the cards.
There is also numerous detectives working on the case like Colonel Melchett and Inspector Slack of the Radfordshire force, and Superintendent Harper of Glenshire alongside retired head of Scotland Yard, Sir Henry Clithering but of course they are no match for Miss Marple who once again puts the case together for them. It was also lovely to see Griselda, the Vicar’s wife from The Murder at the Vicarage and my favourite character from that book, back in this book (The Murder at the Vicarage is of course next week’s book but I had read it before this book) and while the Vicar doesn’t appear in this book we see that they have had their son since The Murder at the Vicarage.
This story without giving too much away is one of Christie’s most heartbreaking novels. When you get to the end, you’ll know what I mean. But it’s a very sad ending and the way the murder was done was so ruthlessly horrible in particular in the case of young Pamela. But there’s much to be learned from that section of the book about being a bit cynical of peoples’ motives. But it’s really sad and sticks in your head after you have finished reading.
I don’t wish to give anything away here either but it was very interesting to read the thinking on marriage back then and I think we’ve moved on quite a lot since then thankfully. Another very interesting thing I noticed in my reading of this book was that Agatha Christie used her own name in this book when young Peter, Adelaide’s son said he had asked Agatha Christie for an autograph. Agatha, you old fame seeker! 🙂
There is a very interesting foreword to this book where Christie writes about where she got the idea for this novel. She says that she seen it as a cliche of detective fiction and wished the library to go in line with that but have the body as that of someone you wouldn’t expect to see there. She spoke about how the idea formulated from seeing an elderly man who was disabled at a nearby table who gave her the idea for Conway Jefferson and from there she began her plot.

 

A brilliant read as always. Very emotionally sad at the close but another masterclass from Agatha Christie.

 

To purchase The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie go to:

 

And for more on Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

Peril at End House By Agatha Christie Review!

I’m currently taking part in the Agatha Christie Readathon by James J. Cudney from the blog  This Is My Truth Now.

This is second review of four books by Queen Agatha. 🙂

 

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Peril at End House (1932) by Agatha Christie is the eighth Christie book in which Hercule Poirot features. Narrated by Captain Arthur Hastings, the book also features Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard.

The setting for the book is the fictional seaside town of St Loo in Cornwall where Poirot and Hastings are on vacation. Poirot is enjoying his retirement but his retirement is soon a distant memory when he and Hastings meet a young woman called Magdala “Nick” Buckley. Poirot becomes convinced that someone is trying to kill their new friend and his thoughts are further intensified when he finds a bullet which Nick had thought was a wasp shooting past her head when they first meet her. It soon becomes apparent that Nick has been the the victim of numerous strange incidents of late. Then Nick’s cousin Maggie is killed while she is wearing Nick’s shawl. That was a sad moment for me because I really liked Maggie and she wasn’t in it for very long! So now Poirot and Hastings are really on a case full of secrets, lies and deceit.

But there’s a stumbling block throwing our dynamic duo into chaos and confusion. End House is a house which needs to have many repairs and is mortgaged. But Poirot and Hastings plug on with determination and they have many suspects to look into. There’s Nick’s friend Frederica who is known as Freddie, Nick’s cousin Charles who inherits End House if Nick dies, Ellen the housekeeper at End House and the Australian couple the Crofts who are renting the house from Nick.

It is an intriguing book with an excellent twist at the end. I did get the twist, probably because I write mysteries, but like even when the Agatha Christies where a reader gets who the killer/s is, the intricacy of how and why are totally on point. A wonderfully crafted story by our writing legend.

To purchase Peril at End House by Agatha Christie go to:

 

For more on Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/

The Secret Adversary By Agatha Christie Review!

I’m currently taking part in the Agatha Christie Readathon by James J. Cudney from the blog  This Is My Truth Now.

This is first review of four books by Queen Agatha. 🙂

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The Secret Adversary (1922) by Agatha Christie was Christie’s second novel after The Mysterious Affair at Styles. It is the first of her books to feature Tommy, a soldier and Tuppence, a war volunteer. The year is 1919 and when we meet the pair first in this novel, they are in their 20s and World War One has just ended. In need of work, money and adventure they start up their own business called The Young Adventurers Ltd in a new world where jobs are hard to come by. In true Christie style though this new business venture isn’t run-of-the-mill. They decide that they can’t be picky and are willing to do any job that comes their way with Tuppence even joking about them participating in crime. Mr Whittington overhears them speaking and enlists them in their first assignment. However when Tuppence lies and says that her name is Jane Finn, a name which Tommy has heard in the street, he gives her money and disappears. This of course rises excitement and curiosity in our two young adventurers’ minds and they embark on an adventure where their lives are at stake.

Tommy and Tuppence place an advertisement in the newspaper asking for information about Jane Finn which sets things up nicely for this political mystery. Within no time, they receive two replies. One is from Mr Carter who is with British Intelligence and tells them that Jane Finn was given a vital document by a man abroad the RMS Luisitania before it sank. This ties in with the prologue which states that a man gave a young American woman a document abroad the RMS Luisitania in 1915 because she had more chance of survival. Secondly the two daredevils meet another man called Julius Hersheimmer who is an American millionaire and Jane’s first cousin. But then the real mystery of the book begins with Tommy and Tuppence on the trail of the elusive Mr Brown. No one knows his real identity but he hovers like a dark cloud of mystery and enigma throughout the novel.

This is a very fast-paced book and Christie packs a lot into it. As usual, she also adds the human element that sometimes crime writers forget to add. The reader gets to know Tommy and Tuppence very well and their interactions show how polar opposite they are to each other in many ways. Tuppence is more adventurous and loves spontaneity while Tommy is laid-back and reserved. Their differences seem to be what draw them together and their romance is beautiful to read unfold as the crime unfolds around them.

Although Inspector Japp doesn’t play a role in this novel, he is mentioned in it which I found quite cool when I read it so I thought I’d just briefly mention it here.

Agatha Christie never disappoints and she hasn’t here either. It is an intriguing and interesting read and has many fun, lighter moments. A really excellent read.

To get a free copy of Agatha Christie’s The Secret Adversary go to:

http://www.freeclassicebooks.com/Agatha%20Christie/The%20Secret%20Adversary.pdf

For more on Agatha Christie and her work go to:

http://www.agathachristie.com/