Laurel Young's Reviews > The A.B.C. Murders

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie
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's review
May 24, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: my-year-of-agatha

** spoiler alert ** I've read this one several times and never fail to be impressed; it's truly a tour de force, even by Christie standards. I think I remember reading that this novel gave her more trouble than most...certainly she pushed herself by tackling a premise unlike any of her others: a mad serial killer on the loose! The concept is thrilling and gives the novel a rapid pace and more suspense that some of her "cozies".

However, this is Dame Agatha: it would be against the Detection Club rules to offer no other solution than "he's crazy!" There is interesting commentary from the alienist (psychologist) about possible manias that could explain the motive, but this is all an elaborate red herring. What we have here is a classic logical puzzle that is wrapped in the trimmings of a thriller to throw off the reader. It is so, so well done. I remember being a bit stunned when I read it the first time, and I enjoy it even more now that I know the solution.

The detail about the stockings is perfectly Christie--the seemingly innocuous, domestic clue slipped in unobtrusively. I love that touch. And, of course, Golden Age Poirot is always a delight. Two thumbs up!

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