Sep 22, 11
Read in September, 2011
I enjoy even indifferent Christie, so this was fine, but it really was pretty -- indifferent. There's a likeable heroine and a fast-moving plot, but nothing that sticks with me the way some of her later work does. This early in her career she was still writing a lot of books which are more crime thrillers than the intensely psychological small-group[*] mystery that I really enjoy, and this is one of those. As frequently occurs in her books of the 1920s, labour disputes have nothing to do with horrible conditions and human rights violations; they're all about evil criminal gangs manipulating stupid people in order to make money. At least in this book the labour problems as criminal problems is mostly in the background, so I could ignore it and appreciate the characters.
[I'm not sure if small-group is the right term for it, but the thing I like about country house mysteries & their friends is that there's a limited number of possible suspects, so there's a lot of focus on group dynamics & some interrogation on what makes normal people do terrible things. The crime thrillers are all about international gangs of evil doing criminal things for money, which is just less interesting.]