Leah's Reviews > Crooked House

Crooked House by Agatha Christie
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Jan 29, 12

bookshelves: crime, mystery
Read in January, 2012

Christie's interesting announcement that "This book is one of my own special favourites" (from the note on the publication page) belies a relatively uninteresting story.

I couldn't find anything particularly special about this book as compared to her others. The characters were a little shallow, the relationships a little unbelievable, the narrator a little bit pompous.

Her non-Poirot novels are very hit-and-miss, I find. One my favourites of all her novels, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, is not Poirot and hugely enjoyable. But I think the detective/s need to be charismatic, and this Charles was not. He was a normal man, more like Hastings than Poirot.

Still, she was the master of misdirection. I didn't see the ending coming; however, there wasn't much of an 'AHA' moment. It was more of a 'oh, I see' moment, with a little bit of indifference. As far as I can tell, I felt this because the whole way through there was no real suspect - no motive (all the relatives were rich and on good terms with Aristides), no desire for his death. This gets very boring, much more so than when everyone could and would have done it. By the time the murderer is revealed, we just want to know to alleviate the boredom of hearing 'but no-one needed to murder him! There was no motive at all!' over and over and over.

I am beginning to be less enamoured of Christie, the more Dorothy L. Sayers I read. What a pity she wasn't better remembered!
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Gnomes Thanks for the review. I thought I was the only one who didn't quite like this book seeing all the other reviews here that gave this one five stars. I quite agree that the detective wasn't charismatic and that was one of the main reasons why I felt this book was just meh. I was yearning for a Poirot and found myself fondly missing the man with the egg-shaped head.

Will check out Sayers, like you said.


Leah Thanks! I only started reading Sayers a couple of years ago, but I am a complete convert. Her books are always surprising and her detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, is one of the best creations in detective fiction, to my mind.
I would suggest either starting at the beginning (Whose Body) or reading probably her most famous work, The Nine Tailors. Either one will be a great way to spend your time!


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