Agatha Christie: Sad Cypress

Sad Cypress
This mystery, I think, was much better than Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? Sad Cypress starts with what you would expect to be the ending: the suspect in the dock, accused of double homicide. As Poirot reluctantly begins his investigation, he finds that everything points to the accused being guilty. But Poirot decides it all fits too neatly. He turns contrarian and sets out to free his woman. So to speak. Christie’s up to her usual misdirection and does it quite well. I’m surprised this isn’t one of her more famous tales. It really is quite good.

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Agatha Christie: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?

Why Didn't They Ask EvansThis was my first Bobby and Frankie mystery. In fact, I didn’t realize Christie wrote more than Poirot and Marple mysteries. Well, pardon my duh. As a couple, Bobby and Frankie were cute and the book was enjoyable but it all felt quite light. I wasn’t expecting that from Christie but it was enjoyable. One thing I thought was a bit of a stretch, the victim falls over a cliff, but his last words are “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” Talk about focused… A good read, but I’ll stick to Poirot and Marple as my favorites.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's ChristmasApparently, I’m on an Agatha Christie kick this month, but wow, if I could plot like this, I’d never have time to read. I’d be too busy writing! All the clues were there and I still didn’t see it coming. I admit that with all the whining family members, it was nice to find a couple of people with a spine. Too bad they were hell-bent on revenge. But still, with all the back-stabbing family members, who wouldn’t feel right at home? Christie, not for the first time, borrows a page from Sherlock Holmes in this one, this time a page from The Hound of the Baskervilles with the family resemblance via an old family portrait. It was kind of fun realizing that, like a little inside joke between reader and author. I was reminded of the quote by Edith Wharton:

Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.

Dear Ms. Christie had no such difficulty and good for her. When it’s this good, it’s not plagiarism, it’s homage.