Monday, December 13, 2010

A Body in the Library - Agatha Christie

I enjoy finding an author I like who has written a ton of books. This way whenever I'm in the mood for something familiar, there will always be a new book to turn to. Agatha Christie has written over 30 novels featuring her beloved sleuth Hercule Poirot - and these are the ones I first started reading. This time, however, I turned to Miss Marple - featured in 12 of Christie's novels and a few short story collections. Miss Marple is an elderly spinster with no apparent criminal or detective background. Yet, using logic and a folksy reading of people's behavior, she is able to outsmart the local police to solve local homicides. Very reminiscient of Angela Landsbury's character in "Murder, She Wrote." In this one - Christie's second novel featuring Marple, a young woman is found strangled in the home of an elderly sophisticated couple. Suspicion immediately turns to the man of the house, suggesting that she is one of his mistresses. Miss Marple is called in by the distraught wife, and along with the police and a young boy connected to a family of potential suspects, the investigation proceeds to a nearby dance club, and a wealthy invalid who had taken the murdered girl under is wing. Though the book is short (less than 200 pages), there are more twists and turns than a Law & Order episode - some of them predictable, and others coming out of left field. A suspenseful mystery, best enjoyed on a rainy night by the fire with a hot cup of tea.

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