Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dame Agatha - part 4 in the Genevieve Asks series

Christie was a phenomenally prolific writer: 80 mystery novels! Not to mention plays! Short stories! Romances under a pseudonym! The Guinness Book of World Records calls her the best-selling author of all time - outselling everyone except the Bible 1.

I have read everything she wrote. And I will talk to you here about my favorites.

First, because it's not as well known, Rosemary is for Remembrance (also known as Remembered Death) in which, a year after Rosemary killed herself at her birthday party ("depressed after a bout of 'flu"), the people who were at the party are remembering her death. Her husband decides that he's going to have another party, this time for Rosemary's sister, at the same restaurant...
I have to say that Christie cheats just the squinchiest bit in this book, but I looooove the book very very much.

Another one that is less well known is Death Comes as the End, which takes place in ancient Egypt. Renisenb, newly widowed, has returned to live in her father's house where everything seems just the same...except...does everything stay the same for 8 years? And then her father Imhotep returns from a journey with a new concubine, Nophret, and then it is clear that things have changed quite a bit.

4.50 From Paddington (or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!) is another favorite. What Mrs. McGillicuddy saw on the 4.50 from Paddington was a murder on a train that ran alongside for a few moments. She reports it to some officials, who don't believe her, and then she tells Miss Marple, who does. The best part of this book is Lucy Eylesbarrow. I love her.

N or M? Is a Tommy and Tuppence book that I love.

Please note that while I'm not talking about her most famous stuff, it's not because I didn't love Death on the Nile or Murder on the Orient Express, it's because I'm expecting you to either have read them, seen the movies, or already know about them.

In my opinion, Christie's talent shines best in her short stories. Parker Pyne, Detective is a set of short stories featuring that very remarkable man. The Mysterious Mr. Quin features Mr. Satterthwaite and Harley Quin. The Labours of Hercules is a set of 12 short stories about a challenge Hercule Poirot sets himself. The Tuesday Club Murders is a fun set of stories featuring Miss Marple. And The Golden Ball is a set of stories that have nothing to do with any of those folks.

So pour yourself a nice cup of tea, and pick up a Christie (if it's a used copy from the '50's all the better), and start reading.

And if you've got something you'd like me to post about - donate to MS's campaign and leave me a comment here!

1. Wikipedia (I know, I know, but I gave away my Hubin).

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I liked her autobiography very much - it's a great picture of England during her long lifetime, and I especially enjoyed all the stories of her childhood and the games she created.

The books you listed are good ones - my favorites include A Murder Is Announced, The Mirror Crack'd, and the final Miss Marple story whose name I can't remember. Funny, as a teenager I preferred the Poirot stories, but as an adult the Marple stories seem far better to me. After reading her autobiography, that makes sense - she made Poirot up out of a group of quirks, but Marple is much more based on her experience and people she knew, so she's much more human.