Friday, March 9, 2018

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie (1936)

First UK edition
I've read The ABC Murders before.  What I remember from the book so many years before was being disappointed by the ending.  It all seemed to so unbelievable and so pat.  I did not read Agatha Christie chronologically when I was in seventh and eighth grades; I read them in whatever order I could get my hands on. I used to own at least 25 paperback versions that I would save up and purchase (which I stupidly got rid of about ten years ago; dumb dumb dumb me); or what I could check out at the library.  I am almost certain I wanted ABC Murders to be another Ten Little Indians/And
Then There Were None
.  That novel had a serial killing psychopath (no spoilers here though), and I wanted the same kind of serial killer in The ABC Murders as well.  The book starts off that way, but it just didn't end up where I wanted it to.  It was Ten Little Indians.

Of course, The ABC Murders was written several years before The ABC Murders, and perhaps Agatha took some lessons from one and applied them to the other?

Here is my favorite line from the book.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A weird and gripping book; Christie plays around with narrative in such interesting ways, far more than I think she's ever given credit for. Although I don't believe she ever uses the word "serial killer" in the novel, she has her characters - including the famous Hercule Poirot - discuss the motives and psyche of serial killers. She uses language - and tropes - when discussing these types of killers that writers of fiction, and script writers, still use today. Did Agatha Christie invent the fictional serial killer? This isn't my favorite Christie, but I still enjoyed it (even, if only for this time, she didn't keep me guessing until the end). 

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