There is no thrill quite like what I experience after reading a whodunit. I love this genre with a passion. Why do I love whodunits so, you ask? Simple as Hercule Poirot says they gives you the illusion of living an exciting life.
This brings me to what is going to be the focus of this post – my abiding love for Agatha Christie and her unusual and idiosyncratic detectives – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. I have read my fair share of Sherlock Holmes – who’s intent on impressing Watson all the time. I honestly don’t think you can deduce that someone’s wife has left him because his hat is dirty and not brushed often – god! Or probably he can possibly categorise 350 different types of tobacco ashes. No monsieur, that’s doesn’t impress me at all.
No doubt Christie’s mysteries are thrilling, one better than the other, but what charms me most is her detectives – a little old lady with a twinkle in her eyes and a Belgian ex-police detective with an egg-shaped head. They are witty, funny, kind but firm and so brainy. The cerebral appeal that they have is what is lacking in modern detectives. Today’s detectives do not have ‘the little grey cells” and cannot solve a mystery by “simply arranging the facts in order” and hence resort to sex appeal and dirtying their hands and all the action. I am more impressed with Poirot sitting in his chair, sipping a cup of hot chocolate and using his grey cells to solve the crime. That’s a true detective.
Miss Marple’s method are different though. Her little village of St. Mary Meads has given her ample opportunity to peep into the psyche of people and learn their nature and every new crime reminds her of someone who has done the something similar. Her study of human psychology and human nature is simply outstanding and perhaps that is the reason why I tend to enjoy her stories a bit more than Poirot’s.
Somewhere along some books, I have also taken an immense liking to Captain Hastings who’s Poirot’s closest friend and the narrator of most of his stories. He is loyal to Poirot, has a dry, witty sense of humour, is charming in his own way and never leaves a chance to point out Poirot’s pompousness.
I have read almost all of her books but still after reading a few other authors I need to read one Christie just to make the blood rush.
Some of my favourites:
- A Caribbean Mystery
- Murder of Roger Ackroyd
- Murder on the Orient Express
- Murder is Announced
- The Witness for the Prosecution
- Mirror cracked from side to side
- The thirteen problems
- Murder in three acts
- Holiday for Murder
- 4:50 from Paddington
- Why didn’t they ask Evans?
- At Bertram’s Hotel
Oh I can go on and on.. sigh.. I need to read one now!