Rating: 4/5 Stars
Buckle up, mystery mavens, because The A.B.C. Murders, the thirteenth novel in Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series, is a marvel of misdirection.
In this witty whodunit, Christie dishes out just a handful of subtle clues, teasing readers like me into premature conclusions.
Set in 1930s England, the story follows Hercule Poirot as he investigates a series of murders committed alphabetically by an unknown assailant. The killer sends taunting letters to Poirot before each murder, challenging the detective to stop them in a captivating game of cat and mouse.
What sets Christie apart isn’t just the thrill of the chase but the deliciously intricate puzzle she weaves. Every clue holds significance, and each turn of the page brings you closer to the elusive truth. The A.B.C. Murders fully embodies the magical essence of fiction, with a conclusion that feels slightly far-fetched yet delightfully fated.
It’s as if Christie’s inviting you to a cerebral chess match, daring you to beat Poirot to the punch. And just when you think you’ve cracked the case, she deftly pulls the rug out from under you, leaving you marveling at her sheer brilliance.
Christie has a knack for creating ‘cozy mysteries.’ Reading The A.B.C. Murders felt like sinking into a warm, well-worn armchair on a rainy day. The novel was published in the 30s, so some readers might find the pace slow in spots, or the writing style dated. But I found these aspects rather charming!
The characters are a treat, each with their own unique traits yet pleasantly predictable. And their endearing idiosyncrasies, like our titular detective’s attempt to mask his age by dyeing his hair, painted a world that felt snug and familiar, with a pleasant, vintage allure.
The A.B.C. Murders is a stimulating mystery that explores not just the psychology of a killer but also order and chaos, identity and perception. And despite being part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.
There’s an immersive quality to Christie’s writing, so grab your deerstalker hat and magnifying glass, and dive in! Whether you’re a dedicated fan of Poirot or new to the series, this is a classic must-read for anyone with a taste for the cleverly macabre.
“Words, mademoiselle, are only the outer clothing of ideas.” — Hercule Poirot
“There is activity of the mind as well as the body, Hastings.” — Hercule Poirot
“Je vous assure, Hastings—there is nothing so dangerous for anyone who has something to hide as conversation! Speech, so a wise old Frenchman said to me once, is an invention of man’s to prevent him from thinking. It is also an infallible means of discovering that which he wishes to hide. A human being, Hastings, cannot resist the opportunity to reveal himself and express his personality which conversation gives him. Every time he will give himself away.” — Hercule Poirot
After exclusively reading new releases for a while, it was time to switch things up. The A.B.C. Murders caught my eye as I scanned my collection (my copy is from Bantam’s gorgeous Agatha Christie Hardcover Collection).
The purchase receipt from Elgin Books, LLC, which closed permanently in 2020, was still inside the front cover. According to the receipt, I bought the book back in 2017. The poor thing has been lingering in the limbo of my ‘to read’ pile for years.
But it was worth the wait.
Actually, the timing couldn’t have been better, because, well, life has been overwhelming, full of highs and lows.
My role at my company came to an unexpected end. Our toddler is busier than a beehive on a sunny spring day. And it’s the holiday season.
On the flip side, I partnered with a top-notch editor on my first picture book. I became an aunt for the first time. And it’s the holiday season!
Reading has helped me step back and recharge before diving back into reality.
And with the chaos of life right now, finding solace in the slow and sure pace of this particular book became a craving that I gladly indulged in. Comfort became paramount, and Christie’s novel served as a sanctuary. I finished it in record time.
The A.B.C. Murders isn’t just a mystery; it’s a retreat. Christie’s ability to craft a narrative that felt like a warm hug in the midst of life’s storms is nothing short of extraordinary.
None. This review is entirely personal and unbiased.
Title: The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot, #13)
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publication Date: April 1983
Page Count: 207
Buy it: Amazon
Have you read The A.B.C. Murders? Share your thoughts in the comments! Or come say hi on social media. You can find me by searching @laurynsmith11.
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