These are not the books that made Christie famous. Not by a long shot.
But, like finding a glass of water in the desert, one appreciates her great work more by exposure to the arid wasteland. And when Poirot returns, rejoicing ensues.
I don’t know if it was the rebound effect, but I found Evil Under the Sun to be a near-perfect murder mystery. It has everything you want from Agatha Christie: a secluded location, a group of people with motives for killing the victim, wonderful red herrings and a resolution that depends on the psychology of the victim.
It’s a simply beautiful piece of mystery fiction and blows away the boring image of the Tommy and Tuppence books. I suppose the reason it works so well is that the setting is comfortable and familiar, and that the possibility of the reader guessing the murderer exists (though that is never necessarily Christie’s strongest suit in my experience). The clues in this one exist… but you don’t necessarily manage to put them together until Poirot explains them.
So THIS is classic Queen of Crime, and if you’ve already read The Murder of Roger Akroyd and Murder on the Orient Express, this is a good choice for continued reading.
Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer who doesn’t write whodunnits, but his book timeless is a sexy, fast-paced thriller. You can check it out here.