Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Murder at Hazelmoor, 28/81

A murder in a tiny Dartmoor village in the dead of winter sets the stage for this classic Christie whodunit. Several had a motive, few had an opportunity. The most likely suspect is quickly imprisoned, but his fiance remains unsatisfied with the law's conclusions. Determined to clear James Pearson's name, Emily Trefusis sets off with intrepid newspaper reporter Charles Enderby to seek out the circumstances of Major Treveylan's murder. As with all of Christie's books, we get plenty of atmosphere as the plot unfolds in the Dartmoor countryside. Here we see the deepest depths of winter. This novel has all of the elements of a juicy, quick read. The plot and suspense build as we follow Emily on her quest for answers. This is classic Christie- a bit of brain-fluff, for sure, but engaging and well-written.

Agatha Christie, Murder at Hazelmoor (Putnam, 1987) ISBN: 0396090133

Category: Scary/Spooky, 3/9, 28/81

Easy to Kill, 27/81

It's easy to kill if no one suspects you, and in the situation Luke Fitzwilliam has wandered into, that seems to be the case. A series of deaths has mostly gone unnoticed-- unfortunate accidents, they seemed, but not to everyone. Lavinia Fullerton has suspicions and premonitions, but she is run down on her way to alert the authorities. After hearing Lavinia's story retired police office Luke Fitzwilliam decides to do a bit of investigating of his own. He finds a small town with a variety of eccentricities. In some ways, this novel follows the typical Christie pattern: murder, a variety of suspects, and an unsuspected conclusion. This particular Christie has more of an element of danger, however, which adds excitement. We actually get to see some action, not just the detective revealing his or her conclusions at the end. Christie has also been successful in underlining the fact that apparently, it is remarkably easy to kill (or at least it was in the days before DNA evidence and whatnot.)

Agatha Christie, Easy to Kill (Pocket Books, 1945) ISBN: 0671811282

Category: Scary/Spooky 2/9, 27/81