Erin's Everyday Thoughts

Monday, January 08, 2007

Queen of Mystery

This weekend, I indulged. I looked at the stack of new books I received for Christmas (my friends and family are the absolute best!), and instead of diving into something that would make me work a bit, I went straight for Agatha Christie. The book? Murder at the Vicarage.

There is a simple but ever present allure for me in Christie’s writing. I’ve read her since I was a child, and I never seem to get tired of her books. The mystery is not my general reading fare, but something about the way she tells a story keeps me reading her work. It’s a mystery, yes, but it’s also a thousand details about how people live. I think this is particularly true of her novels starring Miss Marple, an older woman who has an eye for detail and a nose for mystery and intrigue. When the police are dumbfounded, Miss Marple can put all of the small details together and come up with the answer.

It’s satisfying to me to see situations wrapped up so thoroughly. By the end of the novel, all is solved. And I’m almost always surprised by the outcome. (I’ve never been good at figuring out whodunit, or realizing the trick to “trick” movies—like The Sixth Sense.)

And I can never get this image out of my head: Agatha Christie, sitting at her writing desk, smiling the smile of someone who knows whodunit! Smiling the smile of someone sliding in clues to lead the reader along! I imagine her as one of the happiest writers.

(Side note: The new editions of her books being released are beautiful.)


  • I have never read an Agatha Christie novel! I had a girlfriend who ate them like candy, though. I think it's good to read things like this: there can be pleasure in it and we can also learn a lot about telling a good story. I got some Erma Bombeck books at the Goodwill not long ago and look forward to relaxing with them. Please let us know what other books you got for Christmas!! I enjoyed my classes today. The seminar is small, just 7 people. I think we are going to do some good work in there. I will be sharing what happens on the blog! I miss you, Erin. I hope you will make entries here more often.

    By Blogger Theresa Williams, at 10:59 PM  

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