Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review: Evil Under the Sun

This is my first Agatha Christie book.
 Of course I know about her, I wasn't raised on Mars, but for some reason I've never read any of her work. I may know her best from the Dr Who episode with Donna Noble.

Well, okay, I know her a bit more than that. But I did love the Donna Noble years with Dr. Who the best of the recent series.

This book features her sleuth Hercule Poirot. The formula is very "Murder She Wrote"- though obviously she did it first, or at least earlier.

You're introduced to various characters who reveal some things about their predilections, their prejudices, their squabbles and affairs.

Then, a murder happens and duhn duhn duhn...
the resident sleuth interviews the witnesses and then pulls together this string of seemingly disconnected clues to show us the murderer.

When I watched Murder She Wrote back in the day (my parents, and especially my grandmother loved it) I remember thinking: everywhere this woman goes there is a murder.

And somehow nobody ever questions whether or not she is the murderer.

Seriously, she shows up in town and someone dies. Every. single. time.

How does she get invited anywhere?

But anyway.

I loved the book, and it really made me want to visit a seaside town and hang out with a unique cast of characters (though not so much on the murder part).

The style of the book was really dated in some ways, especially the presentation of quotes.
For example, the speaker would be listed, with a colon, and then the quote. Like this--

Patrick Redfern murmured mechanically:
'Yes, yes- whatever you think is best.'

That was a little distracting and it reminded me that there are trends in writing that change over time. No better, no worse, just different.

I loved the book! Yes, it was obviously from a different era but the mystery was spot on. I love when a mystery gives enough clues to make you feel as if you could have solved it, but that you were just two steps behind the sleuth.

It's no wonder she's the beloved author of 80 novels. Yes, you read that correctly: 80! We need to up our game.

Have you read any Agatha Christie? What's your favorite of her many books?
Which Dr Who companion do you like best?


  1. I love Agatha Christie! I haven't read all of her works, but quite a few. My favourite is 'Cat Among the Pigeons', which features Hercule investigating a murder at a fancy girls boarding school (I'm a sucker for books set at a boarding school!). 'Murder on the Orient Express' was also fabulous!

  2. I must admit, I've never read Agatha Christie either, but it sounds like a lot of fun!

  3. I'm a big fan of Agatha Christie. She really paved the way for the mystery genre. One of my students read her entire body of works last year--it was one of my proudest teaching accomplishments ;-)

    Thanks for following me on my Stephen King site, but you might also be interested in my everyday blog:


  4. I've never read Agatha Christie, but I always wondered the same thing when I watched Murder She Wrote.

  5. Sadly, I've never read Agatha either. I probably should. A good mystery is always good! :) New follower and fellow crusader just (finally) making the rounds. Happy Thursday!

  6. I've never read Agatha Christie but I'm considering it. BTW, you made me LOL at your Murder She Wrote comment. :)

  7. I've never read Agatha Christie either... and now that I read your review, I wonder why not. She's so famous... anyway, I need to check her out.

  8. LOL! How did she get invited anywhere? I read a lot of Agatha Christie as a teen and PBS keeps me happy with her stories now.

  9. @Lo- I'll check that one out for sure.

    @Meredith, If you like mysteries you should try at least one.

    @KLo- wow that is stunning, and thanks for the heads up- following the right site now.

    @Alicia- not enough zombies...

    Hi Donea- thanks for dropping by.

    YAY Pam- LOLing is the goal!!!

    Erin, there's definitely a reason she's a classic.

    Oh Carolyn, I didn't even think of the PBS angle. I'll have to dvr some of her stuff.

  10. Agatha Christie hmm never read her! I always watched M,SW but what didn't know the connection ... Don't laugh at me for not knowing they were linked! ;)

  11. I'm going to read an Agatha Christie book during my mystery month, how could I not? I always wonder why people move to Midsomer since every week on Midsomer Murders someone is dying there. The crime rate must be outrageous.
    - Sophia.

  12. Wow, guess I need to get started on reading Agatha Christie mysteries. Hopefully it'll wet my appetite for mysteries.

  13. @Laura- maybe linked only in my head. :0) She's not a Christie character... just the same format of mystery.

    Exactly Sophia-- maybe the real estate agents keep it mum.

    Yahong- if you like mysteries you will like her.

  14. Donna was my favorite, with Rose and Amy following right behind. I didn't like martha.


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