The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie
Opening sentence: “In this narrative of mine I have departed from my usual practice of relating only those incidents and scenes at which I myself was present.”
I recently decided that this year I would read a lot more Agatha Christie. When I’ve delved into her books in the past, I always enjoyed them and it made me realise I really hadn’t read that many, so I popped along to the library to see what they had. I went for a Poirot, I do have a soft spot for the Belgian detective, and I admit I did go for this book based purely on the lyrical title.
Narrated by Poirot’s friend and Scotland Yard detective, Captain Hastings, this tale sees Poirot receive a letter warning him a murder will soon take place in Andover and it is signed ‘A B C.’ When the murder does take place and not only that, the victim has the initials A A, Poirot sees the pattern emerging. The next letter foretelling a murder in Bexhill-on-Sea cements the killers love of all things alphabetical. Now it is a race against time for Poirot and Hastings to crack the case before the killer works his way through to Z…
Apart from the intriguing murder mystery central to all Poirot novels, what I also love are the amusing asides and warm friendship between Poirot and Hastings. Take this exchange for example:
Hastings: “Poirot,” I cried, “You have dyed your hair!”
Poirot: “Ah, the comprehension comes to you!”
Hastings: “So that’s why your hair looks so much blacker than it did last time I was back.”
Hastings: “Dear me,” I said, recovering from the shock. “I suppose next time I come home, I shall find you wearing false moustaches – or are you doing so now?”
Overall, The ABC Murders wasn’t my favourite in the Poirot series, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy reading this instalment. It was so easy to immerse yourself in the world of the book and just when you think you’ve figured out what will happen – something else does instead. The classic Christie move that keeps you coming back for more.