Written by Agatha Christie
Number 2 in Superintendent Battle
Publisher: William Collins & Sons
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Original Language: English
Read from 2014-02-13 to 2014-02-22
Read in English
Review: Normally when I read an Agatha Christie I expect a good mystery with a bit of a story around it. That’s why The Seven Dials Mystery really surprised me, it actually felt like a story which happened to have a mystery in it. It also had another quality that took me off guard. It is consistently funny. It does that wonderful thing of being effortlessly humorous in an understated, very British, way. The characters are wonderful, and the story flows well. The mystery, however, does not quite live up to the story.
My main problem with the mystery in this book is that it is just too farfetched. The fact that the characters joke about how unlikely everything seems doesn’t make it seem any less unlikely. The revelations aren’t obvious or unsurprising, but for some reason they are presented in a way which I found to be oddly devoid of impact. Perhaps I would mind less if the book were by a different author. However, from Agatha Christie I tend to expect a mystery that, while it might be a little out there, at least doesn’t require the reader to suspend their disbelief too much or too often. I therefore feel a little strange about this probably being one of my favourite Agatha Christie books to date. I really liked it, but for all the wrong reasons. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone craving a good Christie mystery, but I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to anyone who just wants a very entertaining, very English, quick read.
I’ll be continuing to read the Christie books in the order they were published. If this is an indication of the style she used in this era of her writing, and it is combined with the type of mysteries I know from her later books, I have a feeling that I might really, really, enjoy the next few Christie books I get around to reading.