Monday, 29 January 2018

Crooked House by Agatha Christie Review

Wealthy businessman Aristide Leonides has been murdered after someone swapped out his insulin for poison! Leonides’ children are quick to blame their elderly dad’s young bride who looks to inherit his fortune – but did the gold-digger and her secret lover dunit or is the killer someone else in the household…? 

Disappointing! Crooked House is the first Agatha Christie novel I haven’t enjoyed at all. It’s a bland, dull mystery without anything much interesting happening. Did you ever play point and click PC games like Monkey Island and Broken Sword? Crooked House is like reading a non-interactive version of those games as the narrator wanders from one boring character to another all of whom conveniently open up to him about their backstories, alibis, etc. – it feels very contrived.

The cast are unmemorable nobodies, the crime itself is mundane and practically nothing of consequence happens until the reveal at the end which makes getting through this overlong 300+ page novel a tedious chore. That said, I was interested enough to keep going and see whodunit and it’s as well-written as any of Christie’s best but generally it was a case of waiting for the pointless filler to get out of the way of the investigation’s resolution.

I’d say this was a hopelessly generic country house murder mystery except Dame Aggie is largely responsible for defining the genre to begin with so I’ll just say Crooked House is one of her least entertaining/inspired efforts.

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