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Crooked House, by Agatha Christie

Happy November, readers!

Around Halloween, I usually like to treat myself to a novel by “The Queen of Crime,” Agatha Christie.  This year, I chose Crooked House.  This is one of her stand-alone books, without any recurring characters.  This book has the great supporting cast of well-drawn characters and surprising plot twists that we all expect from an Agatha Christie novel.  And I’m especially glad I read it, because I just found out that they are making it into a film!

The narrator, Charles Hayward, returns from WWII and wants to propose to Sophia Leonides.  Unfortunately, Sophia’s wealthy grandfather has just been murdered, and her whole dysfunctional family has fallen under suspicion.  Sophia is afraid that her family’s newfound notoriety will damage Charles’s diplomatic career, so she says she will not marry him unless her grandfather’s murderer is found.

It just so happens that Charles’s father is an Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, who suggests his son use his connection to the family to help them solve the murder.  Everyone at Three Gables, the crooked house from the title, had means and motive, and (as usual-this is an Agatha Christie novel) they all seem to be hiding something.  I won’t say anything about the ending, but the last few plot twists are especially good!  I was really surprised by this one!

As usual, I’d recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.  But hurry up and read it before the movie comes out!  I’d say this one gets four and a half stars.  It’s not quite up there with favorites like Orient Express, but it’s a great book!  ★★★★1/2

P.S. Here’s a fun fact: the first publication of Crooked House in the US was a condensed version of the novel featured in the October 1948 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

-Elizabeth

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