Review : The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

July 30, 2014 Book review 8 ★★★★

This was my first venture in the world of Hercule Poirot via the books although of course I’m familiar with him from various films and TV series.   On reflection, I prefer the Miss Marple series but the plot of this book again just blew me away.

Review : The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha ChristieThe A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot #13
Published by Harper Collins on 6th Jan 1936
Genres: Classic, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

There’s a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet and the whole country is in a state of panic. A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston.

With each murder, the killer is getting more confident—but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal, mistake.

First Line of The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

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.

My Thoughts on The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

Yet again Agatha Christie has shown me how she achieved her title as the ‘The Queen of Mystery’. I thought this book took a little bit of time to get stared as I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters. But the plot! The plot was brilliant.

The storyline is slowly laid out before us, however it might be slow to start but it’s rock solid and the more you read, the more intriguing it all gets. There are lots of layers to the story and we get a few different perspectives all of which merged together to send me happily and blissfully unaware down the wrong path.

Mr Poirot just like Miss Marple is umpteen steps ahead of everyone when it comes to puzzling out the intricate details. He smartly puts two and two together to make twenty two while I was convinced the only answer could be four. At a certain point, he had a number of questions which solved it all in his head and I was beyond baffled by the questions and how it would all come together.

When I finally learnt all the facts, I gasped. Come on…it’s an Agatha Christie, only a word like gasped will do! In fact I all but needed some smelling salts!  This one is a pretty short book and I read it over two sittings, I was far too absorbed in it to drag it out any further.  I think that says all you need to know about the pace of the book once it gets going.

I love how a book that was written so many years ago, can draw me in, work my brain and leave me feeling so impressed at Agatha’s cunningness. To me her biggest accomplishment is her crafty, crafty plots. I think she must have had great fun putting them together and then working out how to skilfully mislead you. What a devious writer she was.

I also love how all her books have huge casts and you might only glimpse a character once or twice but she can flesh out a character in a few lines and you just know what kind of person she means. The 1930s setting really appeals to me. There is no social media to reply on for help but good old fashioned gossip is every bit as effective when it comes to tracking a trail to the killer. And it’s fun to spend time in a seemingly ‘simpler time’ however when you peek inside the murderers mind, you see that not everything was simpler and that evil was just as present then as now.

I thought the main characters Poirot and Captain Hastings were a bit stereotypical and so I think my next AC book will be back with Miss Marple as I love that crafty old busybody. Either way I know I’ll be happily reading my way through Agatha’s huge collection for many years to come.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


 Who should read The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

If you’ve enjoyed Agatha Christie before then you won’t need any recommendations from me, you’ll know she is master plot planner. If you haven’t read one before, I’d suggest you start with And Then There Were None as that is my favourite so far. Also if you love mysteries but have dismissed these books as stuffy and old fashioned, you should try one and let AC woo you in to her massive fan base.


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8 Responses to “Review : The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie”

    • trish

      Oh lucky you Michelle, go grab one! That is why I could never wok in a book shop, all I’d want to do is read all the books 😉

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