by Agatha Christie
Nick is an unusual name for a pretty young woman. And Nick Buckley has been leading an unusual life of late. First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car fail. Then, on a coastal path, a falling boulder misses her by inches. Safe in bed, she is almost crushed by a painting. Upon discovering a bullet hole in Nick's sun hat, Hercule Poirot (who had come to Cornwall for a simple holiday with his friend Captain Hastings) decides that the girl needs his protection. At the same time, he begins to unravel the mystery of a murder that hasn't been committed. Yet.
I'm definitely "into" light mysteries, now, even though for years I resisted or ignored suggestions that I might like Agatha Christie. A murder mystery? No, surely that would be boring... or unpleasantly confusing... or gruesome, or something. I'm not sure how it started, but I've been hooked for a while, whether I'm reading them, listening to audio books, or watching TV adaptations. (This, by the way, was an audio book. I don't "do" audio books that often, but I hope to get more into the habit of them, now that-- I think-- I've finally gotten my mp3-player sorted out.)
...But as I was saying, I find these "cozy" mysteries (preferably set in the 20s to 50s... preferably British) extremely soothing. It seems a little strange to describe a murder mystery as cozy and comforting, but these are. Amazingly absorbing escapism. I'm not sure how long it'll last, but for the time being, I'm enjoying them.
I'd already seen the TV adaptation of this novel, but didn't remember enough of it to be bored. By the end, I'd suspected the guilty party-- but again, I wasn't sure, and I'd completely forgotten the... identity twist, shall we call it?
I suspect that I'm not much of a judge of mysteries, really, but I wasn't disappointed. Nothing stood out as being unexplained or not "fitting".
I've read that Agatha Christie herself didn't like Hercule Poirot, but I find him endearing-- though my opinion of the character is undeniably based more on David Suchet's portrayal than what is presented in the books and short stories. (I haven't read or listened to many of them at all-- a shortcoming that will have to be remedied...)