Sunday, April 29, 2012

Poirot - The Perfect Murders by Agatha Christie

A few days ago, I shared a teaser from this book. Well, I had some free time (and this book is addictive), so I've finished it earlier than planned. If you haven't heard of this book, it's simply an omnibus of the four most (supposedly) difficult cases ever encountered by Hercule Poirot.

The first book was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It was also, for some reason, the story I took the longest to finish. But to be fair, it's also the longest story. The story is quite "Miss Marple" in setting, a small town (lots of gossip) and murder.

I was very amused to see that they played Mah-Jong, although I cannot recognise the words that they spoke at all.

But with regards to plot... well, the book is rather winding at time. And -spoiler alert- I thought that the plot was very unfair to the reader due to the choice of the narrator. There is maybe one hint (told to us at the end), but the reader doesn't have any chance of figuring out the murderer at all.

The second book was Murder on the Orient Express. I really enjoyed reading this one. The clues, taken individually are so puzzling, but as a coherent whole, it makes a lot of sense. And this book invoked some 'deeper thinking' as it considers the idea of justice. What is justice? Is it the Law? Or something entirely different?

And, I thought the character of M. Bouc was very endearing. I don't think we're given enough of the other characters, so in this book, it is the character of Poirot and M. Bouc that stands out. Even though the doctor accompanies them throughout the story, I found myself forgetting his presence quite frequently.

Murder in the Mews is the third and shortest book of the four; I finished it in one go. But even though it's short, the twists and turns of the story is ingenious. But also because it's short, the characterisation is woefully lacking, unless you count on learning more about characters you already know.

Finally, Hercule Poirot's Christmas. This book, and Murder on the Orient Express, tie for the favourite novel of this omnibus. There is a diverse cast of characters and the book is sufficiently long for the reader to get to know all of them. In fact, I liked all the characters except George and his wife Magdalene. Those two were irritating >.<

I can actually visualise this story as a movie/episode in a series. In fact, I think a show might be better, because of certain visual details that could be included (this is only if the casting is done right though! Or if this was animated, then we won't have to worry about casting choice).

I highly recommend this omnibus. In fact, if you're moving and have to limit the number of books you bring along, buy this book. It counts as one book (physically) but has the content of four. ^^

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