Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Hollow by Agatha Christie

It's been so long before I read an Agatha Christie mystery. I actually finished so many of them in Secondary school that I get nervous whenever I open a new one, because it means that I have one less mystery to read (although I suppose there are always re-reads).

Hercule Poirot is conveniently next to a murder (doesn't he always?) This time, the family involved is the Angkatells, including the very random but perceptive Lucy, the poor cousin Midge, the talented artist Henrietta, the shy cousin Edward and the guests brilliant John Christow and his slow wife Gerda. The weekend is abruptly interrupted when John Christow is found shot, and Gerda is holding the gun. It looks like an open and shut case, but the clues seem to lead to everyone and yet no-one.

The interesting part of the case is, of course, the different relationships. Gerda worships John, but John is annoyed by her. Instead, he loves, or thinks he loves, Henrietta. There's also Veronica, his selfish first love that's back. Edward has been crushing on Henrietta for a long long time, and Lucy is just callous enough to be able to do it (although she has no motive).

I love Lucy (Yay, I got to use that line!) She's the sort of random that I aspire to. She says the most nonsensical things, and does the most outrageous things, but yet she's never in trouble. Plus, she figured out what was happening before Poirot did. As another character (her long-suffering husband, who for the sake of a good night's sleep, locks the doors to his loving wife) says:
"I always think Lucy has a brilliant mind that expresses itself like a missing word competition. To mix metaphors - the hammer jumps from nail to nail and never fails to hit each one squarely on the head."
This was a fun mystery to read. It's got an enjoyable cast of characters, and the final solution was unexpected, but yet made sense.

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