Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Agatha Christie

I guess it's old-fashioned and not "in" to admit, but I like Agatha Christie!  Her detective stories have quite varied settings, and of course the detectives range from Miss Marple to Hercule Poirot and Superintendent Battle.   Nevertheless, most are variations on a familiar theme:   a defined range of suspects, most of whom have a motive, virtually all the clues are made available to the reader (mixed in with numerous "non-clues"), a false exposure of the "culprit" occurs then there's an unexpected twist and the exposure of the real murderer.  And often her stories involve the English upper classes in their element of fine houses and up-market hotels - nice to read about, although I suspect that life in reality wasn't always quite as she portrays it!

I came across one of her books in the library last
week which was "almost new" to me (Towards Zero).  Actually, I did have a vague memory of it but I read it so long ago that I couldn't remember any of the details so it was as if I was reading it for the first time.

It's set in the 1930s.  One point that I noticed was that one of the characters on a couple of occasions refers to  "good cooking", such as in, " excellently cooked and served dinner.  Clearly Lady Tressilian had no difficulties with her servants."   One is left to ponder as to what constituted good English cooking in the 1930s?  And the mind boggles as to what may have been "bad cooking" in that era!

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