Thursday, January 21, 2010
I enjoy reading the occasional Agatha Christie title, though- nine times out of ten- there's just no way I have any chance of unraveling the undoubtedly complicated solution. Predictably, that was the case with Cards on the Table, an unusual entry in the Christie canon in that it features several of the author's notable detective characters appearing together. But also predictably, there's clean, no-nonsense writing; sharply drawn descriptions of individual crime scenes; skillful use of mood and flavor; and colorful, well drawn characterizations. In other words, it has all the things that are the true reasons I enjoy Agatha Christie.
Interestingly, though, once the murder or murders are solved in her little epics, Dame Christie apparently had no more use for her character-oriented, descriptive, and other storytelling skills, as all her books- this one included- immediately end once there isn't a crime left to unravel. You bought a mystery, you get a mystery-- end of story! Funny, then, that I always viewed the mystery plot in any given Christie title as a kind of bonus, picking up the books mainly for the writing qualities I described above, or put another way, the well-drawn journey.
And, once again, Christie's Cards on the Table delivers exactly that: an involving, well-drawn journey. And that's good enough for me. But I guess that also means that I'll really enjoy an Agatha Christie title if I find myself actually figuring out the solution on my own!
Cards on the Table is available on Kindle for $4.79.