I love a good whodunit. Film, book, TV, play – it doesn’t matter, I love them all. Most of the time it’s a guessing game trying to work out who the culprit is but sometimes it’s evident quite early – whether that’s via masterful deduction a good guess on my part or a through the story itself – but the thrill remains in seeing how the criminal will be exposed.
|Christie 1890 – 1976|
I have long been a fan of Agatha Christie and it was she who sparked my love affair with novels of the criminal kind long before modern crime writers put their graphic, and often gory, pens to paper. Her ingenious storytelling has me lifting layer after layer of delicious and dastardly detail with every page I turn and her quirky protagonists capture my imagination with their idiosyncracies and perversity.
Christie’s first murder mystery was The Mysterious Affair at Styles and was published late in 1920 in the US (followed by the UK early in 1921). She went on to write over 200 of the little blighters as well as 6 novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. That’s a lot of tap-tap-tapping in my world!
It all started with Parker Pyne Investigates when I was about 11 and I went on to enjoy books, films and plays – like The Mousetrap, which has been running on the West End continuously for 60 years and began life as Three Blind Mice – as Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot were brought to life for me again and again. There’s the international – Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, Evil Under the Sun – and the close to home – Murder at the Vicarage, 4.50 from Paddington, Pocket Full of Rye – to name just a few. And having only read/seen 31, I’ve still got quite a few to go.
|Suchet masters Poirot’s peccadillos perfectly|
This weekend, ITV3 is playing Poirot movies all day every day – I am in heaven. David Suchet is absolutely brilliant as the pernickety Poirot and I’ve managed to add Sad Cypress and The Hollow to my seen/read list today. Death on the Nile is running now but I’ve seen it before and know whodunit so it’s time to check out tomorrow’s TV listings to see what other Christie gems I can add to my cache.
And Mrs McGinty’s Dead is looking promising…