shoebox_dw: (pbs zebra reading)
So I was thinking about this Agatha Christie post thing - I do that from time to time, thinking - and decided that I wasn't going to work my way systematically through the entire canon, a la fuzzy little Bully the Wodehouse-obsessed blogging bull. Just because others have heroically blazed the trail doesn't mean I have to follow them down it, say I. If it means not having to go in-depth on the likes of Elephants Can Remember or The Big Four, I am all for standing off admiring from a distance.

(Truth in blogging: The Big Four isn't all that bad a book. Just - well, sort of stupid, in that particularly quaint 'pre-WWII spy thriller' sort of way that some find totally endearing but which drives me straight up a tree.)

At any rate. What I decided to do, in the end - ie, once I discovered a workable spoiler script, thus eliminating my last hope of procrastinating further - was a series of light 'appreciations' of Christies I have known and loved, or at least liked quite a bit. The perspective of the Christie-reader-on-the-street, if you like. A grab-bag of review, comment, reference and snark.

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shoebox_dw: (pbs zebra reading)
Every mystery fan operates off a set of ground rules, in re: what they want from their ideal thriller. There are so many ways to lay out a puzzle, in so many combinations, that it's nearly impossible even to browse the 'Suspense' shelves of the local library without boundaries.

Mine are pretty straightforward: I like the classic stuff. Fair clues and fascinating suspects leading to a satisfyingly logical solution; rather like an old-fashioned garden maze. Years of nurturing my fanhood on an aunt's Nero Wolfe collection has left me with a fundamental appreciation for the well-turned, economical scene, also the leavening of humour. Characterisation is important, and I will sacrifice clarity of plot to it to a certain extent, but Byzantine literary flourishes can be dispensed with thanks much all the same. Especially if the author is British.

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