Friday, April 17, 2009

Cannonball Read #22 (5K Book--Fiction): Third Girl by Agatha Christie

You know how I was saying before that I didn't understand why I had this strong impression that Agatha Christie's books were for old British ladies? I figured it out while reading this one.

This is one of Christie's Hercule Poirot mysteries. Hercule Poirot is a Belgian detective who seems to think he is better than everyone and spends an awful lot of time twirling his "moustaches" in contemplation while complaining about how rude and gauche everyone is. Frankly, I spent most of the book kind of wanting to punch him in the "moustaches."

The plot requires Poirot to untangle the mystery of a young woman (A hippy! [It's the sixties, you know.] How dirty and appalling and strange!) who confesses that she thinks she murdered someone. Unfortunately, she has no idea who or why, and doesn't even bother to leave her name. Poirot has to start by figuring out who this girl is, where she has come from, and who she might have murdered. He unravels this case with the help of his friend, the quirky mystery writer (sort of a more flighty version of Jessica Fletcher), his near-silent servant George, and his secretary Ms. Lemon.

The book is well-written, in that the grammar is good and the clue seem to add up more-or-less effectively. However, the story winds along at a snail's pace, and were I not reading this specifically for the 5K, I probably would have given up and thrown it out the bus window roughly 30 pages in.

I would only recommend this for the most ardent fan. Although I do intend to read more Agatha Christie, I can promise I'll be steering far clear of any Hercule Poirot mysteries in the future.

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