Crooked House

In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he’s certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one’s on the level…

This is one of my absolute favourite Agatha Christie books. I know I say this about most of the Agatha Christie books I read but this one is definitely in my top 10 and possibly top 5…although that would require a lot of consideration. I don’t think that it will be a surprise to know that I gave this book 5 stars. Despite my attempt to savour this book, I finished it less than a day because I just wanted to consume it

This is a standalone novel and doesn’t feature Jane Marple or Hercule Poirot but there are enough strong characters in this book that it may have been too much to add another personality. Crooked House is always the Agatha Christie book that I recommend to friends who are wanting to know a good place to start because it is an excellent novel and taste of Christie but you can easily read it with no prior knowledge of the Christie-verse (is that a thing? Let’s pretend it is)

The book took place in a large family home after the murder of the head of the family and everyone was a suspect. There were a lot of characters in this book but the majority of the family took more of a supporting role and were so different that it was easy to keep track of who was who. The setting of this book was utter perfection! Is there a better setting for a murder mystery than a large, remote family home?

I loved the dual investigation of the police and Charles and the different information that they discovered. The differing attitudes to each felt really realistic for the time. I really enjoyed Charles as an investigator, he was no super sleuth but I think that really worked in this novel as it may not have worked quite so well with an expert investigator.

This book built the tension right from the start. As a reader, I was kept on my toes and it felt like anything could happen next. Like all Agatha Christie books, this had a twist and a half which I did not see coming!

This was my November pick for the Read Christie 2021 challenge, each of the reads have been so enjoyable.

I love this book and will recommend this whenever asked, I will be rereading it again.

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