Challenge 12 ~”A book of short stories.”
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I’m normally a great fan of Christie’s work, and have read many of the Marple and Poirot novels. Christie wrote a wealth of work in an extra-ordinary fashion, but this collection does not do justice to her wonder. It has hence been difficult to articulate my feelings on the book – I’ve always been in awe of Christie’s literary abilities, and yet reading some of these is like reading a completely different author. I’d say if you were to read it, it’d be better just to stop half-way. The collection was certainly mixed, with some of Christie’s best work, and some of her worst.
The Love Detectives and The Harlequin Tea Set were the stars of this set, feeling like complete works with twists, suspense and consistency. They were pretty alone in this aspect, however: the title work lacked momentum, dialogue was shaky in The Second Gong, Yellow Iris was rushed, there were unsignposted scene jumps in The Regatta Mystery, and the final two (Next to a Dog and Magnolia Blossom) lacked plot. If I were new to the works of Christie, I would certainly have great doubt over one of history’s greatest crime writers.
As a stranger to Christie’s short stories, I am certainly not enthused by this collection. Thus I would instead recommend the following for those wanting a true taste of Christie:
- And Then There Were None
- Elephants Can Remember
- Murder on the Orient Express