Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review: Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie

Three Act TragedyNothing ever happens in a quaint little town of Loomouth, not until the local vicar dies at a dinner party at Sir Charles Cartwright's mansion. The police attribute his death to natural causes and the matter is forgotten until Sir Charles' friend, a renown doctor of psychiatry dies in a chillingly identical fashion. Luckily for them Ercule Poirot is there to untangle the mystery and identify the murderer.

The more I read Agatha Christie's mysteries the more I like them. It seems like with every new volume there's an extra something that makes them more than just an engaging riddle. Either I'm reading the books with a more pronounced human element or I'm just noticing it more and somehow I'm inclined to think that it is the latter.
I really liked Mr. Satterthwaite, the intelligent little man with an absolutely unpronounceable name and a way with people. The Lytton Gore ladies were my "human element" here introducing the subject of being able to see people for who they really are and not in the way Poirot does it. They made mistakes sometimes, sure, but their perceptions felt warm and uncalculating. I liked these characters more than the rest particularly because we learned more about them as people than we did about any of the others and that is really my only gripe - the rest of the cast are barely fleshed out and I wish we knew a little more about them.
Of course I didn't figure out who the culprit was even though I suspected everyone. It almost detracted from the story, this constant watchfulness, attentiveness to every word and trying to see in what way it could be a clue, whether it could be a clue. I really need to turn off that part of my brain next time and just enjoy the story. Learn from my mistakes, my friends!

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