There’s nothing like the immense satisfaction of an Agatha Christie book to use as momentum for recovering from a surgery. After my deviated septum surgery last Monday, I’m confined to the house for at least a week, when this cast on my nose comes off. I refuse to leave the house because I look like a puffy Shrek-like figure, and am unable to do much that requires a lot of concentration. I’m just not really myself quite yet.
I had the foresight of taking a trip to the local library to stock up in rations for the recovery. It was similar to what some people do before hurricanes–go to the grocery store, got water and emergency kits. However, instead of “practical” items, I got ice cream and lots of books at the library. (Oh how I missed the public library at home! It’s like stepping into my childhood and the wide world of Adult Literature discovered years too early! But that’s a whole ‘nother topic).
While browsing the shelves, I discovered something I could absolutely *not* pass up. A beautiful edition of Christie’s Hercule Poirot books. I had only read Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None prior to this week. And Then There Were None kept me up at night, and I think I read Murder on the Orient Express in practically one afternoon after a long day of middle school.
Anyway, while in the library I came across a RAINBOW edition of her books! And if there’s anything I can’t resist, it’s beautiful books (see: Penguin Drop Caps editions).
I picked up two for now, and only have read one: the salmon-colored Peril at End House. Next on the roster is the beautiful blue-toned Murder on the Nile. As you can see, the color really is important.
I admire Christie for her imaginative plots and the twists and turns her books take. Poirot is a riot–a delightful and impossible Frenchman. I cracked up while reading the book. But hands down the best part of reading this book was that I felt I was in good hands throughout. Even when Poirot faltered, I knew Agatha would lead us all to safety. Poirot wouldn’t fail, and ultimately, I would get a damn good ending. And what an ending it was!
This is the kind of book I need for recovery: something that makes me think and playfully try to find out who the killer is, but also lets me have someone else think for me. And damn it, sometimes that just feels good.
When I read Murder on the Nile, I might blow through some of the characters’ cute and mindless chatter. And I’ll entertain the false leads as Poirot flails about on a boat in the Nile. BUT what I’ll really enjoy is the ending, when it all comes together in a beautiful and well-crafted surprise!
Agatha Christie is like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock but cute and less confusing. She won’t give you anything as spectacular as a Reichenbach Fall. Her plots are down to earth, and yet as a result more plausible. They’re not plot pyrotechnics, they’re just human people committing crimes that a very smart human eventually figures out.
So, if you’re looking to cuddle up with a delicious book (because that’s what they are–sort of gruesome, but definitely delicious) I will suggest giving our dear old Agatha a shot. She might be antique, but is there anything as satisfying as a good ending? You’re always guaranteed one of those with Agatha.