Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Agatha Christie Challenge - 1950s Non Series Books


I've made it to the 1950s non series books.  This is the 3rd decade of Agatha's writing career and she's still going strong.  With the first 2 books in this decade we revisit her earlier more adventure type novels but both have a twist.

They Came to Baghdad - 1951
Victoria Jones is quick on her feet and always tells a lie when given a choice.  When she meets the handsome Edward Goring the day before he leaves for Baghdad and the day she gets fired from her typing job she decides it's time for an adventure. Victoria is a classic Agatha heroine.  She's full of common sense and charm.  She's young and adventurous and just a bit reckless.  She does change up the romance element though and there's some twists that wouldn't have been in a similar mystery from Agatha in the 1920s.  This one is a lot of fun.  A classic Agatha romp with the added experience that writing for 30 years can give you. 4 Stars


Destination Unknown - 1954
Once again we have a mystery with hints of espionage and political intrigue.  However, instead of the usual young adventurous girl we have Hilary Craven. Hilary Craven is a woman who has lost her child and gone through a divorce and feels that she has nothing left to live for.  A man stops her from committing suicide and offers her a mission that will most likely end in her death but will do some good.  Hilary resembles the wife of a brilliant scientist who has gone missing.  His wife was severely injured in an airplane crash and Hilary agrees to take her place.  This is a bit interesting because we don't really know what the mystery really is until it is solved. 4 Stars


Ordeal by Innocence - 1958
This is one of the books that Agatha names as one that she was most satisfied with it and with reading it I can see why.  When Dr. Arthur Calgary returns to England after 2 years away he is horrified to learn that he could have saved a man from being convicted of murder.  To make things worse the man, Jacko Argyle has already died of pneumonia in prison.  He is surprised by the reaction that he gets when he confesses to the family and then resolves to really make things right by helping figure out who killed Rachel Argyle.  There are a number or interesting concepts raised mainly if Jacko was innocent that meant one of the family was guilty.  I enjoyed that as a reader we were able to see the point of view of each of the surviving family members.  There is very little active investigation as it mostly time passing and events unfolding on their own. You can definitely see Agatha's evolution from adventure stories and classic murders to more in depth thought provoking stories. 4 Stars

10 comments:

  1. I remember reading at least two of these books long ago, but I don't remember too much about them. I keep thinking I should re-read some of her books.

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    1. This was a good set. All 3 were really strong. Any of these would be good rereads.

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  2. These all sound good! I really need to dive back into her books.

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    1. This is a good set! I'm looking forward to reading the other books she wrote in the 50s to see if she was consistent all the way across.

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    1. Definitely! I love Agatha. Every time I read one I notice something new or get a new perspective.

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  4. I have never read Agatha... I have been getting a little more into mysteries lately and need to give her book a go. Clearly they are good since everyone talks about her books so much!

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  5. I don't think I've ever read any of these non-series books by Agatha Christie - they sound like a lot of fun.

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  6. I have only read a couple of Agatha Christie books (in high school) and loved them. I need to get my hands on more of her books, and these three sound stellar.

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  7. All three of these were good and the first two are favorites of mine among Christie's work. I noticed that in your Sunday Post you mention that the 50s were her most consistent decade, and I'm inclined to agree!

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