Review 1646: The 1936 Club! The ABC Murders

Of course, you must pick an Agatha Christie for the 1936 Club, and my choice was The ABC Murders. In this novel, it appears at first as if Christie is telling us everything but motive. However, she has some tricks up her sleeve as usual.

Captain Hastings returns from South America to find Hercule Poirot retired but still taking the occasional case. Soon, one arrives in the form of a letter, which challenges Poirot and tells him to look for news from Andover on a particular date. On that date, an old woman named Mrs. Ascher is killed by being bludgeoned over the head. On the counter is an ABC map.

The next letter refers to Bexhill-on-Sea. On the specified date, Betty Barnard is strangled on the beach and an ABC is found underneath her body.

In between entries from Captain Hastings’ journal, we briefly follow a man named Alexander Bonaparte Cust.

Round about page 75, I got an inkling about something that might be happening, and I was right. But the whole picture was more complicated than I guessed.

This wasn’t my favorite Christie. For one thing, the solution was just too complicated. For another, I didn’t feel as if Christie’s characterizations were as rich as usual.

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7 thoughts on “Review 1646: The 1936 Club! The ABC Murders

  1. Simon T April 15, 2021 / 11:03 am

    I’m glad all the 1936 Christies (I think) have been covered by the club! This was one of the first of hers I read, when I was about 13, so don’t remember it all that well – tried to watch the recent adaptation, but it was too grim to persevere with.

    • whatmeread April 15, 2021 / 11:12 am

      I don’t think it was her best, but of course we have to cover all the Christies!

  2. Helen April 16, 2021 / 11:13 am

    I enjoyed this one a lot more than you did, I think! I’ve just finished one of her other 1936 novels, Murder in Mesopotamia, but still haven’t read the third, Cards on the Table.

    • whatmeread April 16, 2021 / 11:19 am

      I haven’t read that last one.

  3. Con April 16, 2021 / 7:39 pm

    I was going to read this next but got distracted by The Postscript Murders, which I finished last night. I see you just read it too! I liked it even more than the previous one.

    • whatmeread April 16, 2021 / 11:47 pm

      Oh, I just read The Postscript Murders this week.

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