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.