For the thirteenth book in the challenge, I read <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/483103.The_Seven_Dials_Mystery” target=”new”>The Seven Dials Mystery</a> by Agatha Christie.
If you’re new to Christie’s books, I wouldn’t pick up this one first. It isn’t a very good representation of her skill, and it’s hard to tell whether she’s being cliched or corny accidentally or quite purposefully. I happen to think Christie uses the elaborate schemes and spy references as a sort of satire of what was going on elsewhere in the mystery genre at the time, but she does it so subtly and skillfully that there are several moments throughout when I eyed the thing suspiciously. It’s not quite like her other books, but as such it’s a nice variation on her usual theme. Neither of her most famous detectives pops up at any point, and she changes point of view quite frequently amongst the various amateur self-appointed detectives, which means rather more action and less cerebral strategy.
In this particular book, Lady Eileen Brent (or “Bundle” as her friends call her) is staying with friends, and a good-natured prank goes badly. Superintendent Battle makes a brief appearance, enigmatic as ever. It’s fun to peek into other characters’ heads now and then, especially the young “hip” ones of the 1920s with their lingo and their issues and their bumbling about intently. I gave it four out of five stars.
(Note: I’m not this far behind on the reading, I swear. Just the reviewing. It’s awfully hard to have an opinion on a book without utterly spoiling it.)