Thursday, November 21, 2013

Agatha Christie- Sittaford Mystery

The first page of Sittaford Mystery itself leaps into a suspense. The seance was the perfect way to set the pace of book. And by the end of the first chapter we have a murder. It is almost a perfect start to a novel. But alas the book somehow fails hold on to the impact in the coming chapters.

We all know that Christie is known for including multiple sub-plots to the main plot to keep the mystery intense.  Somehow the sub-plots don't seem to gel well with the main theme. In this there are two sub-plots. One dealing with the Willets and Brain Pearson and the other with Jenifer Gardner and her husband.  The mystery around Willet somehow does seem interesting but fails to garner any suspense around it.  And finally when the mystery does come out , the reader will feel " is that it?".  In Christie's other books like "After the funeral" or "They do it with Mirrors" there are some very interesting sub-plots which somehow only add to the mystery. Sittaford Mystery was a big disappointment in that area.

The unraveling of the mystery also passable but nothing extraordinary. There is just one single "Aha" moment in the mystery which solves the murder. You can almost push down to one page.  The rest somehow doesn't add up to the solving of the mystery. In "Murder at Vicarage" Christie marvelously adds the plot of a mysterious woman, a daughter and Mrs Price's theory and many other things which embellish the whole plot. Here there is one single moment of truth which also is not extraordinary.

One thing which seems wrong to me is why Mrs Willet would invite all her neighbors to her house if her purpose of taking the house was what they mentioned in the book? Seems illogical. But she does invite everybody and that's where the whole murder plot starts. There is another love triangle as well in the story which to me seemed very tiresome. I couldn't garner any emotion for the the two characters who sort of solve the mystery. All in all the book was not very satisfactory. My standard of Christie is so high that I cant seem to settle for anything less.

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