Monday 8 April 2019

Review of Why Didn't They Ask Evans, by Agatha Christie

Why Didn't They Ask Evans?Why Didn't They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been a while since I've read any Agatha Christie books - well apart from her autobiography - and although I read this one as a teen, I had no recollection of it, and it gripped me completely.

Despite originally being published in 1934 and some of the language and culture having changed considerably, making it a bit dated, the plot and storyline, along with the level of suspense, was not. I had no idea who Evans was right up until the end. I had suspected who had done it, although I had no clue how, and Christie writes it in such a way that keeps you turning the pages.

Agatha doesn't waste time on superfluous description or what I call linking scenes (getting characters from a-b), she keeps tight to the plot and keeps it moving forward, running circles round her reader as they try and work it out along with the main characters. If there was any example of how to keep a story moving forward, this is it. I am always left wondering how on earth she ever plotted these before she wrote them. Sadly her autobiography gives us no clue to that - in fact for her writing seemed to just be a small part of her life.

The main characters, Frankie and Bobby, were a great combination. Even though she might not have realised it at the time, or done it deliberately, Agatha Christie wrote a strong female lead here, who is admired for that strength and respected for it by the other male characters, which even today is something that is still considered unique.

Like many of Christie's books, it's about people with money and from the upper classes, and there may be terms or conversations that might not be considered politically correct anymore, but it is very much a piece of its time and has the decadent even art-deco feel of its era.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and look forward to reading more.

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