My Rating (***)
‘The ABC Murders’ by Agatha Christie is another tale of Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian sleuth (with his groomed mustaches). The book was also published as ‘The Alphabet Murders’. It is the story of continuous killings happening in the English alphabetical order and Poirot’s attempt to deduce the murderer by using his grey cells. The story takes place in Britain, near London, during the late 1800s to early 1900s. The story is told from the point of view of Captain Hastings, a friend of Poirot’s. While I love reading Poirot mysteries, I get irritated by the stories having the personal narratives of Captain Hastings. It is like reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries where Dr. Watson plays a similar role. The resemblance is too similar to avoid. Compared to Dr. Watson, Captain Hastings is quite a dull character. He does not seem to add anything new to the story and just seems to be incorporated to give what we may call a ‘reader perspective’.
Even though the plot of this novel is lengthy and the actual crimes are not overly interesting, Poirot’s causal wit while solving crimes keeps readers involved. I am almost always hooked whenever I pick up a Poirot mystery and this one was not an exception. I do feel, however, that the boring descriptions could have been avoided. What I liked most about this book is the end part. It was brilliantly written and the twist was quite clever. While I have rated this book less enthusiastically, this book is not at all disappointing.