Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie was first published in the UK on 5 June 1939. One of the well-established Christie characters, Superintendent Battle (an intelligent and successful officer of Scotland Yard) makes an appearance at the end of this book. However, his appearance can be termed as a cameo appearance as he does not play any major part in the book. He does not help in solving the crime. He does not play any role in capturing of the culprit too. So, why did Christie bring his character in the book? It is difficult to answer but the character of Superintendent Battle certainly deserved more action in the book.
Let us move our attention towards the plot of the book. Luke Fitzwilliam, a recently retired police officer, accidentally meets an elderly but sweet lady Miss Pinkerton. This lady tells a fantastic tale to Luke. This lady tells Luck about a serial murderer running loose in her village and killing people left and right. She also tells the name of the next victim of this serial killer. According to her, this next victim is a local doctor called Humbleby. Luke finds it difficult to believe this story and ascribes it all to the vivid imagination of an eccentric old lady. But, very soon, Luke receives the news of Miss Pinkerton getting killed in a car accident. Luke takes this news with a shock but terms it as a mere coincidence. However, he gets a real shock when he reads the news of the demise of Humbleby in a newspaper. Finally, he makes a plan to go to the village of Miss Pinkerton to carry out his own investigation. In the village, the readers get introduced to a number of characters, any one of whom could have been a murderer.
Christie tried to bring the emotional nature of different characters portrayed in her books. She tried to build the elements of suspense while building her characters. She did not waste hundreds of pages to develop characters or to develop a murder scene. Things happened very fast in her books and that’s why people love reading her book. The same can be seen in the book under review. There is fast-paced action, an interesting cast of characters, and an attention-grabbing plot with plenty of twists and eye-opening disclosures. Additionally, the book contains a good dose of romance too. However, this element of romance seems to be forced rather than natural. The book has a satisfying ending. Endings like this show that Christie knew a lot about the human nature.
While the book did not disappoint me, I found it really difficult to rate this book because I was not certain how I really felt about this book. Though I enjoyed reading the book, I found the flow of the story a bit off. The sudden appearance of different characters in the village was difficult to comprehend in the beginning. Gradually you get an understanding of these characters but it takes time. After a lot of thinking, I finally settled on giving three out of five stars to this book.