Michelle’s Review: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

Michelle’s Review: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha ChristieEvil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-08-30
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Traditional British
Pages: 272
Format: Audiobook
Source: Public Library
The beautiful bronzed body of Arlena Stuart lay facedown on the beach. But strangely, there was no sun and Arlena was not sunbathing…she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena’s arrival the air had been thick with sexual tension. Each of the guests had a motive to kill her, including Arlena’s new husband. But Hercule Poirot suspects that this apparent “crime of passion” conceals something much more evil.

In a summer where I have yet to go on to the beach, pool, or equal body of water, Evil Under the Sun was the perfect summer getaway mystery. Hercule Poirot is not able to vacation for long at a Cornish beach resort when one of the resort’s guests is found strangled on the beach.

I listened to this audiobook and it was wonderful. Having the actor who plays Hercule Poirot in the television series was sucg a lovely bonus. And man, can he act! The different voices and accents he put on for the different characters was so engaging. When a character sneezed, he sneezed. It really brought the book more alive than other audiobook narrators.

There was something absolutely idyllic about the setting of this book (despite the murder) that really made me long for a similar vacation. Sailing, rowing, tennis, the pool, the ocean, books, food, caves, cliffs, and company…it really was the perfect book for summer (or when you’re longing for a real summer).

The plot itself was standard Christie. Not sure I quite understand its conclusion (I certainly didn’t see it coming) but it in no way took away any of my enjoyment of the book.

pj - michelle

Michelle’s Review: They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie

Michelle’s Review: They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha ChristieThey Do it with Mirrors by Agatha Christie
Published by AudioGo on 2000
Genres: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective, Traditional British, Women Sleuths
Pages: 224
Format: Audiobook
Miss Jane Marple helps pal Carrie Louise, invited by worried sister Ruth to Stonygates, where arrested boys rehabilitate. Foundation trustee Christian is shot dead in the guest room while paranoid Edgar shoots at Carrie's husband nearby. After more deaths, Jane sees illusions.

When picking different audiobooks for a long roadtrip, I was excited to see how many Agatha Christie novels were available at my library. It’s basically almost a guarantee that I am going to enjoy her books and that others will rarely find them objectionable. So I selected one Miss Marple and one Hercule Poirot, both read by the actors who play them in the recent iterations of their television series.

Unfortunately, I think that the choice to have this narrated by the actress made my enjoyment of the story suffer a bit. While a fantastic actress, her voice was very ‘old’ sounding (I really hate saying that. I don’t mean that as an agist comment, but I’m not really sure how else to describe it…) and it was hard to understand at certain points. I had to really pay attention and then train my ears to it. With a British mother, I typically have an easier time than some in understanding accents, but I did have a rougher time with this one.

The story itself was enjoyable. I definitely contemplated sitting my car for longer to finish a section despite the heat (unfortunately, the heat always seemed to win out). It was a classic Agatha Christie with character sketches and the grand reveal at the end. Sure, it’s formulaic, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that when it comes to Christie. The ending was shocking as I had no clue until it was revealed. Enjoyable and intelligent.

pj - michelle