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4.4 out of 5 stars44
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2006
I was surprised to find that this one isn't more popular on these pages. I thought it was very good, and slightly different to the normal English village murder mysteries that Dame Agatha wrote about. This one is quite quirky. There have been a number of inexplicable deaths in the village of Wychwood in recent times - people falling off bridges and ladders, swallowing poison, dying from an infected cut etc - and Luke, a policeman just back from a tour of duty in the Far East, decides to go undercover to investigate. I agree that Luke isn't a strong character, and either Poirot or Miss Marple would have been far better in this role, but even so, this is a darkly brooding little tale. At times Wychwood feels more like it should be a village in a John Wyndham or a Dennis Wheatley novel, with horrible cruelty lurking under civilised surfaces, and Satanic rites being practiced nearby. I personally got the culprit completely wrong, and was utterly convinced it was somebody else entirely right up until the final few pages! I thought the murderer was one of the author's most original and memorable ones I've read so far.
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on 5 November 1998
I hardly need speak about Agatha Christie, deservedly the best-selling mystery novel author of all time. Murder is Easy is one of her best novels, being typically easy to read, obviously contrived and yet filled with plot twists and misdirections. During the exposition of the plot the reader cannot help but be seduced by the unravelling of the mystery, and it all seems, indeed, a little too easy... but with a breathtaking twist in the tail everything is turned around more than once. In retrospect it seems so simple, and all the clues are there. And yet the reader is almost guaranteed not to guess the ending. The only thing to add is that this is one of the few Christies where the pleasure of detection and mystery is leavened with the tension of personal risk to the main characters. The final few chapters in particular took my breath away when I first read the book. Written in the 1930s and yet still as accessible today as it ever was, this is a book well worth reading for both the Christie fan and the generalist reader of detective fiction. Read it and see why Christie is the Queen of Crime.
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on 23 May 2011
This is a good book and easy to read. It will keep you guessing until the end, just as the hero does, suspecting one character and then another. The romantic and supernatural subplots are also interesting. It is very much a closed book setting. The point about it being easy to kill because no one suspects you is a very good point and this applies to serial killers, too. Is the killer here a serial killer (anachronistic term I know)? There were none in the UK in the 1930s in real life.

The flaws are that the hero, a retired policeman, but still reasonably young (no age is ever given), seems to be a complete amateur when it comes to investigations. He has very little idea whatever. A few other points is that the book states witches as being burnt in the nineteenth century - none were executed in the nineteentn century and in the sixteenth and seventeenth century witch trials the punnishment was hanging. Burning was for heretics. There also seem to have been a lack of inquests; with six murders, only that of Amy Gibbs has any sort of official investigation, which is pretty unrealistic.

An entertaining read if you can overlook these flaws, which I mainly could.
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on 27 April 1999
Murder is Easy, is a gripping tale and a classic piece of detective fiction in its own right. It was written in the 1930's so some of the attitudes and opinions of the main character seem at times laughably old fashioned, but this does not detract from enjoying the tale, and could be said to give it a period charm. I must admit that this time I thought I had outfoxed Christie and guessed the identity of the murderer, but in classic Christie style I was completely surprised to find it was someone I had not even suspected.
A real must-read book for all crime fiction fans.
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on 7 May 2012
I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie and I never tire of reading her books. Bought this in fascimilie edition for nostalgic reasons. Started reading it on Friday and finished it today with much enjoyment.

The characters are certainly varied and there are alot of twists and turns in this book that keeps you guessing (incorrectly) right up until the end. The description is this book is just right. Not too much and not too thin either.

A very easy read that can be picked up and put down whenever you feel like a nice bit of escapism from our yesteryears.

Good book. Will certainly recommend.
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on 26 May 2014
Very enjoyable and this time without either Poirot or Miss Marple to solve the crime,I would recommend this one as being one of her best books,...........
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on 23 January 2013
Come on Kindle readers, you cannot go wrong with Agatha Christie.She never fails to surprise and hold one's concentration.Yet another five star.
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on 4 February 2016
Luke, the young policeman who stars in this story, isn’t a particularly strong character, but he’s quite likeable. That's just as well, because this is rather a dark story; some of the characters are decidedly creepy.

I was a little surprised that there was quite a significant romantic thread, unusual in Christie’s novels; some of the relevant conversation was perhaps a bit cringeworthy, but then dialogue wasn’t one of the author’s strong points.

What Agatha Christie lacked in characterisation she more than made up for in her plotting. I was pretty sure from early in the book that I had guessed the criminal; and it turned out that I was wrong. Clues and red herrings were laid with care, and worked exactly as, I'm sure, the author intended.

Definitely recommended if you like mid-20th century light crime fiction.
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on 19 August 2015
One of the Marpleless, Poirotless Christie books, this is a clever well structured puzzle with subtle clues and a range of suspects who include a 1930s media mogul - think a cross between Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump. I like it!
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on 23 July 2015
Interesting to read an Agatha Christie book that doesn't involve either Miss Marple or Hercules Poirot. But I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to other fans of Agatha Christie.
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