Top positive review
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Listed on a website as one of Christie's top 10 books
on 21 September 2015
This was my first Agatha Christie book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I found the mystery intriguing. I also smile at how how things have changed since the book was written e.g. 'An electric bell trilled sharply above the girl's head' (to you and me, that's a doorbell); when a man packs an overnight bag, he includes a 'spare collar'; and '...The evening post arrived about ten o'clock...'.
The plot is simple: someone arrogantly writes to Hercule Poirot telling him that he/she (no spoilers here!) will murder someone whose surname begins with the letter A in Andover on a certain date. The murderer signs the letter as "ABC".
After the murder, Poirot receives another letter: this time the victim will be someone whose surname begins with the letter B, living in Bexhill-on-Sea, and again ABC names the date.
It's risky business, giving prior notice of a murder - naming the location, date and even first letter of the victim's surname. It increases the chance of being caught. That's part of the tension in the book.
The quest is not just a whodunnit but also who will the next victim be and how far down the alphabet will it get. (And how would ABC ever handle Z?)
The plot is simple but the book isn't (when you read the book, you'll understand what I mean by that). Thoroughly recommended.