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Customer Review

on 2 May 2012
I really like Christie's novels, but some are a bit too peppy and weak for my taste. Murder is Easy I found unbearably boring. It felt more like a Barbara Cartland than a detective story. Christie often includes romantic subplots in her books and sometimes they work, but only when they're understated. Here she indulged herself, with a one-off hero who could be allowed a love interest and acres of cliched woo. Halfway through I skipped to the last chapters just so I could know who the killer was and be done with it. I decided I'd had enough during an interminable scene of stilted dialogue, exchanged by the sleuth and his girl, which was basically soft porn for upper-middle class women. I wonder what Christie's grandson Matthew Prichard, who as a boy was sent her books to read, made of this one?
It's a shame as the premise, which made me pick it up, is fascinating. Luke Fitzwilliam is told by an elderly woman on a train that a killer is loose in her village, only no-one knows because their recent victims have died seemingly by accident. He doesn't take her seriously until he hears that she died in a hit-and-run on her way to Scotland Yard. He then visits the village to investigate.
Luke is insufferable. Blandly masculine, handsome, brave, he's such a Harlequin hero that he's his own parody. I also didn't like that he had no professional or personal ties to the village, but was just some guy snooping around. That may have worked in a drier and darker story, but this feels like a summer beach read.
Murder is Easy was converted by ITV into a Miss Marple story with added themes of rape and incest. Some people complain about the vulgarising of Christie's stories for television, but here I wonder what else they could have done. The plot and characters are so basic they couldn't sustain forty-five minutes, let alone two hours.
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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