By: Agatha Christie
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.
Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.
I seem to be slowly making my way through Agatha Christie’s standalone mysteries. I picked up this novel because I saw the trailer to the movie adaptation starring Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, and Max Irons. I was curious about it so here we are 🙂
As always, Agatha Christie’s books just hook me right from the start. And she really does the whole big cast-everyone’s a suspect dimension so well. Throughout the whole novel I was guessing as to who could’ve committed the murder, to what exact motive would drive them to do so, whose story wasn’t adding up, who had the most to gain or lose through Aristide Leonides’ death. The family is quite dysfunctional on top of it so it was interesting to just navigate the family dynamics–sibings, spouses, in-laws–on top of any motives they may have had with the murder.
The only part of this novel that required a suspension of my logic was how Charles became involved in the investigation. It just seemed implausible; yeah, with his experience and his role as an outsider to the family he could–and did–approach the murder with fresh eyes and a different perspective, but even for its time it seemed weird that a private citizen would end up working, pro bono I should add, with the police on the investigation. But again a suspension of logic is required here, lol.
Overall, Crooked House was another excellent standalone read from Agatha Christie, I really enjoyed reading as the mystery unfolded and guessing all along who it could be.