Agatha Christie’s Lord Edgware Dies is the first in the #FemmeMarchFest challenge that I’m doing for March. This is in honor of International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8. As part of this challenge, I will be reading only books written by female authors, with one exception (When Opposites Meet by Sachin Garg).
Before I say anything about this particular Christie novel, let me say this: Hercule Poirot is one of the best and the greatest fictional detectives to have ever been created, right there beside Sherlock Holmes. While Holmes sometimes seems inhuman, Poirot has enough bouts of humanity for the reader to identify with. The little Belgian detective with an egg-shaped head has quite a soft spot in my heart. And I couldn’t bear to see him dissed. Ever.
Lord Edgware Dies is pretty clear from the title. Jane Wilkinson is Lord Edgware’s wife. She expresses interest in bumping off her husband because she wants to marry someone else. And somehow, her wish comes true. What’s more, two more people are also murdered, following Lord Edgware’s death. Who exactly did this? Will Hercule Poirot be able to solve this case, despite the numerous distractions people bring to it?
Stupid question, but it is my duty as reviewer to bring it forward. 😉
I am a huge fan of Hercule Poirot, as I have already mentioned. Agatha Christie, one of my most favorite authors, has done such a great job in keeping the quirks of this detective constant across books that I marvel at her genius time and again. ‘Great job’ being unfairly insufficient to describe what Christie did with Poirot. I love Christie. I love Poirot. Period.
So, when, despite the number of cases they’ve worked on together and despite knowing Poirot as a person, Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp keep putting him down, I get supremely annoyed, for some weird reason. ‘Don’t you dare question Poirot, you fools!; I want to yell at these two numbskulls, though I must say, Japp is mostly at the receiving end of my ire.
Lord Edgware Dies put me on the edge, wanting to not put it down because then I’d become paranoid, wanting to know who exactly the murderer is. I’ve learnt to smile at Poirot’s eccentricities and every time he says mon ami or eh bien, I break into a wide grin. And this book is full of them. It is beautifully written – classic Agatha Christie – and kept me engaged for its entirety.
To be frank, Lord Edgware Dies is one of Agatha Christie’s finest works, in my opinion. It ranks right up there with Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It has all the usual Christie markings – adrenalin rush, surprise, shock, awe, disbelief – only heightened in this story. I love how it managed to keep me on the tenterhooks and kept me glued to the story throughout. Every moment I wasn’t reading the book was almost a physical pain because of how I couldn’t yet find out who murdered Lord Edgware.
At the end of the story, I felt a strange sense of satisfaction that I haven’t felt in quite some time now. And I am sure it is Christie’s genius that gives me this feeling of smugness – the smugness I felt when I read Japp’s reaction to Poirot’s deductions. I felt as smug as if I’d solved the case myself!
Lord Edgware Dies is absolutely brilliant, classic Christie, and one to read for a fast-paced, thrilling read! And for its brilliance, there is no question of giving it anything other than a full five stars!
Rating: 5/5 stars
Picture Courtesy: Amazon UK.
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