Two standalone novels from the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie. From the sprawling Leonide family to dark moors, no one can spin a mystery quite like she can.
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, 50 years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.
Strapped by a chauffeur's wages, Michael Rogers' want of a better life seems out of reach. Especially elusive is a magnificent piece of property in Kingston Bishop - unil a chance meeting with a beautiful heiress makes his dreams possible. Marrying her is the first step. Building the perfect home is the next.
Unfortunately, Michael ignored the local warnings about the deadly curse buried in the tract of land, and living out his dreams may exact a higher price than he ever imagined. Praised as one of Agatha Christie's most unusual forays into gothic, psychological suspense, this novel of fate, chance, and the nature of evil was a personal favorite of the author's as well.
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Typical VS Unexpected
I would listen to these books again, Crooked House was a typical Christie of that time period--and it was comforting in that it was more familiar. Endless Night was very different, and one of her later novels. I think Christie gets more grim as she progressed towards the end of her life. She was daring in many ways the way she pushed the envelope from mid way through her writing career onwards. Endless Night would have made a perfect Hitchcock film as nothing is as it seems to be.
There was a lot of suspense in Endless Night, but it was more subtle than overt. Crooked House was suspenseful in that even though the story appeared to be wrapped up at one point, you knew that it just couldn't be over yet, it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
He is probably the best Christie reader I've ever heard and he really brings the characters to life.
Yes, the stories really kept my attention and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
Both books have a lot of misdirection to prevent the audience from being able to figure out who the actual killer is. Endless Night had much more than is typical in a Christie novel, it also took it's time for the plot line to unfold. This book isn't one filled with a lot of overt thrills, it's more subtle and psychological. It is sometimes difficult to figure out what Endless Night is actually about--is it a romance, a tale of supernatural terror, or a mystery? It's not clear who the bad guys are either. I find Endless Night difficult to characterize other than to say that it is a bit unsettling. Be forewarned, it is a bit creepy, and not what you'd typically expect from Christie.In contrast Crooked House was much more typical for Christie and rather reminded me of Hercule Poirot's Christmas and The Hallow. There was something comforting in that as I had listened to Endless Night first and was rather disturbed by it. Not that the ending of Crooked House does not it's shock value--but I think the shock was easier to bear.Sometimes I wish Agatha Christie had written a really good story of supernatural terror--but that wasn't her style. These two books seem to compliment each other well. I would, however, listen to Endless Night first and then Crooked House--first you'll get the shock and then the familiar comfort of the type of thing you'd expect from your favorite mystery writer.
This is a twofer. Beware of bargains.