For years I have told myself I really ought to read at least one book by Agatha Christie. After all, she’s supposed to be the most popular mystery writer of all time. I had seen references to her as the Queen of Crime, and had heard the names of Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple, but somehow I never got around to reading any of her novels. I was afraid they would seem somewhat stodgy and old-fashioned, compared to the mystery novels I am accustomed to reading.
I don’t think I had even finished the first paragraph of Sparkling Cyanide before I realized how wrong I had been. I was immediately caught up in the story, puzzled by the mystery at its center, and fascinated with the varied characters who play an important role in the story – nearly all of whom are suspects. I will say that the insight that helped solve the mystery seemed a bit questionable (can’t say more than that without spoiling it), and I see other readers have had the same complaint. But it hardly spoiled the story for me.
I do note that comments by some readers point out that this particular novel is different from other Christie novels. So will the others lack whatever it is that made Sparkling Cyanide sparkle for me? Or will they be even better? I guess there’s only one way to find out.