The Sittaford Mystery – Agatha Christie

The Sittaford Mystery is another enjoyable standalone murder mystery by our queen of crime, Agatha Christie. Set in an isolated small village in Dartmoor, the story begins with a “table-turning” (“séance”) hosted on a wintry night by the newcomers to the sittaford house. At the sénance, a murder is pronounced which turns out to be true. The police make an arrest, but the fiancée of the suspect firmly believes in his innocent and partners up with a journalist to clear him up of the charge.

It was a thrilling story where more than one aspect is on play. Two investigations, one carried by the police, and the other carried by the amateur duo shed contrasting viewpoints on the murder. It was nice to have different views presented from different angles. And I put in a third with my point of view, so there were enough viewpoints to solve the mystery. 🙂

The criminal was easy to guess. I knew him from the beginning. Yet the knowledge didn’t stop me from enjoying the story with its various twists and turns. In fact, I enjoyed the twist and turns, being firm in my conviction of the criminal. Sometimes when you are firmly convinced of the truth you can enjoy all the falsehoods with relish. 🙂

I enjoyed the setting. The winter season of Dartmoor where the story unfolds gave the eerie and dismal feeling which is the right kind of setting to a murder mystery. I also enjoyed the set of characters, chosen from a variety of ages and stations. Their different personalities added colour to the story. Out of them, I liked Emily the best. Her courage and determination to prove the innocence of her man were praiseworthy. She shows that a woman in love would go to any length to safeguard the one she loved.

It was altogether a good mystery with a good character set. And the setting too, though dismal had a charm on its own. However, I wasn’t too happy with the ending. It was yet another instance of a rushed-up ending. The story was well spaced out and was gradually unfolding when the final chapters ruined the graduality by quickly summing up the facts and closing the story. It also left some of the side stories unexplained giving the overall feeling of an unfinished business. If not for that, this standalone mystery would have earned a higher rating.

Rating: 3/5

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.

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