This is my second time reading of a standalone murder-mystery by Agatha Christie, and I find it to be quite a different experience. I’ve completed the Poirot series and I’m kind of used to having a competent detective around to secure justice for the victim of the crime. Here was a complete contrast to what I’m used to reading in an Agatha Christie novel. There is no competent detective, not even the police, but two youngsters playing at the hand of amateur detectives. Although it took some time for me to get into it, I quite liked this different style.
The story is based on a good murder-mystery plot. Having read a considerable number of Agatha Christie, I can’t say that this is one of her best, but still, it is quite an interesting one, with a good concept. It is not overly complicated but has its fair share of twists and turns and red herrings. One of the criminals was spotted very early on, but his partner in crime and the motive behind it all was hidden till the end so that the suspense was kept fully intact.
The amateur detective duo is the most interesting feature of the story. The lack of professional knowledge and skill makes them close to us. We feel they are as one of us since we almost always play their role in every detective fiction that we read. It was nice to have such a duo for a change, and I very much enjoyed their blunders which played them almost to the hand of the criminals. But both are intelligent and resourceful, and though inexperienced at detection, turned the table to ensure that justice wins the day.
I enjoyed this book on the whole and was happy to find that even the standalone murder mysteries of Agatha Christie have the equal charm of those in her series.