Is there a well-regarded classic mystery that you’ve read and didn’t see what all the fuss was about?
I’ve struggled with this question for several reasons…most of which I’m sure you can deduce. Being disappointed by a book isn’t necessarily the fault of the author: maybe it’s just not my cup of tea; maybe the hype would have been impossible to live up to; maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood for that book, that day/week/month. Many factors can contribute. But I’m going to answer this week’s question in any case, and my answer might shock you. It shocked me!
The classic I read and didn’t understand what all the fuss was about was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the book enormously at first reading, and still do now (though the nature of the twist in the tale makes for less impactful, though nonetheless informative, subsequent readings) but I wasn’t as blown away by the ending as my Christie-mad mother had hoped I would be.
I couldn’t understand why Mum kept asking me – it seemed like every two minutes – how I was enjoying the book. It was clear this specific book was special to her. For a while she’d encouraged me to wait before reading it; I’d merrily chomped my way through most of her Marsh and Christie collection before my teens. Then, when I finally picked it off the shelf, she couldn’t wait to find out what I thought of it. When I finished it, I told her I’d found it satisfying and I’d really enjoyed it. We talked about how clever (and annoying) I thought it was, but I could tell she was disappointed that I hadn’t liked it more.
Here comes the plug: The second of the WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery series, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER, is published in the US and Canada on February 1st. Pre-ordering at libraries and bookstores everywhere NOW!