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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never read an Agatha Christie book, but I got curious about "Murder on the Orient Express" and sent myself a sample. It seems a bit dry so far and I'm wondering how it will progress since I haven't bought it yet. I'm just curious to hear from my fellow kindlers. Do you like her books? Which do you like most?
 

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I haven't read an Agatha Christie in probably 35 years. I enjoyed them way back when I was a teen. I'm curious if I'd like them now. I have a harder time getting into older books nowadays. I guess I am used to a more modern style of writing.

L
 

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I read "Murder on the Orient Express" and I found it to be a bit dry myself.  I did read the whole story--because of the "whodunnit" aspect but I was a bit disappointed.  I had also downloaded "Death on the Nile" but only read a small amount before I drifted to another story.  I thought it was just my perception of the book or possibly just the period difference from the when the story was written.  Obviously Agatha Christie is well liked by some or they wouldn't be so popular :)
 

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It has been a long time since I have read her, I do have a couple of DTB.  Her style is different and she does have some twists, however, I am having problems picking up the other books I have of hers to read, and this was pre-kindle.  I have not gotten rid of them because I am sure some day I'll read them, maybe on the kindle  ???  A lot also depends on who the hero(ine) is.  Just MHO
 

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I read her books years and years ago. I like them then, but I don't know if I would now. They are good mysteries, but without the sex romance you get in the books of today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm. Interesting...I guess my initial thoughts were accurate. It all seems a bit dry.  :-\
 

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I was totally hooked on Agatha Christie in Jr. High through High school and have read them all I believe. I haven't read any since then 25-30+ years ago. I should download  a few and try again. It will probably be another instance of when "you can't go back again", but I will give it a try. I was also hooked on Nancy Drew in elementary school, but I cant go back THAT far, it would be a bad experience I'm sure.
 

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Odd woman out here--have about 2/3 of the Christies in DTB, and nearly the other third on the K2.  And I reread all of them regularly.  I started out with the Miss Marple short stories back when I was about 10, and didn't get into her other major sleuths until much later.  In fact, I think I only finally bought Orient Express about two years ago, and it's not one of my favorites.

In general, I'm not interested in major suspense, violence, pure romances, or most graphic bodice rippers--historic or contemporary.  Most of the mysteries I read are NOT thrillers.  Therefore, most of the mysteries I read I categorize personally as "fluff"--short, easy reads, preferably with some comedy, but not always. Most of the contemporary ones I read are just as much comedic fiction as they are mystery--Donna Andrews, Anne George, Carole Nelson Douglas are several I keep up with. But I still love reading Sherlock Holmes, Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series (not on Kindle :( ), Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books, Chesterton's Raffles--all written during the early to mid 20th century or earlier, and set back in time.  And yes, they tend to have a very different feel to them than current books.

The Christie mysteries are very much period pieces, and therefore they're not for everyone.  But they're one of the old faithfuls I'll retreat to when I just don't want to think about what I'm reading much.  Good books to read late at bedtime, ones that I won't desperately try to stay up half the night to finish!  LOL
 

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Agatha Christie has always been one of my favorite authors.  I've read everything she's written (including pseudonyms) , most of it multiple times.  I suppose by today's standards the books might be considered *dry*.  You'll find no bloody violence or sex scenes, just pure mystery.  Her most well known books are probably Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and And Then There Were None, none of which even make my top 10 list of favorites.  She also wrote some very well known plays, most notably Mousetrap (still one of the the longest running plays on Broadway I believe).

A few of my favorites - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, the ABC Murders, the Body in the Library, and Murder at the Vicarage.  Perhaps you might prefer one of those.

Another author few people are familiar with is Ngaio Marsh.  She was a contemporary of Agatha Christie's and wrote in a similar vein.  Unfortunately there are no Kindle versions of her books, although I haven't searched for other EBook sources.
 

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Which ones are definitely public domain? I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, by dry I didn't mean "lacking in sex and violence", I don't read very many books that have a lot of that. I don't know the best word is for what I mean. Dry is the only thing that comes to mind in describing the narration and the characters that I've read so far. Very...I don't know. To the point? Lacking in flair?

It may be just the beginning of this particular book, I really wanted to give her a shot though, I like mysteries and I sort of stopped reading them the past few years. I'd lost interest in the genre.
 

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CS said:
Which ones are definitely public domain? I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.
Feedbooks only lists The Secret Adversary and The Mysterious Affair at Styles as being available; I believe she continued writing into the '60's, so most of her books won't be in the public domain for some time to come.

Most of the Kindle versions I've seen are fairly reasonably priced. Perhaps a library DTB would be a better place to start though.
 

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Wheezie said:
I was totally hooked on Agatha Christie in Jr. High through High school and have read them all I believe. I haven't read any since then 25-30+ years ago. I should download a few and try again. It will probably be another instance of when "you can't go back again", but I will give it a try. I was also hooked on Nancy Drew in elementary school, but I cant go back THAT far, it would be a bad experience I'm sure.
Actually, the old Nancy Drews are fun to read. I collect them. But you need to get the oldies, written in the 30s, 40s, and early 50s. They started re-writing them beginning in about 1957 and the rewritten books aren't nearly as good as the originals.

They do have some language and stereotypes that would not be acceptable today. Just so you know. But every time Nancy hops into her maroon roadster, her titian hair blowing behind her, I am transported back to fourth grade. :D

L
 

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I like Tommy and Tuppence best. . .then Miss Marple. . . .Hercule Poirot (of the Orient Express) is dryer. . .it's his character.  Secret Adversary features Tommy and Tuppence and is a good fun quick read.  I read it in a few hours while driving from VA to Tallahassee last week. 

Ann
 

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I can only speak to her Hercule Poirot books of which I have read every one.  Reading her is very much like watching old movies.  You have to be prepared to become, for awhile at least, a 1930s reader.  She is the acknowledged queen of the "whodunit" genre.  Her books are all about the plot.  With the exception of the sleuth, there is very little character development.  So, in that respect, there is some truth in saying she is "dry".  However, it seems to me that the genre is more about "mental exercise" than straight entertainment.  She weaves intricate plots and is even sometimes criticized for being unfair to the armchair sleuth reading the book.  "Murder on the Orient Express" might be significant in having the largest number of active suspects and the most surprising answer to the question "Whodunit?".

Larry Kelly
 

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About once a year or so, I pick up an Agatha Christie title and get lost in it.  I don't find them so much dry, but no-nonsense; there ARE digressions and banter, but mostly the story relentlesly moves forward.  Here's a review I filed a while ago on Amazon about "Murder on the Orient Express".  It was always a favorite movie so I wanted to finally read the book...

Murder on the Orient Express" is a clean, fast, invigorating reading experience, just as enjoyable as its most famous adaptation: the 1974 film by Sidney Lumet starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot. Interestingly, the elegance of the "Orient Express" experience was a thematic addition to the film. In the book, the now famous traveling experience is described as little more than a long train ride laced with the usual inconveniences of an extended trip. Either the Orient Express wasn't in reality all that sumptuous or such richness was taken for granted when Christie wrote her book.

The details and resolution more or less play out as they do in the movie, though the book has a few extra layers of detail and a few small differences in the murder's solution, though there's nothing hugely different in either case. The book, in fact, makes one appreciate the movie even more, in that was it able to faithfully tell the book's story with only a minimum of simplification and consolidation.

As the years go by, however, the book has gained one added literary benefit beyond the pleasures of its mystery story: with its dozen or so characters who represent many nationalities and political positions, "Murder on the Orient Express" presents to the modern reader a sharp snapshot of the world stage just prior to the outbreak of World War II. Sometimes the best time capsules are those that never aspired to be such, and that's certainly the case here. So, while modern readers will certainly enjoy the mystery story on hand, I think many will also be fascinated with the journey back to a period when the clouds of war were still somewhat in the distance, but- as personified by the uneasy comments and offhand worries of one character about another- were nevertheless slowly creeping closer.
 

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Larry and Joe both said what I was trying to so much better. . . 

Ann
 

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So after reading that review, I am curious about Murder on the Orient Express. Is that a freebie anywhere you do you have to buy AC's books?

L
 
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