Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book 406: Sleeping Murder

Sleeping Murder, by Agatha Christie, 1976.

Agatha Christie had remarked that she was not a "good writer".  Because I love, and have loved, her books for as long as I can remember, I thought it was a strange statement when I heard it.  I think I understand now better what she was actually saying.

Christie is a straight-forward writer in an age when more ornamental writing was esteemed.  Now just about every murder mystery writer has adopted Christie's style of writing.  What sets her apart and makes her work stand out is her gift of observation and her talent for translating her observation into writing.  Ornamentation in style would have interfered with that gift and talent.

This book is unusual because it deals with a murder that transpired almost twenty years ago with a very young child witness.  The story does rely on coincidences to unfold, but not very far-fetched coincidences.  And, of course, it works.

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