Mysteries were my standard reading fare during the long summer breaks between my highschool years. Ever since I’ve equated summer reading with mysteries. And although I now have several favorite authors, my first favorite mystery writer–and one who remains a favorite despite some criticisms–is Agatha Christie.
Last night I read The Secret of Chimneys, one of her early novels and one that garners decidedly mixed reviews. Some reviewers feel it lacks the depth of her later stories, while some view it as one of her best. I fall into the latter category. My daughter recently read and enjoyed it, so I picked it up this week as one of the few Christie mysteries I had not previously read. The lively dialogue of its characters and the tricky twists of its conclusion thoroughly delighted me.
Although I had solved the primary puzzles long before the last page, I prefer that to mysteries whose conclusions depend on information that has been withheld from the reader until the very end.
Fiction, especially mystery, provides a great break for my mind after a long day of trying to craft coherent writing. And Christie never fails to disappoint for a quick and fun read.