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Crooked House by Agatha Christie
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Crooked House

by Agatha Christie

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Having read numerous Agatha Christie books, I can safely say Crooked House is one of my favorite top five among her books. The story is of one big happy family living together in grand mansion. The head of the family is 88-year-old Aristide Leonides, who is poisoned by one of the family member. Aristide’s granddaughter Sofia’s fiancé Charles put his head together with police to find out the identity of killer.

Agatha Christie is just amazing as an author in this book. The family relations are analysed (the one thing I love best about her books), shocking revelations are made. It seems everyone has some secret hiding and all their secrets come out in open. There is greed, there is selfishness, and there is pride and vanity. Money seemed like a motive at times. At other times, freedom of living life without interference of loved ones seemed like a motive enough for murder. Relationships are tested and trust is shattered. Christie kept readers guessing about the identity of the killer until the end. When finally killer is revealed, one is left awed by the marvelousness of Christie’s grasp on the plot. The ending was chilling. However, it seemed very plausible. I simply loved this book. ( )
  Hanneri | Jul 20, 2014 |
I'm tearing through these, one a day but it does keep my mind occupied. I'm sure I'd read this before as well but I seem to say that often.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Narrated by Charles Hayward whose fiancée, Sophia, won't marry him until the murderer of her grandfather, Aristide, is found. It's the autumn of 1947 and Sophia lives with her family - three generations of Leonides - in the family home 'Three Gables' or the 'crooked house'. Charles' father is Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, who is investigating along with Chief Inspector Taverner. Also making inquiries is Sophia's twelve-year-old sister Josephine, who is obsessed with detective stories and spies continually on the rest of the household, writing down her observations in a secret notebook. All the family members had motive and opportunity, and none has an alibi.

I didn't see this one coming at all - once again Christie's murderer is unexpected as is the motive. ( )
  boppisces | Mar 21, 2014 |
Nope. Awful. ( )
  bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
I am a huge Agatha Christie (15 /09/1890—12/12/1976) fan. I have possibly all of her books, and nearly all the television and film versions of her works, starring a variety of Hercule Poirots (my best is David Suchet) and Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherford, Joan Hickson and Julia McKenzie tops). According to the Guinness Book of records, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Often referred to as the “Queen of Crime,” she is also regarded as a master of suspense, plotting, and characterisation.

Recently I started rereading her work and began with Crooked House, one of the seven novels inspired by nursery rhymes. Agatha Christie described this as her favourite book. She says in the author’s foreword: “This book is one of my own special favourites. I saved it up for years, thinking about it, working it out, saying to myself, ‘One day when I’ve plenty of time, and want to really enjoy myself—I’ll begin it! … Crooked House was pure pleasure.’”

Three generations of the Leonides family live together under the roof of wealthy patriarch Aristide. His first wife died; her sister Edith has cared for the household since then. His second wife is the indolent Brenda, decades his junior, who exchanges love letters with the grandchildren's tutor, Laurence Brown. After Aristide is poisoned by his own eye medicine (eserine), his granddaughter Sophia tells narrator and fiancé Charles Hayward that they cannot marry until the killer is apprehended. Charles' father "The Old Man" is the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, so Charles investigates from the inside along with assigned detective, Chief Inspector Taverner. It seems that everyone could have a motive. The ridiculously young wife Brenda wants to be free to marry the tutor. Then there’s Roger, the eldest son who needs money to prop up his tottering business. Second son Philip has always been jealous of Roger. Not to mention their wives (Clemency and Magda), who could also have motive for various financial reasons. Josephine, Aristides’s precocious granddaughter, tells Charles that the police are stupid and she has already worked out who the killer is, along with copious notes and clues in her little black notebook. When Josephine is attacked and Nanny is mysteriously poisoned by hot chocolate after Brenda and the tutor are arrested, the danger escalates to a surprise finish.

This was the first time I’d read the book and it was great. The pace is good, the characters real (we have all met them somewhere along life’s path) and the suspense chilling. I am quite good at guessing the killer in various crime books, but this one stumped (and shocked) me completely. Charles is excellent as the sometimes-bumbling amateur sleuth. Sophia is sharp-witted and courageous. There’s a Roger and a Magda in every family. The family are at once torn apart and cling together in this time of adversity and stalking danger. Highly enjoyable! (A lesson about making a watertight will included!) ( )
  FionaRobynIngram | Apr 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I first came to know Sophia Leonides in Egypt towards the end of the war.
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Book description
A large family living under the eye and protection of wealthy Aristide Leonides, is thrown into turmoil when the patriarch dies under mysterious circumstances.
Suddenly they all find themselves under suspicion.
Even the children.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031298166X, Mass Market Paperback)

In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he's certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one's on the level...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:39 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he's certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one's on the level...… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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