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Crooked House by Agatha Christie
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Crooked House (1948)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This is narrated by a young man called Charles who wants to marry a girl called Sophia. Unfortunately her family is caught up in a murder enquiry.

I found the family involved rather interesting, as they’re supposed to be a typical Greek origin family. They live in a rather oddly designed spacious manor house; Sophia is the oldest of the grandchildren.

Inevitably there are caricatures: Sophia’s mother Magda is a classic drama queen, and her uncle is vague and clueless. There’s a maiden aunt who raised the grandchildren, a large and benevolent ‘nannie’, a morose teenage boy, and a talkative girl who wants to be a detective…however, I found both Charles and Sophia to be quite well developed, and the book is very readable.

Inevitably this novel, first published in 1949, feels rather dated. However, both conversation and the story move at a good pace, and it’s a well-told tale. I surprised myself by guessing 'whodunit', but wasn't entirely certain until the final chapter.

The ending is a little abrupt and somewhat morbid, but given the era, not unreasonable. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Dec 17, 2016 |
From the get go I knew that whatever I thought would not be correct, so I simply let go of my brain and let Christie drive her story wherever she wanted.

It started out as an ordinary Who Dunnit murder, but then it got creepy and by the end I was disturbed.

Not in a bad way, just that such an occurrence could take place. A good afternoon's read. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This was one of Agatha Christie's most "psychological" thrillers. The tension is palpable and never ending. I believe readers will have a hard time guessing who the killer is. And by telling the reason I would be fatally naming the killer... Highly recommend this book. ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
There was a crooked man
and he went a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence
beside a crooked stile.
He had a crooked cat
which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together
in a little crooked house.


Crooked House is a stand-alone novel. I.e. it does not feature any of Christie's established sleuths (Marple, Poirot, Tommy & Tuppence, etc.).

The story tells of a young couple, Charles and Sophia, who decide to postpone any decisions on getting married until after the war. Once the time has come the engagement is again interrupted by a death in Sophia's family.

From then on, trust is put to the test and motives are questioned. Everyone is a suspect and it is left to the couple to discover whom they can believe, or if they can at all.

What is interesting with this story is the finding out who the murderer is almost takes a backseat to getting to know the characters of Sophia's relatives. What an interesting bunch of eccentrics! They are all suffering from a past dominated by the misanthropic grandfather who claimed to have killed two people in his youth.

It's a marvellously dark story and it is easy to see why it was one of Dame Agatha's favourite mysteries. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
In Crooked House there are ten suspects and three investigators. The main surrounding plot, I suspect, concerns the young Charles Hayward's love with Sophia, one of the relatives of the deceased. His father is the assistant commissioner of Scotland Yard and prime detective on the case. Because of this 'love', Charles feels compelled to get to the bottom of things when the unfortunate death occurs, in part to uncover the truth, but also to be able to ask for Sophie's hand in marriage.

You would think they are the main characters, but not really, as the story jumps around smoothly to everyone. Charles love for Sophia is a bit unrealistic but this seemed to be the way of novels back in the day (and who knows, maybe real life). I can't say I felt any budding compassion for the young couple's romantic future, even if I did like them enough individually.

The plot of suspects is a heady, complex one. All reside in the house and have opportunity, but motives are not as easily clear. Ready for a headache?

The logical finger points to the widow, Brenda, for she has the fortune to inherit, but is she being framed? It doesn't help the youngest of the house is a budding detective who inadvertently interferes every step. Sophia's mother is an actress type who is impossible to believe and enjoys being more dramatic than the situation warrants. Sophia's father is cold, hard man with a stunning temper and rightful resentment. Edith the sister-in-law hated the dead man but it's showed had a bizarre love for him as well - is this enough of a motive, or is there even more? Roger is the oldest son with another violent temper. Laurence Brown, the tutor, seems to be in love with the widow, what a motive there! Could he and Brenda even have been in on it together? What about the strange Eustace, the youngest brother? And, of course, there is Sophia, the love interest herself.


As usual it's difficult to guess who the villain is. More people end up dying later of course, as is typical mystery. It's always fun to think someone did it, only to find them dead. The mystery comes clear at the end and sadly I guessed the guilty culprit beforehand ( I almost never do with her stuff), but the ride there makes up disappointment. The fascinating bunch with their motives and secrets to uncover, their suspicions of others, and their odd eccentricities was great fun. Even though I'm sorry I pre-guessed the truth, the final pages hold a small shocking follow-up for other readers like me. One of Christie's great ones :) ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ballot, CarmenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cal, Stella deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dausset, SylvieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duurloo, EllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eckardt, HansNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
FlipIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horovitch, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Houbie, Michel LeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Looman, HeikiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Niinepuu-Kiik, PiretIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piirimaa, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rojkowska, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seeberg, Axel S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segurado, Maria GeorginaTranslatorsecondary 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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:29 -0400)

(see all 5 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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