Review - The Agatha Christie Book Club, C.A. Larmer

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

Written for fans of cosy styled, more light-hearted mystery stories, THE AGATHA CHRISTIE BOOK CLUB will ring many bells in any readers who are also dedicated Agatha Christie readers. Set in Sydney, the ACBC is formed by Alicia Finlay when she finally has to throw in the towel on a more formal (aka stuffy) literature based book club (personal note - if you TRIED to hold off the wine and cheese at our book club meetings you'd be laughed out the door!).

Those dedicated fans of Agatha Christie will recognise many of the scenarios, clues and hints dotted throughout this mystery. To the point where you may find yourself shouting at the book club members, who for fans, seem to have missed quite a few of the books / much of Christie's personal story, and therefore a whole heap of "well duh" moments. Much of THE AGATHA CHRISTIE BOOK CLUB is based on entertainment, rather than hard core mystery / crime fiction - right down to the almost mandatory requirement of the victim being a pretty nasty character. With plenty of people that might want him dead.

Leading the charge, Alicia Finlay is ably assisted by her cooking up a storm sister, and members of the bookclub who all take various investigation threads. There are a few lightly poached red herrings dotted around, and a bit of business with some direct links to Ms Christie's own disappearance. The police are there, possibly less than motivated when the crime is only the disappearance of a middle aged woman, not so laid back when the crime turns to murder.

Needless to say this is definitely on the lighter than air side of crime fiction. There's a hefty dose of romantic longing, quite a lot of gossiping, some fashion, a lot of chatter about home decor, and some "revelations" which you will probably see coming pages and pages earlier. Of course it makes no pretence of being anything else, and if you are a fan of the lighter side than it's well worth a look. As long as you can let the obvious clues go by. Fans of Ms Christie's writing might find the bookclub's inability to recognise some of those, especially when they stand up and scream "I'm an important clue for goodness sake", a tad frustrating.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

When Alicia Finlay walks out on her boring old book club and decides to start a new one—one devoted to her favorite mystery writer Agatha Christie—little does she know her new club is about to stumble into a mystery of their own. It's a mystery so baffling it would leave even the Queen of Crime scratching her head...

After gathering seven crime buffs together—including young librarian Missy (as ditzy as Miss Marple and as sharp), fashionista Claire, paleontologist Perry (both stylish and fastidious like Poirot), dashing Dr Anders, a poisons expert, and socialite Barbara Parlour—Alicia grows suspicious when one of them fails to show for the next book club.

Barbara has disappeared from the face of the earth and her arrogant husband, Arthur, seems coldly unconcerned. The group suspects him of foul play until he suddenly shows up dead. With two baffling mysteries and time fast running out, the book club decides to do as the meddling Miss Marple would do and investigate!

So begins the first exciting instalment of the Agatha Christie Book Club (ACBC), a motley collection of amateur sleuths who use Christie as their guide to help solve a range of mysteries that fall into their lap. Following in the footsteps of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, the group must sort the clues from the red herrings to solve the murder of Arthur Parlour and determine what happened to his missing wife. Has she been brutally murdered or is she somehow, somewhere still alive?

Review Review - The Agatha Christie Book Club, C.A. Larmer
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, February 12, 2015
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