Crooked House Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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'Writing Crooked House was pure pleasure and I feel justified in my belief that it is one of my best.' Agatha Christie 'Her sleight of hand is impeccable.' New Statesman 'Knock-out!' Saturday Review of Literature --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
The Leonides are one big happy family livingin a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. Thatis until the head of the household, Aristide, ismurdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.
Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s youngwidow, fifty years his junior. But the murdererhas reckoned without the tenacity of CharlesHayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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"Crooked House" is an excellent story of a complex family. The patriarch is Aristide Leonides, a Greek who has come to England and made a fortune in the restaurant and catering business. His mansion is home to his two sons, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, his first wife's sister, and now to his young and beautiful second wife plus the grandchildren's tutor. When the wealthy old man is poisoned, the reader learns that everyone had not only a motive but also an alibi. The characterizations are wonderful and the characters stand out as some of Mrs. Christie's most memorable ones.
The usual detectives are absent in this one, but the detecting is in the capable hands of Charles Hayward, the son of a Scotland Yard detective and the fiance of Aristide's granddaughter Sophia Leonides. When the blood-chilling ending occurs, one is shocked and yet, on careful reexamination, must admit that all the clues were clearly there.
Curl up with a cup of cocoa (unpoisoned, of course) and enjoy this classic crime with one of Mrs. Christie's most spectacular and unforgettable endings.
Charles has just fallen in love with Sophia, the sensible daughter of wealthy but clueless parents. She and her entire immediate family (and some extended) live with her grandfather and his new wife in their strange country house. Their grandfather, Aristide Leonides is a wealthy businessman who does as he pleases and gives generously to all of his children and their offspring. So when he is found murdered, there is very little motive although everyone had the opportunity and knowledge to kill the diabetic when they administered his insulin shots. And Charles finds himself drawn into this mystery, not only because his father works for Scotland Yard, but because Sophia will not marry him unless the murderer is found. Charles is faced with a strange family, at once cold and unwelcoming, but with some members who instantly confide in and beguile Charles. Could Aristide's much younger wife want him dead so she could run off with the grandchildren's tutor? This is what everyone wants to believe. Is one, or both, of his sons angry at some perceived slight? Did one of his daughters-in-law view their living arrangements as more of a prison than a home? Charles knows he must act face before someone else is murdered for knowing too much about the case, and to save his future with Sophia.
"Crooked House" is a fast-paced read that will have readers guessing and confused to the very end. Christie paints a logical case for nearly every suspect and follows several red herrings to their convoluted ends. The ending is unique and sinister and not quite what one would expect, although there have been similar murderers in other Christie works, and indeed in real life.
But as Agatha Christie's work isn't infinite (oh, that it were!), I occasionally have to leave behind Poirot and Marple and dive into the unknown. I'm glad I did. Crooked House starts out familiarly enough - the large house in the country, the rambling family and hangers-on that occupy it, no lack of motive or opportunity - but you soon realize that it's a bit darker than that. At some point you start to feel a bit uneasy, and by the end you are fully creeped-out. With no valiant Poirot and Marple to save the day, anyone could be the killer.
The whole thing is just genius and a real page-turner. I found myself thinking about the book for days after reading it. Whether you're a seasoned Christie fan or not, this is a must-read.
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