I don’t think that for a Christmas read you could do better than a title ‘The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding’ especially when it’s followed by the tag line ‘and a selection of Entrée’s’ the fact it is written by Agatha Christie only adds to its appeal and charm. It was also slightly ironic that after cooking a huge, and rather lovely, Christmas dinner the pudding was the problem. More on that some other time as really this is a post about a rather marvellous Christmas read, rather than my shoddy pudding debacle.
I had never heard of the regular event in publishing called the ‘Christmas Christie’ until I read the wonderful ‘Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks’ by John Curran earlier in the year but indeed she did write many. Naturally hankering for some perfect Christmas this book with its fabulous title had to be high up on my list. What could be better than some murder under the mistletoe whilst munching on chocolates and mulled wine?
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding is actually a collection of some of Agatha Christie’s short stories. Five of them are tales of Poirot ‘The Mystery of the Spanish Chest’, ‘The Underdog’, ‘Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds’, ‘The Dream’ and the title tale itself. The last one ‘Greenshaw’s Folly’ stars Miss Marple, my favourite Christie character, herself. The title tale is indeed very Christmas filled and is murder meets great theft containing three brilliant plot twists within 60 pages which I think is remarkable. ‘The Mystery of the Spanish Chest’ had be baffled as to how six guests could eat dinner with one of their spouses murdered in a chest in the same room, again so, so clever. ‘The Underdog’ is a very interesting tale of women’s intuition and how having it cannot prove a thing, even if it might (note I say might not it is) be right.
The latter three were interesting clever, highly readable and slightly annoying in one. As though it was very interesting to see Christie use one specific plot device (which I cant say or you wont need to read them and they are charming) and change it so much in three ways I did feel it was a shame to have them be the last three tales as it could have been mixed up more. It did show what a genius of murderous mayhem she could be and how many ways one thing could be reworked; I would have just placed a few different methods in between. It’s a small critique though as I didn’t guess any of the endings in any of these three and they all kept me reading until the small hours of this very Boxing Day. All in all it was a truly delightful classic Christmas Christie collection (loving that alliteration) and I couldn’t have asked for more.
How were all your Christmases, did you all have a delightful day? I do hope so, do report back please with your Xmas tales. I had a marvellous day, bar the Christmas pudding nightmare (don’t ask). Dinner was a delight and I had wonderful presents but oddly only one book, though I do know another has been ordered. Apparently I am a nightmare to book buy for, as if. I mean really that’s so untrue.
Isn’t it interesting that though I love Christmas Day it is actually Boxing Day that’s my favourite since I started hosting Christmas myself? I think because everything is done and we now simply have those delicious parsnip and turkey sandwiches, left over chocolates and wine etc and can all relax from the hype. It is also tradition that we go to the cinema on Boxing Day which I love. Tonight we are off to see a film with a bookish twist that shaped my reading in a rather major way. I shall be discussing it in more detail tomorrow. I wonder if you can guess, its quite elementary my dears…