Book Review: The A.B.C. Murders

The A.B.C. Murders is what you might call an alphabetical murder mystery, but what it also is, is a fiendishly clever puzzle, with Poirot arriving at a solution that can only summed up as astonishingly ingenious. At first you have the murders, and then the serial killer himself, who thinks he is so smart that he warns the Belgian private detective beforehand every time he commits the act on the said day. On the other end, there opens a parallel narrative, that of a mentally disturbed travelling salesman who curiously turns up in the vicinity of each murder, and then you begin to ask yourself, can it be this simple? Like us, Poirot isn't satisfied either, for he senses something larger is amiss. ("Exert those cellular arrangements of yours I used to hear so much about. Show us the way he did it," says Inspector Japp at one point). And then in a moment of complete surprise, Christie does the unthinkable by throwing a neat curveball from her inexhaustible bag of tricks, leading to a logical denouement that reaffirms her status as one of the best crime writers of all time. Not to be missed!