The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

The Body in the Library, Agatha Christie, 1942

My favorite quote: “What I feel is that if one has got to have a murder actually happening in one’s house, one might as well enjoy it, if you know what I mean.”

Notable characters: Miss Marple, a spinster with a penchant for solving murders; Arthur Bantry, retired army colonel; Dolly Bantry, his wife; Inspector Slack, the official investigator

Most memorable scene: When the charred corpse of a sixteen-year-old girl is found in a burnt-up car

Greatest strengths: The mystery, of course. I didn’t come anywhere near figuring out who the murderer was with this one, but then, I suppose that’s what the idea is

Standout achievements: For being 80 years old, this book holds up considerably well 

Fun Facts: In the Author’s foreword of this book, Christie admits that finding a body in the library, however unlikely, is a cliche in the mystery fiction genre, and basically admits that she wrote this book to turn the trope on its head

Other media: Most notably, the 1984 BBC film of the same name starring Joan Hickson in her first appearance as Miss Marple 

What it taught me: That in mysteries, the who is as important as the how. While this book is undoubtedly considered a “whodunit,” it’s real strength, like much of Christie’s work, is the “HOWdunit.” To me, that’s where she really shines, and this book is a fine example of that

How it inspired me: In my murder mystery, Sleep Savannah Sleep, my main character, Jason, is reading a novel (Moonfall) by my collaborator (Tamara Thorne). This idea was inspired by one of the character’s in The Body in the Library — young Peter Carmody, a mystery reader who says he has Agatha Christie’s autograph. The fact that she name-dropped herself cracked me up

Additional thoughts: While a lot of folks might not agree with me, I think Miss Marple is a lot more fun and interesting than Poirot

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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