As writers of whodunits go, none has broken more rules than has stout, aging (and tricky) Agatha Christie. In her more than fifty mysteries . . . Mrs. Christie has baffled her readers in some startling ways. In at least one of her novels her policeman himself turns out to be the murderer. So, in other novels, does one or another of her comic characters (though purist whodunit writers bring in such characters only for comic relief). And, at the end of one history-making whodunit, Mrs. Christie's fictional first-person narrator reveals that he himself is the culprit.
Such slick tricks have brought lustre to the name of Agatha Christie, and last week, as two of her mysteries were running simultaneously as plays in London (and one other was running on Broadway and in Paris), new lustre was added to her name. — John Haverstick, "Author of the Week," THE SATURDAY REVIEW (February 4, 1956).
Category: Detective fiction