Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Book Review: The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Things to know up front...

Recommended to: mystery lovers, Marple fans, anyone in need of a quick read

Setting: England during the 1930s or 40s

Rating: 6/10

  • Centers around the murder of a very young woman. The dead body is described a couple of times. 
  • No profanity.
  • No sexual content, though there are subtle hints at a woman's possible promiscuity. 
  • Little to no violence.
  • Written in an easy-to-read style.
  • Overall, appropriate for a reader of just about any age.

The Body in the Library is a Miss Marple Mystery concerning the murder of a young woman named Ruby Keene, and the mysterious appearance of dead body in the library of a well-to-do old couple. Is the murder committed by the two people that stand to benefit most from her death, or is the case more than it seems? Miss Marple uses her quick wit and observant nature to discover the truth in this amusing little novel. 

The Positives:

-The mystery. As has held true in all of the Agatha Christie books I have read thus far, the air of mystery is maintained throughout the whole novel. This shock of the final reveal was definitely not of the same caliber of, say, And Then There Were None--though I feel I'll never experience quite the same thing ever again--I still didn't know who the killer was until the end. 

-It's accessible. This is quite a quick, easy read that never confuses with extraneous details, which in my short experience with her, is characteristic of Agatha Christie's novels.

-It's amusing. I adore the subtle humor with which Christie wrote her novels, and how there are just the smallest remarks here and there that mock certain human characteristics. She was so brilliant.

The Negatives:

-It's a bit slow-paced. While it is a speedy read, the story does seem to develop rather slowly, and it doesn't excite quite as much as other Christie novels. While I could have easily finished this particular book in one sitting, it took me about a week (I think), though that is in part due to the amount of homework I had.

-It lacked any oomph. I think that I'll forget this plot in a few weeks' time, and won't ever care to refresh my memory of it with another read. Just look at how short this review is: I think it speaks louder than anything I could put into words.


It was just okay. I think that I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read And Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express before this one. I recommend it if you're looking for a book to amuse you for an afternoon or a car trip, but I wouldn't have you rush to check it out otherwise. If you're looking for heart-pounding excitement, definitely look for the two aforementioned Christie novels before picking up this one!

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