Andrew Wilson’s unique twist placing Agatha Christie right at the centre of a murder mystery is thoroughly engaging.
Placing Agatha Christie at the centre of her own murder mystery is a clever and unique way to celebrate the work of the famous author in a completely new light. By combining facts relating to Christie’s own life with a brand new murder mystery, Andrew Wilson has created a vivid and insightful new way to see the world famous author through new eyes.
Set in 1927, A Different Kind of Evil sees Agatha Christie travelling to the Canary Islands to investigate the death of a British Secret Intelligence Service Agent whose body has been found in a cave. But on her journey a young woman falls to her death from the boat – could the death of the heiress and the Agent be interlinked?
Capturing Christie’s own eye for detail and style of writing but in a contemporary way, Wilson beautifully intertwines fact with fiction (at the back of the book a list of facts relating to Christie’s own life used in the story helps put everything into context) to create a story filled with plenty of twists and turns – that even at one point suggests Christie as an object of interest to Inspector Nunez in relation to a different crime.
With plenty of suspects all of whom are interesting characters, A Different Kind of Evil beautifully unfolds with great style, concentrating on particular details that capture the reader’s attention but somehow still manages not to give anything away until the very end. The build up is well executed and is sharply focused at all times in terms of the plot but still gives you a strong understanding of what Christie was like as a person.
It has to be said that there are moments in which perhaps too long is taken over descriptions of certain situations or locations – particularly in the aftermath of the suicide of the heiress on the boat is pondered over. But, it does offer a strong opportunity to understand and get to know the other key characters involved.
But as well as the unfolding of the story, the undertone of violence and suspicion is constantly underlined in a subtle way – for example when Agatha pays a visit to Grenville’s house for dinner leads to the discovery of a horrific secret. It is incidents such as these that effectively capture the reader’s attention but without ever losing the focus on the wider story to tie everything together seamlessly.
Constantly exciting and intriguing, A Different Kind of Evil beautifully gives new life to Agatha Christie’s writing and personality – I’m sure she would be flattered to be involved in a murder mystery in this way. Well worth a read if you are a fan of Agatha Christie’s original work.
By Emma Clarendon
A Different Kind of Evil is available to buy now.