With Cards on the Table, I have read the detective/mystery book of my reading challenge of this year. Agatha Christie is a truly great author, and every time I read her books, I look forward to reading more. If only life and other great authors do not get in my way.
Although Cards on the Table is a book I read very fondly, I constantly regretted that I did not know the game bridge. Although I was eager to learn for a while, I could not find people to teach around me, and I received many warnings from people who know more or less the game that I should definitely learn from an expert. As a result, I gave up and put this beautiful game aside, saying that I would learn it if/when I settle in the countryside. If you know the game bridge, I’m sure you’ll love this book.
Cards on the Table is the 15th book in the Hercule Poirot series. Mr Shaitana, who has a fascinating character, organizes a bridge party that is as interesting as himself. Shaitana, who is very wealthy, invites eight people to his house full of interesting items. Four of the visitors are ordinary people; the other four are sort of investigative people, including Hercule Poirot.
The murder was committed at the bridge party; Mr Shaitana was killed while all of the guests were there. Of course, it will be up to Hercule Poirot again to solve this murder. Hercule Poirot attracts the reader with his unique methods, as always. The bridge game is also crucial in revealing the killer’s identity, and Poirot is quick to see it.
As Cards on the Table progresses, we learn about the characters’ backgrounds. These beautiful characters, all different from each other, come to life before our eyes. As Agatha Christie likes to play sweetly with her reader as the cat plays with the mouse, you find yourself trying to guess the killer. All the characters are so finely crafted that separate books can be written for all of them. As such, it becomes tough to predict the murderer. Of course, I was wrong in my guess.
Cards on the Table is a book that I will definitely read again after learning how to play bridge. If you love Agatha Christie and know the game bridge, I would say read it. Enjoy!
Cards on the Table
A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players… Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s private collection. Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether…
Best-selling author Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920, and went on to become one of the most famous writers in history, with mysteries like Murder at the Vicarage, Partners in Crime and Sad Cypress. She sold billions of copies of her work and was also a noted playwright and romance author.
Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, Devon, in the southwest part of England. The youngest of three siblings, she was educated at home by her mother, who encouraged her daughter to write. As a child, Christie enjoyed fantasy play and creating characters, and, when she was 16, she moved to Paris for a time to study vocals and piano.
In 1914, she wed Colonel Archibald Christie, a Royal Flying Corps pilot, and took up nursing during World War I. She published her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920; the story focused on the murder of a rich heiress and introduced readers to one of Christie’s most famous characters—Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
In 1926, Christie released The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a hit which was later marked as a genre classic and one of the author’s all-time favorites. She dealt with tumult that same year, however, as her mother died and her husband revealed that he was in a relationship with another woman. Traumatized by the revelation, Christie disappeared only to be discovered by authorities several days later at a Harrogate hotel, registered under the name of her husband’s mistress.
Christie would recover, with her and Archibald divorcing in 1928. In 1930, she married archaeology professor Max Mallowan, with whom she traveled on several expeditions, later recounting her trips in the 1946 memoir Come, Tell Me How You Live. The year of her new nuptials also saw the release of Murder at the Vicarage, which became another classic and introduced readers to Miss Jane Marple, an enquiring village lady.
Writing well into her later years, Christie wrote more than 70 detective novels as well as short fiction. Though she also wrote romance novels like Unfinished Portrait (1934) and A Daughter’s a Daughter (1952) under the name Mary Westmacott, Christie’s success as an author of sleuth stories has earned her titles like the “Queen of Crime” and the “Queen of Mystery.” Christie can also be considered a queen of all publishing genres as she is one of the top-selling authors in history, with her combined works selling more than 2 billion copies worldwide.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: