Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie: Book Review

Murder is Easy, Agatha Christie’s 25th book was first published in 1939.

Publisher’s summary:

Luke Fitzwilliam could not believe Miss Pinkerton’s wild allegation that a multiple murderer was at work in the quiet English village of Wychwood — or her speculation that the local doctor was next in line. But within hours, Miss Pinkerton had been killed in a hit-and-run car accident. Mere coincidence? Luke was inclined to think so — until he read in The Times of the unexpected demise of Wychwood’s Dr Humbleby …

My view

This has stood the test of time very well. It’s another one of Agatha Christie’s easily read crime mysteries, with plenty of plot twists and unexpected revelations. This time the detective is Luke Fitzwilliam, a retired policeman recently returned to England from the East. He was wondering what to do with himself when he met Miss Pinkerton quite by chance. She tells him of her suspicions about a number of murders in her village and when he tells her that it’s rather hard to do a lot of murders and get away with it, she replies:

No, no, my dear boy, that’s where you’re quite wrong. It’s very easy to kill – so long as no one suspects you. And you see, the person in question is just the last person anyone would suspect! (page 22)

Wychwood-under-Ashe is a picturesque village with a Manor House, a village green and a duck pond. In other words a quintessentially English village just like Miss Marple’s St Mary Mead. But instead of Miss Marple, the person who helps Luke with his investigations is Bridget Conway, a beautiful young woman who immediately entrances Luke. His cover story is that he is writing a book on folklore and needs to talk to the locals gathering tales and legends.

I had no idea about the killer’s identity and neither really did Luke, until just near the end of the book. Superintendent Battle appears but does nothing towards solving the mystery and denies that he could have done any better than Luke explaining that

… nothing’s impossible in crime.

… Anyone may be a criminal, sir, that’s what I meant. (page 317)

Murder is Easy – one of Agatha Christie’s best mysteries:

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Masterpiece edition (Reissue) edition (3 Sep 2007)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 000713682X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007136827
  • Source: I bought it

4 thoughts on “Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie: Book Review

  1. Margaret – An excellent review of a fine, fine book. Thanks :-). I like very much the lines you’ve chosen to highlight, too. I haven’t read this one in a long time – time for a re-read, methinks.


  2. This is one of my favorite Christie books. Well, I sort of say that about all of them, but this one really is one of my favorites. I love the line you quoted and I remember reading it the first time…”just the last person anyone would suspect”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Margaret!


  3. Pingback: My Book Notes: Murder is Easy (1939) by Agatha Christie – A Crime is Afoot

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