Let’s face it. Everyone who writes mystery stories fell into that vocation (or avocation, as the case may be) because they love to read mystery stories. Is there anyone out there who pushes the perilous pen who doesn’t list Agatha Christie among their favorite authors? Certainly, no one I know personally. I could read Agatha every day and never get tired of her.
All of Christie’s characters are delightful, but my favorite has to be Miss Marple. I can’t get enough of the little lady from St Mary Mead. I’m currently reading Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories. Although I’ve read many of the novel-length Marple mysteries, this is my first time through the short story collection. I am, as always, entranced by the dear old gal. Her ability to see every problem in a way that covers all perspectives and gets to the heart of the matter illustrates the creator’s genius as clearly as the character’s charm.
Agatha Christie had a way of penning a twisted tale mystery writers can’t help but envy. Our brains try to work out the puzzles as we read. We scour the pages for little hidden clues, try to filter out the red herrings, and make mental lists of suspects. Then, we come to the end of the story and say, “I hope I can do it as well some day!”
There’s a very good reason that Malice Domestic Ltd named their mystery writer awards the “Agatha Awards“, after all. I can’t think of a loftier goal than to entertain my readers like Agatha Christie.
I keep reaching for that goal, and while I reach, I will keep reading.
Thank you, Dame Agatha.