Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My Love for Agatha Christie's creations - Poirot and Miss Marple

Agatha Christie was the one who opened the door to a library full of Crime, Whodunit novels. I do not clearly remember my first Christie novel, I am not even sure if it was a miss Marple novel or a Poirot novel. But whichever was the first book sure did make a lasting impression on me. One of my goals in life is to have all the books (stress on the Marple and Poirot books) that Christie has written. I am glad to say I am well on my way to achieving that goal. I already have all the Marple novels bar one and I've got quite a few of the Poirot one's too.

What is so special about these books you ask? Well, I don't really know how to describe how I feel. I don't know if it's because I am Indian or what but I just like books based in England early on in the 20th Century. One of my favorite children's books were the Enid Blyton Books. They just have a certain charm that I just fall for. And these books also have an added spice of having crime mixed in to make it irresistible to me. Let me speak of my two favorite characters that Agatha Christie has given to us separately - Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Hercule Poirot 

Hercule Poirot is a Belgian Detective who sought refuge in England during the war. His powers of deduction are first demonstrated in the book The Mysterious Affair at Styles when his patron gets murdered. This is also the book where we are introduced to Captain Hastings his trusty side kick for many upcoming adventures (though not all). Poirot is described as a man with an egg shaped head and a very unique moustache, of which he is most proud. He is the kind of man who says any crime can be solved if only people used the "little gray cells". Unlike his sidekick Captain Hastings, he does not believe in running around finding clues, when he has a perfectly capable Scotland Yard inspector doing so.

This little intro should tell you that Poirot is very similar to another eccentric detective, namely Sherlock Holmes. There's also a Dr. Watson equivalent - Captain Hastings. Both detectives are not known for their modesty, at least when it comes to their abilities and both sidekicks are thought of to be someone who is a sounding board for their genius. Even with all these similarities I prefer Christie's Poirot to Doyle's Holmes. I just relate more to Poirot, he just seems more human. For all his confidence with respect to his deductions he has at least admitted to having been wrong. And unlike Holmes Poirot is a bit of a romantic at heart.

I have not read all the Poirot stories but some of my favorite are - Murder on the Orient Express, Mystery of the Blue Train & Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Miss Jane Marple

Miss Marple is completely different from Poirot, except in her ability to solve cases. She seems like this sweet, dotty old grandmother, but do not let that fool you. She is one of the shrewdest people you could meet. The thing I love about this character is that everyone just sees her as an old gossip from a backward village (St. Mary Mead). There's instances where people mention that living in a village must be peaceful and preferable to the city (if you do not want any  excitement in your life). But Miss Marple claims that being in this tiny village is what gives her insight that helps her solve the crime. Living in St. Mary Mead is like a microcosm of a city. It gives her a concentrated insight in to human nature. Miss Marple thinks back to some other instance in St. Mary Mead that is similar to what happens in that particular crime and deduces the culprit.

I have all the Miss Marple books except for The Murder At the Vicarage. And some of my favorite Marple novels are - 13 Problems, The Mirror Crack'd from Side  to Side, A Caribbean Mystery, Nemesis and a Murder is Announced.

Both Poirot and Miss Marple have a strong sense of justice. And I love both of them, but if I really had to name a favorite among the 2 I would choose Miss Marple. Though I love the unique character that Poirot is I still prefer Miss Marple's way of handling things and her general sweetness. For anyone who wants to read crime novels but are too scared of how violent the books that come out nowadays get I would suggest you pick Christie's books up.

If you are not up to reading these series I would recommend you watch the TV adaptations. You will not regret it. Some of the good one's are -
Agatha Christie's Poirot - 

  1. Murder on the Orient Express
  2. Mystery of the Blue Train
  3. The Third Girl
  4. Elephants can Remember
  5. Hickory Dickory Dock
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple - 
  1. A Body in the Library
  2. A Pocket full of Rye
  3. A Murder is Announced
  4. At Bertram's Hotel
  5. A Caribbean Mystery

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