To me, Agatha Christie is the standard bearer and all others are compared to her. She is the most widely published author of all time. Her books are outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Agatha Christie has sold more than one billion books in English and another billion in different foreign languages. I love her books because she knows human nature and her characters have depth.
There are fifteen characters in Dead Man's Folly. Clue: they are not all who they seem to be. The most important is: Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgium detective. Hercule doesn't use high tech gadgets or run around in fancy cars to try to solve his murders. He carries no gun. He uses his little gray cells to think. Hercule has a keen sense of human nature. He was summoned to Devonshire by his friend, Ariadne Oliver to try to stop a murder. Mrs. Oliver is the famous and popular mystery writer. She appears to be a muddleheaded middle aged woman with ever changing hairstyles, but she also has a keen sense of human nature. Ariadne has been hired to stage a Murder Hunt as part of a fundraiser for a wealthy English family. She senses that something wicked is in the air and contacts Hercule to try to stop the murder.
In Dead Man's Folly we have a murder within a Murder Hunt. There are hundreds of people attending the fundraiser but only a few people know the details of the Murder Hunt and they are considered the prime suspects. There is no sex or profanity or graphic details of the murder. There are differences in generations, differences between classes and differences created by the aftermath of the war. There is a murder without an obvious motive. This book was first published in 1961. There is nothing outdated in the motive for murder. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and enjoy this book.
Patricia Petrusik, author of The Sober Cat retired from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Pittsburgh area. She holds a guidance certificate K-12 and an addiction certificate, C.A.A.P. She also developed an educational game, “The Slippery Slope of Substance Abuse.”