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Crooked House (Agatha Christie Collection)…

Crooked House (Agatha Christie Collection) (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1949; vuoden 2002 painos)

– tekijä: Agatha Christie (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2,755613,689 (3.73)158
A wealthy Greek businessman is found dead at his London home... The Leonides were one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That was until the head of the household, Aristide, was murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection. Suspicion naturally falls on the old man's young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiance of the late millionare's granddaughter...… (lisätietoja)
Teoksen nimi:Crooked House (Agatha Christie Collection)
Kirjailijat:Agatha Christie (Tekijä)
Info:HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2002), Edition: Masterpiece Ed, 256 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Väärän vänkyrä talo (tekijä: Agatha Christie) (1949)



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» Katso myös 158 mainintaa

englanti (54)  espanja (2)  portugali (1)  hollanti (1)  tanska (1)  Kaikki kielet (59)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 59) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
When his fiancee’s grand-father is murdered, Charles Hayward determines to find out the truth, entering the unnerving, bitterly divided home shared by three generations of an Anglo-Greek family.

One of my utter favourite Christie books, filled with dynamic characters, a claustrophobic setting, and a truly startling denouement. I won’t go into much detail, because you should read this one unawares. Suffice it to say, Dame Agatha extensively planned this novel, a non-series excursion coming after Poirot’s heyday, and just before Miss Marple’s most prolific period. She remained proud of it throughout her life, and fairly so. "Crooked House" is a cruel, insightful tale of family drama, of the sadistic and jaded side of human nature, and of carefully-concealed murder. Any dialogue or atmospheric flaws can be forgiven, as – by this point – Christie was indisputably the ‘Queen of Crime’. She had been churning out murder mysteries for three decades (often more than one a year, as well as her short stories and plays), and – although there would be a gradual decline in quality over the coming decades – "Crooked House" is a highlight of Christie’s innovation within the formula. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
I finally started working on her non-series books and this one was good. Andrew wants to marry Sophia but there is the small problem of who murdered her Grandfather. Most of her family, turns out, had a good motive for bumping off generous but ethically flexible old man, though most everyone would like it to be his second, younger wife Brenda. Sophia isn't so sure and she recruits Andrew to find out who did the deed. I an always suprised by just how subversive Christie could be with her conventional plots and characters. The murdered, when discovered, proved both obvious and sad. A good airplane read. ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
Honestly I don't have that much to say here besides the fact that I really really love this book.

This was one of Agatha Christie's favorite books and I can see why.

There are a lot of twists and turns and I thought I figured out the perpetrator, but per usual, I was wrong.

"Crooked House" follows the character of Charles Hayward, as he goes about investigating who could have murdered his potential fiance's (Sophia) grandfather, Mr. Aristide Leonides.

Christie sets up the book so readers get to read about Charles and Sophia and their time together before the war (WWII) before the book transitions over to post war England with both of them back dealing with the aftermath of Sophia's grandfather's death.

Due to Charles's father having a high position at Scotland Yard he is called upon to go down and determine if he can figure out just by watching and listening who killed Sophia's grandfather. Sophia smartly realizes they cannot have a future until it is determined who murdered Mr. Leonides.

We do get some interesting characters in this book such as Sophia's younger sister Josephine, and her younger brother as well. Also Sophia's father is kind of a cold fish and her mother is an actress which apparently means drama drama drama. There's also an interesting uncle and aunt as well as the great aunt of Sophia's grandmother that still lives with the family. I like that Christie does a very good job in just a few short scenes of showing who all these characters are and what ultimately moves them by the end of the book.

Christie's quite smartly lays out a couple of clues that if you're paying attention you could figure out who the murderer is, but honestly I didn't notice any of this till the very end. One thing that I did like though is that you get to see Charle's hypocrisy in a couple scenes with him feeling bad for Sophie's step-grandmother and just kind of ignoring the signs of what type of woman that she really is.

The writing is top-notch Christie. I know this is no "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" but I can definitely see myself re-reading this again and again in the future. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
"Crooked House" is the first Agatha Christie standalone novel I've read. I've been pleasantly surprised by how fresh and simple the humour in this book is. The writing feels relaxed and confident as if Agatha Christie is enjoying the people she's writing about rather than working to set up a plot.

Although there is a murder driving the plot of "Crooked House" the book is really an examination of how a rather strange, very rich Leonides family live together and how they see themselves and each other.

The Leonides family is of mixed Greek/English origins, the Greek patriarch being the charismatic self-made man who has become very wealthy by always finding a crooked, but just about legal, angle in a deal and the English matriarch coming from a good family with old money.

The family live in the crooked house of the title, purpose-built for them, it aspires to an English Country Cottage style but succeeds only in being too large to be a cottage and too eccentric to be authentically English. Three generations of the family live under one roof but in physically separate domains. The house is a metaphor for the family, the wealth, their integration or lack of it into Society and their relationships with each other.

"Crooked House" is set in 1949 and a, perhaps unconscious, benefit of the book is to give an insight into the behaviour and assumptions of the English Establishment in the years after the war, faced with nationalisation of major industries, the creation of the National Health Service and a dramatic increase in inheritance tax at home, the collapse of Sterling and the start of the slow unravelling of the British Empire abroad.

We gain the Establishment view by having the family and the mystery explored by Charles Hayward, a man so deeply embedded into the English Establishment that it is invisible to him. He's included in the investigation not because he is a policeman but because he's included he's the right sort (English Gentlemen with a senior post in the Foreign Office), is connected to the right people (his father is a Police Commissioner) and is connected to the family (having proposed marriage to the eldest daughter).

Charles is a man whose most distinguishing characteristic is his unrelenting blandness. a facet of his personality he seems completely unaware of. He makes Watson look charismatic and insightful. He is SO bland, I struggled to remember his name.

"Crooked House" opens in Cairo with Charles proposing marriage to Sophia Leonides where they both have Foreign Office postings. The proposal is so tentative, so painfully polite and so completely passionless type that could only have been made by an upper-class Englishman in the nineteen forties. I couldn't figure out whether Charles had finally spotted something that would nicely accessorise his post-war life or if there was genuine passion there. There's so much repression of emotion that I wonder if either Charles or Sophia were any clearer on the answer than I was.

Throughout the book, I found myself wondering if Charles would survive becoming a member of the Leonides family, even if no murder had occurred. Early in the investigation, Sophia gives a frank explanation of how various members of the family see the world and each other and I wondered whether, after letting that point of view sink in for a while, Charles would still be quite so keen to marry into this family. They reminded me of one of the collective nouns for cats: "a pounce of cats". Charles would have to establish very early on that he was not prey. Charles, however, remained blissfully unaware of any threat.

Charles is very much a man of his time. His feelings of comfort on meeting the Leonides nanny made me sorry for him and all the others in his generation who lived with this kind of surrogacy.

The storytelling is suffering from that fact that Charles has no side-kick to bounce things off, hide things from or make witty remarks to. We have to suffer through his interior monologue, which mostly reveals that he is too close to the family and too conventional in his thinking to uncover the murderer.

The most fascinating character in the book is young Josephine, granddaughter of the patriarch. Josephine's a little chilling, quite believable and impossible to look away from. She is a girl who is determined to take control of her own life. She doesn't suffer fools at all and she is constantly telling Charles, as I would like to have done, that he has no idea what is really going on.

"Crooked House" was an environment so rich in potential killers that, like Charles, I had no idea who the murderer was, but I was given a thorough education in the ways in which those who have always been wealthy exercise an instinctive ruthlessness that allows them to stay that way and to continue to feel completely entitled to do so.

I was also given an insight into the unique suffering of the rich. Imagine the pain of a rich man's son who, after having driven a successful business into the ground through a refusal tell his father that he had no talent for business, now has of "to live simply" on the small estate his wife has just inherited in Barbados. How is anyone supposed to cope with such trauma?

Although the focus is on the family rather than the murder, I did enjoy the plot. The identity of the murderer came as a complete surprise to me but left me feeling foolish rather than cheated as, in retrospect, it all made sense. I blame my lack of insight on Charles' lack of investigative talent.

This book was such an unexpected pleasure that I shall be looking for other standalone Christie books of this period.

( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Whatever you do, do not read a 1954 book by William March unless you do it after reading this review. and of course, this book itself. The Crooked House of the title refers more to the people living in the vast estate rather than the building itself.
The book is set after WWII and it involves a woman who had worked for the Foreign Office (think spy) and the son of a Police Inspector. When Sophia’s grandfather is discovered to have been ingeniously poisoned, Charles Haywood is on the case, doing what his father might have done in similar circumstances. There is a large compliment of suspects including grandfather’s much younger wife who stands to inherit a huge fortune. Larry Brown, tutor for the children, and perhaps the younger wife’s lover, hangs about the place. Josephine, the precocious daughter and Edith, the grandfather’s unmarried sister-in-law are here along with a near-do-well son and his wife and a few others.
No alibis of course, and toss in a rewritten will and the result is turmoil, back-biting and, of course, moe than one murder. This is a rather fun outing without the regular detectives. It is a stand alone which is one of Miss Christie’s better efforts. Plus it endures well and comes a few years before that first book I was talking about. Since it was snowing all day today (in the middle of April?) I thought this would make a nice addition to my “stay apart” library. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Apr 19, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 59) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

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Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät paikat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
I first came to know Sophia Leonides in Egypt towards the end of the war.
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Kirjan kehujat
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia


A wealthy Greek businessman is found dead at his London home... The Leonides were one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That was until the head of the household, Aristide, was murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection. Suspicion naturally falls on the old man's young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiance of the late millionare's granddaughter...

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