FICTION

A Different Kind of Evil

Washington Square: S. & S. Mar. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781501145100. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781501145117. MYS
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In this second mystery based on the life of Agatha Christie (after A Talent for Murder), Wilson blends fact and speculation into a pleasant if sometimes slightly ponderous narrative. Loosely based on a trip that Christie made after the failure of her first marriage, the story sees the author traveling to the Canary Islands to probe the death of a British intelligence operative. Was his demise connected to the suicide Christie witnessed on the ocean liner? With corpses present, absent, new and old, misdirection abounds, and the great mystery writer falls prey to it more than once. However, by the denouement, most astute readers will have an idea of the actual killer, though they may require Christie's wrap-up to bring a semblance of logic to the twisted tale.
VERDICT Fans of Agatha Christie may appreciate this fictional look at her life. However, with frequent mention of events from A Talent for Murder, newcomers might want to start these works in order. Those who prefer their mysteries with that certain English tone, or relish murder's cozier side, will appreciate this as well.

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