First Line: I made my way down the grand central staircase, preparing myself to meet a murderer and his-- or her-- potential victim.
Shortly before her second marriage, bestselling novelist and part-time undercover sleuth Agatha Christie decides to take a holiday for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Alas, it is not meant to be. When her friend John Davison begs her to help him protect a retired British agent-turned-hotelier, she reluctantly agrees.
The two travel to Dallach Lodge, a beautiful estate on the Isle of Skye where they blend in with the other guests. After spending an evening with them, Agatha thinks it highly unlikely that any of them are capable of harming anyone; however, early the next morning, the hotel owner is found dead. It appears to be a hunting accident, but as Agatha investigates, she quickly finds out that each one of the guests has a reason for wanting the man dead.
Having never read any of the previous books in the series, I have to be honest. The major reason why I chose to read I Saw Him Die was its setting on the Isle of Skye, someplace I'm quite familiar with. Of course, Agatha Christie was the secondary reason. I had to see how author Andrew Wilson treated this icon of crime fiction.
What I found was an excellent read for mystery lovers who prefer a finely crafted plot over characterization. Believe me, the plot is excellent. I have not read extensively in Christie's oeuvre, but I have watched many television adaptations of her work. If a relative novice such as I can recognize several allusions to Christie's books, I Saw Him Die will be a feast for readers who have more familiarity.
I think two of my favorite things about this book were the significance of the title and the afterword in which Wilson explains how the plot fits into the real Agatha Christie's life. Yes, there are a lot of things to like in I Saw Him Die, but it never really engaged my complete interest, and other character-driven readers might have the same reaction. Told in the first person, Agatha's voice never really drew me into the story; therefore, I doubt that I will continue with the series. But remember-- just because this book wasn't a good fit for me doesn't mean it won't be a good fit for you. Love Dame Agatha? Then I think you should definitely read I Saw Him Die.
I Saw Him Die by Andrew Wilson
Atria Books © 2020
eBook, 397 pages
Historical Mystery, #4 Agatha Christie Detective mystery
Source: Net Galley