Mystery-queen Agatha Christie’s mysteries can be categorized as- 1. Hercule Poirot Series, 2. Miss Marple Series and 3. Parker Pyne Series, 4. Tommy and Tuppence Series, 5. Thrillers. The last category consists of such novels which do not contain any stock character of her novels. One such thriller novel which is, in fact, an intricate murder mystery, is Murder is Easy (also published under another title – Easy to Kill).The title of the novel is – Murder is Easy (or Easy to Kill). Now, being a very big fan of murder-mysteries, I assert that it is always easy to commit a murder. Any damn fool can do it. The difficult thing is not to commit a murder but to escape from the claws of the law after committing it. Taking the life of someone else is quite easy, the difficult thing is to save your own life from the gallows (or electric chair, depending upon the type of awarding the death penalty in the country particular) afterwards.
And when is it easy not to get caught after committing a murder ? Definitely when you don’t have any motive to commit that murder and therefore you’re beyond anybody’s suspicion, for naturally only those are considered as suspects by the police who have a motive for that or any interest in the death of the victim. Hence when no motive is apparent on your part, you are not going to be suspected and that murder will be easy for you to commit. Further, it’s easy to commit a murder and get away with it when you are able to manage it in such a way that it does not look like a murder.That’s how Agatha Christie has knitted the network of this novel in which there is a series of murders. Luke Fitzwilliam, a retired policeman happens to meet Ms. Pinkerton, an elderly but sweet lady from Wychwood-under-Ashe. She tells him that there’s a serial killer at large in her village and that she knows the killer and is going to the Scotland Yard to give the relevant information to the authorities. She also tells him that she knows who the next victim of the murderer is. However, the next day, Luke comes to know of her death in a hit-and-run type incident. When Luke finds that the person considered by Ms. Pinkerton to be the next victim is actually dead, he decides to investigate the things himself and moves to Wychwood.
Luke comes across several people in the village and delves into the psyche of several ones for marking them as suspects. Then comes the romantic angle too because he happens to have an affair with a charming girl in the house of his pompous and talkative host, Lord Easterfield. Amidst romance and thrill, the story heads towards its destination and the reader is taken aback to find in the end that the murderer is not the one whom every needle of suspicion is pointing at. This way Madam Christie has played with her readers by serving them a probable murderer only to give them a strong jerk in the climax.Agatha Christie had had a habit to keep a psychological base of her homicide stories. Murder is Easy is no exception in this regard and it is unique also in the respect that it emphatically underscores that murders can be committed even without an apparent motive. The objective of the murderer may be so subtle that it can’t be understood or empathized by others. And that lack of understanding may prove to be a security cover for the murderer because that keeps him / her above suspicion.
Further the psyche and the personality traits of every suspect have been properly examined to make him / her a genuine suspect. That makes the novel very interesting and intriguing. Humour has also been generated in this process.Agatha Christie used to write romantic novels too under the pen-name of Mary Westmacott. This particular novel seems to have been authored by a combination of Agatha and Mary in her own personality because it is a mystery but contains a very good dose of romance as well. The investigator falls in love of a girl who cannot love him for certain reasons. This romantic angle has been properly developed with sufficient footage given to it.Murder is Easy is an outstanding novel which tests the wits of the readers in a stylish manner and the overall impact of the novel is nothing short of marvellous. It’s a novel which is a treat not only for the mystery-lovers but also for the readers of romantic stuff.
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