Does a body turn up every time you go to the beach? Do your fellow oceanside resort residents murder one another on a regular basis whenever you vacation on the coast? Then you might be a detective in an Agatha Christie novel.Evil Under the Sun
finds our favorite little Belgian sleuth amongst Summer holidayers, a small sampling of flirtatious women, jealous wives, inattentive husbands and an angsty teen. There are hints of smuggling, drugs and black magic. Will you discover what's going on before all is revealed in the end?
Christie must have spent a good deal of her time at seaside retreats, because that setting pops up a lot in her books. Certainly she uses a formula for many of her stories and as a reader, I don't mind that. However, recycling settings, especially very specific settings where only a limited number of people spend their time and only on a limited, seasonal basis is creating an elephant in the room. Why does she do it? She does it because sticking all the murder suspects on an island, or say a snowbound train in the "orient," makes it possible for her detective to narrow down the murder suspects, never allowing one to escape into anonymity. Thus the case can be solved in one tidy novella. They are fun reads, even if I feel as if I've read it before.