Book Review: The Pale Horse (Ariadne Oliver #5) by Agatha Christie (four stars)

Book Review: The Pale Horse (Ariadne Oliver #5) by Agatha Christie (four stars)

“The murder part is quite easy and simple. It’s the covering up that’s so difficult. I mean, why should it be anyone else but you? You stick out a mile.”

Unexpectedly good mystery from a reader who generally avoids murder mysteries. The draw is the intersection of modern science and pop culture (parapsychology and hedge witch level occult). Classic Christie: she gives the reader more than enough clues. Perhaps too many.

“Murder by remote control isn’t murder in the eyes of the law. It’s just nonsense. That’s the whole beauty of the thing.”

The various investigators, wading through conflicting, seemingly impossible clues, forget Occam’s Razor. That said, Christie is unclear at the denouement of the chain of authority, if not causality.

“There is evil. And evil is powerful. Sometimes more powerful than good. It’s there. It has to be recognised—and fought. Otherwise we go down to darkness.”

Ariadne Oliver is Christie’s alter ego, a mature female writer of mysteries. She is not a major character in this story; don’t know about the others.

“Take your time. No hurry in the world. Take your time.”