November total: 224 pages
YTD total: 17,545 pages
That's right, I finished just one book in November. Between the holidays and several days off (some planned, some unplanned), I didn't get as much read of the book in my car as I normally would have, and I've been working on other projects in the evenings lately instead of reading books. (Having only one book to comment on does make the monthly writeup much faster to finish in a timely manner, though.)
The Mousetrap is a book of short stories, originally and subsequently titled Three Blind Mice and Other Stories.
The stage play adaptation of the first story, "Three Blind Mice" (titled The Mousetrap due to the existence of another play at the time it was written titled Three Blind Mice), has had the longest initial run of any play, at over 23,000 performances since 1952. "Three Blind Mice" is also by far the longest (and best) story in this collection, and one of the few not to feature one of Christie's stable of famous detectives. (The rest of the book consists of four Miss Marple stories, three Hercule Poirot stories, and one Harley Quin story.)
Miss Marple's typical "smarter than thou" attitude, combined with the doddering old woman act she puts on, tends to grate on me quite a bit, so four stories with the old busybody was a bit much for me simply because of that. They're solid stories otherwise, but Miss Marple's personality keeps turning me off. This was also my first exposure to the character of Harley Quin, who is a very different character from Christie's other detectives, and appears to be a bit of an acquired taste. (I also picture him fitting in better in a time period where the idle rich nonchalantly amuse themselves simply by gallivanting around and seeing the countryside--something like Jeeves and Wooster--rather than being glory hounds or criminals and showing up on TMZ or the police blotter.) Otherwise, I found this collection quite enjoyable. Most of these stories are only 10-20 pages long, yet Christie consistently manages to pack in all of the elements of a classic mystery without anything feeling rushed or left out.
Definitely recommended, and I'll even abide by the request that's made at the end of every performance of The Mousetrap and not reveal the killer's identity.
Feudalism: Serf & Turf