Most of us are so used to reading Agatha Christie's Poirot series or Miss Marple mysteries that we forget that the Queen of Crime is equally riveting when she writes stand-alone mysteries such as "Murder is Easy". The story begins with our hero, Luke Fitzwilliam, returning to England from the Mayang Straits and meeting an old woman named Miss Fullerton on the train. Miss Fullerton has an interesting story to tell; she is going to Scotland Yard to report what she believes to be a series of murders. According to her, a homicidal maniac is running loose in the small village where she lives, Wychwood under Ashe. In some ways, she is reminiscent of Miss Marple - a woman that most people would dismiss as a harmless old lady but who has sharp powers of observation and deduction as well as an extensive knowledge of human nature.
Miss Fullerton is run over by a car before she can make it to Scotland Yard and the man whose life she thought was in danger also dies. Luke reads about both deaths in the newspaper and decides to go to Wychwood under Ashe where Miss Fullerton lived and inquire into the deaths that have been occurring there for the past year. He pretends that he is writing a book about folklore and witchcraft, for which Wychwood under Ashe is well known. There, he also meets the witchy-looking Bridget and promptly falls in love with her.
However, unraveling the mystery is easier said than done. Who could be the killer? There's the doctor who seems to benefit from one of the deaths, the millionaire that Bridget is engaged to, the vicar, the antiques dealer who practices witchcraft and the major whose wife was one of the victims. Luke discovers a great deal of information about the victims, speaking to people they were close to. He employs the help of Bridget as well one of Miss Fullerton's cronies, an older woman named Honoria Waynflete. He can't help feeling that some people just seem more like murderers than others e.g., the antiques dealer interested in witchcraft who gets together with others and performs animal sacrifices in the open, coming home with animal blood on his hands. However, it's quite possible that the doctor or the major could be involved too.
Luke is a likable character who knows his heart, falling in love with Bridget at first sight, but his manner of investigating is a little bumbling and eventually, Bridget is the one who figures out the murderer first. The end of the book is rather thrilling as Luke must rush to save Bridget's life. And, like other mysteries written by Christie, we always realize at the end that she did provide many solid hints throughout the book, even right in the beginning where she says the murderer is the most unlikely person.
Agatha Christie was the daughter of an American father and an English mother. Initially homeschooled, she turned out to be quite precocious, teaching herself to read by the age of five. She was married twice, first to Archibald Christie with whom she had a daughter. When he left her for another woman, Christie was heartbroken and disappeared from the public eye for a short while. Her second marriage was to an archaeologist, Max Mallowan, and it was a happy one, lasting until her death. Both Christie and Mallowan were knighted for the work they did in their respective fields. Christie's works have sold over 4 billion copies and her play, The Mousetrap is the longest running play in history.
Luke Fitzwilliam does not believe Miss Pinkerton's wild allegation that a multiple murderer is at work in the quiet English village of Wychwood and that her local doctor is next in line.
But within hours, Miss Pinkerton has been killed in a hit-and-run car accident. Mere coincidence? Luke is inclined to think so - until he reads in the Times of the unexpected demise of Wychwood's Dr. Humbleby.
This title was previously published as Easy to Kill. Download and start listening now!