This article accompanies the fable
But things change. 20 years have elapsed and I decided to re-read everything. I could not remember any of the murderers outside those titles mentioned above. Curiously, I found the mysteries written immediately after World War II and into the 1950s the most fascinating this time around - the lesbians and the villain of A Murder is Announced, race relations and boarding houses in Hickory Dickory Dock, the family dramas in Crooked House and Funerals are Fatal/After the Funeral, the economic anxieties of village life and rural life post-WWII in Mrs. McGinty's Dead and There is a Tide (Taken at the Flood), the very existence of the housing estate in The Mirror Crack'd, and so on. I was also struck by how many novels had women as murderers. Here are my 5 favorites from that period:
Towards Zero (1944)
The Hollow (1946)
A Murder is Announced (1950)
4.50 from Paddington (1957)
Ordeal by Innocence (1958)
Christie's favorite devices here rely on the presence of the past in the present - the person who is not who they seem to be, the way people have changed over the years and the sudden recognition of someone from one's past...
A late favorite - Nemesis (1971), perhaps because of its overt allegorizing. Three I really dislike: Death Comes as the End, Endless Night and Passenger to Frankfurt...