Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guest Blog - The Unexpected Guest

The Unexpected Guest is the adaptation of an Agatha Christie stage play by Charles Osborne. According to an afterword by Osborne, the play was written in four weeks by Christie. It opened in Bristol in 1958 and played successfully in London for 18 months. The adaptation by Osborne was copyrighted in 1999.

I was hoping for another Agatha Christie novel. The Unexpected Guest does not fulfill that wish. It reads very much like a stage play despite the fact that Mr. Osborne takes some of the action outdoors. Like a good Christie work there is no unnecessary conversation. All of the information you are given leads to the solution of the mystery. However, the solution became apparent to me early on in the story. Have I read her mysteries too often? Is it the fact that I am an older reader? I am not sure if someone less aware of Christie’s stories would be deceived or not.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I would love to hear if anyone else was unsurprised by the conclusion. Do not read Wikipedia's information on the book because it gives away the ending. By the way, Charles Osborne seems to be a bit of a mystery man himself. The internet does not seem to have the final word on him. In a site mentioning that he has written several books about music, it makes no mention of his adapting several Christie plays into novels. The best information I could find on him was inside the back cover of the paperback I just read.

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