Three generations of the Leonides family live together in a large, if somewhat crooked looking, house. Then the wealthy patriarch, Aristide, is murdered. Suspicion falls on the whole household, including Aristide’s two sons, his widow – fifty years his junior – and even his three grandchildren. Could any member of this seemingly devoted family have had a hand in his death? Can Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter, help the police find the killer and clear his loved one's name?
Christie always acknowledged this novel as one of her favourites. She said in an interview in The Sunday Times that she enjoyed best writing the Crooked House type novel, “which depends on a family and the interplay of their lives.”
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Christie was often asked to name which of her novels were her favourites. She never gave exactly the same answer, but after she had written Crooked House it was always high on any list she put forward.
In a foreword she wrote for one edition of the novel, Christie described how she had saved up the writing of it for years, until she had the time to really enjoy herself. In the event, composing it turned out to be ‘pure pleasure’, although Christie acknowledged that this was no guarantee of quality. But, she felt, “Practically everybody has liked Crooked House, so I am justified in my own belief that it is one of my best”. She also made the interesting observation that an author’s feelings are not always obvious to readers, some of whom believed she enjoyed writing books that had in fact been miserable chores!
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