At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie: A review by Warren Bull
Published first in 1965, At Bertram’s Hotel is one of a number of books by Agatha Christie in which her usual protagonist, in this case Miss Marple, is not a major character. I am reminded of leading British actors and actresses who are willing to take a small part in a film when the part is interesting enough. I know American performers sometimes appear in cameo roles, but it seems to me Brits are willing to do so much more often.
It is a measure of the author’s skill and comfort with her characters that she is willing to present them in small doses while putting a different character or characters in major roles. In this novel a young woman and a police detective are the focus of much of the book. They differ in age, outlook and personality. Each is believable. The concept of the crime is one I have not seen anywhere else. While some authors essentially write the same book in every work, Christie always had something unique in each novel.
To state the obvious, Agatha Christie has a wonderful way of writing. She is my favorite mystery writer. At Bertram’s Hotel is an example of how well a mystery can be written. Even though the pacing moves along briskly, try to read slowly enough to savor the experience.