Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Premium Insurance

Another one of those serendipitous discoveries I had while trawling the seas of this great big digital ocean. Below you will find a review by John Chipman Farrar, editor of The Bookman, for Agatha Christie's first novel.  Farrar apparently read ...Roger Ackroyd before reading this one.

I like thinking of a book collection as "insurance against the boredom of old age" -- especially a collection of detective novels.  I think I'm going to steal his phrase.

This issue of The Bookman is dated March 1927, one year after the book was re-issued by Dodd Mead, Christie's U.S. publisher.  The book was originally released in the U.S. in 1920 by John Lane who she dropped in favor of Dodd Mead in 1921. The company remained her U.S. publisher until she died in 1976.


  1. Some very interesting points in this article:

    The reviewer finds Mrs. Rinehart to be better than Mrs. Christie!

    The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a better who-dunn-it than Roger Ackroyd because you can guess the identity of the murderer in the latter but not in the former!

    I agree with him that books are an insurance against the boredom of old age. I too fear going thru my collection of mysteries for the fear of running thru them and then have nothing to read on the day when I particularly want to read a gripping mystery.

    1. I posted this because my eyebrows raised at exactly the first two points you mention, neer. Amazing!

  2. John: Thanks for posting an interesting review. I wonder if Farrar would be a mystery book blogger in this era?

  3. Wonderful, John. Thanks for this. Why don't you post it in the Agatha Christie monthly Carnival over at

    I'm not a big fan of THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD either. I thought the same effect worked much better in THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT.