Since January, I’ve managed to miss two book club meetings. I missed the February meeting because I was too busy at work to finish “early” (at 5.15pm…) and go to the meeting. That was a shame, actually, because the book was The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and I was curious to see what other readers made of it. From what I gathered from chatting with other book clubbers after the meeting, the feelings were really positive about the book on the whole but nobody really saw the point of the titular miniaturist. So pretty much what I thought myself. I missed the March meeting because I was a month into the War and Peace read-along and didn’t manage to read the book (which was a bit annoying because it’s one I’ve owned for years but not read) – The American Boy by Andrew Taylor. I’m sure I’ll read it one day.
The readers that thought The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was “just ok” found the mystery aspect got in the way of the portrait of English village life in the 1920s. It wasn’t Christie they didn’t like per se, just crime fiction generally. It seems that if you aren’t a crime fan, this isn’t going to convert you, which I found interesting because I thought that if anything could, it would be this book. What do I know?
There were some big Christie fans among the group (both of whom declared a love for Miss Marple, which I do not get) but also some complete newbies. It was a nice mix and meant that after we’d all done shock face over the ending and discussed why people did/didn’t like it, we got onto sharing other Christie recommendations. Obviously I sang the praises of And Then There Were None, which remains hands down my favourite Christie and probably one of my favourite books. Others shouted (not literally) about the wonders of Murder on the Orient Express, which I read last year and also really liked, but there weren’t any recommendations for stand out novels that I hadn’t already read. Boo.