Book Review: At Bertram’s Hotel


Stifle your gasps, everyone–it’s actually happening.

Two book reviews in one week. Let me explain myself.

I actually finished Anna Karenina a good bit before I posted about it. I finished it on August 1, 2018–a date which will live in infamy. I then procrastinated writing the review for a while, because–hey–I was done with Anna Karenina and didn’t feel like writing about it or, frankly, even thinking about it.

To accomplish this, I promptly threw myself into At Bertram’s Hotel. It’s a short, engaging read, and after the Goliath I had just conquered, it was like a light breeze on a fresh spring day. I went through it like a hot knife through butter.

(Have you ever actually cut butter with a hot knife? I haven’t, but it sounds ludicrously satisfying. I’m going to have to try it sometime.)

Anyway, I finished it only a day or two after finishing Anna. So even this review is pretty late.


The Book

I feel that I should first give my reasons for reading At Bertram’s Hotel, which was written by none other than the brilliant Agatha Christie and is very different from the other books I’ve been reading recently.

My father is a public school teacher. The library at his school was throwing out a bunch of Agatha Christie novels. He brought them home to see if I wanted to keep any of them.

I kept all of them.

Twenty-one, in total.

I figured they could be a little bit of easier reading in between the heftier books–a bit of breather, you might say. Something light and plot-driven and enjoyable.

They’re quite beat-up–the thin plastic film is peeling off the cover of Bertram’s. It drove me up a wall while I was reading it.

Despite the peeling cover, though, the book is great–a very enjoyable mystery. It’s a Miss Marple, set toward the end of her detective adventures. It was interesting, since I’d never read a Miss Marple before, to pick her up for the first time in one of her last cases.

The book’s plot revolves around–wait for it–Bertram’s Hotel, a luxurious and highly respectable establishment. Nothing fishy or shady ever goes on around Bertram’s.

Until, one day, it does.

What more can I say? It’s a mystery–I can’t spoil it. I’m perfectly fine to spoil Sense and Sensibility or Far from the Madding Crowd or Anna, but not this. It wouldn’t be fair. Just go read it. It’s better that way.

I will say this–I’ve always thought this, and I probably always will–Agatha Christie is truly a master of her craft.

And possibly a psychopath.

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