How would you describe AC's tone?

edited April 2018 in All stories
Is she a cosy read? Are some of her books dark? Whats your opinion? Also is there a difference with the later books compared to her early works?


  • For me, AC is less "cosy" than writers like Georgette Heyer, Patricia Wentworth and later on Charlotte Macleod. With these writers, almost every book ends with a couple getting engaged, married or at least setting the date. Also, some of AC's books are dark - And then there were none, Ordeal by innocence and others, or include dark sections or elements, like The secret adversary. 

    Many people here have commented on the difference in her books across time, so I'll just repeat two points that have been made - first the feeling of difference in quality - most people who commented about it prefered her middle period, when she had polished her craft, before her abilities diminished - and the differing social structure during her lifetime as a writer - compare, for instance, "The murder in the vicarage" with "The mirror cracked" - the same village, the same detective and some of the same people, but a different social situation. 
  • How interesting, I have struggled to pin down her style when realising how dark some of her books are. My own opinion is I think that the traditional cosy AC is in part a myth. From the Marple's I have read I think that these are warmer in style, compared to Poirot + some stand alones. However as you say there are dark moments. At the beginning of 'The Thirteen Problems' AC says that she finds it difficult to place Poirot in Short story form as he demands novels, whilst she finds Marple easy for Short story form and not so much for novels.  I was surprised to find how dark and then there were none is. I am currently reading Ordeal by Innocence and finding the tone very similar to and then there were none as it is serious. I believe that AC is more serious than some give her credit for.    

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    In most cases her tone can be described as Cozy with a dose of either "Softly, Softly Catchy Monkey" or There's something nasty in the wood shed, both illustrate that the majority of the books start nicely with a comforting feel then WHAM!!! something is discovered and to a certain extent the Cozy feeling is gone but with most and the best in my view the WHAM!! is accompanied by light warm Characters and settings with a degree of humour and familiarity.
  • I think you've got it one, Tommy_A_Jones an excellent description! 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Thank you Luke
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