logo

112 pages 3 hours read

Agatha Christie

The ABC Murders

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1936

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Literary Devices

The Mystery Genre

The ABC Murders is a classic mystery novel from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction—the umbrella term for many British detective novels written from the 1920s to World War II. Christie achieved much of her fame in this period, and her novels reflect much of the key aspects of the genre: a central mystery that can be solved by the reader with careful attention to the text, containing a limited set of suspects. Pauline Dewan notes that Golden Age novels are often considered “clue puzzles” (Dewan, “Golden Age,” see “Further Reading and Resources” section for context). In the case of the ABC Murders, the introduction of Cust and the third person chapters that largely involve him provide more trails for the reader to follow. The detective is often not a member of law enforcement, though there are exceptions, as in Ngaio Marsh’s Inspector Alleyn series.

Golden Age novels depend far more on formula—the initial suspect who is ultimately exonerated, a series of crimes that offer increasing data for the sleuth—than depth of feeling or character development. Poirot and Hastings are not substantively altered by the work they do, nor is the focus on their inner lives or those around them.

blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
Unlock IconUnlock all 112 pages of this Study Guide
Plus, gain access to 8,000+ more expert-written Study Guides.
Including features:
+ Mobile App
+ Printable PDF
+ Literary AI Tools