Murder Is Easy* by Agatha Christie.
Luke Fitzgerald is a retired policeman on his way home from the Mayang Straits. While on the train, he meets an old lady with an interesting errand. She's on her way to Scotland Yard to report a murder, well murders, there's been four, in her hometown. Luke has seen this before a lonely old lady letting her imagination run away with her. He has second thoughts when she gets hit by a car before reaching her destination. Not only that, but the person she predicted would die next does.
Luke decides to investigate the town of Wynchwood under the guise of a writer researching for book on country folklore. He stays with the pompous Lord Easterfield and his clever fiance Bridget Conway. Bridget sees through his disguise in an instant and paves the way for his investigation. It's not very hard to get the townspeople to talk. They love to gossip. But how much is fact and who is the killer among them?
I can see why Christie continues to sell mysteries and why her books are made into movies. They certainly are entertaining and easy to read. It was a real pleasure to read Murder Is Easy during a warm weekend when I could sit out on the deck.
The characters are what makes this book. Luke and Bridget have a Elizabeth and Darcy vibe. I enjoyed their clashes. He thinks he knows it all and she just let's him figure it out on his own that he's wrong. She paves the way for him with the other townspeople. It's not hard to get them to talk; they love to gossip. But what are the facts and which one of them is a killer?
Even though the ending did surprise me, I thought it was a bit of a stretch. Still, it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the story.
*Also known as Easy to Kill.