When people think of their favourite childhood tales, they may remember Jacqueline Wilson, Harry Potter or possibly the Narnia books, if you’re really old-school. However, for a few scarred souls, the ones that stayed up a bit later than they should, or wanted to read what their older siblings read, that’s just not the case. Those poor souls were exposed to a horror too cruel for young eyes; they were prematurely thrown to the beast of terror and left a chewed up mess of haunted adolescence. I think its clear the horrors that I’m alluding to…
Agatha Christie Murder Mysteries.
I was about 12 years old when I was first allowed to stay up and watch Miss Marple. Considering it can’t have been later than 8pm, I must have had a fairly sheltered childhood. That might explain why I’ve been scarred so badly by such a sweet old lady like Miss Marple. On the other hand, it could be the fact that that particular episode included strangulation by a washing line and attempted murder by drowning in a sink. After this scarring event, I couldn’t sleep for a couple of weeks with out checking under the bed and in cupboards for murderers, not to mention refusing to wash up or hang out washing. What bliss it would have been to be scared of monsters instead. Yet, instead of becoming terrified of murder mysteries, I became inexplicably interested in them.
Not long ago I received a gift from my mum: Miss Marple and Mystery: The Complete Short Stories. I wasn’t quite sure if I was thrilled or terrified, but I was looking forward to reading it. I usually read on the train on my morning commute but there is a certain amount of embarrassment in reading an Agatha Christie novel in public. This leaves the only other option of reading before bed… I literally can’t think of anything worse. There are fifty mysteries in that book which is enough to give me more than one heart attack. My mum sent me that book a few months back now and I still haven’t had the nerve to read it alone in my room. So, this is an ode to my strange childhood fear; thanks a lot Agatha.