This week, we take a look at how Agatha Christie used description of place to set the scene and reveal character in The Crooked House.
Sleuth describes Magda’s parlor.
It was a big room, full of books. The books did not confine themselves to the bookcases that reached up to the ceiling. They were on chairs and tables and even the floor. And yet there was no sense of disarray about them. The room was cold. There was some smell absent in it that I was conscious of having expected. It smelt of the mustiness of old books and just a little beeswax. In a second or two I realized what I missed. It was the scent of tobacco. Philip Leonides was not a smoker.
The bedroom with its twin beds and white coverlets and its simplified toilet appliances reminded me again of a hospital or some monastic cell. The bathroom, too, was severely plain with no special luxury fitting and no array of cosmetics. The kitchen was bare, spotlessly clean, and well equipped with labour-saving devices of a practical kind.
Its proportions were the same as the drawing room on the ground floor below. There were colored cretonnes, very gay in color, and striped silk curtains. Over the mantelpiece was a portrait that held my gaze riveted – not only because of the hand that painted it, but also because of the arresting face of the subject.
Sleuth describes the drawing room.