Review of Spider's Web by Charles Osborne

Rating: 3.5/5

Before talking about the plot there are few things to keep in mind regarding this book, I feel cheated for assuming that the author’s name displayed on the cover isn’t the real author. Now that is a huge let down to all who are familiar with the works of the Queen of Crime Mystery, Agatha Christie. Right from the start, one can easily understand this difference.
Spider's Web is not a book for someone who is planning to start reading Agatha Christie.
Bottom line is one cannot merely adapt Agatha Christie.

This book is an Agatha Christie play which was later adapted to a book format by Charles Osborne, and thus the narration is heavily dialogue driven making us feel like reading a play script. By the time you get through the first few chapters, you get glued to the storyline.

The story revolves around the protagonist Clarissa, a young wife of a foreign diplomat an avid reader of crime mysteries, discovers a body and in the attempt to dispose of it she persuades her house guests. The story is well built and gets you glued to storyline instantly and keeps you guessing.

The characters are very bland and felt one-sided most of the times. I think that Osbourne could have taken the liberty to add details to characters which could have given a depth & authenticity to the characters. This may be acceptable in a drama, but for a book, Osborne could have taken some liberties to develop the central characters. Clarissa is entertaining & humorous making this an enjoyable read.

I quite frankly didn’t enjoy how the book ended; it seemed rushed. Again that would have been okay for a play, but the author could have tried a better way to narrate the climax.

Overall, its been a good read but don't read this one, expecting Agatha Christie magic. Spider's Web is a novelization by Charles Osborne for a Queen of murder mystery's play.


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