Archive for agatha christie

Book #4: The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery

Posted in 365 Books with tags , , , on May 31, 2011 by kiyokotown

What’s that, you say? You’re above the age of ten and you’ve never read Graeme Base’s The Eleventh Hour?

Get out. Get off of my website and go hang your head in shame. You terrible, terrible person.

Just kidding! But seriously, if you really are above the age of ten and haven’t read this book, go buy it now. You’ll thank me. Your children will thank me! Your weird spouse with the strange wild animal fetish will thank both of us.

This book is an homage to the great Agatha Christie, who is fondly known as the Queen of Crime. It’s a murder mystery, only this time the victim is an amazing umpteenth-course dinner made by an elephant (while wearing an apron, no less!). Horace the elephant has invited all of his close friends over for his 11th birthday party and spent hours in the kitchen crafting a feast worthy of an elephant’s birthday party. After a day of card playing, sack racing and other animal mayhem, the guests convene in the dining hall only to discover that -gasp!- the great feast has already been eaten. Who would commit such a crime?

Well, the clues are hidden throughout the exquisitely illustrated pages, laced in edges and corners, waiting for eager eyes to find them. At the back of the book is a tantalizingly sealed section that contains all the answers.

This book is amazing for children because it can be enjoyed many times, and each time something new will be discovered and enjoyed. I remember reading this as a kid with my dad, and each night we would thoroughly scan a page or two, noting what we found. At the end of a week or so we compared findings and solved the mystery together. I look forward to doing the same with my children.

Author & Illustrator: Graeme Base

Published: 1988

Fun Fact: Amazing children’s author aside, Graeme Base is also a seriously talented artist. He illustrates all of his own books and has several collections of other breathtaking animal-themed art.

You Might Enjoy This Book (Even If You Don’t Like Books): … if you enjoy a good mystery, you’re a kid, you ever were a kid, you have an affinity for animal art, you like Agatha Christie but wish there were such a thing as Agathe Christie Lite.

Buy this book here.