Monday, September 20, 2010

At Bertram's Hotel

Last week the New York Times travel section featured an article on Brown's Hotel in London.  I remember having an old-fashioned British afternoon tea there many years ago.  The article mentioned a book by Agatha Christie featuring Brown's Hotel.  I decided to put it on my library list, since I once devoured all the Christie books but had missed this one.

Christie's At Bertram's Hotel was written in 1965 and and took place at a fictional Bertram's Hotel modelled after Brown's Hotel - not without considerable tongue in cheek mockery of its preservation of the 'old ways' and the tourists who lapped up the atmosphere of an authentic British afternoon tea.  Just like her tourists I certainly enjoyed having one of my stereotypes of British life confirmed!  I was there 20 years after the book was written and it was still celebrating the old ways.

This book was a breezy quick read.  It was not one of Christie's best (too easy to identify the culprits from early in the book), but an absolute hoot to read.  If you're a Christie fan or have enjoyed visiting London, you'd enjoy spending an hour or two with this book.

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