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Monday Night Murder

"I do not play games. You know that. Murder is not a game. It is serious. And anyway, Hastings, you should not use that phrase -- playing the game. It is not said anymore. I have discovered that. It is dead. Young people laugh when they hear it. Mais oui, young beautiful girls will laugh at you if you say 'playing the game' and 'not cricket.'"

(Hastings is horrified that Poirot would read a suspect's letter upside-down as he was writing it. That's private! There is one kind of law for killing people and another for things that are just not done).

Lord Edgeware Dies was excellent! The following spoiler is not very specific, but I'm going to put it under a cut just in case.

[Skip this part and read Lord Edgeware Dies instead!]I can't believe that Christie pulled almost the same trick twice in a four-book period and I didn't even notice. That is, I can easily believe it, because 1) Christie is a genius, and 2) I'm far too trusting for the Murderverse. In retrospect, the misdirection that led me to dismiss my initial suspicion was too obvious for words, but what good is retrospect?

I love the letter the killer sends to Poirot post-conviction, but it's too much of a spoiler even for the spoiler cut. You'll just have to read it for yourself. For one thing, the letter-writer complains, isn't fair for Poirot to be so clever, when he doesn't look clever at all! This imposes a serious disability on the enterprising murderer. :( But I don't see how Poirot can look any cleverer when he already looks like exactly like HERCULE POIROT, the greatest detective! It's not his fault if you haven't done your research, murderers. Get it together!

What I'm Reading Now

We're up to 1934 in the Agatha Christie chronology! In 1934, Christie published two mystery novels, one Mary Westmacott, and two books of short stories. I should probably have saved Orient Express for last, but the library had it so I'm reading it now.

(1934 also brought us the first Inspector Alleyn novel! A Man Lay Dead is still uncertain early Alleyn, with Bolshevik anarchist cabals and out-of-character action sequences, but we've all got to start somewhere).

I think unlike Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express does lose a little on re-read, where I can see all the gears moving from the beginning - though it's hard for me to tell for sure, since I was spoiled for Ackroyd before I had the chance to read it, but not for Orient Express. If there is a difference, it's probably that Orient Express has an element of suspense that isn't part of the game in Roger Ackroyd.

. . . and this is the point at which my computer crashed, deleting all the extra commentary that I'd foolishly typed into the "update" box. Don't do that! There was something about atmosphere and a little more about re-reading and its effects. I'll put it back in next Monday, maybe. :\

What I Plan to Read Next

Red Harvest! Maybe Parker Pyne Investigates, maybe Aunt Dimity's Death, a cozy-looking mystery possibly involving a ghost?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2017 03:49 pm (UTC)
Lol, yeah, murderer you're in 'Poirot' not 'Columbo':D It is the most obvious that Hercule Poirot could not be anything less than the greatest solver of mysteries.
May. 31st, 2017 01:02 pm (UTC)
Hah! The murderer would have made the same complaint if it were Columbo. "Why did you act all nice and sloppy and forgetful, if you were just going to arrest me for murder all along??? :("

Poirot's appearance might encourage underestimation, but it's not for want of him telling you exactly who he is and what he's about to do. If you don't take him at his word, you've got no one but yourself to blame.

(Poirot's self-esteem probably has an obfuscating function, come to think of it. You don't necessarily expect the guy who is blissfully confident in his status as THE GREATEST LIVING to actually be good at what he does. Reverse Dunning-Kruger effect?)
May. 31st, 2017 02:43 pm (UTC)
Poirot's detecting skills are so great no mortal mind can handle the knowledge. OK, murderer, I'm with you, no fair!(!)
May. 30th, 2017 09:52 am (UTC)
Isn't that galling, to lose a goodish lump of sparkling and insightful criticism to a temperamental computer! I'll look eagerly tomorrow morning to see if it's here.

I've resisted as advised the Lord Edgeware Dies spoiler, and will wait till I can read the book.
May. 31st, 2017 01:09 pm (UTC)
I probably won't get to it until next Monday! It was mostly just elaborating on things I'd already said - and it serves me right for typing things directly into the update box, anyway.

Lord Edgeware Dies is well worth reading! The murder plot almost succeeds, but not quite. The reason it doesn't is maybe a little too convenient for this otherwise perfect crime, but I don't mind. And the killer is a type that Christie seems to like a lot, which I'm becoming very fond of as well. I hope you enjoy it!
Jun. 8th, 2017 05:27 am (UTC)
Whenever Christie describes clothes, apart from describing someone the first time, one's ears should awlas perk up. It's almost Always An Important Clue. :)
Jun. 8th, 2017 12:47 pm (UTC)
I'll try to remember! :D
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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