Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

What A Man's Got to Murder Monday

Crossposted to Dreamwidth

What I've Finished Reading

I finished Murder in Three Acts in about two days - it just walked in and took over all my reading time without any effort. Mr. Satterthwaite, the quietly observant "womanish" bachelor from The Mysterious Mr. Quinn, returns for a crossover with Hercule Poirot. There's been one mysterious death at a cocktail party when Mr. Satterthwaite and his friends (an actor with alarmingly mutable mannerisms and a winning young woman with the unwinning nickname of Egg) begin their investigation, and no sooner have they begun poking around than another chap from the same party fetches up dead, apparently by the same method.

I thought I'd figured out the real killer at about the halfway point - and I turned out to be right - but I didn't know why until the very end. The solution was, in fact, right there all along, a beautiful piece of fair-play misdirection.

But Murder in Three Acts has something else, something rare and precious: Hercule Poirot backstory!

"See you, as a boy I was poor. There were many of us. We had to get on in the world. I entered the police force. I worked hard. Slowly I rose in that force. I began to make a name for myself.

This doesn't completely confirm my headcanon that Poirot grew up in a chaotic household with lots of brothers and sisters (all with heroic names) but it's close enough for me.

What I'm Reading Now

I love The Brass Rainbow, even if it's confusing in the way these hard-boileds are almost always confusing to me - I don't know why I find it so hard to keep track of who's blackmailing which coffee-mogul's son in re: what mob-adjacent gambling debts, but I do. I couldn't pass a pop quiz on The Brass Rainbow, but maybe that's not the point. Life is like that sometimes. It's even more like that than usual if you're One-Armed Detective Dan Fortune, who is always saying things like

Life begins in darkness and ends in darkness and in between is a nightmare.

A man in a bar in Algiers told me that. It was in my mind when I woke up to the gray cold of another day.

All you can do, that man said, is stay out of it. He may be right, but life is short. If you stay out you'll never know if you could have done something to make it less of a nightmare. Like doing something about men who push other men under trains.

Do any of these guys ever succeed in making life less of a nightmare? Or is that also not quite the point? No one goes to the underworld expecting to reform it. Your best-case scenario is getting what you came for and getting out, and how often do you see a best-case scenario? You don't.

What I Plan to Read Next

Unfinished Portrait by Mary Westmacott! (not a murder story). Maybe this Women Sleuths anthology.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2017 03:53 pm (UTC)
Who care about who's who and what's what when you have neat hard boiled dialogue?
Aug. 8th, 2017 11:28 am (UTC)
You know the story about Raymond Chandler not knowing who committed one of the murders in The Big Sleep? When the writers can't follow hard-boiled plots, the rest of us have no hope. :-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

Latest Month

August 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner