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Sat Jul 21st, 2018

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09:51 pm - Knowledge is a deadly friend
Clearly I've read too much Christie, because I spotted the murderer in the latest one at once. Not the duplicitous, mercenary, womanizing, Thoroughly Bad Lot, of course. It was the diffident well-behaved young man, the one who *didn't* at once tell the heroine that Bess you is my woman now, which is what a proper man would do. 'The moment I saw you I knew you were mine' is a line that turns up rather too often in Christie's work. I suppose she thought that sort of thing would sell? I suppose that sort of thing did sell?

But if we're doing autre temps, autre moeurs, a 1938 review of Poirot's Christmas stated that "the business of the appalling shriek will probably make no mystery for the average reader". Oh yes it will. I'm still not sure what the solution of that is, when what was evidently common knowledge 80 years ago has completely vanished.

Will also disagree with the contemporary TLS reviewer who avers that "Poirot in his retirement is becoming too much of a colourless expert. One feels a nostalgic longing for the days when he baited his 'good friend' and butt, Hastings, when he spoke malaprop English and astonished strangers by his intellectual arrogance." I'm reading a Hastings mystery now and lord, the man is a stick.

(2 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 22nd, 2018 02:45 am (UTC)
We are also mostly past the days when one could simulate a gunshot by blowing up a paper bag and bursting it, I fear.
[User Picture]
Date:July 22nd, 2018 03:14 pm (UTC)
Or buy arsenic for rats from the drugstore, or the concentrated makings of weedkiller from wherever.

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