I’ve spent the last couple of weeks singing Agatha Christie’s praises, and I don’t want you to think I’m a hypocrite or anything, because even though I’m going to be a little more critical this time around, this is still a good book. That’s one of the many things I like about reading Christie, even when one of her books isn’t my favorite, it’s still good.
My cover is the absolute worst. I mean, really? I see this and am mentally prepared for some haunted house shenanigans, not the spy thriller story the novel actually contains.
There’s lots going on in this book, and it just sort of seems haphazardly done. I imagine that the reason this book was written was because the publisher was ecstatic about book sales,
“Egad!” The publisher says, eyeglasses slightly crooked and combover run amok. “Christie’s book sales are through the roof! She must write another! This one should be exotic, have spies, and of course that wonderful chap Poirot! Smashing! Diddly-pip! Is it time for crumpets yet?”
And somewhere else, Agatha sighs, knowing the public demands more Poirot and wants excitement and intrigue and maybe she’s just a little bit tired so she quickly writes this and sends it out and shablam! An exotic spy thriller in a girls school in England just in time for tea.
What I do like about this book is how strong the women are. It was wonderful for me to read about a smart young girl who is able to follow the intrigue out to its conclusion, and it was truly her who solved the mystery. What sort of irritates me about this book is the deus ex machina-esque way Poirot is unceremoniously dumped into the story near the end to tie all of the loose ends.
No, thanks. I prefer the ending where they were doing just fine without Poirot and the gutsy girl figures it all out and takes out the bad guys with a smile and a wink. ‘Cause she’s smart and everyone’s acting a little too suspicious anyway.
What do you think? Is there an overuse of Poirot or were his actions necessary for the story to conclude properly? Let’s hear it!
for next week:
by Agatha Christie