When I was looking up the basic info on this book I discovered that it’s actually called Death in the Clouds and I’m not entirely sure why mine is titled differently. I bought it at a really awesome used book store in North Hollywood and the copyright page says 1986 so it’s nothing cool like an original mistake or anything. It was first published in the US as Death in the Air in the 30s, so maybe they just decided to keep that title here? I kind of hate it though, now that I know the real title.
Unfortunately my book is also a hardcover missing it’s jacket, so I’m not sure which cover it would have had. That does mean I get to pick my favorite though!
Murder by a poisoned dart via blowpipe in an airplane – and no one notices! This is the case Poirot is presented with, and I think it’s fun to watch everyone struggle over such an unlikely happenstance. The fact that it is so incredible and hard to believe might clue the reader in a bit early, but I think the reveal is still well done and surprising. There’s a very interesting cast of characters and there’s no shortage of clues as to who it could be.
I also like that we get to know the victim a little bit more, because in my opinion she’s a very interesting woman. It almost makes me wish we had a book about her life, because I bet it would be a really good one.
One thing I’ve found about reading older books is that sometimes there will be something so odd or offensive or just plan random that it absolutely takes you out of the story for a moment. For instance when two characters in this book find themselves falling in love, Christie goes over the different things they have in common, including their mutual dislike for Negroes (her word choice). Now, it’s not often I come across that word and it always makes me feel weird. Also, the heck? How is that in any way pertinent to the story? I guess it would be a good thing to get out of the way, “Ah, we’re both racists and altogether horrible people. This should go along swimmingly! Toodle-dee! Pip pip!”
The thing for me is to remember that I can criticize Christie for her random race issues that she for some reason shares with her readers while still recognizing that she is a wonderful author whose work I admire. And will be continuing to review for a nice long while. Good Lord, I have a lot of her books.
for next week:
DEATH ON THE NILE
by Agatha Christie