Well, after reading And Then There Were None I was wondering whether I was going to be able to read another Agatha Christie book – well it seems that I have. Okay, I selected five from my Mum's bookshelf, namely the five that I knew about, just to get a good sampling of her work. Unfortunately of the five that I grabbed, four of them happened to be Hercule Poirot mysteries (and none of the Ms Marple – which I'm going to have to rectify once I have finished the last three).
Anyway, even though this is the first Poirot mystery that I've read I got the feeling that the poor guy simply cannot catch a break. It seems as if everywhere he goes a body turns up thrusting him into the middle of a murder mystery. Of course, being the type of guy that loves a good mystery he simply cannot say to the attending police officers “I'm on holiday, I'll leave it to you guys to work it out – call me in two weeks if you're stumped”. No, instead he goes “actually guys, I'm pretty good at solving murder mysteries, mind if I tag along?”, which of course any self respecting cop who doesn't want to be stumbling around clueless for two weeks will happily accept.
The funny thing about this book is that it reminded me of a game of Cluedo. You know, the game that comes in this box:
The one where you put three cards into a sleeve and place it in the centre of the board, which looks like this by the way:
And then at random somebody cries out “I believe: Colonel Mustard did it in the study with the candle stick”, after which Bill and Ted simultaneously cry out “sorry Death, you lose” before high fiving each other. Actually, to be honest with you, I have absolutely no idea one was supposed to play this game – its been a really really long time but maybe, one day, I will get the opportunity to play it again (that is if somebody brings it and decides to play it as opposed to all of the other, much more exciting, Eurogames out there).
Anyway, I got a little distracted there, talking about Cluedo, but it did remind me of it somewhat, you know: the isolated location, the set number of characters, and the clues all scattered about that in a way seem to be completely random but somehow Poirot manages to bring them all together in some logical order that nobody else has managed to do.
The other thing that struck me was that murders generally don't happen like that, or not as far as I am aware. I have never seen a news report where I hear of a murder occurring in some motel somewhere, a motel which just happens to have a detective from Scotland Yard staying, and a bunch of people all milling around for a day or two before the Scotland Yard detective manages to piece it all together. Well, it probably does happen, but you are never actually going to learn about the detective's musings until such a time that the trial is over, the murderer has been convicted, and everything released to the media. Mind you, if there was the headline would probably go something along the lines of 'A murder straight out of an Agatha Christie novel'. I don't think I have seen a headline like that in recent memory (though no doubt the tabloids would be more than happy to print such a headline if such a murder were to happen).
Actually, let's see what Google turns up.
Nope, if I enter that into Google it simply turns up a bunch of references to Agatha Christie novels, but nothing from a tabloid.
So, it seems as if I've said nothing about this novel, but then again I'm probably not supposed to because it is a murder mystery and I really can't say anything more about it than I already have without giving anything away. Well, I didn't enjoy it as much as And Then There Were None, but it wasn't bad nonetheless.
At least it had drugs in it.