Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One, Two, Buckle my Shoe

I just finished this mystery by Agatha Christie yesterday. It revolves around a dentist's death that is made to look like a suicide, but Hercule Poirot suspects something is up. The plot thickens when a fabulously wealthy, powerful, and force-for-good-and-stability-in-England-and-therefore-all-civilization banker becomes a target.

One thing that bothers me about many of Christie's novels that I have consumed (which, admittedly, is not a huge number) is that the stakes are so high. In this, the potential death of a banker could lead to a worldwide communist regime; in The Big Four, an international gang threatens to overthrow all governments; etc. I suppose that these high stakes may make things more dramatic, but I can't help looking at all of these premises as a little absurd. I would prefer more quotidian mysteries, such as a simple murder, theft, or parking infringement.

As far as Christie's mysteries go, I think this one is somewhere in the middle. Two pluses: this is the first Poirot mystery I have read that was not narrated by Captain Hastings, which I think works out well; also, Inspector Japp seems much less bumbling in this book, which adds some credibility to his character. Overall, this book was diverting, but I don't think I would consume it again.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Nice comment about the parking infringement. (Thank God for spell-check when words such as that are necessary. (I even misspelled necessary.))
While I have not read these books, I can see what you mean about the scale of the potential disaster.