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text 2020-05-10 19:41
Reading progress update: I've read 141 out of 188 pages.
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie

Julia looked at him in an expectant fashion.


“You leave yourself in my hands? Good.” Hercule Poirot closed his eyes. Suddenly he opened them and became brisk. “It seems that this is an occasion when I cannot, as I prefer, remain in my chair. There must be order and method, but in what you tell me, there is no order and method. That is because we have here many threads. But they all converge and meet at one place, Meadowbank. Different people, with different aims, and representing different interests—all converge at Meadowbank. So, I, too, go to Meadowbank. And as for you—where is your mother?”


Poirot has finally arrived in the narrative!


I do really enjoy Julia Upjohn in this one.

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text 2020-05-10 17:41
Reading progress update: I've read 96 out of 188 pages.
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie

As you can see, I'm about half-done with the buddy read, and I'm enjoying it immensely, as always. Poirot hasn't yet made his appearance in the book - this is one of his latest arrivals.


However, Tannat's review mentioned that she wondered if it might not have been a better mystery without Poirot, which got me thinking about whether Agatha had considered writing the book with a different detective. I duly dragged out my copies of the Curran books that take us through Christie's notebooks to see if there was an answer there.


The second book, Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making; More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks, devotes several pages to Cat Among the Pigeons. There are over 80 pages in her notebooks devoted to CAtP, and in the initial brief book notes, Christie is considering both Poirot and Miss Marple for the detective positions:


Miss Marple? Great niece at the school?

Poirot? Mrs. U sits opposite him in a train


There were also two proposed titles for the book:


Death of a Games Mistress

Cat Among the Pigeons


Obviously, we know which title was picked, although Death of a Games Mistress actually makes it into the story in the conversation between police officers early in the book, after Miss Springer is murdered.


Also, as a little fun tidbit, I can also share that apparently Cat Among the Pigeons was a proposed name for another Christie mystery - Ordeal By Innocence - before it became the title of this mystery.

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text 2020-05-04 17:13
The Last Buddy Read of the Pandemic
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie

And, of course, it must be a Poirot. Please join us to read (or reread) Cat Among The Pigeons, first published by Collins Crime Club in 1959. This is the 34th outing for Monsieur Poirot and his egg-shaped head, although his entry into the action of the book comes quite late. 


Cat Among the Pigeons combines some of the best of Dame Agatha's thriller tendencies with a solid mystery, set in a girl's boarding school. It features some fantastic side characters, including the wonderful Miss Bulstrode, played to perfection in the first-rate BBC adaptation by Harriet Walters, as well as Julia Upjohn, a school girl who is a bit of a live wire. 


This is high-order comfort reading for me, and for my fellow Agathytes. Join us for this last buddy read next Saturday, May 9, if you are interested in reading along with us!

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review 2020-05-03 01:10
Portrait of a Murderer?
The Daughter Of Time - Josephine Tey

This was an excellent book - if there was one downside, it's that it is so revered and adored that my expectations were extremely high. It didn't quite meet them.


Nonetheless, for a book that takes place entirely inside of a hospital room, what Tey did here is quite remarkable. And it's all that much more remarkable because the heart of the book is basically grocery lists and dressmaker accounts from the 15th century. Her debunking of history - not merely the primary question relating to the fate of Richard III's two nephews in the Tower, but the whole of our uncritical acceptance of myth as fact (what she calls Tonypandy)- was awesome.


What a tragedy that there is so little Tey.


I think that my favorite Tey is still my first Tey, Brat Farrar. But, like Christie, I'll be able to answer that question more definitively after I've read them all, at least twice.

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text 2020-04-25 23:36
Read-a-thon so far
The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim
After the Funeral - Agatha Christie
Tenant for Death - Cyril Hare

Well, my low-key read-a-thon has resulted three books so far, and I also made a batch of delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.

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