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text 2019-03-14 19:26
Reading progress update: I've listened 347 out of 347 minutes.
Three Act Tragedy (Audio) - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser

This is such an excellent Christie. And Hugh Fraser´s narration is perfection.


And the very last exchange between Mr Satterthwaite and Poirot made me giggle:


Mr Satterthwaite looked cheerful.

Suddenly an idea struck him. His jaw fell.

"My goodness," he cried, "I´ve only just realized it. That rascal, with his poisoned cocktail! Anoyne might have drunk it. It might have been me."

"There is an even more terribly possibility that you have not considered," said Poirot.


"It might have been ME," said Hercule Poirot.

(spoiler show)


Ha, brilliant.



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text 2019-03-13 14:47
Reading progress update: I've read 43%.
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks - John Curran

This book is for serious fans of Christie - it spoils many of the solutions to the mysteries and is both a deep dive and a breezy overview.


Christie left behind some 80 notebooks full of plot ideas, clue placements, puzzles, character names/descriptions, and solutions. The most interesting thing I've learned so far is that she frequently dithered between multiple solutions/murderers in books, and an idea/clue that wasn't used in one of her mysteries would crop up later in another mystery. 


In fact, the entire Boynton (although she referred to them as P, planning, apparently to name them something that began with the letter P) family was first assigned to Death on the Nile, but didn't make it into the final book. Christie then built an entire mystery around the family two books later in Appointment with Death. In addition, everyone should know that the intensely annoying Salome Otterbourne's original name was "Mrs. Pooper."



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text 2019-03-11 23:41
Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 280 pages.
Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie

i think I’d better make it clear right away that there isn’t going to be any local colour in this story. I don’t know anything about archaeology and I don’t know that I very much want to. Messing about with people and places that are buried and done with doesn’t make sense to me. Mr. Carey used to tell me that I hadn’t got the archaeological temperament and I’ve no doubt he was quite right.


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text 2019-03-11 20:10
Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 280 pages.
Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie

I need a book with a female main character, so I decided to reread Murder in Mesopotamia, which is narrated by Nurse Amy Leatheran:


"Dr. Leidner saw a woman of thirty-five, of erect, confident bearing. He saw a good-humoured face with slightly prominent blue eyes and glossy brown hair. She looked, he thought, just what a hospital nurse for a nervous case ought to look. Cheerful, robust, shrewd and matter-of-fact. Nurse Leatheran, he thought, would do."


Nurse Leatheran has just been engaged by Dr. Leidner to come out to his archeological dig and tend to his wife, Louise Leidner (dubbed Lovely Louise by her admirers. And her non-admirers). There's something not quite right at the dig, as described in this passage:


"Yes, individually they are all pleasant people. But somehow or other, I may have been fanciful, but the last time I went to see them I got a queer impression of something being wrong. I don’t know what it was exactly . . . Nobody seemed quite natural. There was a queer atmosphere of tension. I can explain best what I mean by saying that they all passed the butter to each other too politely.”


This is a wonderfully descriptive explanation of the tension.


My recollection of the adaptation is that it isn't one of the better ones, but the setting is wonderful:



While the book takes place at a dig in, I believe, Iraq, the adaptation was filmed at a dig in Tunisia.

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text 2019-03-11 15:06
Recent acquisitions!
Poirot and Me - David Suchet,Geoffrey Wansell
An Autobiography - Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks - John Curran
Agatha Christie - Laura Thompson
A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

Both the Suchet book and the Laura Thompson biography were only .99. I'm pretty sure that my fellow Agathytes who have read Thompson's biography were underwhelmed - remind me below.


I also decided that if was going to embark on a project of understanding Christie better, it made sense to go straight to the author's own words about herself and her life, so her autobiography is the thing that I plan to concentrate on first.And the Curran book was really just bought on a whim because the premise is intriguing, especially now that I don't have to worry about any of the solutions being accidentally spoiled.


Which takes me back to A is for Arsenic, actually. I own it, but was reluctant to read it because I didn't want to spoil any of the unread books.

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