Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Hercule Poirot came out of the Vielle Grand'mere restaurant into Soho."

When I need a filler read, I have a long list of Poirot stories left. This one, Mrs. McGinty's Dead, was quite a good one. A man is scheduled to be executed for murdering his landlady but the superintendent that collected the evidence that convicted the young man isn't sure of his guilt. He asks Poirot to look into the case. Poirot goes to the small village where the murder happened and of course finds the one miniscule piece of evidence needed to lead him to the truth.

The clues in this case could lead to a few different conclusions so it was actually a good one for trying to guess the ending. Sometimes in Poirot stories I feel like his conclusions just come out of nowhere. Yet while this was one of the best Poirot mysteries, Christie uses her fictional author, Ariadne Oliver, to deliver lines that are obviously Christie's feelings about her own detective.
"How do I know why I ever thought of the revolting man? I must have been mad. Why a Finn when I know nothing about Finland? ... Why all the idiotic mannerisms he's got? These things just happen. You try something--and people seem to like it--and then you go on--and before you know where you are, you've got someone like that maddening Sven Hjerson tied to you for life. And people even write and say how fond you must be of him. Fond of him? If I met that ... Finn in real life, I'd do a better murder than any I've ever invented."

Learning to pay attention to the details,

Buy Mrs. McGinty's Dead on Amazon or find it at your local library.

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