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Thursday, May 13, 2021

#ReadThis @AgathaChristie @HarperCollins @Morrow_PB #AppointmentWithDeath by #AgathaChristie #Eighteenth #18 #HerculePoirot #Mystery #ReadChristie2021

"Lennox, look at the sunshine-out there, through the window.  Look at life.  It's beautiful.  We might be out in it-instead of being here looking through a window." (p. 58)  This is the eighteenth time we've told you to read Agatha Christie who puts virtual sunshine in your life in between a book cover! And apparently she had the vision to see we would be shut up in the covid era to really appreciate a sentence like that.

Still traveling in exotic destinations as we did in the last book, Death on the Nile, these characters find themselves in the Middle East.  Of course everyone knows that Agatha's second husband was an archeologist so it's easy to see where her inspiration is coming from.  

Agatha is crafty and cunning as always and cutting with her descriptions:
"Old, swollen, bloated, sitting there immovable in the midst of them - a distorted old Buddha-a gross spider in the centre of a web!" (p. 11) 
"In the malignancy of her glare he felt a resemblance to the effect produced by a cobra." (p. 24)
 She creates characters you love to hate as well as Poirot, whom we of course love (DUH as Billie Eilish would say!).  "'The best detective in the world,' said Poirot, stating it as a simple truth, no more, no less." (p. 181)

We adore that she is using Shakespeare a bit in this tale!  Something is most definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.
"A girl was wandering along the side of the hill.  She moved with a strange rhythmic grace that somehow gave the impression that she was not quite real.  The gold red of her hair shone in the sunlight, a strange secretive smile lifted the beautiful corners of her mouth.  Poirot drew in his breath.
He said: 'How beautiful...How strangely movingly beautiful...That is how Ophelia should be played-like a young goddess straying from another world, happy because she has escaped out of the bondage of human joys and griefs.'" (p. 179)

From a vocabulary standpoint, so you don't also need to figure it out for yourself, we believe M.B. means a bachelor's degree in medicine in the UK.  A dompteuse is an animal trainer.  Baedeker seems like us or Zagat or Fodor's.  Je suis entierement de votre avis means I share your opinion.  Poirot is decidedly Belgian but this is another opportunity as always to expand your French!

Tyranny and bondage is central to this theme!  Buckle up for yet another fun ride.  Or as everyone in Cork, Ireland told Peachy: you don't say ride because that means SOMETHING ELSE.  Say lift.

Appointment with Death is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know!

Previously on Whom You Know, we have raved about Agatha:

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Murder on the Links

Poirot Investigates

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Big Four

The Mystery of the Blue Train

Peril at End House

Lord Edgware Dies

Murder on the Orient Express

Three Act Tragedy

and we took a break from only him and did him with others in Midwinter Murder

and returned to only him with Death in the Clouds

The ABC Murders

Murder in Mesopotamia

Cards on the Table

Murder in the Mews

Dumb Witness

Death on the Nile

About the Author
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time and in any language, outsold only in the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She is the author of eighty crime novels and short-story collections, around thirty plays, two memoirs, and six novels written under the name Mary Westmacott

She first tried her hand at detective fiction while working in a hospital dispensary during World War I, creating the now-legendary Hercule Prior with her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. In 1930, Miss Jane Marple made her first full-length novel appearance in The Murder at the Vicarage, quickly becoming another beloved and enduring character to rival Poirot's popularity. Additional series characters include the husband-and wife crime-fighting team of Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, private investigator Parker Pyne, and Scotland Yard detectives Superintendent Battle and Inspector Japp.

Many of Christie's novels and short stories were adapted into plays, films, and television series. The Mousetrap opened in 1952 and is the longest running play in history. Academy Award-nominated actor and director Kenneth Branagh helmed the acclaimed major motion picture Murder on the Orient Express in 2017 and its sequel, Death on the Nile, starring in both films as the Belgian detective. On the small screen Poirot has been most memorably portrayed by David Suchet, and Miss Marple by Joan Hickson and subsequently Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie.

Christie was first married to Archibald Christie and then to archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan, whom she accompanied on expeditions to countries that would also serve as the settings for many of her novels. In 1971 she achieved one of Britain's highest honors when she was made a Dame of the British Empire. She died in 1976 at the age of eighty-five. The one-hundred-year anniversary of Agatha Christie stories and the debut of Hercule Poirot was celebrated around the world in 2020. Whom You Know will never stop celebrating it!

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