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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

#ReadThis #PeachysPetPals @AgathaChristie @HarperCollins @Morrow_PB #DumbWitness by #AgathaChristie #Sixteenth #16 #HerculePoirot #Mystery

Calling all doggie and mystery lovers!  It's a well-known fact that Agatha loved her pooches, and in this sixteenth wonder of Poirot, Bob the Terrier and his ball take a front seat.  Dumb Witness uniquely joins the Peachy's Pet Pals column in addition to the usual Read This.  Welcome Bob!  

If you have yet to read Agatha Christie, this is prime time to do it!  A rainy day in New York has her on the top of your to-do happy list.  We read living authors too, but they do not compare, especially the namby-pamby ones.  Agatha is even improving our vocabulary.  Too bad we weren't reading her before the SAT because she's a lot better than what many school curriculums of today call authors.  She's in a class by herself and you are truly deprived of timeless thrills that develop in each tale.

Unmailed letters, 

Agatha creates characters larger than life from the stylish Theresa (for Theresa Deegan look right) to the repulsive Julia and Isabel Tripp.  Agatha describes the Tripps: "They were women of no traditions, no roots--in fact, no breeding!" (p. 25-26) Christie is hilarious eternally.  But are these people capable of throwing hexes?!?  Use your grey cells.  Could they be red herrings?  The protagonist though short-lived in this work is Miss Emily Arundell who has an amazing dry sense of humor; when one says of the Tripps that they are such "truly spirited women," Emily replies, "Almost too spiritual to be alive." (p. 25)  Sadly, Emily does not last long.  A shame: we quite liked her.  She pooh-poohs at barley water and serves Port.  Her motto is Buy British. (p. 144)

Though decidedly Belgian, Poirot receives a letter from Emily long after she wrote it: a mystery in itself.  Something was up...and Poirot's French interjections add style and grace to the entire Dumb Witness experience.  We love how Poirot dines also: "Pour nous (For us), un bon bifteck-with the fried potatoes-and a good bottle of wine."  We like carrots but never as a main course!  Ridiculous. (p. 120)

If you are trying to figure out the math conversions on page 135, we are quite good at that.  Our research shows that 100 pounds in the UK in 1937 is 6,856 pounds (God knows where the pound symbol is on an American keyboard) so times twelve that gives Theresa interest income of 82K pounds a year in money today.  Money is central to the plot here: it is Emily's assets and where they are going that are up in the air.  

Who's exactly what they seem?
Who's a good actress or actor?
You'll have to read because mes amies we will never give it away!

We also love she brings Mickey Mouse into the story on page 172.  Mickey started in 1928 so when this was written in 1937 he was still a newcomer.  It pays to read these in order as she references four past cases on page 186 and the avid reader will find satisfaction in knowing what Christie is talking about.

When you read enough Agatha Christie, it will permeate your entire life.  When you do the laundry and lose a sock, you will channel your inner Poirot and use those grey cells of yours to find it. (true)  Even if your eyes don't turn green, you will derive the same satisfaction with the conclusion of your case.

Dumb Witness 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

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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