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Saturday, May 14, 2022

#ReadThis @AgathaChristie @HarperCollins @Morrow_PB #DeadMansFolly by #AgathaChristie #Thirty-First #31 #HerculePoirot #Mystery #ReadChristie2022

The only sun around here is on the cover of this book, and once it's open Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot shine.  A rainy weekend in Manhattan...and what could be better than cracking open the next Poirot!  We are now at 31, nearing the end of the series and keep your dictionary handy because there's a few terms to look up, starting with Folly, which will appeal to all interested in architecture.  It's a structure similar to a gazebo, and the title is apt.  And, a la Butterfield 8 (upper east side!) this starts with a phone number of its time: Trafalgar 8137.

It's Ariadne Oliver on the line, and in all her exquisite aura of mystery beckons Poirot to Devon to unravel the next sequence of mysteries unique to his little gray cells.  Avid readers know Ms. Oliver is an accomplished mystery novelist, not unlike Agatha herself, and Ms. Oliver is not one to be engineered, but is she in this circumstance?

A murder mystery is set to be the entertainment, but sometimes fiction comes true and that's the basis for the plot of Dead Man's Folly.  An established English country family, the Folliats and of course the great house they built on land in their family for centuries.  The cast of characters is vivid as are many of the descriptions: vivid cyclamen lips (p.24) sounds quite striking so now we are on the lookout for that color.

Agatha Christie pays respect to the beloved Charles Dickens and David Copperfield referencing Betsy Trotwood, David's uncle on page 30.  Oliver Cromwell is also referred to in repeating the quote: "Put your Trust in God and Keep Your Powder Dry."  He's not talking about bronzing powder or rouge!

There's not a single murder that happens, and those murdered might be seemingly innocent.  Also, some that pass might have cause of death mischaracterized.  Shades of gray permeate this work that is unwrapped at a perfect pace: not too long, and not too short at 230 pages.  You won't be able to put it down and we recommend reading it cover to cover.  Is everyone whom they say they are?  Is everyone a straight shooter?  Of course not...facts matter!  You'll never guess.

Poirot is right (p. 33): because you might die, every small personal matter DOES acquire increased importance.  Make Agatha a priority in your living days!  

Dead Man's Folly 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

Appointment with Death

Hercule Poirot's Christmas

Sad Cypress

One Two Buckle My Shoe

Evil Under the Sun

Five Little Pigs

The Hollow

The Labors of Hercules

Taken at the Flood

The Under Dog and Other Stories

Mrs. McGinty's Dead

After the Funeral

Hickory Dickory Dock

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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