I’ve been collecting Agatha Christie for a very long time, if you’ve been reading here since the beginning you’ll have seen this little thought where I confessed they belonged to my sister first. I have a couple still to collect but they’re only three short stories so I’m just about there.
I read The Under Dog recently and noticed why I stopped reading Christie. They’re lovely stories but I really don’t like the protagonist. Hercule Poirot is rather insufferable, much nicer than Sherlock Holmes but Poirot does think a lot of himself and his little gray cells. I much prefer my detectives with rather more humility than this and much more friendliness.
Having said that these stories are nicely put together. I won’t talk about the clues and whether it was easy to follow them as I don’t read detective stories like that. I tend to just read and hope I can put two and two together to get the right number. What generally happens is that I forget all the clues and all the red herrings so the end comes as a surprise. In this case the end of the first story came as a really big surprise as I’d forgotten this was composed of short stories and was expecting a much longer text.
The bit that did catch my eye and this is thanks to uni where I mix with people from different cultures, accents and stuff. Christie depicts Poirot with a French accent, and not just a French accent but also interesting syntax with a choice of wordage I’d not have used. As an example:
…”you make a remark bien juste – I see that you have a mind orderly and methodical, L’Angleterre is happy in possessing you.”
Here’s a link in case you wish to buy a new copy and make me a squillion of cents (actually 7.5% of your purchase, but that’s not so nice a phrase).