Kathryn and I started out with a challenge to read every book written by Agatha Christie, in order of publication – we’re blogging as we go along. We spoil all the things!
So this is a weird little story. It seems quite slight, but also over the top on melodrama as well. And I don’t want to be a prude, but the amount of illegal substances that come crawling out of the woodworks by the end is *quite* impressive. The young people in this book are a different crowd to the comparatively wholesome Bundles, Tommies and Tuppences that we have met (and loved) in other stories. Perhaps it has something to do with Cornwall… (kidding)
The story opens with Poirot and Hastings going off on holiday. Which of course begs the question: WHERE IS HASTINGS’ WIFE? Is she still somewhere in darkest South America? How is it that Hastings has sufficient leisure time to just go off for a week to Cornwall, rather than get whatever he needs done and get back to her? Look, I realise that Hasting really only exists to act as a foil for Poirot, but it would be polite to at least mention her. The other major theme in the opening paragraphs is Poirot’s ‘OMG I am *so* totally retired I can blow off the Home Secretary’ (I may be paraphrasing here), which again is probably there to contrast with Poirot later a) being unable to keep away from a mystery and/or b) being able to choose his own mysteries to solve thankyouverymuch. But it’s just a bit clunky.