By Richard York
How comfortable are Agatha Christie's novels? they might appear to depict a reliable global of admire for culture, shared tradition, settled gender and sophistication roles, political conservatism and unambiguous morality, during which cause suffices to manage illness. yet this international is threatened by means of modernity and uncertainty: conflict, social mobility, extremist politics, ethical liberalization. widespread voters might be criminals, detectives should not utterly not like murderers, social lifestyles is essentially theatrical, and violence can result in concord.
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Additional info for Agatha Christie: Power and Illusion (Crime Files)
Three prominent characters in Hercule Poirot’s Christmas are really someone else: Stephen Farr purports to be the son of an old friend of the victim, but he is really the victim’s own son; Pilar purports to be the victim’s granddaughter, but she is in fact an acquaintance of the real girl, now dead; Sugden, the policeman who investigates the crime, is really another son of the victim and is his murderer. The physical similarity of Stephen and Sugden to each other and to Harry, a legitimate son, leads to frequent faint confusion.
In Death in the Clouds, the murderer is Norman Gale, who is playing an active part in the investigation of the crime. The investigating team, as critics have pointed out, often includes the criminal, who is thus placed above suspicion; Norman is also above suspicion because of his burgeoning romance with the likeable, modest and clearly innocent Jane Grey. In They Came to Baghdad, Victoria leaves London on a momentary impulse to follow the charming, good-looking, adventurous devil-may-care Edward – who is attracting her very deliberately to use her in his conspiracy.
He is always acting – a major figure in the theatre, but still an actor off the stage (3Act, I, i), and is first seen playing the part of the Retired Naval Man, in a style that doesn’t quite convince. But he is driven to murder by his sincere passion for a young woman. His opportunity for the murder arises when he is invited by his intended victim to play a practical joke on the members of a house party by pretending to be the butler. This is a protracted and a challenging role (since Sir Charles, of course, has little knowledge of what butlers do behind the scenes, so to speak), but he carries it off well, the pretence being undermined only by a slight oddness in his fulfilment of his supervisory duties and by a frivolous remark by the victim.
Agatha Christie: Power and Illusion (Crime Files) by Richard York