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Sorry this is a bit later, I've been keeping myself fairly busy this morning and forgot to sit down and do this!


Okay, so this time we have a lovely little story from the clergyman, based around those eeevil pagan religions. It's always a bit weird to look back on times when "the enlightened civilization" was uber-Christian, and anything different was just evil and/or uneducated.

Anyhow, I think this story's a bit over-the-top with the atmosphere and pagan symbols, but it also helps to mask a neat little "whodunnit and how" mystery, so that balances out. It misdirects the audience (both reading and in the book) fairly well with all the trappings and the idea of "*gasp* the weapon VANISHED! And the second victim is still alive and his story makes it even MORE mysterious!" and deftly causes us to ignore the very simple direct explanation. Especially with the larger, more varied cast to allow for more possibilities.

That said, I'm not completely convinced that no one would look down and say "oh hey, you have a huge honking knife RIGHT ON YOU, let's at least check this out, 'kay?" but... it's just plausible enough that I guess it can get a pass for the sake of the story.

Also, the setting of this story reminds me of the Hound of the Baskervilles, with the moor-like setting, the relics, and the tors (that novel is the first place I saw that word). The murder-mystery aura doesn't hurt the comparison, either.

As a final note, it's a bit... not odd, perhaps, but definitely a mark of the past that various people that are supposed to be out of touch with society for a long while (and possibly gotten rid of cleanly, such as in this case) are shipped off to the poles. Such as Frankenstein, the murderer here, and a main character in at least one other Christie book that I can think of. These days, while people aren't exactly jaunting over to the South Pole for a week's holiday, the Poles definitely don't still have that aura of impenetrability and extreme danger that, from reading, they used to.

Anyhow... have at it!

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
khedron
Aug. 5th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
Parasha: The Thirteen Problems - August 4th reading
I also wondered about your #4. Romans, yes, but Phoenicians?

I thought this one was pretty obvious. While I'd forgotten about the silly outfits, he still had means, motive, and opportunity sewn up. Assuming, of course, we weren't thrown off track by mysticism or Death by Icicle.

Never trust the first guy to check the body!

"Oh, do let us have a wild orgy tonight!"
stormfeather
Aug. 6th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Parasha: The Thirteen Problems - August 4th reading
Assuming, of course, we weren't thrown off track by mysticism or Death by Icicle.

Hah, I'll admit also to entertaining brief thoughts of a very-rapidly-melting icicle first time I read it, just because my mind works like that. Didn't seem very practical, though.

"Oh, do let us have a wild orgy tonight!"

I know, right? Oh English language, how you change over time. (I remember being REALLY thrown the first time I saw "making love" used in the old fashion...)
stormfeather
Aug. 6th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've been tending to get Pretherick and Pender confused myself, although at least usually Christie is pretty good about making the lawyer sound more stuffy, and saying something like "the eldery cleric" or something when Pender speaks up for the first time in a bit.
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