Laura Parkinson (stormfeather) wrote,
Laura Parkinson
stormfeather

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Parasha: The Thirteen Problems - August 18th reading


Did anyone not expect this to turn into another "everyone tell a story" session? Anyone? Show of hands? No?

It's somewhat confusing that one of the other house guests (and a young sexy one) is also named Jane! It is however interesting to see that even Back In The Day, people were playing the "well, obviously she/he can't really ACT" card. Although also interesting that the actress is expected to be as dim as.. well... something very dim. (Although to be fair, I now recall other actors/actresses in her books that weren't so dumb, so I guess it's just this one.)

I wonder if this elderly doctor is the one mentioned before by Miss Marple, who she doesn't have any faith in?

If Miss Marple's eyes twinkle anymore, she might be suspected of being a Christmas Tree. Just sayin'. And I still like Sir Henry.

I do admit how this story seems to set up a stereotyped... thing, and then takes a curve. The exotic, exciting, beautiful young Spanish dancer, and the dowdy English types... and *wham* the mystery is about the English women and the Spanish dancer is a) now domestic and b) quickly forgotten. I think Christie may have started having fun with these stories, myself. ;)

Am I the only one slightly disturbed at a fifty-year-old woman playing a schoolgirl?

Anyhow, I also like Mrs. Bantry - quite matter-of-fact and not overly sensitive. She seems to know what she likes and not be apologetic for it or for herself, without letting that lead her into thoughtlessness of others/rudeness.

I can't decide if the doctor should have reported what he thought to the police or not. I mean, on the one hand, it seems like he should, because dude! If he's right, she got away with murder! On the other hand, he's got some points. It was just unreliable eyewitnessing, and his own suspicions.

At any rate, I'm not sure I'd classify this quite as a mystery in the vein of the others - it's not a "whodunit" or something that lends much to speculation - although I suppose there IS some scope for that, and Christie tries to make it so - but it's more of a story with a twist. Still, it's nice as a variation on the general themes. Anyhow, that's how it seems to me!

And I won't bother to go off about the Necessary Coincidence at the end, again. :p

Although I do like how the money was needed for a delicate child who desperately needed a situation - but not so desperately that the oldest sister didn't have time to travel to England via ship, manage to procure the needed job, wait for an opportunity and seize it, spend a month living as the other woman, then return to Australia and (eventually) claim the inheritance.

And as always, the handy little signs obvious to a (apparently not very good, according to Miss Marple previously?) doctor just by looking at someone that they are dying. *rolls eyes*

Vocabulary/Setting:

Canary Islands: For the record, since I know my own geography at least is hazy, the Canary Islands are in fact some Spanish islands that are off the northwest coast of Africa, and not extremely far southwest of Europe. As one can see here.

Mole: (Which the doctor walked upon every day.) I suspect that the definition we're going for here is the third section on this page, "1. A massive, usually stone wall constructed in the sea, used as a breakwater and built to enclose or protect an anchorage or a harbor. 2. The anchorage or harbor enclosed by a mole."

Holland Lloyd: (A boat upon which the ladies arrived) Royal Holland Lloyd was apparently a shipping company. Er, in the sense of people taking a ship, not in the sense of shipping freight. Although they may have done both, I know not!

Baedeker: As fairly obvious from the context, this was (and is!) a publishing company that makes travel guides, often just called by that name, since they're familiar things. (And maybe everyone else is very familiar with them, but I wasn't!)

Stockinette: (Sorry if I'm getting a bit too trigger-happy on the vocab, it's hard sometimes to know what to post, and what to just let go)... anyhow, this is apparently your very basic knitting style, where it looks like a bunch of "V"s one on top of the other. It just seems weird these days to bathe in a swimsuit that is obviously knitted, but then again I guess there wasn't much alternative before the advent of all the artificial blends and such! I mean, I guess more typical cloths wouldn't have been very good in water, right?

Tags: books, parasha, parasha thirteen_problems
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