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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?

Comments

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stormfeather
Aug. 20th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
True, the doctor was cool, although I guess that doesn't make him a good doctor! (I'd also have to learn toward Miss Marple's interpretation when I think about him taking one look at a woman who appears to be healthy and saying to himself basically "oh, she's going to die soon!) (The fact that he was right was obviously a coincidence :p )
annewashere
Aug. 19th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
I knew the Baedeker, because I have always been obsessed with travel guides!

But the rest of these are funny. Shall I KNIT you a bathing suit??

This story always left me with such a creepy feeling, every time I read it.
khedron
Aug. 20th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
I was a bit surprised that this was essentially the same trick as in "The Blood-Stained Pavement". It's a good trick, to be sure, but twice in one book?

If Miss Marple's eyes twinkle anymore, she might be suspected of being a Christmas Tree. Just sayin'.

Heh! She'd make a good Santa Claus, though. "Now you remind me of young Tom from St. Mary Mead... always getting into places where he shouldn't have been. Confess, what trouble have you been in this year?"

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.

That's one of the most interesting parts of it! I think he generally Did Good -- unless this was just another escape by playing dead! (OK, I don't think that.)

Edited at 2010-08-20 08:22 am (UTC)
stormfeather
Aug. 20th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
"Now you remind me of young Tom from St. Mary Mead... always getting into places where he shouldn't have been. Confess, what trouble have you been in this year?"

Ah, but she shouldn't have to ask, she'd just know! ;)

That's one of the most interesting parts of it! I think he generally Did Good -- unless this was just another escape by playing dead! (OK, I don't think that.)

I was thinking more before he went to Australia and ran into the woman - after that... well, I don't really buy the whole "I looked at this healthy woman and realized she was *gasp* dying" thing, but given that... I dunno. I guess I might have made the same choice there, mostly For The Childrun. But it is a good question... And I guess that goes into whether legal punishment is meant to be, well, revenge or rehabilitation, or a blend. If it's just the former, she should still end up in jail. If it's just the latter, it's more of a moot point, since she won't be around to be rehabilitated.
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