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Aww, tragedies on Christmas. Boo!

Oh great, now Sir Henry Clithering's caught the eye twinkling. It's contagious! Pretty soon, the entire room's going to be lit up by eyes alone!

Some nice touches - the Other Jane cutting off with "I don't think"... (which... I shall be nice!), and Our Jane rambling on about how she tends to ramble. And damnit, I want to know about those pickled shrimps!

I'm really doubtful about rumor being true 9/10ths of the time though, even in those days. Hrmph. Then again, I doubt it was supposed to be Truth, so much as setting.

This story's a bit odd, in that it lays out the crime and culprit right from the start, and the main mystery is in figuring out how things were done, but that's enjoyable enough at least. And she does throw in a bit of a doubt as to whether the obvious suspect is the right one. And really, Christie doesn't play absolutely fair in having the characters speak naturally I'd say. I mean, would Miss Marple really say that "it was proved" that the man couldn't have anything to do with the crime in such absolutes, when she knew it wasn't true?

Also, it's always so handy when people "know with absolute truth" that people giving someone an alibi are being absolutely truthful, so that it helps to frame the boundaries of the crime, and how it might possibly happen. Of course the answer couldn't simply be that the guys were lying!

It also seems pretty risky on the guy's part - how would he know the wife wouldn't mention to anyone (even if he told her not to) that she was meeting her husband, or at least hint at it?

Oh well, anyhow, have at it!

Vocabulary/setting:

Hydro: I don't know! I'm having little luck, I'm thinking maybe something along the lines of a watering place like Bath, maybe mixed in with a more modern new-agishness? Or just a plain ol' spa? But I really don't know! And trying to look it up runs into the obvious problem, of hydro being tied to water anyhow... Anyone else have better luck?

Comments

( 8 Notes — Write a Footnote )
annewashere
Aug. 23rd, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hydro seems to indicate the "slang for spa" theory. But of course, wiki, etc.

This story really creeped me out the first time I read it.
stormfeather
Aug. 24th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
Creeped out? Because of the body-switching and stuff?
annewashere
Aug. 24th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yep. Cold, man.
(Deleted comment)
stormfeather
Aug. 24th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised there hasn't been a pastiche yet after Christie's death telling the story of Miss Marple and the Gill of Shrimp or something. A la Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra, and so on.

And yes, I've always liked Miss Marple, but the more we put her under the magnifying glass so to speak, the more worrisome she is. Faith in gossip, apparent prejudice against the Lower Classes, bloodthirstiness.. good grief!
(Deleted comment)
khedron
Aug. 24th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
Others already answered the "hydro" question, so I'll just note that the Kindle built-in dictionary had it!

Like annewashere, I thought this was creepy -- but in a good way, since this was a macabre murder mystery! Clever bad guy. I agree it was risky & flawed, but using the dead maid's body makes for a good gruesome story.

Oh great, now Sir Henry Clithering's caught the eye twinkling.

Santa Claus works for Interpol!
stormfeather
Aug. 24th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Santa Claus works for Interpol!

Well, I'm sure that zooming around the world instantaneously and being able to quickly get down and up any chimney must be handy for that!

(Pretty much agreed on the rest!)
( 8 Notes — Write a Footnote )