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!
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?