Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Dead Man's Folly

Dead Man's Folly. Agatha Christie. 1956/2000. Penguin. 240 pages.

It was Miss Lemon, Poirot's efficient secretary, who took the telephone call. 

Hercule Poirot is coming to the aid of his friend Ariadne Oliver. This mystery writer is planning a fun weekend game of mock murder. But days away from the big event, she's getting this uncomfortable feeling. Her instincts are telling her that something is wrong. She's not sure exactly what is wrong. But she feels the need for Poirot. And he's happy to help--happy to show off, perhaps?

Dead Man's Folly has an interesting cast of characters. And I enjoyed reading this one. Christie has a wonderful gift with characterization--each man and woman so complex, so layered. And it's always interesting to see how her stories unfold. To see how the clues unfold. There are plenty of clues--true and false--in this one.

I liked this one. It was a compelling read. I am so happy I discovered Agatha Christie this year!

"The fatal flaw, eh?" he remarked.
"That's just it," said Mrs. Oliver. "There always is one. Sometimes one doesn't realize it until a book's actually in print. And then it's agony!" Her face reflected this emotion. She sighed. "The curious thing is that most people never notice it. I say to myself, 'But of course the cook would have been bound to notice that two cutlets hadn't been eaten.' But nobody else thinks of it at all." (56)

It would be difficult, Bland thought, to forget Hercule Poirot, and this not entirely for complimentary reasons. (101)

"What can you say about how you write books? What I mean is, first you've got to think of something, and when you've thought of it you've got to force yourself to sit down and write it. That's all. It would have taken me just three minutes to explain that, and then the Talk would have been ended and everyone would have been very fed up. I can't imagine why everybody is always so keen for authors to talk about writing. I should have thought it was an author's business to write, not talk." (209)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Shirley said...

Terrific quotes! It's been a while since I've read this one but the memories are flooding back. It truly is a fine example of a master at her art.

Bev Hankins said...

Love that quote about writing!