Sunday, 31 May 2015

Mrs Mc Ginty's Dead.

Mrs Mc Ginty's dead and she is not the only corpse in the village. Poirot is asked to investigate the brutal murder of a little old char lady whose lodger is facing the rope after having been found guilty of the crime. Oh yes Britain still had the death penalty at the time of this book's publication. Poirot is on the case in this type of village mystery that Christie would have normally reserved for ms Marple. in fact it was wonderfully filmed as such with the darling Margaret Rutherford as Ms.Marple in the 1964 MGM film Murder Most Foul. The novel also features an appearance by another Christie creation Ariadne Oliver the crime writer who seems like some echo of Christie herself. In one of the most interesting moments in the novel she is bemoaning one of her own creations; a fictional Finnish detective named Sven Hjerson whom she has been writing for more years than she cares to remember. She questions her own wisdom in working on a Finnish character when she from the very start knew next to nothing about Finland or the habits of its people. She resents her characters quirky mannerisms and the little personality ticks that have enamored the character to a wider reading public and been helped him remain so successful for years. Although now she freely admits she would like to use all her accumulated skills as a crime writer to kill the character off in as punitive a fashion as possible.
                I could not help wondering is Christie actually talking about Poirot here. It is not even too thick a veil she has perhaps used to mask her feelings about this much loved and world famous character she breathed life into and at time of publication had been writing for around thirty three years or so. Did she grow tired of the brilliant little Belgium detective whilst the rest of the world hollered for more? Did she come to resent Poirot in the way Conan Doyle came to feel about Sherlock Holmes or Herge felt about TinTin? I found this a sad thought. If the things we create are to become life partners surely it is a tragedy not to love them...Like Herr Frankenstein we create our own monsters. So often that we dare not bite our nails because the filthy clay of creation is impacted beneath the fingernails.
                 Loved this book, it is one of my favorites since I began to work my way through the Agatha Christie collection. Poirot is such an hilarious fish out of water in this small English village and there are laugh out loud moments as he complains about his suffering in his pursuit of truth. The truth being he has never been more endearing as he overhears people mocking his curious foreign ways and eccentric appearance.
                  I know what that feels like.