Obstacle number four….possibly five….I forget…in the What’s in a Name Reading Challenge – Agatha Christie’s Death in the Clouds (cue ominous music).
Taken from: the Christie Listie
Category: One – A book with up or down (or the equivalent) in the title
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Christie Listie review, so in case you had forgotten, I am basing my reviews for this list on five main criteria:
Rate of Moustache-Twiddlage (for Poirot novels) or Stitch-Droppage (for Marple novels): This refers to the expected level of engagement with the plot as measured by the extent to which anxious body language emerges in the reader…
Red Herring Haul: relating to the level of mis-clues present…
Butler-osity: which refers to the complexity of the revelation at the end (based on the foundation level of non-complexity in which the Butler is identified as the one who did it)…..
Common-or-Garden-ness: the formulaity of the plot set-up, cast of characters and reveal. Otherwise known as the Retired-Colonel-Ometer…
Rate of Contextual Controversy: or the extent to which racist, sexist or other generally a-bit-off-by-today’s-standards references are casually scattered about the text
An ordinary group of air travellers are stunned to find a murder has been committed in their midst during their flight. Police are even more stunned to find out that apparently nobody witnessed what they assume to be a very visible and attention-catching mode of dispatching a victim. Luckily the famous Hercule Poirot happens to be one of the passengers on the flight of death and fiscal misfortune (as I like to think of it)….let the shenanigans commence!
I was thoroughly gripped throughout, and inevitably thought I had the killer figured out well before the reveal. Even more inevitably, I was wrong….although not far off. Part of the fun of this one was the fact that I didn’t particularly like any of the characters, and was therefore quite content with any of them turning out to be a devious, cold-blooded murderer.
From annoying buzzing insects to isolated South American tribesfolk, this book has a veritable trawler-load of mis-clues to keep you guessing.
The reveal to this one was very….revealing…. If you are able to predict who the killer/s is/are in this one prior to the reveal, then I honour you as a certified Christie genius. Honestly, it was almost impossible to deduce the circumstances surrounding this death, which could be highly satisfying or endlessly annoying depending on your viewpoint.
While there is a fairly predictable cast of characters, there is no retired colonel, which was a bit of a disappointment for me. Thankfully, this was made up for with the inclusion of a fantastically caricatured crime writer and at least one person pretending to be someone else.
Very low. A few passing references to the shadiness of foreigners.
The Plot in a Poem:
Ingesting some dodgy airline curries
turned out to be the least of their worries.
A thoroughly enjoyable romp and some of Poirot’s finest cogitations. Although not having read an awful lot of Poirot novels, please be advised that I may not be fully qualified to pronounce on Poirot’s cogitations with any great certainty.
Until next time dear readers,