Friday, January 16, 2015
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie
Synopsis From Back Cover:
Even the great detective Hercule Poirot harbored a deep and abiding fear of the dentist, so it was with some trepidation that he arrived at the celebrated Dr. Morley's surgery for a dental examination. But what neither of them knew was that only hours later Poirot would be back to examine the dentist, found dead in his own surgery.
Turning to the other patients for answers, Poirot finds other, darker, questions....
This will make 21 Hercule Poirot novels put behind me, which means I only have another 16 of his books to go. I still have plenty of other books to go through in my Agatha Christie self challenge, but knowing I'm over half way done with Poirot is sort of bitter sweet for me. I make no secret of that fact that he is not my favorite character of all time. I find him to be rather pompous and aggravating at times. But despite all that, deep down, I really do like him. There has not been a character like him, before or after, and I'm really not looking forward to saying goodbye to him quite yet.
With all that being said, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe is not my favorite Poirot novel, not even close to it. I think I'm getting rather tired of the few characterizations that Christie used in this one, and it's starting to come off as just a tad bit classist to me. It get we always need to take the times a book was written in, but I'm tired of how she uses one particular character type all too often, and I'm pretty sure it's not always necessary to the story as a whole. All too often there will be a young man, sometimes a young woman, who is not only from a lower class background, but has wildly different political or economic beliefs from those held by the more "respectable" characters.
They are always described in negative ways, both in appearance and in temperament There is almost nothing about them that is sympathetic or easy to like, though I tend to like them anyway. They are rarely ever the killer, but they are always suspected, and sometimes suspected strongly. Even when the detective, in this case Poirot, figures out they had nothing to do with it, the disdain for that particular character is still there. This book had two such young men, and they do come across as rather angry and crude, but I can't help but think it's Christie's prejudices at work here.
As far as the mystery itself goes, I guess it was a pretty standard, middle of the road Christie story. And I guess what I mean by that, was while it didn't blow me away, it was solid and well thought out. It's never going to hold a place in my labyrinth of a brain. I will never remember the names of the characters, or the pertinent plot twists, but it was still an okay read for me. You have to remember this is Agatha Christie, so even a mediocre read like this, is ten times better than the average "cozy" mystery being written today.
Challenges: Vintage Mystery Bingo (O2)