Sunday, August 8, 2010

Guest Blog - Appointment with Death

A few weeks ago, we watched the new Poirot on Mystery. Of course, my problem with Agatha Christie stories is that I keep saying "it didn't happen like that in the book." I have really tried to contain myself and not bore my family to death with such comments. I found it interesting the next day that one of my daughters sent me an email message saying that she found the show disturbing. I didn't hesitate to tell her that my memories of the book were that it was quite different. I don't think that Agatha Christie was into child abuse. Manipulative people and controlling people but not ones who enjoyed the physical punishment of children.

By chance I came across a 99 cent copy of Appointment with Death at the Goodwill Bookstore. Naturally I had to reread it. This time I really do think that Christie got the story right and the recent production of her book got it wrong.

Christie's second husband, Max Mallowan, was an archaeologist and she traveled with him frequently to excavation sites in the Middle East. Appointment with Death is set in Jerusalem and Petra. The mystery is center around an American family that is controlled by a power hungry matriarch. As in many of Christie's mysteries, the person you 'love to hate' is the victim. Since Poirot has no tolerance for murder he feels compelled to investigate.

If watching the recent PBS show disappointed you, I really encourage you to try the book. It has a satisfying ending that puts the problems of all of the characters into perspective. Much more satisfying than this Mystery.

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