Friday, October 4, 2019

Death in the Air by Agatha Christie (1935)

Major characters:

Seat 2. Marie Morisot, a.k.a. Madame Giselle, moneylender to the society set
Seat 4. Mr. James Ryder, director of a cement company
Seat 5. M. Armand Dupont
Seat 6. M. Jean Dupont
Seat 8. Mr. Daniel Clancy, mystery writer
Seat 9. M. Hercule Poirot
Seat 10. Dr. Bryant
Seat 12. Norman Gale, a dentist
Seat 13. Countess Cecily Horbury, cocaine addict
Seat 14. Miss Jane Grey, hairdresser
Seat 17. The Hon. Venetia Kerr
Henry Mitchell, steward
Albert Davis, steward
Anne Morisot, daughter of Madame Giselle
Hercule Poirot
M. Fournier, of the Sûreté

Locale: aboard the airplane Prometheus, en route from France to England

Hairdresser Jane Grey has won a small amount in a lottery and splurges on a vacation to Le Penit, where she meets dentist Norman Gale and strikes up a friendship. They both wind up on the same flight back to London.

Aboard the rear section of the airplane Prometheus, there are 11 passengers, 2 stewards, and one annoying wasp making the flight from Le Bourget in Paris to Croydon in England. The wasp buzzes around until it is killed by M. Jean Dupont. Madame Giselle seems to be sleeping in her seat, but upon inspection, is really dead. Hercule Poirot finds a poison dart on the floor, matching a puncture in Madame Giselle's neck. Upon landing, a search of the plane finds the matching blowpipe, stuffed down beside M. Poirot's seat. Poirot and his counterpart M. Fournier, of the Sûreté seek to find who the killer is.

Review: If nothing else, this demonstrates how air travel has deteriorated. Windows that open! Ordering a meal from the menu - on a flight of less than one hour! But as to the review, a mystery that has Poirot - and the reader - befuddled until the very end. Clues are set out for the reader, but their significance? A dead wasp and a spoon are vital to the solution. The mystery takes a turn and seeks answers in the past, and in faraway Québec; in order to be solved. Of course, the unexpected ending will tickle your little grey cells!

Also see Review #1 and Review #2 by Bev Hankins on My Reader's Block.

1 comment:

  1. Though I won't call it a plot twist, it's an unexpected ending, indeed!