young agatha

10

Poirot’s chief personality characteristic was undoubtedly his overweening - but lovable - egotism. On rare occasions he would present an appearance of modesty, but it was patently so forced and false that it fooled no one. Some of his own evaluations from one story or another: “Hercule Poirot… is of a cleverness quite exceptional;” “impossible to deceive Hercule Poirot;” “me, I know everything.”
- Russell H. Fitzgibbon, The Agatha Christie Companion

10

“A difficult smile to resist, eh, Hercule?”
“Yes, indeed. Oh! If you think that the young lady and not the case attracted me, you do me a wrong, Claude.”
“Yet, you still wear the trinket she gave you.”

August Selfie Challenge - Day 2: TBR

Here’s my lame tbr for the month of August. I’ve been having a very hard time reading lately so I thought 4 books (one book a week) would get me back into the swing of reading.

I’m very excited to read each an every one of these books. Some have been recommended to me and others I picked up on my own. Have you read any of these?

YA Lit Meme: The Finishing School [3/10 Book Series]

After every unladylike action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction. Consider the necessary, analyze the consequences, clean up the mess.

8

Happy 126th Birthday, Dame Agatha Christie
(Sept 15 1890 -  Jan 12 1976)

"ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE" (1992) Review


“ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE” (1992) Review

Twenty-five years ago, ITV’s “AGATHA CHRISTIE’S POIROT” aired an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1940 novel. Not only was “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” considered one of Christie’s darkest novels, due to its political overtones, the 1992 television adaptation acquired the same reputation.

Directed by Ross Devenish and adapted by Clive Exton, “ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE” centered on Hercule Poirot’s investigation into the death of his dentist, one Dr. Henry Morely, which occurred less than two hours after the former’s last appointment. Poirot’s police colleague, Chief Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard, believes that Dr. Morely had committed suicide, because another one of his clients had died from an overdose of anaesthetic. However, Poirot and Japp eventually discovered that both Dr. Morely and Mr. Amberiotis’ deaths may be tied to possible attempts on the life of a banker named Alistair Blunt, who also happened to be a client of the dentist. Other suspects in the case include a former actress-turned-missionary named Mabelle Sainsbury Seale, who knew Mr. Blunt and his first wife back in India, during the 1920s; a member of the British Blackshirts named Frank Carter, who also happened to be the boyfriend of Dr. Morely’s assistant; Mr. Blunt’s American sister-in-law, Mrs. Julia Olivera; and the latter’s daughter, Jane Olivera.

As I had stated earlier, many fans of Christie’s novel and the “AGATHA CHRISTIE’S POIROT” seemed to harbor a very high regard of this particular story. I must admit there is a good deal about this production that I found impressive. Rob Harris’s re-creation of 1936-37 London was superb. In fact, I would go as far to say that out of the many episodes and television movies that aired on “AGATHA CHRISTIE’S POIROT”, I would count Harris’ production designs as among the best. Harris’ work was ably supported by Barbara Kronig’s costume designs and Chris O'Dell’s photography. And I also had to compliment Andrew Nelson’s editing, especially in the sequence that featured the details that led to Dr. Morely’s murder. I thought the entire scene was well paced.

The performances also struck me as first-rate. David Suchet was in fine form as Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. He was ably supported by Philip Jackson’s wry performance as Scotland Yard’s Chief Inspector Japp. I realize that many may have been a little upset by the lack of Arthur Hastings and Miss Lemon’s presence. But to be honest, I did not really miss them. Suchet and Jackson made a pretty strong screen team, as they have done in a few other productions.

Most of the supporting cast gave solid performances, including Joanna Phillips-Lane, Laurence Harrington, and Carolyn Colquhoun. However, there were times that I found the latter’s performance as Mabelle Sainsbury Seale to be a little ponderous. Peter Blythe did a good job in conveying both the charm and dignity of his character, Alistair Blunt, even if he came off as a bit smug toward Poirot, a man trying to prevent his murder. Helen Horton gave an amusing performance as Blunt’s American sister-in-law, Julia Olivera. And I am relieved that her portrayal as a middle-aged American woman did not collapsed into a cliche, even if Clive Exton’s screenplay gave her nearly every opportunity to do so. But I believe the best performance came from Christopher Eccleston, who portrayed one of the suspects - the boyfriend of Dr. Morely’s assistant and a follower of the British Union of Fascists. Not only was Eccleston’s performance brimmed with energy, he managed to inject sympathy into a character most would regard with disgust.

I wish I could say that “ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE” was one of the best Christie adaptations I have seen. Many seemed to think so. I believe it had the potential to be one of the best. But I also believe that Clive Exton’s script was riddled with a few flaws. One, Clive Exton wrote a convoluted script, which is not surprising since it was based upon a convoluted novel. Two, Exton and director Ross Devenish should have never included that prologue in 1925 India. It literally made it easier to solve the murders. And three, the script never made it clear why Alistair Blunt was needed to maintain some balance within Britain and Europe’s political and economic climates. Why was it so important for Scotland Yard to discover who was trying to kill him? And three, the nursery rhyme chant that permeated the movie really got on my nerves. Why was it that every time ITV aired an Agatha Christie adaptation that featured a title from a nursery rhyme, it had to include an annoying and heavy-handed literary symbol into the production?

Despite a convoluted story and a prologue that made it easier to identify the murderer, I must admit that I still rather like “ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE”. It has a lot of style. I thought it did a great job in re-creating mid-1930s London. And it featured some top-notch performances led by David Suchet, Philip Jackson and a young Christopher Eccleston.


Day 3- Autumn/Fall

Tedros flung down his pen, and leaned back in his chair in defeat.
“Let’s go for a walk.” He said.
Agatha looked up, surprised.
“What, now?”
“Yeah.”
“But…”
Agatha gestured helplessly to the towering pile of contracts, treaties and arrangements that they were signing.
Tedros waved his hand dismissively.
“Forget that. I’ll finish it later. I want to spend some time with my wife.”
Agatha opened her mouth to argue, but nothing came out.
“Alright, fine.” She grumbled, feeling that although Tedros had been King longer than she’d been Queen, he was much slacker with the paperwork.
Tedros grinned at her.
“I mean, I know I ought to finish these, but seeing as the copies delivered to me can always be relied upon to be late, I think I can give them a taste of their own medicine.”
“You say that every time.”
“It’s true every time.”
“You’re insufferable.”
“That’s why you married me.”
Agatha sighed, but smiled grudgingly nonetheless.
“Alright, fine. Where do you want to go?”
“The gardens? They’re nice this time of year.”
“The gardens it is.”

Keep reading

Image: Newspaper announces the safe return of Agatha Christie. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On this day (Dec. 3) in 1926, a young Agatha Christie left her home with no explanation. The next morning, her car was found five miles away – but there was no trace of the novelist herself. Tom Nissley’s A Reader’s Book of Days (our go-to source for literary anniversaries) explains that her disappearance was the talk of England, and thousands turned out to look for her:

She was finally discovered residing under a pseudonym at a luxury spa and claiming temporary amnesia. The mystery has never been definitively solved, though scholar Jared Cade has argued convincingly that she staged her disappearance – never suspecting it would cause such uproar – to embarrass her husband, whose affair was ending their marriage.

And here’s another fun fact: An episode of Doctor Who attributes Christie’s disappearance to a confrontation between the author and a giant, half-alien wasp.

-Nicole