Tag Archives: The ABC Murders

‘The ABC Murders’ on Agatha Christie’s Poirot (TV Show)

28 Feb
Image via Fanart

Image via Fanart

One of the things I love about WWW Wednesday is when I learn something new from the bloggers. Huge thank you to 4thhouseontheleft for letting me know there was a television series of the Poirot mysteries! I was able to watch the episode of The ABC Murders when I was home sick last week.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Sticking to the book. I was ready for some serious deviation in this show, but I was happily surprised. The writers did an amazing job of sticking to the plot and not cutting any major element. I kept smiling while I was watched it because I was so pleasantly surprised!

 

Poirot’s speech pattern. I’ll admit that reading Poirot in Spanish and having him inject French phrases was a little off-putting. I wasn’t ready for it and since I don’t know French, it really messed with my head. It was an adjustment but I managed. In the show, it sounded very natural the way the actor would speak and I really appreciated how smooth it was.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out the land lady’s daughter. I thought she was really unnecessary in the book and just added to an already long character list. What she did to help Cust was confusing and I’m glad it was taken out.

Cust’s interrogation. In the book, because Hastings is narrating, the interrogation is presented as, “Poirot did this and then told me what happened” which came across as a bit choppy and awkward. I’m glad the show got away from this POV because it was much more natural and flowed well the way it was shot.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

 

Details of the D murder. In the book, it seemed like Cust was messing up when he murdered someone whose initials weren’t DD. That small detail was taken out of the show and I think it added a lot to how tricky Franklin was. I wish it had been kept.

Things That Changed Too Much

 

Franklin. I pictured him as younger, maybe a Silver Fox kind of guy in his 50s. Perhaps it’s a difference in style to when the show was shot, but I didn’t think Franklin would be able to seduce young Betty Barnard. I know I wouldn’t have been tempted at all and she seemed rather shallow so it surprised me that they chose an actor who looked so much older.

Japp’s perspective. I liked getting Japp’s perspective from time to time and seeing how frustrated he was getting and how superior he felt when he got some information before Poirot. I wish that had been added back to the show.

Hastings. He was pretty annoying and dim-witted in the show which I didn’t see as believable. Why would Poirot keep him around if he was like that? He kept insisting on talking about the Cayman he brought back and it was tiresome. I liked it better when he was narrating and painted himself in a good light.

Reader, have you seen Agatha Christie’s Poirot? Did you watch this episode? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

Book Review: El misterio de la guia de ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie (4/5)

9 Feb

At my old job, I made friends with a Mexican engineer who was in the US on a work assignment. Right before he left, he gave me this book as a gift so I could read it and practice my Spanish. I gave him Of Mice and Men in return and I feel it was a fair trade. It’s been a few years that I’ve been hanging onto it but I’m glad I could make it my Spanish read for 2017.

Cover image via Amazon

Cover image via Amazon

El misterio de la guía de ferrocarriles (The A.B.C. Murders) by Agatha Christie

Summary from Goodreads:

There’s a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card, he leaves beside each victim’s corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught – until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans.

This was my first Christie novel and reading it in Spanish was a fun twist! I really enjoyed Poirot and Hastings though I kept getting feelings of Holmes and Watson. I don’t know either very well so it’s likely from watching Sherlock over my husband’s shoulder. I kept paying close attention, hoping I would pick up on the answer to the mystery, but when Poirot explained how he figured it out in the end, I realized I never could have figured it out from what I read. I was a little disappointed in that. I made an effort to read very carefully and slowly so I could absorb all the details. Oh well.

I’m sure there are people with minds like Poirot who would figure out cases like this, but it seems extraordinary to me. I’m more like Hastings, thinking I’m investigating something and in the end having no idea what I’m doing. People with that extraordinary ability should be in law enforcement and I’m guessing they are and that’s why I don’t know them. It did seem a bit over the top. But then again, a murder-solving character should, right?

Cust was a fun character. I really believed he was guilty because of how suspicious he acted but Poirot’s explanation of what happened to him made me feel bad for him. I like when an author can change how I perceive a character as quickly as Christie did with Cust. All of his emotions took on a very different light quickly.

I sympathized with Thora Grey. I felt she had a lot of assumptions thrust on her and that’s something I think a lot of women face regardless of how they look. Thora did her job well and Franklin assumed she would marry his brother, assuming Carmichael would fall in love with her. None of this was through any fault of her own and she was dedicated to continuing her job after Carmichael died. I felt she was unjustly punished and if I were her, I would have been much more upset than she was.

Agatha Christie Image via Biography.com

Agatha Christie
Image via Biography.com

I enjoyed the murder scene investigations. I thought the way Japp and Poirot looked at the scene were very telling of who knew what was going on and who didn’t. I would have been inclined to look at things like Japp did but when Poirot started asking questions, I could see his logic and the genius behind what he asked, particularly of Megan Barnard.

I was really disappointed that some of the evidence Poirot used to identify the murderer wasn’t in the text. I began to suspect that Cust was a red herring but I wanted to find the clues myself and I couldn’t do that with what Poirot used to solve the case.

 

I’m going to talk blatantly about the murderer now so if you want to read this book for yourself, I recommend skipping to the next paragraph. Franklin was so greedy that he developed an elaborate scheme to get his brother’s money and I think it speaks volumes to greed at the time this was written. 1936 was a global recession and I can only imagine that Franklin felt he would be more secure with his brother’s money and avoid any kind of downfall that might happen to a poor man. It was sad to me that he would resort to that level and says that he wasn’t close with his brother growing up. I know my brother and I weren’t particularly close, but I would never thinking of murdering him for his money!

Writer’s Takeaway: I liked that Poirot was Belgian. It was good that Christie considered his nationality in parts of the story where it was worth noting that he was a foreigner in the UK. It made him stand out amongst the British police and I think his round-about way of thinking and great detective work was partially due to him wanting to excel against a group he felt outside of. It was a small but very well thought-out detail that enriched the story.

I enjoyed the story but wished I’d had a better chance of guessing the ending. Four out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

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El Misterio De La Guía de Ferrocarriles | El Príncipe De Las Mil Historias