Special Sub-Topic: Guide to Christie Memorable Characters - 2
|"They Came to Baghdad" is not one of Agatha Christie's murder stories, but more of an adventure novel. In this book we meet a young girl called Victoria Jones, who has just been fired from her job. She meets a young man called Edward in the park and falls in love with him. Determined to meet him again, she follows him to Baghdad. From that point on, she gets in all kinds of trouble and eventually winds up at an archaelogical dig, where she impersonates the niece of Dr. Pauncefoot Jones. What profession does this niece have?|
Anthropologist. Victoria arrives at the archaeological dig, after having been kidnapped. The archaeologist Dr. Pauncefoot Jones, who is in charge of the dig, immediately assumes she is his niece. Being absent minded, he calls his niece Veronica first, but it could also be Venezia. She is an anthropologist, who was set to join the crew at the dig. Victoria has no idea what an anthropologist does, but still manages to pull off the impersonation. It is not the only impersonation she does in the book. At the beginning of the novel, she impersonates the wife of her boss for her co-workers. This gets her fired from her job as a secretary.
"They Came to Baghdad" is set in the 1950s. In this novel a secret organization seems to be at work trying to achieve world power by starting a third world war, which would destroy both superpowers, leaving the organization to rule the world. There are few people who know about the organization's existence, but a small group knows their plans and has set a meeting in Baghdad. Needless to say, Victoria ends up in the middle of all this, when the secret organization is trying to prevent this meeting from taking place.
|In the first quiz about memorable Agatha Christie characters, there was a question about Dermot Craddock, a police officer working with Miss Marple several times. Hercule Poirot worked alongside a long list of police officers himself, but most notably with Inspector James Japp. Japp often thinks Poirot is completely on the wrong track, but over the years he has gained a lot of respect for the abilities of the Belgian private detective. In what novel do Japp and Poirot work closely together to find the murderer of a money lender, allegedly killed with a poisoned dart fired from a blowgun?|
Death in the Air. Inspector James Japp was introduced in "The Mysterious Affair at Styles". In this book he did not really work together with Hercule Poirot. In "Death in the Air", which is alternatively titled "Death in the Clouds", they do confer together. In this book the famous Madame Giselle is murdered on board the aircraft "The Prometheus", apparently by a poisoned dart fired from a blowgun. It is later surmised that she was stabbed by a poisonous thorn. Hercule Poirot naturally manages to find the culprit and also brings romance to some characters of the novel.
Little is known about the personal life of Inspector James Japp. He makes further appearances in "Thirteen at Dinner" and "The Patriotic Murders". He is also briefly in "The A.B.C. Murders", but hands the case over to his younger colleague Inspector Crome, as the case calls for more knowledge about psychology.
|In "The Mirror Crack'd" we find that many things have changed in the village of St. Mary Mead, the town where Miss Marple lives. The older generation is not always very happy with this, as the town has changed significantly and new housing projects are being developed, with houses that look very similar. In the book we are introduced to the young woman Cherry Baker, who lives in "The Development", one of the new housing projects. She comes to cook and clean for Miss Marple daily. We are also introduced to her husband. What is his first name?|
Jim. Cherry Baker's husband is called Jim. He does simple repairs for Miss Marple. He is referred to as a "big good-looking blond giant of a man". He likes to assemble model construction units and enjoys listening to classical music, preferably at full volume. His wife Cherry does the cooking and cleaning for Miss Marple and is very efficient. Miss Marple is not entirely pleased with the fact that Cherry uses "a virulent Hoover", instead of using a brush and dustpan as maids used to in the old days. At the end of the story Jim and Cherry move into the rooms over Miss Marple's kitchen. They are still living there at the time of the novel "Nemesis".
The other first names in the question all belong to characters in "The Mirror Crack'd". Michael is the nephew of Jim and Cherry Baker. Jim has bought a construction model for the boy, but Cherry suspects he rather bought it for himself. Jim however says that the boy is not quite old enough for it yet.
Jason Rudd is the owner of Gossington Hall, along with his wife Marina Gregg. It is at their estate where the murder takes place. Hailey Preston is his personal secretary.
|"And Then There Were None" is a unique novel. It features ten people stranded on a remote island. All of them are accused of committing a crime they got away with, on a gramophone recording. One by one the guests are killed according to the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Soldiers". One of the guest is the judge Lawrence Wargrave. How is he killed?|
Shot by a gun. Lawrence Wargrave was found wearing a wig and a red gown, with a gunshot wound to the head. The rhyme before his death goes like this: "Five little Soldier boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four." In the epilogue it is revealed that Wargrave did not die at that time. He staged his death with the help of Doctor Armstrong. He was the one who lured all the guests to the island. He gives a full explanation of how he killed the others in a letter he places in a bottle thrown in the sea. He also explains how he killed himself, making sure he is found with a gunshot wound, as he was supposed to have died before.
It was Thomas Rogers who was struck in the head by an axe. Along with his wife Ethel, he was accused of killing the elderly lady they cared for, so they could inherit her money. He is the fourth victim to die. His wife Ethel is the second victim. She died in her sleep after she was given an overdose of choral hydrate.
Emily Brent was stung by a bee, or so people are led to believe to make things go according to the nursery rhyme. She really died from an injection of potassium cyanide. She was accused of firing her maid who was pregnant out of wedlock. The maid committed suicide by drowning herself.
It was finally William Blore who was crushed by a clock. The clock had the shape of a bear to make it fit with the nursery rhyme (a big bear hugged one). He was accused of arranging it so a man was sentenced to life for a crime he did not commit. The man, James Landor, later died in prison.
|In "Evil Under the Sun" we meet sixteen-year old Linda Marshall. She is very unhappy about the fact that her father has chosen Arlena Stuart as his new wife. One day Christine Redfern, one of the other guests at the Jolly Roger Hotel, notices that Linda has dropped a parcel and is not happy that Christine has seen the contents of that package. What was in it? |
Candles. In "Evil Under the Sun" Arlena Stuart Marshall, the new wife of Kenneth Marshall, is found strangled on a beach. It was well known to everyone at the Jolly Roger Hotel that Arlena has been flirting a lot with one of the guests, Patrick Redfern, much to the annoyance of his wife Christine Redfern. When Hercule Poirot investigates he soon finds it was Patrick that killed Arlena, along with his wife Christine, who only pretended to be distressed about her husband having an affair with Arlena.
Patrick and Christine try and make Linda the scapegoat for the murder, when Christine realises that Linda reads books about magic. She has also seen the candles, which are part of a magic ritual. Linda had wanted Arlena to die, but in her misguided way actually believed that she had succeeded. She feels very guilty and tries to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills. Fortunately she survives in the end. The scissors and pipe were both items found near the scene of the murder.
|Arthur Hastings has been a useful sidekick for Hercule Poirot. He rarely knows what is going on, but still manages to point Poirot in the right direction, often without even realising it. In one of the stories we meet his daughter Judith. What story does she feature in?|
Curtain. "Curtain" is the final novel that features Hercule Poirot. Along with Hastings, he goes back to Styles Court, the place where he solved his first case, "The Mysterious Affair at Styles". Hastings has recently been widowed. Poirot will try to find a murderer who applies psychological pressure to get others to kill. In the novel Hastings is very distressed that his daughter seems to have fallen in love with Major Allerton, who is still married. The mysterious murder manages to get Hastings so wound up that he plans to murder Major Allerton. Poirot manages to prevent this.
In the end it is revealed that birdwatcher Stephen Norton is the mysterious murderer. Poirot pretends to be an invalid during the story, but in reality can still move about. He murders Norton to stop him and then writes a confession. He awaits his own death by not taking his medication anymore. Hastings only finds out the truth after reading the written confession.
|Tommy and Tuppence have been a regular feature in Agatha Christie novels. They started out as young adventurers, but gradually became older and had children of their own. They still liked a good mystery, though. In "N or M" Tommy is given the assignment to go to the Sans Souci guesthouse in Leahampton. He might be able to find two German spies there, who go by the names of N and M. Initially he gets told not to tell Tuppence about the assignment, but she has her ways of finding out about it. When Tommy arrives at Sans Souci, Tuppence is already there under an assumed name. What name does Tuppence use?|
Mrs. Blenkensop. Tommy and Tuppence were first introduced in "The Secret Adversary", where they were young detectives. In "N or M" they are much older and now have children of their own, the twins Derek and Deborah. The story is set in 1940 at the start of the Second World War. Tommy is given the assignment of going to the guesthouse Sans Souci in Leahampton to find two German spies, who use the code names N and M.
When he arrives at Sans Souci, he is surprised to find that Tuppence is already there under the assumed name of Mrs. Blenkensop. She has even invented three grown sons by the names of Douglas, Raymond and Cyril. Eventually Tommy and Tuppence manage to unmask both N and M. N is revealed to be Mrs. Sprot, a woman staying at the guesthouse with her daughter Betty. Betty is not her own child, but the child of Vanda Polonska, who manages to grab her child at one point in the story. In the chase that follows, she is killed by Mrs. Sprot. M turns out to be Commander Haydock, who owns a house near the coast.
|In "Appointment With Death" we meet the young doctor Sarah King. She is fascinated by the Boynton family, who are dominated by their mother, a former prison warden. She is attracted to one of the sons, Raymond, but his mother does not allow him any free space. When she meets the family again later, Mrs. Boynton is murdered and both Sarah and Raymond are among the suspects. Where does the murder take place exactly?|
Petra. Sarah King meets the Boynton family again in Petra, a historical city located in Jordan. In the camp we find the Boynton family along with Sarah King, Dr. Gerrard, Jefferson Cope, Lady Westholme and Amabel Pierce. When Mrs. Boynton is murdered, almost everyone is an immediate suspect as the murdered woman was very unpleasant and sadistic. The stories of the family differ greatly as to when Mrs. Boynton was still alive, leaving Hercule Poirot with a difficult task to find the real killer.
In the end Lady Westholme turns out to be the murderer. She is an English politician with quite a reputation. She has a secret to hide though, as she was once incarcerated in the prison where Mrs. Boynton was a warden. Mrs. Boynton recognises her and sees her as a new victim to torment. Lady Westholme listens in to Poirot's explanation of the case from another room and kills herself when she is revealed as the culprit. For the Boynton family, all ends well now that they are finally free from the oppression of their mother. Sarah King and Raymond Boynton marry, as do Carol Boynton and Jefferson Cope and also Ginevra Boynton and Dr. Gerrard.
|In "Cards on the Table" we meet the eccentric Mr. Shaitana. He meets Poirot at an exhibition and tells him about his collection of people that got away with murder. Soon afterwards, Poirot and three other detectives are invited to a party hosted by Mr. Shaitana. The other four guests are apparently part of his collection. Both groups start a game of bridge in two separate rooms. At the end of the evening they discover that Mr. Shaitana has been killed with a stiletto during the evening. One of the suspects, Major Despard, ends up marrying the housemate of another guest at the end of the book. What is the name of the girl he falls in love with?|
Rhoda Dawes. When Mr. Shaitana is murdered, suspicion falls naturally on the four guests who are part of his collection. They all seem to have gotten away with murder in the past. Hercule Poirot begins an investigation, helped by Ariadne Oliver, Colonel Race and Superintendent Battle, who were also present at the party. He soon finds out that Dr. Roberts is the one who killed Mr. Shaitana. Poirot is able to deduce this by looking at the bridge scores during the evening. He notices there was a grand slam in the third rubber, when Dr. Roberts was dummy. This guaranteed that the others were focused on the game, leaving him the chance to kill Mr. Shaitana.
Major Despard has been visiting Anne Meredith, one of the other guests, a lot after the murder. He has fallen in love with her housemate Rhoda Dawes. Anne however is very jealous and tries to kill Rhoda by throwing her into the water from a boat. She falls in herself though and is killed. Rhoda is rescued by Major Despard and they marry later. The couple appears again in the novel "The Pale Horse".
|In "Murder on the Links" we find Arthur Hastings on his way back to England in the opening scene. In the train he meets a young girl, who shocks him with her language, but also intrigues him. She refuses to give her real name. Later he meets her again near the scene of the crime that Poirot and Hastings are investigating and it turns out she may have something to do with the murder. What is the name by which Hastings refers to the girl?|
Cinderella. Arthur Hastings does not want to admit it, but he has fallen in love with the girl. Her real name is Dulcie Duveen. Along with her sister Bella, she performs as acrobats on stage. Her sister was involved with Jack Renauld, the son of the murdered Paul Renauld. Dulcie was afraid Bella might be involved in the murder. In the end it turns out that Marthe Dubreuil is the real murderer. Arthur confesses his love to his Cinderella and she ends up as his wife later.
The murder in "Murder on the Links" is a complicated one. It appears as though Paul Renauld was killed by two mysterious men from Santiago, who wanted to know more about a secret that Paul Renauld had. They tied up his wife and took him to the golf course, where he was killed by dagger. In the end Hercule Poirot discovers that the Renaulds had planned to make it look like he was killed, to escape being blackmailed by Madame Dubreuil, who lived nearby. The body was to be that of a tramp that had died of an epileptic shock on the grounds earlier, his head bashed in to prevent recognition. Before the body could be placed in the grave that was created, the murderer killed Paul Renauld for real. When Eloise Renauld identifies his body, she expects to see the body of the tramp. She is shocked to find her husband was really killed.
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