Detective of the Month


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On May 17 I discovered an impressive Agatha Christie - Icelandic Homepage. There was even a 'Detective of the Month' quiz - to obtain this title, you have to answer a question about Agatha Christie's books… and there is not a silver medal for being the second one to submit the answer, so you have to be fast.

I set my Scheduler to remind me on June 2, and the question was really there:

From which book by Agatha Christie is this quotation:
"... I've got autographs from Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie..."

Funny thing, I knew the answers to the previous questions (I just was not there to submit them) but this one… I wasn't sure. I remember some child said that, and I also remember that child played a detective for a while, but where? I first thought of the Crooked House, browsed the book, but Josephine just did not say that. Maybe At Bertram's Hotel? No… Or maybe somebody said it when introduced to Poirot?

Then I decided to do things systematically - I printed the complete list of Agatha Christie's novels and considered them one by one… trying to remember where the children are involved. The following books ended on my list: The Secret of Chimneys, The Seven Dials Mystery (Bundle has a few sisters, remember), The Hollow (good doctor had an intelligent son), The Clocks (Collin talks to a little girl with a broken leg), Dead Man's Folly, 4.50 from Paddington (two boys hunting for clues) and Cat Among the Pigeons (happens in a school). I browsed all of them, but no luck.

Still, I somehow remembered that a child in one of the books ended with a "souvenir" from the murderer (hair?). And it was not 4.50 from Paddington… So I took a bunch of Agatha Christie's books and read the last page of each of them. A shame on Murphy law: the third I considered, The Body in the Library, was the one! The words were said by nine-year-old boy Peter; he also has autographs from Dikson Carr and H.C. Bailey.

I submitted the answer, and found out that nobody did it before me. So I got the title!

If you are unhappy that there is not going to be the next question before July 1, you may try your luck with this one - if you provide a correct answer, I will publish your name here!

You certainly read The Curtain, last Poirot's case? Well, somewhere in the book, Poirot said: "The second way to prevent a murder is to warn the murderer. Tell him ’I know what you are about to do - if he or she dies, you'll be hanged'. Even that is not always useful - murderers think they are smarter then anybody else. I warned the murderer twice - once in Egypt, the second time somewhere else…"

'Once in Egypt' is easy - Death on the Nile. Somewhere else? Agatha wrote this book (to be published after her death) in 1945, so she probably decided to "reserve" second warning for some other book, to be written in years to come. So, did she take this opportunity? Is there a novel in which Poirot warned the murderer? Please submit your answers here.

It seems we have the first answer - I received a mail from STEFANO PERELLI, ITALY. He said:

I don't know if you'll accept my answer, since you clearly meant to refer to a novel and not to a short story. But if I don't remember wrongly, Poirot must have warned a murderer in Triangle At Rhodes a short story written in 1937.

So, we are still looking for a novel!

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