Nesa Sivagnanam's Reviews > Murder in the Mews

Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie
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Jul 26, 2011

it was amazing
Read on July 26, 2011

Murder in the Mews
Japp asks Poirot to join him at a house in Bardsley Garden Mews where a Mrs. Barbara Allen shot herself the previous evening – Guy Fawkes Night – the moment of death being disguised by the noise of fireworks. Once there they find that the doctor thinks there is something strange about the death of the woman, a young widow. Mrs. Allen was found by a housemate, Miss Jane Plenderleith, who had been away in the country the previous night. The victim was locked in her room and was shot through the head with an automatic, the weapon being found in her hand.


The Incredible Theft
A house party is taking place at the home of Lord Charles Mayfield, a self-made millionaire whose riches come from his engineering prowess. With him are Air Marshal Sir George Carrington, his wife and son, Lady Julia and Reggie, a Mrs. Vanderlyn, a beautiful blond American and Mrs. Macatta, a forthright MP. They are joined for dinner by Mr. Carlile, Lord Charles' secretary. Lord Mayfield and Sir George are there to discuss the plans for a new bomber that will give Britain supremacy in the air. The two men also discuss Mrs. Vanderlyn – she has been involved in some dubious spying and espionage. Lord Charles has invited her to his house to tempt her with something big – the bomber – in order to trap her.

That evening, after their bridge game, all of the guests retire for bed except, again, Lord Charles and Sir George. Mr. Carlile is instructed to get the plans for the bomber from the safe for the two men to peruse and he sets off for the study to do so, colliding with Mrs. Vanderlyn who says she has come down to retrieve her book. The two men take a turn on the terrace before getting down to work but Lord Charles is startled when he says he caught a glimpse of a figure leaving the study by the French window although Sir George saw nothing. Returning to the study, Mr. Carlile has got the papers out but Lord Charles quickly sees that the plans of the bomber itself have gone.

Dead Man's Mirror
When Sir Gervase Chevenix-Gore writes to Hercule Poirot to unceremoniously summon him down to the Chevenix-Gore ancestral pile, Poirot is initially reluctant to go. However, there is something that intrigues him and he goes. On arrival, it is clear that no-one is expecting him, and, for the first time in memory, Sir Gervase himself, who is always punctual, is missing. Poirot and guests go to his study and find him there dead, having apparently shot himself. Poirot is not convinced, however, and soon starts to prove that Sir Gervase was murdered because of various improbable factors surrounding the death, including the position at which the bullet is believed to have struck a mirror and the many different moods that Chevenix-Gore exhibited during the day.


Triangle at Rhodes
Wishing for a quiet holiday free from crime, Poirot goes to Rhodes during the low season in October where there are but a few guests. Aside from the young Pamela Lyall and Susan Blake there is Valentine Chantry, a beautiful woman who seems to draw the attentions of Douglas Gold. This is done at the expense of his own wife, Marjorie, a mildly attractive woman, and Valentine's husband Tony Chantry.

This is the "triangle" that everyone observes, and it gets rather absurd with the two men vying for Valentine's favour.

Marjorie soon wins the sympathy of the guests of the hotel as her husband is frequently in the company of Valentine. She confesses her doubts about Valentine to Poirot who warns her to flee the island if she values her life.

The event comes to a head one evening, when Gold and Chantry have a loud argument. Valentine and Marjorie return from a drive, and the former is poisoned by a cocktail her husband gives her.
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