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Hercule Poirot #33

Elephants Can Remember

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Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into a crime committed 15 years earlier and discovers that, when there is a distinct lack of physical evidence, it’s just as well that ‘old sins leave long shadows.'

This story is part of Agatha Christie’s murder in retrospect series, a collection of stories which look at a crime several years after the fact, piecing together testimonials and witness reports to finally uncover the truth. This time we see Mrs Oliver’s goddaughter, attempting to find out the truth about her deceased parents – who killed whom?

212 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 1972

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About the author

Agatha Christie

3,768 books57.5k followers
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in translation. According to Index Translationum, she remains the most-translated individual author, having been translated into at least 103 languages. She is the creator of two of the most enduring figures in crime literature-Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple-and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880–1929), called Monty, ten years older than Agatha.

Before marrying and starting a family in London, she had served in a Devon hospital during the First World War, tending to troops coming back from the trenches. During the First World War, she worked at a hospital as a nurse; later working at a hospital pharmacy, a job that influenced her work, as many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison. During the Second World War, she worked as a pharmacy assistant at University College Hospital, London, acquiring a good knowledge of poisons which feature in many of her novels.

Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, came out in 1920. During her first marriage, Agatha published six novels, a collection of short stories, and a number of short stories in magazines.

In late 1926, Agatha's husband, Archie, revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On 8 December 1926 the couple quarreled, and Archie Christie left their house, Styles, in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey. That same evening Agatha disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public, many of whom were admirers of her novels. Despite a massive manhunt, she was not found for eleven days.

In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan (Sir Max from 1968) after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was especially happy in the early years and remained so until Christie's death in 1976.

Christie frequently used familiar settings for her stories. Christie's travels with Mallowan contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. Other novels (such as And Then There Were None) were set in and around Torquay, where she was born. Christie's 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express was written in the Hotel Pera Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the southern terminus of the railway. The hotel maintains Christie's room as a memorial to the author. The Greenway Estate in Devon, acquired by the couple as a summer residence in 1938, is now in the care of the National Trust.

Christie often stayed at Abney Hall in Cheshire, which was owned by her brother-in-law, James Watts. She based at least two of her stories on the hall: the short story The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, and the novel After the Funeral. Abney Hall became Agatha's greatest inspiration for country-house life, with all the servants and grandeur which have been woven into her plots.


To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club.

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April 1, 2022
Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot #40), Agatha Christie

Elephants Can Remember is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in 1972. A classic Hercule Poirot investigation, Agatha Christie’s Elephants Can Remember has the expert detective delving into an unsolved crime from the past involving the strange death of a husband and wife.

عنوانهای برگردان فارسی کتاب: «فیلها به خاطر میآورند»؛ «مرگ اسرارآمیز»؛ نويسنده: آگاتا کریستی (میلر)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز سی و یکم ماه می سال2012میلادی

عنوان: فیلها به خاطر میآورند؛ نويسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: حمیدرضا بلندسران؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، هرمس، سال انتشار1391؛ قطع کتاب11/5در19، تعداد صفحات264ص؛ چاپ دوم سال1393؛ چاپ سوم سال1396؛ شابک9789643637491؛ موضوع داستانهای کارآگاهی از نویسندگان بریتانیا- سده20م

عنوان: مرگ اسرارآمیز؛ نويسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: قدیر گلکاریان؛ مشخصات نشر تبریز، تلاش، چاپ دوم سال1390، در274ص؛ شابک9645750342؛

نقل از متن: (فیلها به خاطر می‌آورند؛ فصل اول: ضیافت ناهار نویسندگان؛ خانم «اولیور» خودش را در آینه برانداز کرد و نیم نگاهی به ساعتی که روی تاقچه بخاری قرار داشت انداخت؛ به خیالش، این ساعت بیست دقیقه عقب بود...؛ سپس کار آرایش موهایش را از سرگرفت؛ مشکلی که خانم «اولیور» داشت ــ مشکلی که خودش هم راحت به آن معترف بود ــ نوع آرایش موهایش بود، که دائم تغییر میکرد؛ تقریبا همه مدلها را به تناوب، امتحان کرده بود؛ یکبار موهای پُف دار، بعدش موهایی ژولیده، که باید همه آنها را به عقب شانه میکردید، تا چهره قابل قبولی پیدا کنید؛ او هم امیدوار بود، که حداقل چهره ی قابل قبولی داشته باشد؛ هم مدلهای فِردار را امتحان کرده بود، هم مدلهای درهم و برهم هُنری را، اما امروز به خودش قبولانده بود، که سبک آرایش موهایش اهمیت چندانی ندارد، چون تصمیم داشت کاری را انجام دهد، که به ندرت از او سر میزد، و آن به سر گذاشتن کلاه بود؛ در طبقه بالای کمد لباس، «خانم اولیور»، چهار تا کلاه قرار داشت؛ یکی از آنها، ویژه ی مراسم عروسی بود؛ وقتی به جشن ازدواج بروید، کلاه، یکی از موارد ضروری است؛ اما او حتی برای این مناسبتها هم، دو تا کلاه داشت؛ یکی از آنها که داخل جعبه گردی قرار داشت، جنسش از چرم بود؛ این کلاه کاملاً اندازه سرش بود، و در برابر باران ناگهانی، و پاشیده شدن آب از سوی اتومبیلهای درحال عبور هم، بخوبی از سرش محافظت میکرد؛ کلاه دیگر که پرنقش و نگارتر بود، کاملاً مناسب مراسم ازدواجی بود، که در بعد از ظهر یک روز یکشنبه تابستانی، برگزار شود؛ روی آن، چند تا گل، و یک روبان دیده میشد، که یک پارچه توری زردرنگ گلدار، سطحش را پوشانده بود؛ دو کلاه دیگرِ روی قفسه، از آنهایی بودند که تقریبا به همه کار میآمدند؛ یکی از آنها، که خانم «اولیور» اسمش را گذاشته بود کلاه خانه اربابی، از نمد قهوه ای بود، و با هر نوع لباس پشمی تناسب داشت و دارای لبه ای بود، که راحت میشد آنرا به سمت بالا یا پایین کشید؛ خانم «اولیور» یک پلیور پشمی برای گرم شدن در روزهای سرد، و یک پلیور نازک برای استفاده در روزهای گرم داشت، که رنگ هر دوِ آنها با آنها با کلاه جور درمیآمد؛ با اینحال، گرچه پولیورها را به دفعات پوشیده بود، کلاهها را تقریبا هیچوقت استفاده نکرده بود؛ واقعا هم چه دلیلی دارد که بخواهید فقط برای رفتن به دهکده، و صرف غذا با دوستانتان، از کلاه استفاده کنید؟ اما کلاه چهارم، از بقیه گرانقیمت تر بود، و بسیار بادوامتر؛ خانم «اولیور» فکر میکرد: شاید این ویژگی به خاطر قیمت بالای آن است؛ کلاه بی لبه ای بود، که از لایه های متنوعی از مخمل نرم، شکل گرفته بود؛ با سایه روشنهایی که داشت، با هر نوع لباسی جور درمیآمد؛ خانم «اولیور»، با تردید مکثی کرد، و بعد درخواست کمک کرد: ــ «ماریا»؛ با صدای بلندتری فریاد زد: ــ «ماریا»، یک دقیقه بیا اینجا؛ «ماریا» آمد؛ معمولاً خانم «اولیور» از او میخواست تا نظرش را، در مورد نوع پوشش او بیان کند؛ «ماریا» گفت: ــ میخواهید آن کلاه شیک و قشنگتان را سرتان بگذارید، نه؟ خانم «اولیور» گفت: ــ آره؛ میخواستم بدانم به نظرت اینطوری بهتر است یا برش گردانم؟ «ماریا» عقب ایستاد و نگاهی انداخت؛ ــ خب، الآن که آنرا برعکس روی سرتان گذاشته اید؛ اینطور نیست؟ ــ آره، خودم میدانم؛ فکر کردم اینطوری یک جورهایی بهتر باشد؛ ــ اوه، چرا بهتر باشد؟ خانم «اولیور» گفت: ــ خب، انگار بهتر روی سرم نشسته؛ البته از دید من اینطور است؛ فروشنده اش هم همین نظر را داشت؛ ــ چرا فکر میکنید اگر آنرا برعکس سرتان بگذارید بهتر است؟ ــ چون اینطوری رنگهای قشنگ آبی و قهوه ای سوخته را میبینی؛ به نظر من، خیلی بهتر از مدلی است که رنگهای سبز و قرمز و شکلاتی دارد؛ در این لحظه، خانم «اولیور» کلاه را از سرش برداشت، و آنرا دوباره سرش گذاشت، و حالتهای دیگرِ آنرا امتحان کرد، اما در آخر، نه خودش و نه «ماریا»، از هیچکدام از حالتها خوششان نیامد؛ ــ نمیتوانید آن را یکوری بگذارید؛ منظورم این است که به صورتتان نمیآید، مگر نه؟ به صورتِ هیچ کس نمیآید؛ ــ نه؛ فایده ندارد؛ فکر کنم آخرش هم باید آنرا همانطور صاف روی سرم بگذارم؛ «ماریا» گفت: ــ خب، فکر کنم درستش هم همین باشد؛ خانم «اولیور» کلاه را از سرش برداشت؛ «ماریا» کمکش کرد، تا لباس پشمی خوشدوختِ نازک و زیبایی را، که رنگ آلبالویی ملایمی داشت، به تن کند، و کلاهش را روی سرش میزان کند؛ بعد گفت: ــ خیلی خوش تیپ شدید؛ خانم «اولیور» از این رفتار «ماریا» خوشش میآمد؛ با کمترین ایرادگیری و بهانه ای، همیشه او را مورد تایید و تحسین قرار میداد؛ «ماریا» پرسید: ــ میخواهید در مراسم سخنرانی کنید، نه؟ ــ سخنرانی! خانم «اولیور» با صدایی وحشت زده گفت: ــ نه، البته که نه؛ خودت میدانی که من هیچوقت سخنرانی نمیکنم؛ ــ خب، به نظرم در چنین ضیافتهایی از این کارها انجام میدهند؛ شما هم برای همین به آنجا میروید دیگر؛ مگر غیر از این است؟ نویسندگان مشهور سال 1973میلادی یا حالا هر سالی؛ چه میدانم؛ خانم «اولیور» گفت: ــ من لازم نیست سخنرانی کنم؛ آنجا پر است از آدمهایی که به اینکار علاقمندند، و خیلی هم بهتر از من سخنرانی میکنند؛ «ماریا» که سعی داشت خانم «اولیور» را وسوسه کند، گفت: ــ اما من مطمئنم که اگر یک کم روی آن تمرکز کنید، خوب میتوانید سخنرانی کنید؛ خانم «اولیور» گفت: ــ نه، نمیتوانم؛ من خودم میدانم توانایی چه کارهایی را دارم، و چه کارهایی را ندارم؛ این کار مرا مضطرب و عصبی میکند؛ احتمالاً خیلی از جاها زبانم میگیرد، و بعضی چیزها را دوبار تکرار میکنم؛ نه تنها پیش خودم احساس حماقت میکنم، بلکه احتمالاً از دید دیگران هم احمق به نظر خواهم رسید؛ البته خودِ کلمات مشکلی ندارند: میتوانی آنها را جایی بنویسی، یا روی یک دستگاه ضبطشان کنی، یا اینکه آنها را دیکته کنی؛ خیلی وقت است که با کلمه ها سروکار دارم، و میدانم که اهل سخنرانی نیستم؛ ــ بسیار خب؛ امیدوارم همه چیز بخوبی پیش برود، و مطمئنم همینطور هم خواهد شد؛ باید مراسم خیلی باشکوهی باشد، نه؟ ــ آره؛ صدای خانم «اولیور» پر از تشویش و اضطراب بود؛ تایید کرد: ــ یک ضیافت ناهارِ باشکوه برای نویسندگان؛ چیزی نمیگفت، اما پیش خودش فکر میکرد که چرا باید به این مراسم برود؛ کمی ذهنش را جستجو کرد، چون همیشه واقعا دوست داشت بداند، که به جای اینکه اول کاری را انجام دهد و بعد فکر کند که چرا آن کار را کرده، از اول باید چه کار کند؟ «به نظرم...» بازهم با خودش حرف میزد، و خطابش به «ماریا»یی نبود که اینک با عجله به آشپزخانه برگشته بود، چون احساس کرده بود بوی سر رفتن ظرف مربایی که روی اجاق گاز گذاشته بود، به مشامش رسیده؛ «به نظرم بد نیست بروم و ببینم چه حسی دارد؛ همیشه به ضیافتهای ناهار، و این جور جاها دعوت میشوم و هیچ وقت هم در آنها شرکت نمیکنم.» خانم «اولیور» وقتی به آخرین بخش ضیافت ناهار رسید، در حالیکه با ته مانده های کیک «مَرنگ» در بشقابش بازی میکرد، نفسی حاکی از رضایت بیرون داد؛ از طرفداران پر و پا قرص «مَرنگ» بود، و طعم خوب این شیرینی، آخرین برنامه ضیافت را نیز دلپذیر کرده بود؛ با اینحال، وقتی کسی به سنین میانسالی میرسد، باید مراقب مصرف شیرینیجات باشد؛ مثلاً دندانها: کاملاً سالم بودند، و این مزیت را داشتند، که درد نمیگرفتند، سفید بودند، و ظاهری قابل قبول داشتند؛ مثل دندانهای اصل بودند، اما واقعیت این بود که اصل نبودند؛ و دندانهایی که اصل نباشند، از نظر خانم «اولیور»، نمیتوانستند از مواد درجه یکی باشند؛ میدانست که دندان سگها از عاج واقعی است، در حالیکه دندانهای انسان، تقریبا از جنس استخوان هستند، و اگر هم مصنوعی باشند، از جنس پلاستیک؛ به هر حال، موضوع این بود که نباید از داشتن دندانهای مصنوعی، خجالت کشید؛ کاهو، بادام شور، و چیزهای دیگری مثل شکلاتهای مغزدار، کاراملهای چسبناک، و شیرینیهای خوشمزه از موادی هستند که خوردنشان مشکل است؛ یکبار دیگر نفسی از سر رضایت بیرون داد، و مشغول خوردن آخرین تکه از شیرینی اش شد؛ ناهار خوبی خورده بود، یک ناهار خیلی خوب؛ خانم «اولیور» از همه چیز راضی بود، و از هر لحاظ احساس آرامش میکرد؛ از مراسم لذت فراوان برده بود؛ از مهمانان و افراد حاضر هم همینطور؛ این ناهار که در اصل برای گرامیداشت زنان نویسنده زن نمیشد؛ نویسندگان دیگر، منتقدان و خوانندگان نیز بودند که در مراسم حضور داشتند. خانم «اولیور» بین دو نفر از نویسندگان مرد حاضر در مراسم نشست؛ «اِدوین اوبین»، شاعری که او از اشعارش خیلی لذت میبرد، آدم شوخ مشربی بود که تجارب خیلی جالبی از زندگی شخصی و ادبی و نیز سفرهای خارج از کشورش داشت؛ از علاقمندان به رستورانها و انواع غذاها بود، و همین باعث شد تا آنها موضوع ادبیات را کنار بگذارند، و سرخوشانه، در مورد غذا با یکدیگر صحبت کنند؛ سِر «وِسلی کنت» هم که در طرف دیگرش نشسته بود، همصحبت دلپذیری در این ضیافت به حساب میآمد؛ مطالب خیلی جالبی درباره کتابهایش گفت، و با ظرافت طبعی که در بیان سخنانش داشت، اجازه نداد تا خانم «اولیور» معذّب شود، در حالیکه خیلیها ناخودآگاه مخاطب را دچار این احساس میکردند؛ دلایلش را برای علاقمندی به برخی از آثار خانم «اولیور» اظهار داشت؛ این دلایل که منطقی هم به نظر میرسیدند، باعث شدند تا خانم «اولیور» نظر مساعدی نسبت به او پیدا کند؛ با خودش فکر کرد که تعریف و تمجید از زبانِ مردها، همیشه پذیرفتنی است؛ این زنها بودند که غلو میکردند؛ امان از بعضی چیزهایی که همین زنها برایش مینوشتند! واقعا که! البته همیشه هم زنها نبودند؛ گاهی اوقات هم بودند مردان جوان، و احساساتی، که از دوردستترین نقاط برایش نامه مینوشتند؛ همین هفته پیش بود که داشت نامه ی یکی از طرفدارانش را میخواند، که اینگونه شروع شده بود: «با خواندن کتابتان، احساس میکنم که باید چه بانوی بزرگواری باشید.» ظاهرا پس از خواندن کتاب «دومین ماهی قرمز» چنان هیجان ادبی شدیدی به او دست داده بود، و چنین چیزهایی را نوشته بود، که البته از نظر خانم «اولیور» کاملاً بیمورد بود؛ چندان اهل تواضع و فروتنی نبود؛ به نظرش داستانهای پلیسی ای که مینوشت در نوع خودشان خوب بودند؛ بعضیشان هم خیلی خوب نبودند، و برخی دیگر خیلی بهتر از بقیه بودند؛ اما تا جاییکه میدانست، هیچ دلیلی وجود نداشت که کسی تصور کند او یک زن بزرگوار است؛ او تنها این شانس را داشت که توانسته بود با استفاده از استعداد و مهارتی که در نوشتن دارد، افراد بسیاری را که به مطالعه علاقه داشتند سرگرم کند؛ و این از دید خانم «اولیور» یک خوش شانسی بزرگ بود؛ خلاصه آنکه، روی هم رفته، او توانسته بود به شایستگی از پس این آزمون سخت برآید؛ خوش گذرانده بود و با آدمهای خوبی صحبت کرده بود؛ حالا همه داشتند به جایی میرفتند که قهوه ها دست به دست میچرخید و میشد با افراد دیگر گپ زد؛ اینجا بود که احتمال خطر ....) پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 10/01/1401هجری خوشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Dr. Laurel Young.
81 reviews47 followers
March 28, 2021
Elephants Can Remember made me sad...because I solved it. You see, the reason I hold Dame Agatha Christie in such high regard is that she always outfoxes me, even though I've been studying the detective genre and teaching courses on it for years. No other author can do it; fond as I am of Dame Agatha's Golden Age contemporaries--Dorothy Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, et. al.--they seldom baffle me unless they haven't played fair and given me enough to go on. But Dame Agatha...I rarely figure her out before the end. This novel, though, seemed transparent to me, and that's a shame. I don't believe for one moment that Dame Agatha declined in talent with age--she wrote excellent novels throughout her 56-year career, and a few of my favorites were written late in her life. I just think, for whatever reason, this wasn't one of her best.

Dame Agatha has many excellent "cold case" novels; they were one of her specialties--Murder in Retrospect, Dumb Witness, Nemesis, Sleeping Murder, and many others. Perhaps she did finally run out of variations on this specific theme. Perhaps it should have been a Miss Marple case instead of a Poirot, since Miss Marple does such a wonderful job of playing the gossipy old lady in situations like this. I don't know. I just know that for once the obvious twist was the correct one, and I'd rather never speak of that again!
Profile Image for Anne.
3,792 reviews69k followers
May 12, 2022
Elephants.
Amazing creatures as long as they stay out of rooms.


description

When a rude woman asks a highly impertinent question about the death of Ariadne Oliver's goddaughter's parents, it piques her interest in what was originally thought to be a murder-suicide.
And if anyone can help her get to the bottom of things, it's her old friend Hercule Poirot.

description

Ok. So this was one of Christie's last books. She died of old age in 1976 and this was published in 1972. Taking all of that into consideration, this book is something that I think most fans of Christie will love. Is it the best? Eh.
The twist in the murder story is actually pretty good.
Three women that loved the same man! Mental illness! A string of dead children! Twins! An odd assortment of wigs! The unbreakable bond of love between sisters! And finally...a dog.

description

But there's a lot of rambling along the way, and if you don't appreciate hearing old people talk about the past (I actually do like this) then you might not find as much to enjoy about it as I did.
However, I think fans will find a lot of intelligence left in an author who was nearing the end of her life. What I'd suggest is that this one is for the dyed-in-the-wool Christie addicts who want insight into their favorite author's last few years.
Recommended for fans of Agatha Christie and Poirot.
Profile Image for Adrian.
541 reviews194 followers
January 21, 2021
It is now over 4 years that I, along with other members of the Reading The Detectives Group, have been reading Agatha Christie's detective novels. We started with a year of the redoubtable Miss Marple and we are coming to a conclusion after 3 (and a bit ) years of the inimitable Hercule Poirot, I shall miss them both. (Luckily we have started a group read of non Marple/Poirot Christies.)

So, I was meant to be reading this book in December last year I think, but a (rare) reading slump, saw me fall 3 books behind schedule in this reading challenge. That said it has only taken me 2 days to read it, as I seem to be on a bit of a roll.

This is the first book I have read of Poirot's that references directly some of his previous cases (well the first I remember ), and reading some of the posted reviews, other people feel that it mirrors/borrows the plot from some previous books.
Personally I didn't find that many similarities with previous novels, yes it involved an incident in the distant past that Poirot has to investigate, and whilst he has done it once before, how many times has investigated a current crime ?
This book features the wonderful Ariadne Oliver and a brief appearance from the slightly creepy Mr Goby, who stares at the fireplace. For those who have never read this book , it is based around a young woman who's prospective mother-in-law is worried that she has inherited murderous tendencies after her mother and father supposedly ended their lives in a suicide pact.
Poirot gets involved as the young woman happens to be the god daughter of his close friend the wonderful Ariadne Oliver (I will always see Zoe Wanamaker). Having watched all the David Suchet Poirot's a few months ago I remembered this story, but still enjoyed this a lot. Hercule and Ariadne investigate all the way through this novel, and bring it to a conclusion really well (I do not see it as wishy-washy and vague as some reviews have mentioned)
Yes I have given it 4 stars, but to be honest, to me it was around a 4.4 stars so was almost a 5 star detective read for me.
Profile Image for BrokenTune.
748 reviews202 followers
January 8, 2017
“Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget.”

My first Christie of 2017. It took me a few attempts to get into the story, not because it was difficult to find a way to engage with the plot but purely because I enjoyed re-reading the opening of the story where Ariadne Oliver, Dame Agatha's alter ego in this series, considers the different ways to wear a hat and which hat is appropriate for which occasion.

I love Ariadne. She's the scatty, sassy, creative, liberal counterpart to Poirot. Not as brilliant in applying logic, but just as brilliant by her exuberance and love of life.

As for the story itself, this was quite different from previous works of Christie. Although there are some similarities with A Murder is Announced (one of my favourites), Elephants Can Remember is not a locked room mystery and puts much more emphasis on the different mental states and attitudes of the characters, who all seem to be entities who interact with each other, but who seem to act somewhat isolated from other characters.

Despite the occasional comic relief through Ariadne's antics, there is little that is cozy or twee about this story and in a way it struck me as if Christie tried her hand at a dark, psychological thriller, rather than at another Poirot mystery. I very much admired the attempt. Many of the Christie novels I love best are quite dark - just look at Endless Night! - even though she is of course best known for mysteries that are more akin to puzzles than gritty crime novels.

Maybe my appreciation for Elephants Can Remember has been influenced by my recent foray into the writing of Patricia Highsmith, whose work was contemporary to Christie's later work (including Elephants), but I did wonder whether Christie was influenced by the change in direction that crime fiction in the 1960s and 1970s seemed to have undergone.
Profile Image for Melindam.
607 reviews253 followers
April 23, 2020
When I first read this novel, I did not realise that it was among the late ones, published in 1972 (and AC died in 1976).
Now it was a more conscious read and bearing the publishing date in mind, it really felt a little ... hmm... maybe "tired" is the appropriate word.

The mystery in itself was quite intriguing, but the way it was presented, was not. Hercule Poirot and Mrs Oliver both lacked energy and the solution was also just an eye-witness eventually confirming & telling what happened.

Not a bad book altogether, but not engaging either.
Profile Image for Veronique.
1,217 reviews164 followers
April 2, 2018
“She was a lucky woman who had established a happy knack of writing what quite a lot of people wanted to read. Wonderful luck that was, Mrs. Oliver thought to herself.

I actually really enjoyed this novel although it was very different to the usual Agatha Christie murder mysteries. Elephants Can Remember deals with a cold case, one devoid of threat or danger, where Poirot tries to put together events that happened 12 years prior. This could sound drab but for the brilliance of Ariadne Oliver. She has a central role here. Not only does the case land on her lap but she actively goes in search of elephant people with long memories to great humour. Even Poirot behaves, encouraging and helping her in this endeavour.

The mystery can be solved by the reader rather easily but it is the manner in which it is written that I liked. That and the fact that Ariadne embodies Agatha for me. Her comments about the literary gathering, experience with fans, etc., all sounded like things Christie had experienced.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 2 books3 followers
March 8, 2013
This was my least favorite of all the Poirot novels. On the surface it was a Poirot novel, possessing all the necessary elements: the complicated mystery, the little clues that don't seem at first relevant, the humor that comes out mainly through the side kick full of fanciful ideas, the love story between two young people, and of course, Poirot himself. But despite all these elements, the entire book read, not like an Agatha Christie, but like someone attempting to write in the style of Agatha Christie. Overall, it was too heavy in dialogue, and structured somehow more like a drama than a novel. The voice, particularly in the characterization of Poirot, was all wrong. And the mystery itself....Though I didn't have every detail worked out, primarily because I was over complicating things and building in coincidences that turned out to be untrue, I still managed to figure the whole thing out well before Poirot. And I think that's the first time I've ever done that.

Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.2k followers
February 11, 2021
“She was a lucky woman who had established a happy knack of writing what quite a lot of people wanted to read. Wonderful luck that was, Mrs. Oliver thought to herself.”--Ariadne Oliver

One more to go! I have read all the Christie Poirot books in order, the last couple years or so, and this is the last one she wrote, published in 1972, when she was 81, though she wrote the last intended one in the series, Curtain, in the forties, to be released at the conclusion of the series. The first, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, she wrote in 1920. She died at 85.

Elephant is just okay, compared to the great ones of the forties. When I review Curtain I will name my favorites. This one is amusing in that for humans at 81, memory is a struggle, a kind of focus in literature and life. One is not interested in memory at 20 in the same way. People forget, sure, though they sometimes remember things for many years. So? This story involves solving a murder that took place many years ago, which had been deemed a double suicide. The solution involves twins, wigs, the detective writer Ariadne Oliver again helping Poirot solve the crime. The elephant-never-forgets theme is way over done, and pretty boring; people are seen as elephants if they remember. The epithet “nosy parker” is repeated possibly five times; had she just heard it and couldn’t get it out of her head?

For what she may have known was one of the last Poirot books, she surprisingly spends very little time reflecting on Poirot’s career, though there are some footnotes about books where Poirot has gone back and solved a cold case, something like this book. Maybe she was thinking she had Curtain in the bag to do that for her? She repeats a proverb she had just used in the last book: “Old sins have long shadows.” Did she forget she had just used it? Is she then not an elephant?

The best thing about this book is Ariadne Oliver, of whom Christie clearly wishes she had written more, but was stuck with the Belgian guy for her whole life that she was sick of by this point. Gee, I wonder what will happen to the old boy, who was retired already in 1920 when she first wrote about him. 52 years later, you do the math, is he 117?!

“Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget”—This is kind of how I feel about this book, after reading it. Forgive and forget. It’s not terrible, I guess, but I am by now ready to be done with her and Poirot, sorry to say, as it has been a largely fruitful and fun journey. And oh, I've forgotten the plot of the book altogether! And now who is Poirot? Agatha who?

(I apologize to all readers who see my conclusion as insensitive to families impacted by dementia. But I have two sibs who suffer from this, and who no longer know me, so laughter is sometimes the best medicine. But I am getting older by the minute, too, so my memory is already shaky. . . now what was I saying?)
Profile Image for Janete on hiatus due health issues.
648 reviews264 followers
September 22, 2018
Before the middle of the book, I already knew the solution to the crimes. Moreover, the explanation for the crimes was too melodramatic. And I love Poirot, but he appears little in this story, as Ariadne Oliver does too many investigations. Well, I read it in my native language and I got it from the public library where I work, but I have this book in the original in my home. Now, I don't know when I will read this story again to improve my English.
Profile Image for Julian Worker.
Author 33 books338 followers
January 29, 2020
I thought this book was very well written, however it does make the police who investigated the original deaths, look rather stupid and willing to accept one particular explanation rather than investigating what happened. If Poirot and Ariadne Oliver can find out the answers a decade after the original deaths then it doesn't say much for Inspector Garroway and his detectives who investigated the original crime. There are enough clues along the way for the reader to work out who did what.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
504 reviews362 followers
November 22, 2020
Elephants Can Remember is one of the very poorly written murder-mysteries of the Poirot series. There was nothing original about the story, only a mixture of borrowed elements from the preceding novels thrown together.

Here, Poirot is brought in to investigate a past crime at the request of both Ariadne Oliver and the daughter of the victims. Poirot is assisted by Ariadne Oliver to probe into the past to collect information/evidence towards unearthing the truth.

The story was muddled with no proper flow. The investigation was haphazardly done and much was relied on conjecture. There was not much in the mystery; it was too simple and was easily figured out. The dual identity and the disguising which we've seen in some of her other stories were employed here with poor effect. Also, very little attempt is made at engaging the reader's attention and interest.

Personally, I think this was the most disappointing in the Poirot series. Perhaps, being almost at the end of the series, Agatha Christie may have gotten tired with hunting for new ideas.
Profile Image for Feli.
83 reviews40 followers
August 3, 2021
4/5⭐

“Hay un proverbio que mi abuela solía repetir: Los pecados viejos tienen largas sombras.”

Este libro se me hizo una lectura ligera y entretenida.

Lo que más me gustó fue como se desarrolla la trama hasta descubrir la verdad. Aclaro esto porque lo que me gustó de otros libros de Agatha Christie es el final, pero en este libro me gustó absolutamente todo.
Profile Image for Noella.
827 reviews52 followers
December 15, 2020
Weer een verhaal waarin Poirot samenwerkt met Mrs. Oliver, wat fijn om te lezen is. Beiden hebben zo hun eigenaardigheden, en samen vormen ze een fantastisch team. Deze keer gaat het om de peetdochter van Mrs. Oliver, Celia. Haar aanstaande huwelijk staat op hel spel, als gevolg van een onverkwikkelijke gebeurtenis in het verleden. Het is aan Poirot en Mrs. Oliver om uit te pluizen wat er zoveel jaar voordien écht gebeurd is.
Vlot leesbaar, en een intrigerend verhaal.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,620 reviews4,962 followers
December 9, 2010
Choose Your Own Adventure!

The elephant brain is denser than the human’s, and the temporal lobes, associated with memory, are more developed than in humans. Elephant lobes also have more folding, so that they can store more information. That’s why elephants have excellent memory. But why? Elephants can recognize over 200 different individuals. This is essential, as females depend on one another for raising the young, more than in the case of other mammals. A mother can remember who is trustful and complex bonds are the bricks of elephant society, while the memory is the cement. When two elephants approach one another, they emit a “contact appeal”: if the other recognizes the appeal, it responds and approaches; if not, it starts to agitate and adopts a defensive position. This capacity of recognition lasts a very long time, even after one individual is dead: even the recording of a dead animal attracts the attention of its relatives and descendants.

If you are an enemy of elephants, choose http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

If you love elephants because of their long memories (better to remember all those grudges) and because of their big feet (all the better to stomp your enemies into paste), choose http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Profile Image for John.
1,075 reviews76 followers
April 7, 2020
A good story.

Celia Ravenscroft and Desmond Burton-Cox want to marry. Desmond’s mother by adoption, Mrs Burton-Cox am odious woman opposes the marriage. At a literary luncheon she approaches Ariadne Oliver, who is Celia’s godmother to help her scupper the happy couples marriage plans. Celia’s parents died years ago in what the police determined to be a suicide pact. Mrs Burton-Cox wants to know who was the instigator as Molly the wife had a twin sister, Dolly that was mentally unstable. If she can prove this Desmond may hesitate to marry Celia if lunacy runs in the family.

Oliver and Poirot team up to investigate and find out the motive behind the deaths. The character development is very good but not enough red herrings and not difficult to work out the motive. The four wigs, a dog that bites and the past accidents associated around Dolly with children lead us to the motive.

A pleasant read and Oliver has Agatha Christie’s alto ego gives us a little insight into her eccentricity.
Profile Image for Aaron.
344 reviews
May 4, 2017
Reviewing an audio book is difficult because you have to separate out the different aspects: story, narrator and how well the story works in this media.
First, the story feels a bit typical and mundane with no real excitement or cause pushing the storyline along. It really comes down to a bunch of old people gossiping over a murder-suicide. The whole justification for this matter being brought to light just doesn't compel one to care all that much.
The narrator did a superb job differentiating the characters and giving them the appropriate feeling. With so much dialogue, he really had his work cut out for him and he saved this from being a 2 star rating.
This book would have been better suited, in my opinion, as an actual book. Focusing on the dialogue and following along was troublesome, at times. Some books translate rather well to an audio version, but this was not one of them.
Foul language and gore is absent. This book does bring up issues of murder, suicide and even sexual impropriety (though nothing vulgar or graphic) so that I would not recommend it to young readers. I'd put this in the category of older teens, but one could really find much better works that showcase the author's talent. I suggest going there first and leaving this one behind.
Profile Image for Karen ⊰✿.
1,350 reviews
June 28, 2018
Poirot is still my favourite of AC's detectives. And every time I read one, I picture David Suchet in my mind. :)
Ariadne Oliver returns in this book and she is such a fantastic character. Apparently she is slightly auto-biographical and if that is the case than Ms Christie must have been a ton of fun to be around.

As usual, there are loads of clues and potential plot lines, and although I mostly got there, I still didn't quite solve everything. Great fun!
Profile Image for . . . _ _ _ . . ..
278 reviews144 followers
November 5, 2018
Ας το ομολογήσω πια : η Αγκάθα Κρίστι έγραψε και μερικές πατάτες, έτσι δεν είναι ; Ίσως το πιο προφανές whodunit που έχω διαβάσει. Όπως και άλλοι εδώ μέσα είπαν, η λύση του "μυστηρίου" ήταν προφανής. Αλλά το πρόβλημα δεν είναι αυτό. Το πρόβλημα είναι πως ένα βιβλίο γραμμένο το 1972, φαντάζει τόσο πολύ "παλιομοδίτικο" για την εποχή του : μακρυμάλληδες που παίρνουν ναρκωτικά, και αχ αυτοί οι σιδηροδρομικοί υπάλληλοι που κάνουν απεργία. Σαν θείτσα από την Βικτωριανή εποχή που τηλεμεταφέρθηκε στα 70s και σοκάρεται. Να μην πιάσω τα σχεδόν αφελή σχόλια-και οριακά ρατσιστικά να τα διαβάζεις στη σύγχρονη εποχή- περί "φρενοβλαβών" που μπαίνουν σε μια "φρενολογική" κλινική, έτσι γενικά και αόριστα-με γιατρό μάλιστα γκεστ. Ρε Αγκαθα, κάνε ένα ρισερτς. Και αν βαριέσαι να την κάνεις, γράψε "η γυναίκα ήταν τρελή", μην καταπιέζεσαι. Επίσης, η Αριάδνη Όλιβερ ήταν το προφανές alter ego της, ήτοι το βιβλίο είχε τόσο αυτολιβάνισμα που βαρέθηκα. Μπορεί να έφταιξε και η μέτρια μετάφραση από τις εκδόσεις Λυχνάρι, που όλοι οι Έλληνες φανς της Κρίστι πίνουν νερό στο όνομα τους, μόνο εγώ θυμάμαι τις καλαίσθητες εκδόσεις Ερμείας;

EDIT : ιδιαίτερα αρνητική εντύπωση μου έκανε και η στάση της συγγραφέως (τελικά έπρεπε να ενηλικιωθώ για να καταλάβω τον προφανή συντηρητισμό της Α. Κρίστι) απέναντι στο θέμα της υιοθεσίας. Μάλλον, οι θετές μητέρες δεν είναι "πραγματικές" μητέρες (ΟΚ, και φυσικά δεν είναι, αλλά το πνεύμα της συγγραφέως είναι εντελώς αρνητικό), άσε που επιβουλεύονται και την περιουσία των υιοθετημένων τέκνων τους...
Επίσης : σε τι κόσμο ζούσε τέλος πάντων αυτή η κυρία ; Όλοι πια "θα κληρονομούσαν ένα σεβαστό ποσό" για να ζήσουν ; Το είδα σε πάμπολλα βιβλία της. Καλά, δεν δούλευε κανείς τους ; Μιλάμε,πλέον για το 1972. Ο πατέρας ήταν ανώτερος δημόσιος υπάλληλος, τι περιουσία είχε για να φτάσει για τα τέκνα του ; Άντε και η βιολογική μητέρα ήταν "τραγουδίστρια της ποπ".Δεν μιλάμε για τον υποκόμη του Σάσσεξ. Και μετά σε πείραζαν οι απεργίες των σιδηροδρομικών. Κότα.
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews202 followers
September 28, 2021
An annoying woman approaches Ariadne Oliver at an author luncheon. Her son wants to marry (one of) Mrs. Oliver’s (many) goddaughter(s), who was orphaned in a terrible event: the murder-suicide of her parents. The mother demands to know: which parent was the murderer?

An intrigued Mrs. Oliver and her friend Hercule Poirot set off to solve a decade-plus-old mystery, with some help from the memories of elephants, who never forget.
Whoa, this is one of the last Agatha Christie novels, and it read to me like a mystery written by someone who had used up every last bit of enthusiasm she ever had, and was running on fumes. I didn’t realize she could be this utterly boring. And obvious. Even though I didn’t even care who dunnit, I still figured out the general bones of the story long before the Big Reveal.

Everything about this was boring. Characters, setting, dialogue, backstory — dull, dull, dull.

And when it wasn’t dull, it made me angry. Misogyny, outright or whiffed, accompanied nearly every female character. The attitudes towards adoption presented in this book — that adopted relatives are not and never will be “real” relatives — did not sit well with me at all, speaking as someone with two adopted siblings and an adopted cousin.

In addition, I’m not convinced that the math in the book — the characters’ ages and the amount of time that was supposed to have passed — worked out, but I couldn’t be bothered to go back through the book and track it a second time.

This really isn’t worth any more words, but I will end with one question: How does a person end up with so many godchildren that they can’t keep track of them all? This seems more like some kind of honorary godparenting than a serious endeavor. But perhaps that was standard for famous authors in the UK in the mid-20th century.
Profile Image for Meave.
789 reviews55 followers
August 17, 2010
I was too distracted by the impossible timeline of Mrs. Oliver's age vs. the length of time she and Poirot have been friends to focus on the story.

If she was a bridesmaid at her friend's wedding, then they must have been around the same age--presumably within five years of each other. Now, if that school friend was 35 when she died, and her death occurred 13 years ago, that would make Mrs. Oliver at most 53 years old. How, then could she and Poirot have been friends for 40 years, as she says in the beginning of the book? When they meet, she's already "Mrs. Oliver," a lady, all enormous and gray-haired and loopy--certainly not a 13-year-old girl.

Trying to figure out whether Christie meant to write that they'd been friends for 20, even 30 years, or if the entire "we were school friends" connection was a mistake to begin with, drove me NUTS. It was very sloppy and detracted from an otherwise acceptable--if boring--mystery.
Profile Image for Randi Annie Framnes.
146 reviews175 followers
April 11, 2020
Hercule Poirot and his friend Ariadne Oliver go on a quest to shake up the memories of people connected to the double suicide of General and Lady Ravenscroft in 1960s English countryside. As Poirot digs deeper, people contribute new information and this cold case changes entirely.

Elephants Can Remember is #37 in Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie. It is about the married couple Ravenscroft who seemed to have shot each other with the husband’s revolver which is found lying beside the bodies. The police were never able to establish who killed who, as motive seemed to be nonexistent at the time. Many years later Mrs Oliver dives into a truck load of old hearsay to get to the truth. She wants to protect the Ravenscrofts’ daughter.

Main character, Hercule Poirot, seems to be sharing his main character role in this story, helping his longtime friend Ariadne with her case. I enjoyed that the author describes Poirot as a man with an egg-shaped head, a small stature and a monstrous mustache. She interestingly portrays him as a comic and strange looking personality. He seems very different from David Suchet in the TV adaptations.

Ariadne Oliver, is the narrator and supporting main character of this story. She comes at problem solving from unexpected and creative angles, like comparing people’s memories to those of elephants. I find it refreshing and different from Poirot’s strictly analytical approach. She seems a kind hearted person with an amusing habit of brushing her hands through her hair messing it all up, even if she is very focused on hair style.

The wonderfully descriptive writing takes me back to the 70s. In Agatha Christie’s universe every home seems to come with a set of servants for all domestic chores. I find it very entertaining to read her books as they give a glimpse into opulent environments and people’s interactions back in the day.

Hercule Poirot is the main character in 38 of Christie’s stories. He is an absolute longtime favorite of mine and I have followed him both in books and in TV series. Ariadne Oliver appears in a smaller number of stories as a supporting character, being an interesting and well crafted character I love to read about. In this story she is the one who alerts Poirot to the case.

There were plenty of references to old fashioned lifestyle of the 1970s, like keeping an address book for all contacts, something we stopped doing decades ago. I find it fascinating to be reminded how life worked before the digital age, and this is my favorite part of the story.

Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot Mysteries #37) by Agatha Christie is the captivating and entertaining story of Hercule Poirot and Ariadne Oliver solving a cold case from 1960, and is one of several works I have read by Agatha Christie. References are made to other books in the Hercule Poirot Mysteries Series in a clever way which triggers my curiosity. As a longtime fan, I am reading through most of them.

Fans of Agatha Christie will love Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot Mysteries #37), as will readers of crime fiction. Similar works to explore might be the Sherlock Holmes Series by Arthur Conan Doyle. All opinions are completely my own.
Profile Image for Alexa ❤️.
217 reviews119 followers
July 4, 2017
"Elephants can remember," said Mrs Oliver, "but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget." (Ariadne Oliver page 299).

4 Stars


Elephants can remember was a satisfying read about a cold case from approximately 20 years ago where everyone involved remembers different things about the victims; you don't know who is right, wrong and which if any of it is relevant. But of course it is nothing for Hercule Poriot's little grey cells.

It was interesting (as I knew who done it via watching the tv episode) seeing how the case unravelled and putting together the clues myself.

The first half of the novel doesn't feature Poriot that much being nearly all in Mrs Oliver's POV but that doesn't take away from the story and I can always picture Mrs Oliver as Zoe Wanamaker :)

The brilliant thing about Christie's works is that they are intriguing puzzles that are timeless.
Profile Image for Aida Lopez.
400 reviews68 followers
January 27, 2019
📚Muy fan de la autora!Mi propósito lector es llegar algún día a leerme toda su obra.
Con este van 19.

☑️Sus estructuras sencillas,donde va dejando caer pistas ,con giros finales sorprendentes,son la clave para que sus lecturas siempre gusten.

🐘Hercoles Poirot no entra en acción hasta bien avanzada la novela ,es la Señora Oliver la que arranca con la intriga y “sus elefantes “.

🐘Por primera vez ...tenia “cogido” al asesin@...pero como se suceden las muertes ...me dejo con la boca abierta...😳

📌Solemos seleccionar frases iniciales o intermedias...aquí va el cierre de este libro:”Los 🐘🐘son capaces de recordar.Pero nosotros somos seres humanos y gracias a Dios a los seres humanos les ha sido concebida la facultad de olvidar”.
Profile Image for Cititor Necunoscut.
452 reviews81 followers
December 30, 2019
În lipsa lui Hastings, pe care nici măcar nu mai sper că îl voi revedea într-unul din puține romane rămase în serie, Ariadne Oliver este o parteneră care dă culoare intrigii. Aceasta este o scriitoare de romane polițiste, excentrică, cu idei multe și trăsnite, care ghidată de Hercule Poirot încearcă să rezolve misterul unei crime/sinucideri care s-a petrecut cu mult timp în urmă. Și doar niște memorii demne de niște elefanți ar putea face lumină într-un caz atât de vechi. Acesta este și leitmotivul care o va ghida pe tot parcursul anchetei „elefanții nu uită niciodată”. Rolul lui Hercule Poirot nu este unul proeminent, dar dinamica dintre cei doi este una amuzantă/
Profile Image for Bob (aka Bobby Lee).
184 reviews75 followers
August 2, 2021
Written rather late in her career this book was published a scant three years before her death in January 1976. I wanted to enjoy this one more than I did, so I kept setting it aside hoping my frustration with it was a personal issue rather than a book issue. Parts of it were spot on with the best she's ever written, but too much of it seemed muddled to me with inconsistencies popping up here and there. To those who enjoyed it more than me, I'm happy for you and a little jealous. I'd rather be in your frame of mine than my own when thinking about it.
Profile Image for Rahma.Mrk.
704 reviews1,161 followers
April 23, 2020
هنا سنعود بذاكرة للجريمة في ماضي لأن للحكايا الماضي ظلال طويلة .المحقق هيركول سيفتح جريمة اغلقت بسبب رغبة صديقته الكاتبة .حبكة القصة بديعة و نمط آخر لاغاتا . هي مأساة الحب.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,855 reviews1,891 followers
May 13, 2017
Rating: 3 kindness-of-my-heart stars

Dear oh dear me.

An *awful* book, meandering and incoherent and apparently devoid of an editor's touch in which people are not properly or positively identified, events run on apparently unrelated timestreams, and holy goddess of memory will SOMEone please decide how old these folks are. Sometimes old, sometimes young, and never in the present or the past is it consistent! Did I mention the rambling? Like talking to a sleepy old person who's had too much wine. I skimmed from 40% on, it was more than I could endure not to.

The Agatha Christie's Poirot version for telly is almost infinitely superior to the novel, and I loves me some Ariadne Oliver as played by Zoë Wanamaker, but it's still a chopped salad instead of filet mignon for dinner.

First and foremost, Celia Ravenscroft is pretty much accosted by her godmother Mrs. Oliver and grilled about her parents' death in public. Instead of throwing her water at the bitch, Celia asks her to investigate the case! That she knows nothing about! Because, apparently, she barely ever met these parents in the twelve years they co-existed on the planet. But she suddenly wants to know what happened? Why?

And the show adds characters like mad to make the stakes worth staying awake for: A daughter who survives what had to be the single most hazardous childhood ever and yet has baskets of letters from her insane mother?! The discovery of the Ravenscoft woman's twinship which is a surprise to her self-described dear friend Mrs. Oliver! REALLY?!? Autre temps, autres moueurs, c'est vrai, mais anyone, at any time in history, calling themselves friends has a pretty clear picture of the immediate family tree of the befriended. Otherwise they're acquaintances. And not terribly close ones.

And the long-suffering Zélie Rouxelle, mooshed together from two indistinguishable governesses in the book...ten (book) or thirteen (film) or so (frankly wasn't sure about the timing of events and stopped caring early on so never worked it out) years she silently keeps a murder under her wig, one she colluded in or at least knew about, and the murdered woman's child, who inexplicably and suddenly wants the truth about the crime, expresses no teensy-tinsiest morsel of the mildest reproof at this astounding perversion of justice?!

None of this tale, book *shudder* or film *wince*, makes the smallest scintilla of sense and can be avoided without loss of pleasure. In fact, unless you just love Ariadne Oliver like I do, I encourage you to skip it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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