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Evil Under the Sun (Hercule Poirot, #24)
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Book of the Month Reads > CLOSED October 2013 - Evil Under the Sun

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message 1: by Carolyn F. (new) - added it

Carolyn F. | 4574 comments Mod
Originally published 1941. Features Hercule Poirot.

Set at the Jolly Roger, a posh vacation resort for the rich and famous on the southern coast of England, "Evil Under the Sun" is one of Agatha Christie's most intriguing mysteries. When a gorgeous young bride is brutally strangled to death on the beach, only Hercule Poirot can sift through the secrets that shroud each of the guests and unravel the macabre mystery at this playground by the sea.


message 2: by Denise (last edited Oct 01, 2013 09:23PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments I reread this over the past couple of days. Although I had remembered 'whodunnit', I had forgotten the motive, so there was still some mystery there for me.

The plot is rather similar to the short story Triangle at Rhodes, which we read a while back in the Murder in the Mews collection. I also picked up on references to Peril at End House (Weston had worked with Poirot on that one, and mentions it when they meet) and Death on the Nile (Mrs. Gardener says that she met one of the characters - Cornelia Robson - from that case, who had told her about Poirot)

This novel was the basis for one of the movies starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot - and Diana Rigg as the victim!


message 3: by carol. (new)

carol. | 32 comments It was one of my first Agatha Christie books that I bought for myself. I think I ran into her books reading at my grandmothers, and then from the library. This one was new to me and was quite engrossing.


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 74 comments I'm watching the David Suchet version. And yes, Denise, there are similarities to the other stories that you mention.


Brad Friedman | 191 comments I can't believe I picked up my first AC 47 years ago! As a result, I've read, watched and listened to all her stories/novels/films many times. I look forward to discussing this, and all of, Christie's work with other fans.

So, Evil Under the Sun.....written during the height of her powers and a lot of fun to read. I think Christie does a great job writing the female characters especially here: Arlena Marshall, Christine Redfern, Rosamund Darnley, Emily Brewster, Mrs. Gardener - all of them quite different and interesting. Linda is one of Christie's few child characters, and she's really quite heartbreaking. (If you ever listen to David Suchet read the novel, he does a great job with Linda.) I think the biggest problem for me with EUTS, ironically, is that it WAS written during the height of AC's powers, and there are other books of hers that are just richer and more satisfying for me. The mystery itself is perfectly fine, but the solution relies on something she's done before and, to my mind, much better. I won't get into spoilers here; I'll wait till others are caught up or into the discussion. (And then I'll practice my HTML stuff, thanks to Emily!) Looking forward to it.


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments Brad, I agree that the character of Linda is very well-written. We can feel that adolescent awkwardness and angst.


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 74 comments One thing bugs me about the solution to this book, especially as it's something that she uses in other books: (view spoiler)


Denise (dulcinea3) | 262 comments The thing that bothered me a bit was (view spoiler)


Brad Friedman | 191 comments (view spoiler)


message 10: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Friedman | 191 comments YAY!!!!! I figured out the whole spoiler thing! Fire away, fans! :)


message 11: by Carolyn F. (new) - added it

Carolyn F. | 4574 comments Mod
Okay stupid me, I downloaded Death on the Nile instead of this book! I'm going to finish this audiobook and then try to get back to Evil Under the Sun


Randee Baty I'm not sure if I had read this book before because I read so many of them in my teen years but I did enjoy reading this month. The thing I am noticing about this one and last month's book was how much I miss Captain Hastings. Poirot needs Hastings to give Poirot more of a human quality. I didn't realize that until I read two Poirots in a row without him.


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 74 comments Brad, I agree that the relationship between Simon and Jacquelyn is much easier to comprehend than the relationship between Christine and Patrick. In fact I feel more comfortable with it, because in the former, she is the leader, while in the latter, I sense that he is.


message 14: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Friedman | 191 comments Victoria_Grossack wrote: "Brad, I agree that the relationship between Simon and Jacquelyn is much easier to comprehend than the relationship between Christine and Patrick. In fact I feel more comfortable with it, because i..."

Victoria, I think both women lead in these duos, and the men are lacking in morality. But whereas Christine is a cold-blooded killer, willing to let Linda die and take the blame for Arlena's death, Jacquelyn is always a sympathetic figure. And, in terms of victims, there's really nothing to admire in Linnet, the man-stealing hussy, but Arlena comes off in the end as rather pathetic and sad, a true victim.


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 74 comments One thing that is different about the two cases is that in Death on the Nile it is the first murder committed by the duo, one borne of overwhelming opportunity and somewhat excused by Linnet's behavior. Christine and Patrick have made a habit of it.


message 16: by S.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S.M. (rosemaryandmint) It was a good story. You get to see Hercule in his traditional form. Most of the characters were not very complex and the clues (bath water draining, asking everyone what time they were at tea, etc.) were quite speculatively tied together. Clues like a piece of yarn, scissors, etc. are hard to trace back to the accused accurately, unless they come up during a confession. (view spoiler)


message 17: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Friedman | 191 comments Steena wrote: "It was a good story. You get to see Hercule in his traditional form. Most of the characters were not very complex and the clues (bath water draining, asking everyone what time they were at tea, etc..."

I totally agree with you, Steena, about that last minute past crime being shoved in to provide a path to the solution. And when you think about it, the parallels between crimes are a bit iffy. We want Poirot to be truly clever before our eyes. Here, he just seems lucky.


message 18: by Randee (last edited Oct 17, 2013 12:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randee Baty It may be luck to some degree but Poirot did ask for the information on other strangling cases. He was pursuing leads when he discovered the information about the previous crime.


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