Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

“One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” by Agatha Christie

Image courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers (UK)

The first book from Shakespeare and Company that I’ve read and finished! It went by so fast; like most Agatha Christies that I’ve read, I just couldn’t put it down. The first of her books that I read was “And Then There Were None,” one of her most famous and mind-bending mysteries. After trying to guess whodunit and being COMPLETELY wrong, I decided to take on EVERY SINGLE BOOK AGATHA CHRISTIE HAD EVER WRITTEN and prove (to whom?) that I was completely clever enough to guess the murderer. And guess what?

I may be forced to accept that I’m not.

The really great thing about reading a book by Agatha Christie is that you are given all of the information you need to solve the mystery. Theoretically, the answer is right in there. However, more often than not the reader needs someone a little more adept at organizing seemingly meaningless clues (like a shoe with a poorly-sewn-on buckle) to assist them along the road to the “aha” moment. In some books you’re left to your own devices, but “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” is one of those books in which you are given help to digest the deluge of information that falls at your feet––in this case, the indefatigable Hercule Poirot. A prim Bulgarian with magnificent mustaches, Poirot is unfailingly polite as well as brilliant. He’s one of those characters that you wish you could meet in real life. I personally would hug him, ask his forgiveness for hugging him, and ask him to have coffee with me (I don’t like coffee, but for Hercule Poirot? I’ll take it black.)

At the beginning of “Buckle My Shoe,” Poirot is seen confronting something that shakes him much worse than any brutal murder: a visit to the dentist. How many cavities Poirot ends up with I leave to be discovered, but I will tell you that much more happens during his visit to the dentist than is assumed. What follows is a sprawling mystery that seems both too fantastic and not fantastic enough to explain the…strange happenings at the dentist (ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT, IT’S A MURDER, IT’S ALWAYS A MURDER). After bouncing around for pages and pages, the only solace can be found in the fact that the murderer will be exactly who you didn’t expect. You will be incredulous. You will possibly throw the book (aim for the ground or a couch; no one needs to get hurt here), pick it up again (and apologize if you didn’t take that last bit of advice), and read in awe as the clues you’ve collected while reading fall into a surprising order, explaining it all.

If you’re new to Agatha Christie, I encourage you to dive into one of her books. “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” is a great one to start with. Take the challenge I read between the lines of “And Then There Were None.” If you’re familiar with Agatha Christie’s works…

You know what to do, my friend. You know what to do.

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