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Still on the Agatha Christie:

7. Cat among the pigeons
First published 1959
Brief plot set up: After a coup in an un-named middle-easternish country, a series of murders occur at an up-market girls finishing school. One of the girls at the school was in the country visiting her uncle shortly before the coup, and a princess from the un-named country is also now attending the school. Is there a link? The Secret Service (who have a man on the ground - sort of literally) think so. It takes most of the book to get to it though!
People: School staff, including a suspicious French mistress (less fainty than previous ones), a couple of teachers (who will probably end up being more of "a couple" of teachers in the TV adaptation, much to the disgust and anguish of Green Guide letter correspondents), a bluff gym mistress, a wise Headmistress, one flighty and one sensible schoolgirl (both with connections to the un-named country), an Undercover Secret Serviceman, an enthusiastic new teacher (that'll pass), a Loyal Deputy Headmistress, an "Eastern Princess", a competent Secretary, a Prince, a pilot and finally an exceedingly dry lawyer.
Culture Clashes: OK, I'll admit that both Dean and I cracked up when I read the following sentence:

"There was nothing mass produced about the school, but if it was individualistic, it also had discipline. Discipline without regimentation, was Miss Bulstrode's motto. Discipline, she held, was reassuring to the young, it gave them a feeling of security.."

which could well have come from an entirely different sort of literature.
Other than that there's a surprisingly modern feel to the story - the foreigners are still "foreign" but aren't taken as being necessarily inferior to the English (with the possible exception of the French mistress, again.) There's references to sex outside of marriage (!), inter-racial marriage (!!) and the "couple" of teachers are distinctly... coupleish. (I swear there's a lot of lesbian couples in Christie's work.) The biggest clashes for me were the mandatory sleeping with open windows, which I realised a lot later were probably still a hangover from previous TB prevention measures, and the sheer Enid Blyton Mallory Towers feel to the whole boarding school thing. Tennis, anyone?
Overall: The twist was good, the set up was entertaining and there were red herrings galore. Fun.
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Continuing my way through the Christie novels:
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Dean and I have decided we have too many books. Or too little shelving. Either works. Anyway, we've been sorting through books and deciding which ones we're happy to give to the op shop. So far we've taken one full box down to the Anglicans (there's a choice of three op shops here - Anglicans, Red Cross and Salvos, so we're rotating between them with donations) and I've given one full box of Dr Who novels to the autistic son of a friend of mine. He's apparently just gotten into Dr Who in a big way, and was thrilled to get them. By which I mean he kind of shrugged and then vanished into his bedroom with them, and has since had to be dragged away from them to do things like eat, go to school, sleep etc. I'm kind of glad they're appreciated!

Anyway. I appear to have a huge number of Agatha Christie novels, which I am planning on reading before returning to the op shop. I am not actually convinced that all of these novels are in fact mine - we were helping [livejournal.com profile] kirstenfleur unpack after she moved back into her newly renovated house and she kept "returning" books that I swear to God I've never seen before - but as I don't really have the space to put them, and I don't really want to leave them in boxes in the garage, and I also don't have the money to buy a holiday house to dump them at (they are, after all, good holiday reading) I figure I'll work my way through them and then set them free again. Reviewing them as I go. So here goes.
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