Reviews

Invisible’s got an excellent, tense plot, shifting between the two main characters, with a good number of surprises along the way. Poulson always has great, strong women characters, with real lives and feelings . . .  I liked the fact that the depictions of violence and injury were realistic without being over-detailed or gloating . . . It was a pleasure to find a book that did the excitement, the jeopardy and the thrills without putting off this reader . . .  a very good read for anyone.’

- CLOTHES IN BOOKS

Who are you going to call?

It’s the 1930s and after making a will in your favour, your great-uncle has been found in the library with a dagger through his heart. You didn’t do it, but your fingerprints are on the hilt. Or maybe someone you love has been convicted of murder and condemned to death. You have only weeks to prove their innocence.

Who are you going to call?

Well, I wouldn’t call Ellery Queen, that’s for sure. I have been reading a lot of Queen novels lately and in two of them (no spoilers), Ellery doesn’t get the solution right. The penny only drops later – years later in one case. And it has disastrous consequences in another. So, no, I won’t be calling Ellery Queen.

How about Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe? In Prisoner’s Base, the famous misogynist refuses a case from Priscilla Eades, the cotton towel heiress. Hours later she and her maid are found dead. Wolfe is then obliged to investigate her death, but I feel it is rather a high price to pay for getting him on board. So I don’t think I’ll hire Nero Wolfe. It’s a pity to pass up the chance to go dancing with Archie Goodwin, but there it is.

How about Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver? Well, she’s good, and I am sure that she could knit me a lovely bed jacket, but I think all that coughing and throat-clearing might get on my nerves.

Still, there are plenty of other options. Father Brown? A distinct possibility. There is something so reassuring about the little priest and his deep understanding of human nature.

Or how about Helen McCloy’s psychiatrist sleuth, Basil Willing? One could be psychoanalysed at the same time.

Lord Peter Wimsey? Perhaps a touch too whimsical? If I am going for the aristocracy, I’d prefer Albert Campion. We learn in Flowers for the Judge that he ‘had some experience of catch-as-catch-can fighting,’ so he’d be handy in a tight corner.

Hercule Poirot? I think you could rely on him to bring the villain to justice, and it would be fun to visit the immaculate Art Deco flat and meet Hastings and Miss Lemon.

But after reflecting on the matter, I think in the end I would head for St Mary Mead and hope to find a certain elderly lady deadheading roses in her garden. She’d invite me in, and over tea I’d confide in her, and she’d be reminded of the time the butcher’s boy delivered scrag end instead of liver at the doctor’s house …

Yes, I am sure I could rely on Miss Marple to put everything right.

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Margot Kinberg
    July 17, 2021

    Oh, this is really clever, Christine, and funny! And you give such great reasons why one wouldn’t rely on some of these famous sleuths to do the job. I like your thinking, too, and I can see how Miss Marple might be just the right choice for you…

    Reply
  2. Brad Poulson
    July 17, 2021

    Hi Chrissie,

    In a moment of complete fantasy as I read the opening line of your blog on my phone, I imagined that you were writing to inform us of a legacy you had uncovered in our ancestry, until I reached the words ‘dagger through his heart’! This sadly shook me out of that illusion realising it was a book plot. I still live in hope that you are secretly working on a new plot about long lost relatives and uncovering family secrets. Hope all is well with you….

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      July 18, 2021

      Sorry to disappoint you, Brad! I haven’t so far found any skeletons in the family closet, but who knows …? I am fine, thanks, and I hope you are, too,

      Reply
  3. Brad Friedman
    July 17, 2021

    Of course I’d be fine with either Poirot OR Miss Marple, Christie. Still, it might be hard to resist Dr. Gideon Fell, who would keep me laughing so hard I’d almost forget that my execution is set for Friday . . .

    Reply
  4. Susan D
    July 20, 2021

    Excellent question, Christine. And you’re right. Miss Marple every time. And if she’s not up to it, due to advancing years or being away on a trip paid for by her dear nephew Raymond and his wife Joan/Joyce, then she’ll refer me to the redoubtable Lucy Eyelesbarrow.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      July 20, 2021

      Yes! In fact looking round at the state of my house, I could do with Lucy Eyelesbarrow right now!

      Reply

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