Cover detail of Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

Hello, Hello, I hope you are having a smashing week so far. We have had a little bit of a weekend away to celebrate our 7th Wedding anniversary and it has a slight literary connection. Back at the start of the year, for my rather, ahem, significant birthday, my husband surprised me with a set of experiences to be enjoyed throughout the year. So far, we have had some very delicious meals out, celebrated in beautiful Grenada and for June/July we had a weekend away in Whitby.

Read my Review of Dracula by Bram Stoker

We, (Me, My husband and Hattie) arrived on Saturday night and checked into our barn cottage before getting our bearings and doing what everyone must do when they visit the seaside - enjoy some fish and chips. The weather was raining and slightly cold, but very atmospheric ! We ate steaming hot vinegary fish and chips under cover, whilst gazing at a windswept and stormy beach. It felt very cosy and we agreed that we should come back in winter when the weather is wild and we can enjoy a bovril after a walk on the beach!

The next day was the complete opposite with brilliant sunshine and we visited Sandsend beach. Half of the fun was seeing what Hattie, our cheeky terrier/poodle cross would think of the sand and sea. We need not have worried. Hattie was a trooper and marched confidently onto the beach and even into the sea. She was VERY happy, running around, barking at other dogs and enjoying the odd cuddle when required.

On Monday, we visited Whitby Abbey which we had been aware of throughout the trip as it loomed over the vista. Gosh it is very gothic, and it was not hard to see where Stoker got his inspiration for Dracula's visit to England on the Demeter. I gave my usual shudder when I thought of that passage in Stoker's iconic book.

Today, I'm continuing my Hercule Poirot readathon, with a book I realised I had listened to already on audiobook. Thankfully, as is usual, I had forgotten who had done it!

The Plot

There are only eleven people on the midday flight from Le Bourget to Croyden.
When Madame Giselle, an unscrupulous French moneylender, is found dead in her seat, a poisoned dart nearby, suspicion falls upon each of the passengers in turn.
Even Hercule Poirot himself

My Thoughts

I love a map in a book, the opening pages of the book contains a plan of the cabin where 11 guests sit and we learn more about the golden age of travel where it was ok to smoke on a plane, luxurious food and drinks served, coffee served in proper coffee pots and bone china cups, meals on china plates. Maids are summoned from the next carriage to bring one's jewellery or make-up. Such decadence.

This novel feels playful, in that our dear Hercule becomes one of the potential suspects, and indeed a jury's decision that he may be the murderer is overturned by a judge who knows of Poirot's help in previous cases. As you can imagine he is outraged and sets about clearing his name by finding the murderer. But this proves difficult.

The victim seemingly murdered by a poisoned dart fired from a blow pipe, that would be impossible for anyone to use without being noticed by the other passengers. A wasp had been heard buzzing around. And what of the victim herself? A French moneylender popular in aristocratic circles. Could one of the ladies on board have used her services? What of the mysterious daughter, estranged from her mother. Could she have returned?

Poirot is his usual imperious self but with a hint of mischief as he sets about being matchmaker to a young couple also on board., encouraging where needed and nudging away from other temptation. This was a highly enjoyable Hercule Poirot. The next read of Christie's will be The ABC Murders. I can remember this one, but am looking forward to reading again.