Re: RARA-AVIS: Implausibility

From: Patrick Kennedy (
Date: 15 Oct 2010

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    Oh I think I can top that one for implausibility. In an unguarded moment I turned on the television recently and found myself viewing a recent Miss Marple episode.  However...  I didn't catch the name of the episode or notice whether it was actually based on a Christie book or not, but does this sound just ever so slightly dodgy to anyone else here as a climactic solution to a mystery? From her train compartment, a woman, who happens to be an old acquaintance of Miss Marple's, has witnessed a woman being strangled in the compartment of another passing train.  At the end of the story, Miss Marple is travelling by train in the same compartment in which the murder has occurred, has arranged to be accompanied by all of the murder suspects and has faked choking on a sandwich as a ploy to get one of the group, a doctor, to come to her aid.  His pose mimics exactly that of the murderer in the earlier incident witnessed, and indeed is again witnessed by the exact same woman travelling in the exact same passing rain, both trains having been simultaneously halted by a pull of the emergency cord and miraculously come to a halt with the required compartment windows yet again serendipitously facing each other.  The woman, of course immediately recognises the doctor as the murderer she had witnessed earlier and the case is tidily solved. Now I ask you, is this remotely likely, or even fair? Her books are very entertaining, but sometimes I think Christie could have been dubbed The Queen of Implausibility rather than The Queen  of Crime.


    ________________________________ From: Patrick King <> To: Sent: Fri, 15 October, 2010 3:12:50 Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Implausibility

      Remember the Christie story in which Poirot, after a long, involved investigation discovers the murderer because her knees were mature and she was trying to pass herself off as schoolgirl? CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, wasn't it? Now, a woman lying about her age is not proof of murder. It is not evidence of murder. Go to a DA with information like that and they won't even bring her in for questioning, much less sign an arrest warrant. That, to me, is implausible. And Christie is guilty of it a lot. As are Rinehart, Queen, Gardner, the list goes on.

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