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ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


Know what I love, Book Barn? Mystery novels. The only thing better than reading one, though, is reading them together, and bouncing theories around!

Thusly, I propose a mystery fiction group reading thread/game. The rules are as follows:

1. A book is selected.
2. The thread reads through the book togther, discussing the contents in the thread, elaborating on theories, in chunks of 3-5 chapters at a time.
3. When we reach the chapter before the final culprit revelation, everyone locks in their final theory for who dunnit.
4. We all read through to the end, and find out who was right and who was wrong. Winners are recorded in the top post.
5. Repeat with a new book.

Spoiler Policy
We're progressing through the book in chunks, allowing time in between each one to discuss and theorize about the new information revealed. When discussing the most recent chunk of the book, lock new information behind spoiler tags. However, when the thread moves on, it's fine to edit your old posts and de-spoiler them to make the thread more readable.

Under no circumstances should you ever spoil anything ahead of what has been read. Spoiler tags or no, this is extremely against the rules. Don't even think about it, no matter how minor.

Current book:



The book for Round 9 is The Problem of the Green Capsule, by John Dickson Carr, which is available on kindle for $8.

At the present time, you may read up to the end of chapter 11. Spoiler tags are enforced starting from the beginning of chapter 8.
Be aware that the American printing of the book has different chapter organization. I'm going by the chapters in the official Kindle version, which is consistent between countries.


Previous books:
#1: A Murder is Announced, by Agatha Christie
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? We did!

#2: Murder is Easy, by Agatha Christie
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? Pretty much, albeit with some confusion and guesswork!

#3: The Ponson Case, by Freeman Wills Crofts
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? Not a traditional whodunit, but most of the key points were at least touched on!

#4: The Body on the Beach, by Simon Brett
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? This was our first defeat!

#5: She Died a Lady, by John Dickson Carr
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? We had a lot of the tricks correctly identified, but not the killer!

#6: And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? Quite successfully!

#7: Pit Prop Syndicate, by Freeman Wills Crofts
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? Not at all, sadly.

#8: The Moving Finger, by Agatha Christia
Discussion begins here.
Did we solve it? Sort of!

Future books:
Crooked House, by Agatha Christie
He Who Whispers, by John Dickinson Carr

ProfessorProf fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2014 around 00:52

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HotAndColdAF
May 30, 2011

Making Daddy proud.


I think Compromise Style would probably be best.

A Murder is Announced is an excellent choice, but I've already read it, so I'll have to wait to join in until the next one. In the meantime, I'll be watching the thread and cackling furiously.

ToxicFrog
Apr 26, 2008


I'll take a break from Sunfall for this.

At what chapter should I stop?

E: also, I think Compromise Style is the best option. Freeform, in particular, will tend to bog down; there needs to be some sort of timetable.

Let's Play Style might be a better choice if you want in-depth discussion after each chapter.

ToxicFrog fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2012 around 15:23

Schlitzkrieg Bop
Sep 19, 2005



I'm down for this. I've always been meaning to read some Christie (I've only read And Then There Were None and seen the movie version of Murder on the Orient Express). I agree with the compromise approach--I think stopping after every chapter could be too limiting, and freeform needs more structure.

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


It sounds like people want to get started, and there's near-unanimous support for compromise style, so let's go ahead and get going with the first book. You may begin reading, but stop reading at the end of Chapter 3 until further notice. If the pacing isn't working, we can always change it up again.

ProfessorProf fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2012 around 17:40

ToxicFrog
Apr 26, 2008


ProfessorProf posted:

stop reading at the end of Chapter 3 until further notice.

Oops.

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


Is 3 too early? I just chose it because that's when the crime is committed. If people want to have more substantial material to discuss in the first chunk, I can expand it. I'm figuring this out as I go here.

ToxicFrog
Apr 26, 2008


ProfessorProf posted:

Is 3 too early? I just chose it because that's when the crime is committed. If people want to have more substantial material to discuss in the first chunk, I can expand it. I'm figuring this out as I go here.

No, I think that's fine, I just kept reading and kind of forgot to stop.

Zola
Jul 22, 2005

What do you mean "impossible"? You're so
cruel, Roger Smith...

This sounds like fun, I'll get the book today and read my three chapters before bed.

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

This is a rad idea, I'll join in as well. I should be able to finish this by this evening as well.

Zola
Jul 22, 2005

What do you mean "impossible"? You're so
cruel, Roger Smith...

Okay, I've read the first three chapters and I'm good to go.

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

I finished on my ride to work this morning as well.

So I am already confused: The shooter was the only one killed, correct? Miss Blacklock's ear is injured and bleeding, but the only one actually dead is the "shooter" who they say shot himself (although he obviously didn't). It just threw me, because there was a lot of commotion and I was waiting for them to say which of our "heroes" died.

Guy A. Person fucked around with this message at Dec 14, 2012 around 20:26

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


Some clarification about the situation!

The following people are known to have been present at the house when the incident took place:
Letitia Blacklock
Julia Simmons
Patrick Simmons
Dora Bunner
Mitzi
Phillipa Haymes
Colonel Easterbrook
Mrs. Easterbrook
Miss Hinchcliffe
Miss Murgatroyd
Mrs. Swettenham
Edmund Swettenham
Mrs. Harmon
The mystery shooter (now deceased)

Incidentally, for a spoiler policy, should we eschew the use of spoiler tags all together, or tag information from the latest chunk of the book being discussed?

ProfessorProf fucked around with this message at Dec 14, 2012 around 20:29

Schlitzkrieg Bop
Sep 19, 2005



Only managed to get through the first chapter last night, I'll be through 3 by the end of the night. Since this is the first Christie novel I've read since grade school, I'm wondering what more experienced readers of her work do: do you just go with the flow while reading or take notes to try to solve things yourself (which I think is supposed to be part of the appeal of the whodunit genre)?

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

ProfessorProf posted:


Incidentally, for a spoiler policy, should we eschew the use of spoiler tags all together, or tag information from the latest chunk of the book being discussed?

Definitely spoil the latest chunk. I assume people are going to want to discuss stuff they are ready to discuss (like I just did) while others might join in later and catch up, or just want to check updates. For example, right now we aren't even sure when we are supposed to be done with our first chunk so someone who starts and comes in for an update on the timeframe might see a bunch of spoilers on accident.

ToxicFrog
Apr 26, 2008


Guy A. Person posted:

So I am already confused: The shooter was the only one killed, correct? Miss Blacklock's ear is injured and bleeding, but the only one actually dead is the "shooter" who they say shot himself (although he obviously didn't). It just threw me, because there was a lot of commotion and I was waiting for them to say which of our "heroes" died.

Correct.

It seems pretty obvious that the "shooter" didn't shoot himself, and probably didn't even have the gun at first; it sounds like he did the whole "stick 'em up" routine, then someone came up behind him and fired two shots over his shoulder; he turned in confusion and the shooter shot him at point blank range, dropped the gun, and fled.

Zola
Jul 22, 2005

What do you mean "impossible"? You're so
cruel, Roger Smith...

ProfessorProf posted:

Some clarification about the situation!

(list reproduced and expanded below)

Incidentally, for a spoiler policy, should we eschew the use of spoiler tags all together, or tag information from the latest chunk of the book being discussed?



I'm going to add a bit to this excellent beginning.


Present at the scene of the crime

Letitia (Letty) Blacklock
Owner of Little Paddocks. So far, portrayed as a very capable, take-charge kind of woman. Can be impulsively generous--see the section explaining how Dora Bunner has come to live with her.


Julia Simmons
Letitia Blacklock's Niece
Very sarcastic and biting. Mocks the chrysanthemums when everyone admires them and seems not inclined to get involved.

Patrick Simmons
Letitia Blacklock's Nephew
Apparently a fairly serious, intelligent but amiable young man.

Phillipa Haymes
Referred to by Patrick as "Our Phillipa". I think she might be a long-time family servant. Had not seen the announcement in the Gazette

Dora (Bunny) Bunner
Letitia Blacklock's childhood friend. She's dying of some currently unspecified cause.

Mitzi
Blacklock servant/cook. She seems to be of Gypsy stock (note description of clothing and dramatic way of speaking) and mentions escaping the Nazis.

Colonel Archibald (Archie) Easterbrook
The Self-Important Bore.
"Trouble with these fellows is," he said, "that none of them know the first thing about India! Not the first thing!"

Laura Easterbrook
The trophy wife. "synthetic blonde", "fluffy little wife", "at least thirty years younger than her husband".

"Hinch" Hinchcliffe
Sensible spinster who lives with Amy Murgatroyd at Boulders cottage.

Amy Murgatroyd
Spinster, lives with Hinch at Boulders cottage

Mrs. Swettenham
Apparently fond of gossip (she looks at The Times, doesn't find much, goes over the Births, Marriages, and Deaths (and is particularly interested in Deaths), then goes straight to the Personal Column in the Gazette.)

Apparently lived in India for a time, as she mentions her son had an Ayah. Seems to be a bit of a snob.

Edmund Swettenham
Mrs. Swettenham's son. Is writing a book.

Mrs. Harmon
Also known as Bunch.
Claims to be stupid but that is clearly an act. In part 5 of Chapter 1, she asks her husband the Rev Julian Harmon to tell her the story about the old vicar who preached about Ahasuerus.

I did a search, being careful to avoid any references to the book, and came up with a couple of things. First was that the Ahasuerus is the biblical reference to three different kings of Persia, and that it is the equivalent of the Greek Xerxes.

I don't know enough to comment further on the joke, but clearly it's an obscure one. I also suspect it's significant that "Soon after becoming king, Artaxerxes murdered all of the royal family to secure his place as emperor."

So this tells me that Bunch is one hell of a lot smarter than anyone thinks--she gets the joke, but her husband doesn't. Note also that she makes up words to a song off the cuff as she's doing dishes.


The mystery shooter (now deceased)
Known to Bunny and Letty but as yet unnamed.

Characters mentioned but not at the scene of the crime

Rev Julian Harmon
Bunch's Husband
Vicar of Chipping Cleghorn, very learned and attempts to show this knowledge in his sermons.

Evans
Blacklock servant who lit the central heating

Johnnie Butt
Delivers newspapers. Apparently impressed by the Rev. Harman's knowledge

Mr. Totman
Stationer (the equivalent of the guy who has the news stand, I think) of the High Street.

Selina Lawrence
Advertising for a cook

Mrs Finch
The Swettenhams' servant. Disapproves of almost everything.

Mrs Lucas
Selling a Sheraton sideboard.

Newspapers

Easterbrook: The Times and Daily Graphic
Swettenham: The Times and the Daily Worker
Boulders cottage: Daily Telegraph and the New Chronicle
Little Paddocks: Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail.



Please feel free to add to/debate about these characterizations. If I gave an attribute and you want to know what gave me that idea, just ask and I'll give you the pertinent text.

Zola fucked around with this message at Dec 14, 2012 around 20:20

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


I'm starting to think a thing to do to make this thread readable would be to keep the most recent chapter spoilered, but encourage people to go back and edit old posts to de-spoiler them as we move forwards. Otherwise, this is going to end up as an endless sea of black bars.

Not moving ahead just yet, though, people seem to still be working on the first segment. Maybe move on tomorrow morning?

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

Zola posted:

I'm going to add a bit to this excellent beginning.


This is a fantastic write-up, and is certainly helping to get the characters straight in my head. I typically read pretty fast, absorbing the mood and ideas but not really stopping to think about specific details, so maybe I should slow down a bit on this one.

One thing your write-up helps expand upon is my favorite part so far, which is at the end of section 2 of chapter 2 where everyone is tiptoeing around the subject of "the murder" and Mrs. Harmon comes in and just blurts it out, causing Julia to crack up. At first I thought that she was just the airhead that she appeared to be but its even better if she is totally in on the joke and was just doing it to rattle everyone.

Thanks for adding in the newspapers everyone got too, I had a feeling that might be important.

Good idea about removing the spoiler tags later Prof, it will probably help as we progress to be able to easily go back and read theories and notes. When we do, I would suggest putting a warning up in the OP in case people join in later on.

Guy A. Person fucked around with this message at Dec 14, 2012 around 20:26

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


I'll keep the OP updated about what's spoiled in the thread and what the current progress is.

Zola
Jul 22, 2005

What do you mean "impossible"? You're so
cruel, Roger Smith...

Guy A. Person posted:

This is a fantastic write-up, and is certainly helping to get the characters straight in my head. I typically read pretty fast, absorbing the mood and ideas but not really stopping to think about specific details, so maybe I should slow down a bit on this one.

One thing your write-up helps expand upon is my favorite part so far, which is at the end of section 2 of chapter 2 where everyone is tiptoeing around the subject of "the murder" and Mrs. Harmon comes in and just blurts it out, causing Julia to crack up. At first I thought that she was just the airhead that she appeared to be but its even better if she is totally in on the joke and was just doing it to rattle everyone.

Thanks for adding in the newspapers everyone got too, I had a feeling that might be important.

Good idea about removing the spoiler tags later Prof, it will probably help as we progress to be able to easily go back and read theories and notes. When we do, I would suggest putting a warning up in the OP in case people join in later on.

I'm glad it's helpful. I really hope others will add to it and update it as we progress.

To be truthful, I read very much the same way you do on the first pass, just sort of breeze through to get a feel for what's going on and the most salient points. But since this is a whodunit, I went over it again more slowly, and I expanded your list with Kindle in hand.

Knowing Mrs. Harmon is actually very intelligent really does add to the humor of that scene--she knew JUST what she was doing, I think.

I will also go back and unspoiler when we get to the next section.

Zola fucked around with this message at Dec 14, 2012 around 20:19

orange crayon
Feb 22, 2007

Stupid


Just chiming in to say I'm following along. Not much to talk about so far, but I've never read a book like this so I'm not sure what's relevant.

The Duke of Avon
Apr 11, 2011



I last read this book about 3 months ago, so I can't speculate but I'll certainly follow along with the thread to see what other people think. I love whodunits and hopefully we'll do one I haven't read at some point (although I've read enough whodunits to make that kind of difficult. )

Schlitzkrieg Bop posted:

Only managed to get through the first chapter last night, I'll be through 3 by the end of the night. Since this is the first Christie novel I've read since grade school, I'm wondering what more experienced readers of her work do: do you just go with the flow while reading or take notes to try to solve things yourself (which I think is supposed to be part of the appeal of the whodunit genre)?

I think it depends on what kind of reader you are; I'm obsessed with whodunits but I almost never take notes on them, and I don't think it's usually necessary (although I can think of a Dorothy Sayers novel that basically required them). A thing that's fun for me is to stop at some point before the reveal (how far before it depends on the book) and try to figure out a solution of your own. And then at the end, you can either wonder why you're such an idiot or wonder why the author was such an idiot to not use your brilliant solution.

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


All right, everyone go ahead and advance to Chapter 7. Spoilers above this post may freely be unspoilered.

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

Cool. The weekend is pretty busy for me so I might fall behind a bit, but will make it up early next week, depending on where everyone gets.

Srice
Sep 11, 2011



I'm at chapter 6 now, though I want to bring up something from earlier in the book (early enough that it deals with stuff from the first 3 chapters so I'll leave it unspoiled)

I got a gut feeling that one other entry in the personal column of the newspaper is going to be important in some way. Specifically the one that read "All a mistake, darling. Undying love. Friday as usual. - J". What's important here is that the incident also happened on a Friday. Unless it refers to a character that has yet to be introduced, J could be Julia or Julian. I'm thinking the latter. Julian said that he couldn't come to Little Paddocks because he was working on a sermon, but maybe that wasn't the real reason? Too early to say if it directly ties into the incident, but I think it will be brought up later.

Zola
Jul 22, 2005

What do you mean "impossible"? You're so
cruel, Roger Smith...

If Srice is correct about the names, that means that we should definitely keep a close eye on Bunch. I found a nice short little Wikipedia article concerning means, motive, and opportunity. If the Vicar is cheating on her and she's aware of it, perhaps that would provide motive (if she was going after the person Julian is cheating with), and we know she had opportunity.] This is of course really early on yet, after I have had a chance to go over the current section more slowly and carefully, I will add to the summary post.

Zola fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2013 around 15:55

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


To kick things off, a non-comprehensive list of straightforward clues from chapters 4-7!

Chapter 4:
The shooter was Rudi Scherz, a receptionist at the Royal Spa Hotel.
Rudi Scherz posted the announcement himself.
Miss Blacklock does not keep much money in the house.
The revolver that killed Scherz was discharged at short range.
The revolver was foreign made, and Scherz did not hold a permit for it.
Scherz may have been helping himself to small sums from work.
New character: Myrna Harris, Scherz's girlfriend. Waitress.

Chapter 5:
No windows or doors were forced at Little Paddocks.
Mitzi says that the front door was locked all afternoon, but Blacklock says the door isn't usually locked until the house is shut up for the night.
The fusebox is out by the scullery - nobody could have tampered with it without being seen by the maid.
Blacklock: "Rudi Scherz? Is that his name? Somehow, I thought... oh, well, it doesn't matter."
Blacklock was acquainted with Scherz from having gone to the hotel.
Scherz showed up at Little Paddocks about ten days ago asking for money.
Blacklock locked the side door around a quarter past six.
Patrick and Julia are Blacklock's second cousins.
Mitzi is a compulsive liar.

Chapter 6:
According to Julia, when the lights went out, Mrs. Harmon was on the sofa, Hinch was in front of the fireplace, and Patrick had left the room to get the sherry. She was by the window.
Scherz moved the flashlight around the room while the lights were out.

Chapter 7:
New character: Dayas Hall. Gardener?
Phillipa Hayes came in from work at half past five. She came in through the side door, which was not locked. She locked the door behind her.
Phillipa saw the torch light up Miss Bunner's face.
Colonel Easterbrook's theory: Scherz wants to make an image of a tough guy for himself, gets carried away, thinks he killed Blacklock, turns the gun on himself.

ProfessorProf fucked around with this message at Dec 20, 2012 around 19:57

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

Finished this afternoon (up to 7 that is) and I have been going back over the chapters. There is a ton of detail and I am certain quite a bit of them are red herrings, so here are just some key thoughts:

I was trying to chronicle who was standing where, there are a few ambiguities but I am pretty sure Colonel Archibald is lying about where he was. During the blackout scene back in chapter 3, his wife calls out "Where are you, Archie!", but later in their account she says that she grabbed his arm. The only other person who commented on him was Julia who says he may have followed Patrick into the other room for Sherry. I'm not sure about the room layout but this might put him in position to get behind the shooter (Patrick said he was considering rushing him before the shooting started).

There also seems to be a recurring theme regarding Blacklock and presenting herself as wealthy. The gardener at Dayas Hall mentioned her wearing fake pearls and costume jewelry in the "noovo ar (art nouveau?)" style. When she is interviewed she is also wearing cameos, as the inspector notes. There is also her opening a new bottle of Sherry since a half-empty one had already been open for months. Finally, Bunny mentions that Letty was holding a silver vase with violets in it when the lights came on; although this might be a mistake because Letty claims she was holding a cigarette case, but it could indicate that she was trying to protect some of her wealth (someone else mentioned they had some nice silver but nothing else worth stealing). There also seems to be something suspicious about the violets, they mention them several times as being dead and out of place.

Finally, there seems to be something more to Bunny. Like Bunch, she appears fairly innocent and daft, but at key points she seems to know something. First of all, the story of how she came to live with Blacklock only a few months ago seems pretty suspect. And while she plays dumb and forgetful, she is the one who remembers the shooter immediately and even offers an on-the-spot theory that he was there before only to spy on the house, which Letty then comes to believe. I also think her "worrying" might be an act to get Letty worked up or possibly to try and convince everyone of her "theory" of what happened (she convinces Letty about the "spying on the house" theory and now she is really trying to push the idea that it was revenge, maybe to throw the scent off of her). Pretty much from the start she is trying to convince Letty that this is something sinister and much worse than Letty originally thinks herself.

Guy A. Person fucked around with this message at Dec 21, 2012 around 04:15

Ulio
Feb 17, 2011

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Great idea, sadly I just started reading this today, I intend to catch up quickly to join in!

Mecca-Benghazi
Mar 31, 2012



Just finished the first 7 chapters. It's my first Christie novel too, so I'm not sure what to expect. Is the xenophobia a running thing? I'm not going to quit over it, it's just a bit bothersome.

How the lights went out is interesting to me. I assume that Mitzi is involved somehow or she was really duped by someone clever, although a motive escapes me if she is in on it, whatever 'it' is. And on that note, the detective found it suspicious that the door that Mitzi was locked behind locked on the outside. Someone tried to shut her in, away from the scene of the crime.

Mecca-Benghazi fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2012 around 18:19

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


Autumncomet posted:

Is the xenophobia a running thing? I'm not going to quit over it, it's just a bit bothersome.

I think the xenophobia is as much a product of Christie as it is a product of the time and place of the story's writing. It's not always obvious, but I think it's at its worst in Murder on the Orient Express, a book about a murder committed onboard a train populated entirely by ethnic charicatures.

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

Just wanted to see where everyone was at and when we would be moving on to the next section. No rush of course, just eager to continue!

Zola
Jul 22, 2005

What do you mean "impossible"? You're so
cruel, Roger Smith...

Guy A. Person posted:

Just wanted to see where everyone was at and when we would be moving on to the next section. No rush of course, just eager to continue!

I read the chapter but have not yet had the chance to put together my thoughts. If we need to move on, I'm sure everyone can live without them

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


This was a very information-dense chunk. I'm probably giving it at least one more day.

orange crayon
Feb 22, 2007

Stupid


I'm all caught up, gonna re-read from the beginning and see if I notice anything that hasn't already been brought up.

Ineffiable
Feb 16, 2008

BUDDHA'S A BRO
296 Fuckups and Counting!


This sounds awesome. I'm in, will purchase the book at the end of the day and try to catch up to chp 7.

ProfessorProf
Nov 9, 2011

Imagine a boot stamping on a stuffed animal's face - forever.


All right, we've had a pretty good chunk of time with the initial investigation - let's read up to Chapter 10 now. Everything above this post can safely be de-spoilered.

Crewmine
Apr 26, 2012


Alright, got this on kindle and caught up over the last couple bus rides.

So the dummy door to the dining room opens, meaning that it's entirely possible that Mitzi did the deed, locked the main door from the outside, then slipped in through the dummy door. But then again so many of the characters have suspicious stuff going on I don't know what to think.

Might re-read the last few chapters, I feel like I probably missed a lot of subtler hints while rushing through it.

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Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003

I EARNED THIS AVATAR BY BEING AN ENABLER OF BAD TELEVISION. PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD AND KROLL SHOW!

Okay, I've read up to Chapter 10, theory time:

So the main theory right now is that Julia and Patrick are Randall Goedler's neice and nephew "Pip and Emma", but at this point in the book this seems a little too obvious and is probably a red herring. But at the same time it still seems evident that Patrick and Julia are not who they say they are, especially when you couple them showing up recently with all of these events as well as Blacklock's generosity.

My current theory is that they are actually Miss Marple's nephew Raymond West and his wife. This is possibly far-fetched but I have a few clues which have convinced me of this. The first thing that caught my attention was the mention of his wife "making a name for herself painting pictures of dead flowers", and the fact that the dead daisies at Little Paddocks being out of place. More intriguing though are the fact that 1)they are connected to the town and especially Mrs. Harmon (who we all previously suspected) through Miss Marple, 2) Raymond West is a writer of books that Miss Marple considers "unpleasant" and are possibly crime thrillers, 3) earlier Mrs. Harmon had talked at length about the murder book Death Does the Hat Trick which I am now thinking Mr. West wrote. My guess is that, Raymond came across the case doing research for some of his writing, or potentially because Mrs. Harmon became a fan of his and told him. Whether or not they were planning on posing as Pip and Emma or what their endgame was I am not entirely sure. The inspector mentioned that this story was like "a best selling mystery" so maybe he is just doing it to write a book about it.

I am still not sure how the other people fit into it. Mrs. Haymes seems like she is in on it, but I doubt it was Scherz she was talking to in the summer house. I also still think something is up with Bunner but I am not sure if she is an idiot savant, or if she heard about the murder from someone, or if she is in on it.

Guy A. Person fucked around with this message at Dec 26, 2012 around 17:05

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