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How do you see The Mysterious Mr Quin's ending story?



  • taliavishay-arbeltaliavishay-arbel ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2015
    I'm not sure about Sittaford. I've just been re-reading it, and the whole point is that the "supernatural" element - the seance revealing the murder - is SPOILER discovered to be fake - unlike the Satterthwaite-Quin stories where the supernatural is valid. By the way, on rereading Sittaford, I found what looks like an error - in the end, someone states that the murderer "arranged" the seance in order to supply an alibi for himself, but in the beginning, actually someone else suggested the seance.  
  • SiddharthaSSiddharthaS Michigan, United States Investigator
    edited March 2016
    taliavishay-arbel - occurs to me that had the Ouija session not been suggested, the murderer would have brought it up.   

    ALL RIGHT!!!


    You found the fifth little soldier boy!  You are on a roll!


    After WWII, Agatha Christie was looking for a surefire hit, and briefly considered writing a sequel to And Then There Were None, perhaps both as a book and as a play.  You might wonder how such a storyline might work, given the ending to the original story, but in some early notes, Christie considered bringing the loved ones of the original characters (and possibly their victims) to the island for a further investigation, potentially shedding a different light on the events of the original tale.  Though we don’t know for sure what caused Christie to abandon the project, we do know that And Then There Were None 2 never made its way past the brainstorming stage, thereby joining a long list of ideas Christie had for new books that were never written.  Other ideas Christie had that never came into fruition include a mystery based on the characters from the board game Cluedo (Clue in the U.S.), an original tale inspired by the famous real-life Leopold and Loeb murder case, and a plot featuring the brother of Mrs. Ariadne Oliver.  And Then There Were None was not the only one of Christie’s non-series works that she considered writing a direct sequel to, for she briefly flirted with writing The Mousetrap 2, as well.


    As expected, there’s another word on the base of the statuette.  “Lombard.”  The link between the names seems clear, but what are they telling us?

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't I think The Murderer would have found another way to bring the Victim into the Conversation and so give the suggestion that they should check on him. 
  • Tommy and Siddhartha - you are both right, but all that doesn't change the fact that in the book the Sittaford Mystery, in the second chapter Ronnie is the one who suggests table-turning, and in chapter 30, Emily (who has solved the mystery) says Barnaby deliberately engineered it.In this case I think it is a simple mistake by AC. Interestingly enough, in the "retrospective" books - Elephants can remember and Five little pigs - she deliberately has people tell about the same person or event in different variations, not just because one of them (the villian) or more (people who want to protect the innocent) are lying, but because memories have faded and become distorted. One of Poirot's tasks is to weed out the misconceptions and false memories and arrive at the truth. 

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭

    Perhaps Mrs Willetts asked Burnaby who would be good to have at a Party he suggested Mr Ryecroft and Mr Garfield and then primed the younger one to put the idea into the older one's gead knowing that he has an interest in these things.

    I meamt to say in my last post that If The Table Turning hadn't been suggested The Murderer wuld have found a different way to put The Victim in people's heads..

  • Again, I agree with you Tommy - it could have happened that way - but there is no indication of that in the book. From my perspective, that is either a mistake or cheating on the part of the writer (I'd go for mistake - it happens).
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can't remember if Mrs Willetts has prior knowledge of Burnaby if not perhaps when she was asking the Victim to come to one of her parties he said "No Thankyou Burnaby might like to though"

  • SandiSandi Santa Clara, CA USA Investigator
    This is my favorite story.  Listening to the audiobook I wondered if Satterhwaite is Mr. Quin, and when I read it I thought Sattehwaite just wanted to be Quin?

  • SandiSandi Santa Clara, CA USA Investigator
    Try the MrQuin app...it's not live game now, but yiu can still play..

  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    What I like about Agatha Christie is that she is usually correct in the inter-relationships, even if factually she gets it wrong. I agree with Tali, that since it wasn't Major Burnaby who suggested table turning, he certainly didn't engineer the seance. But what I like is that it could have happened the way AC describes it. What it would need is for Burnaby to have Captain Trevelyan on his mind, and the wishful thought that it would be great if he disappeared. A sportsman is king of the moment. He can see a turn in the tide of play and change the game with flash of initiative. Soccer, hockey, tennis: he seizes the moment and with legendry control of his body, strength and quick reflexes he turns the moment to his advantage: think what's said about sportsman Simon Doyle in Death on the Nile. So, Burnaby manipulates the glass or whatever and spells a message. Would other participants know he was moving the table? Yes, I think so. I think this idea of AC is unconvincing. One of them would have extra powerful senses and know his body language was signalling suspiciousness. Could AC have thought of that? The females were absorbed with their own scheme. Mother may have felt it was better to give no help to the police, and that sooner or later the police would suspect a tramp of doing in Trevelyan. Could the crime be spur of the moment, devised as a plan whilst the table turning is in progress? I think it could. I've thought about the relationship between Trevelyan and Burnaby. Old friends, but now sort of rich man and paid companion. AC is reticent, reflecting the reticence of the two men, about whether the bungalow was given to Burnaby or whether he bought it or rented. I suspect given. They only saw each other twice a week. I imagine that more would erode the dignity of each, and their need to seem independent. Captain Trevelyan might have gone to old regiment gatherings and lectures in London on other days, but Burnaby could not afford little trips. The letter comes informing Burnaby of 'his' win. He sees his name and the huge figure and a pound sign. It should be his. (think how today companies mock up a cheque with your name on it and send it in publicity to tempt you to enter. It's persuasive) A man with a light social manner would say to his friend "Come on old boy, I helped you win that sum, give me half, ha! ha! ha!" Burnaby is shy and poor with words. I think he would have played out it his mind a conversation with his friend: "Give me £2,000. Trevelyan: you won't miss it." Captain Trevelyan replies: "Are you begging me, man?" "I think you should give me half. I could keep it." Burnaby could say. Of course, the classic fault with the plot is that he could have kept it. Trevelyan has broken the rules of the competition by entering in another name. Burnaby might say,"Look, man. If I tell the newspaper what you did, what I agreed to, they will keep the prize money and say we both broke the rules, and so forfeited our right to the cash." Burnaby has a certain code of honour. He knew Trevelyan meant to keep the money (as he'd done with the earlier  book prize awarded to his manservant.) Burnaby's code of honour prevented him from going back on their own unspoken agreement that, if won, the money would be the Captain's. But Burnaby in his mind knows he has a moral right to a 'reward' from his friend, and he knows Trevelyan's insane love of money ( a fault) is going to keep the reward from him. An active soldier he feels frustrated enough to hit Trevelyan on the head. He has been planning to visit Trevelyan in any case. He must tell him about the win before the newspaper prints his own name as the winner. He is going to ski there anyway.  He has to do it before the newspaper visited his home with cameraman. Subconsciously wishing ill on the Captain, it is in character that he might be theatrical and spell out the name. But this part of the plot is scarcely believable. There is too much risk that someone will suspect him of moving the table. He only really makes up his mind to kill the Captain on the ski trip down the hill. But Tali is right. The plot is preposterous. How could it be that Burnaby could deal with the fact that he isn't spending money, when he has just won a lot. He is in financial embarrassment. All his creditors would say hurry up and settle your debt, and use your winnings to do it. His relatives would wonder why he wasn't splashing out on treats. The plot is preposterous, because Trevelyan could have done nothing at all if Burnaby had kept the prize. There would be no evidence that he and  not Burnaby had supplied the correct solution. All Burnaby had to do was say, "My turn for some financial good luck, old boy. I'll cut you half if you do things my way." But on balance, AC amply justifies the case for Burnaby being too socially awkward, and bad at reasoning to pick the best solution to his woes.
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