osprey_archer: (books)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
I criticized Martin Edwards' The Golden Age of Murder when I first read it, but I must say it has been a productive book for me in leading me to new and interesting authors: first to E. M. Delafield, who isn't even a murder mystery author but nonetheless got caught up with those who were (now that sounds like the plot of a detective story in itself), and now with George Bellairs' Death of a Busybody.

I must say I feel that E. M. Delafield was the more successful find. Bellairs, eh; Death of a Busybody is a perfectly adequate English country village mystery, but I don't feel the urge to search out any more books by him.

And his detective, Inspector Littlejohn, has given me a new appreciation for the depth Ngaio Marsh gave to her Inspector Alleyn. Now you may object that Inspector Alleyn is not exactly over-endowed with personality himself, which may be accurate when compared to the eccentricities of for instance a Poirot -

Speaking of Poirot, I saw Wonder Woman recently and the new Orient Express was one of the previews and maybe I just imprinted too hard on David Suchet, IDK, but I'm not sure I approve of this new Poirot. Do we need a new Poirot? Why all the remakes all the time???

ANYWAY. The point I intended to get to is that Inspector Littlejohn has no discernible personality at all. While I prefer this detective's personal lives to remain second fiddle to their mysteries, lest they throttle their books like strangler figs, it turns out that there is indeed such a thing as too little personality in a detective, too. Littlejohn is little more than a conduit for exposition, and mostly indistinguishable from the other characters who act as conduits of exposition in this book, which makes the thing sadly forgettable even though I enjoyed it in a mild way as I read it.

Date: 2017-06-26 02:57 am (UTC)
sovay: (Claude Rains)
From: [personal profile] sovay
and maybe I just imprinted too hard on David Suchet, IDK, but I'm not sure I approve of this new Poirot. Do we need a new Poirot?

No.

Date: 2017-06-27 12:19 am (UTC)
sovay: (Claude Rains)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Suchet is perfect! No need to replace him!

I saw him for the first time as Salieri in a revival of Amadeus at the Old Vic in 1999. I imprinted. Discovering he was the definitive Poirot (and he is) was just lagniappe.

Date: 2017-06-26 10:59 am (UTC)
littlerhymes: the fox and the prince (Default)
From: [personal profile] littlerhymes
I showed my mum the Orient Express preview - she strongly disapproved of the moustache. #teamsuchet

You need SOMETHING to the detective. Even if it's just a good hairstyle.

Date: 2017-06-26 04:07 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (ishmael)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
Alleyn's just a slow burn. He doesn't feel the need to put all of his cards on the table in the first six pages like some detectives I could name. He's got work to do! Besides, too much personality prejudices the investigation.

Do we need a new Poirot? Why all the remakes all the time???

Poirot is eternal and unchanging, so no. But it also can't hurt anything to do a lot of remakes, because Poirot is eternal etc.. So I'm all for this murdertrain mustache festival.

Date: 2017-06-26 08:03 pm (UTC)
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Alleyn's just a slow burn. He doesn't feel the need to put all of his cards on the table in the first six pages like some detectives I could name. He's got work to do! Besides, too much personality prejudices the investigation

<3

(I spent too much of this post thinking much the same: Alleyn has a personality! It's just not a showy one with all those ridiculous quirks that detectives in books have. He does, indeed, have work to do instead!

(We don't need a new Poirot, though. Even if it does look like a ridiculous thing at least, which is always something.)

Date: 2017-06-27 07:50 am (UTC)
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Too much Shakespeare, Alleyn! (Although I'm sure Alleyn thinks there's no such thing.)

He would probably concede, though, that too much Shakespeare has been interrupted by murder.

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