Five pages into the book and I realized that I definitely haven't read The Sittaford Mystery before. It's such a novel pleasure [to me] finding an Agatha Christie that I've not read.
Anne Beddingfeld is still very much my favourite Christie romantic adventuress/sleuth but Emily Trefusis comes a very close second.
'I won three books last month in a crossword competition.'
I've read enough Christie that I could have quite early on put the finger on Burnaby. The above was my second clue. The constant reference to the three books in Trevelyan's collection of prizes seemed to be trying to tell me something.
My third clue was what I call the Mary Hopkins Syndrome. Burnaby was repeating the pattern of the murderess in Sad Cypress by 'revealing something that he/she appeared not to want revealed'. In Mary Hopkins' case, it was the parentage of Mary Victim; in Burnaby's case, it was the séance and the time of death.
My first clue, by the way, was the fact that he seemed beyond reproach - having discovered the body.
However in my usual hurry to read the book to the end (in this case, both to solve the mystery of the murder and Emily's eventual choice), I didn’t follow the logical reasoning that might have led me to Burnaby's motive! [LOL!]
That done, I'll go on to...
Clever, clever, clever linking the Willets with the escaped convict. I would never have guessed. I guessed correctly that Violet W was romantically involved with Pearson Jnr. Then I got sidelined by thinking that her mother took her from Australia to separate her from Pearson Jnr. Of course, her going ahead to rent Pearson's uncle's house seemed to nullify that theory but the Willets were so obviously suspicious that they were so obviously not the murderers that I didn't think too much about their story.
I felt very sorry for Mrs Willet though. Sittaford Mystery had 3 romances: Emily/Joe; Violet/Brian and Mrs/Mr Willet and it was the latter drew the shortest stick.
Why did Mr Dering lie? Very un-Christie-ish not to explain that. Although I suspect strongly he was having an affair. Dreadful man.
Anyway, on to my favourite part!
Best Intro Ever:
"Oh! my God," said Jim Pearson. "Can nobody help me?"
At that moment the door opened and a young woman waltzed into the room.
Anne Beddingford is still my favourite Christie non-recurrent character adventuress/sleuth/heroine but Emily Trefusis comes a close second. I did so adore the idea of the Knight in Shining Armour being the Lady. :p
I crowed at the end when Emily chose to stick with Jim. I absolutely crowed. she obviously loved Joe so badly. Her character would have been a bit too flapper for liking, and her choice at the end almost incredulous, if she had gone about the matter with total savoir-flair. But the two times she broke down into tears really won her character over for me. I like espying weakness in my heroes. Smugness is so alienating.
I suppose Charles is the better man; the one that can be depended upon. But as I mentioned, Emily is the heroine. She doesn't need - want rescuing. She wants to be the one doing the rescuing.