Who doesn't like Agatha Christie? She's done it again and this book Elephants Can Remember is no exception.
This is a rather quirky story that has Mrs. Ariadne Oliver (a mystery murder authoress; shades of Mrs. Christie perhaps?) looking into an old death of a married couple. Mrs. Oliver was shocked by being accosted by a nosy woman who said she wanted to know the truth of the deaths. Why? Because her son was considering marrying the daughter of the deceased couple. Mrs. Oliver is so shocked by the questioning that she consults with Hercule Poirot.
The rest of the story is about Mrs. Oliver (particularly) interviewing former friends, housekeepers, associates to learn more about the deaths. Mrs. Oliver kept reminding the reader that "elephants can remember" -- meaning that these former associates would remember. Actually, she repeats it ad nauseum. I intensely disliked this story for two major reasons. First, going back and reconstructing the "scene" twelve years later (and everyone remembering everything) is just plain silly.
Second, I hated being reminded that elephants can remember. They may remember but humans have nuanced memories that may or may not be correct. I thought this whole book was a gigantic waste of time. Generally, when I read an Agatha Christie, at least the puzzle is interesting. But the supposition that it would be interesting to hash over a 12-year-old crime just escapes me. It was dull reading.
a great book full of humor as well as mystery. agatha christie does it again in her story telling.
One of the best mystery writers!
While the mystery itself was predictable, I liked the interactions between Hercule Poirot and the mystery writer Ariadne Oliver as they hunt for "elephants" for help in solving the mystery of the Ravenscrofts' deaths.
Who is the real sleuth in this one? A Poirot novel, at least he gets credit for the resolution, most of the leg work seems to have been accomplished by his novelist acquaintance, Mrs. Oliver. So I suppose it is collaboration. As in Murder In Retrospect (aka Five Little Pigs), the problem centers around a long age crime, the resolution of which was never completely satisfied. Despite hard evidence, Poirot is able to reason-out what really transpired and to get the only witness to finally come clean. While it is not one of Aunties best, it is still a reasonably entertaining read to level off more heady perusals.
Elephants Can Remember signals the return of two of Ms. Christie's greatest creations, Mrs. Adriadne Oliver and hercule Poirot, as this matchless pair follow a twisting trail of guilt and terror to a shocking crime committed long ago..........
1973 printing -- nationwide bestseller