This was the fourth book Agatha Christie wrote–finished in 1924. Hercule Poirot had been
in two of them, and Tommy and Tuppence in the other. This story didn’t have any of them,
but instead followed the adventures of young Anne Beddingfeld, who, of course, happens
to witness an “accident” that turns out to be murder.
I chose the book to read as a nice little accent piece, because the clip on the back cover
said, “Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for an adventure . . .” and I thought,
But shortly after the story begins, she sails off on a boat to South Africa and most of
the story takes place there. Oh, well.
This book did introduce a lasting character in the Christie stable, though, and that
is Colonel Race. He doesn’t quite have the presence of later Colonel Race appearances
in other Christie books, but nevertheless it is he, and Anne is both fascinated and
frightened by him.
It’s sort of fun to read the early fumblings of character development when we know how
Colonel Race appears in later mysteries. And this is probably the only plot where
Colonel Race is cast as a possible suspect!
This is not the best Agatha Christie—but it is interesting to read as “early” Christie.