I picked up this Agatha Christie ‘Crime Collection’ in the 5 for £1 a couple of months ago at a school fair, along with four others, which was a real bargain. I’m reading the second book in this omnibus at the moment – Death In the Clouds and I’m really intrigued by this particular mystery and I think it was a very original idea. As well as Death In the Clouds, there are two other stories in this book: Murder On the Orient Express and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? On the flaps of the dust jacket, all of the stories are briefly described and although Murder On the Orient Express is undoubtedly the most famous of them all, Death In the Clouds is introduced by the line – “This is one of the classics of detection fiction’. This excited me a little, and I was eager to start this story. I’ve read a lot of books recently for school-work reasons, and it was nice to relax, one evening this week, by sitting back – a terrific storm raging overhead. My bedroom frequently being illumined by an eerie lightning strike, and the rumble of thunder growling in the distance, and open this book to read about Madame Giselle’s disturbing death on the aeroplane – Prometheus. When I told my sister about this book (she has seemed to be developing an interest in Murder-Mystery books recently – she read the book Murder Most Unladylike early last month), she was shocked to hear that Madame Giselle had been killed – presuming it was a character with the same name from Peppa Pig!
So anyway, at the very front of this book, we have a map indicating the passengers whereabouts on the aeroplane: Prometheus. I like this aspect and regularly flicked back through the book to this page. There were eleven passengers on the rear car (the car in which Madame Giselle; also known as Marie Morisot). You can see the names of the passengers on this photo of the diagram of the car and the list of passengers; which later serves also as a suspect list…
Madame Giselle is killed by a fatal ‘discoloured thorn’ piercing her skin and injecting a deadly poison into her body. The thorn is delivered by a blowpipe which was later discovered pushed down the back of Seat no:9 – the seat of Hercule Poirot. The question is – who killed Madame Giselle and why?
Because it cannot be argued that someone from outside committed the crime: the plane was in flight at the time of death. It was surely either one of the passengers or stewards? Hercule Poirot embarks on a quest to discover the truth.