20 April 2010
13 - Unlucky for Some?
Superstitions around the number 13 are entrenched in a number of cultures, and Agatha Christie acknowledged this in 3 titles (as far as I know - but were there more?)
A republication "for younger readers" of 13 short stories, all of them previously published in the US, UK, or both.
The stories are
Accident (from The Listerdale Mystery);
The Bird with the Broken Wing and
The Face of Helen (from The Mysterious Mr. Quin);
The Blue Geranium and
The Four Suspects (from The Thirteen Problems);
The Girdle of Hippolyta and
The Nemean Lion (The Labours of Hercules);
The Market Basing Mystery (The Under Dog);
Problem at Pollensa Bay and
The Regatta Mystery (The Regatta Mystery);
The Tape-Measure Murder (Three Blind Mice);
The Unbreakable Alibi (Partners in Crime); and
The Veiled Lady (Poirot's Early Cases).
They are taken variously from 9 different books and include 4 Poirot stories, 3 Miss Marple stories, 1 of Tommy & Tuppence, 2 of Parker Pyne, and 2 of Mr. Quin.
This was a good solid Christie read (as you'll see from my review) although Hercules Poirot always regarded the case as one of his failures.
Coincidentally it was also Christie's 13th novel
reviewed here, saw the debut of Miss Marple.
It consists of 13 short stories, all dedicated to demonstrating the cleverness of Miss Marple, who mainly solves the mysteries by comparing them to her observations of life in St. Mary Mead.
Other authors have similarly used the number 13 in their titles.
Perhaps you'd like to comment on your favourite.