Evil Under the Sun (Agatha Christie Collection) ペーパーバック – 1995/10/23
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It was not unusual to find the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only on this occasion there was no sun...her beautiful bronzed body had been strangled to death.
Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in over 70 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time and in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 20 plays, and six novels written under the name of Mary Westmacott.
主要登場人物は多くなく、それぞれが個性豊かで、各自独特な話し方をするのでテンポがよく読めます。物語の展開も順序立てになっているので（スパイや政治の話が出ないぶん）、アガサの原書でもわりあい易しいジャンルに入るかな、と。 今回も例にもれず、ポアロが誰も気に留めない小〜さな疑問符を集め、ちゃくちゃくと犯行パズルにはめ込んでいきます。パズルのピースは必ずはまるべきスペースがあり、完成させるにはどうでも良さそうなことも全て、吟味し解明しないといけない、という彼の持論は素晴らしいの一言。現実にはこんな警察or探偵、いたらかなり周囲から浮いてるんだろうなぁ、と思いますが。。あくまでもポアロは完全無欠の人間なので、その辺は深く追求してはいけません！ 見事出来上がったパズルの完成品からはアっと！驚く犯人が浮き彫りにされます。
This is a very typical Christie novel in many ways. It happens in a "bottle" environment where no one else comes and goes, and almost all of the characters have a motive. At first glance, the crime seems impossible to solve.
But very luckily for the characters(except for the murderer) and the readers, Hercule Poirot stays there and solves everything, but it seems to me that in order that the murderer succeeds in committing the crime as the book depicts, he or she needs several coincidences that really put too great a strain on the readers’ credulity.
By the way, I am not sure, but I am disposed to think that in Christie's novels, the victims are, in most cases, blamed for their own death due to the way they have lived their life.
Hercule Poirot is vacationing at the Jolly Roger Hotel, Smugglers’ Island, Leathercombe Bay, in southern England. Also present is Arlena Stuart Marshall, a beautiful former actress, her husband, Captain Kenneth Marshall, and his teenage daughter, Linda Marshall.
Arlena loves men and men love her - and she sees no reason why just because she's married she shouldn't have some fun. Of course, for Arlena this means flirting - and more. Meanwhile, her taciturn husband - the epitome of the British gentleman - suffers in silence. Linda, though, is not so silent and her feelings are very obvious. To complicate matters, Kenneth Marshall's childhood friend, Rosamund Darnley, is also at the resort. Then there are the Redferns, Patrick and Christine. Patrick quickly begins a relationship with Arlena that sets the stage for murder.
This is one of the more enjoyable Christies. The characters are well drawn and interesting. Linda lonely, unhappy, and struggling with her feelings about her stepmother's death. Even Arlena is sympathetically drawn. Once I learned her story, I could not help but feel sorry for her. There is an interesting twist at the end. The murderer and the motive are both rather surprising, and I really did not suspect either.
Very well done.