One point extraordinary about Agatha Christie's novel 'Three Act Tragedy' lies in that the seemingly amateurish investigations accounted for over two thirds of the entire story, that Hercule Poirot was reduced to dependence on most--if not all-- second handed material before the deployment of his deductions, and therefore in the so-called 'Poirot leading' book, he played hardly more than an illuminator in the last minute, which worried readers such as me, frankly, for I had expected much oftener performance of him.
To be sure, it's not the very work in which Agatha Christie has implanted the third-party (by it I mean people alongside the police and Hercule Poirot himself who has a say, a thunderous one occasionally, in mystery solving process). A typical example? 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' where the real murderer had been hidden back-to-back with Poirot all through, partly as an investigator and partly an observer, and of course a wicked narrator. On the contrary, in 'Three Act Tragedy', there were not merely one but three zealous and astute hedgehogs whose true motives were in fact, invisible:
Sir Charles Cartwright, host of Crow's Nest, a retired actor of famous name, who offered the first deathly dinner party, left for South France, and joined back immediately on hearing the death of his meilleur ami: Sir Batholomew (victim of the second murder).
Miss Lyntton Gore, nicknamed ridiculously as 'Egg', incarnation of beauty, youth and headstrongness, daughter of the widowed Lady Mary, and adored Sir Charles blindly, though perhaps cared more for the young villain Olivier Manders subconsciously.
Mr. Satterthwaite, old friend of Sir Charles, shrewd mind-reader, the only character into the inner world of which Christie pried directly using her 'God eye'. And interestingly, although this novel is written in a third-person style, it appears as if Mr. Satterthwaite's mood led a main narrating course.
As a matter of fact, the above listed three personalities in a diminishing sequence of influence, at least in my view. Sir Charles, a born actor, focus in spotlight, even admittedly retired form stage, was still powerful. He had sort of charisma or a certain halo about him to change other people's mind and accordingly to control the prospective direction where the story might zigzag to, and so did he! Miss Egg and Mr. Satterthwaite, added as many sidetracks as they possibly could, causing the whole thing a great more serpentine. Collectively or separately, these three interviewed almost all the on-site visitors (and thus suspects) of both cases, their interviews appeared similar and dissimilar to Poirot's formulated ones, for they were deeply personal, chatty, and oftener led nowhere. As a reader, I could instantly felt at ease with the third-party eyes, for they were by no means idiotic, nor stunning talented，a perfect projection of the way an average I saw the world.
What's more, as I mentioned, introduction of the third-party could draw one's attention far from it naturally and tactfully, so one accepted the three persons' innocence with or without an obvious alibi. But of course, Hercule Poirot did not take it for granted, instead, he always took the plainest, uninterested, and invariably the psychological, the 'what's the motive' way to the ambushed truth.
I sometimes have a vague feeling that Agatha Christie shared certain characteristics with Jane Austen. After reading this Poirot novel, I've got a little further evidence, say, Austen was particularly interested in a cluster of families in a neighbourhood, so was Christie. Rarely did she ambitiously boast in her works the so-called grandeur, but elegant and coherent frameworks ensured each of them a fine piece of art. Austen wrote of love, guilt, desire, Christie did likewise, in a miniature scope, with crueler touch, the feelings of Sir Charles for Miss Egg stands an example. Needless to say, Christie's style of wording is very beautiful. In Chapter 14 when Mr.Satterthwaite visited Lady Mary, he remembered his young romance. It was sad, and according to Christie, it sounded well in the dim faded chintz and eggshell china atmosphere of Lady Mary's drawing-room. I felt pure, neat and melancholy while reading this quasi-music sentence.
In the TV-series of Poirot (starred by David Suchet, season 12), the role of Mr. Satterthwaite and Poirot were combined together, so the latter could follow the entire case from the very beginning. And therefore, the third-party was condensed, left only Sir Charles and Miss Egg. This adaption is acceptable. But one did not need exceedingly sharp eyesight to discern one blatant disagreement between details, i.e., the first victim, Mr. Babbington was said having passed away one month before the second tragedy, yet his funeral took place fully after that. Autopsy considered, this over-thirty-day time gap appeared still too huge.
While reading the novel, I had no choice but seated as a third-party as well, a reader's stance, or in Agatha Christie's own words, 'a playgoer' with 'reaction to dramatic effect'. Well, it is quite true. But since she's forever marvellous, I have the least wonder that I shall continue to read her, love her, just like this.http://ciyunw.blogbus.com/logs/70253332.html