The Capture of Cerberus & The Incident of the Dog's Ball by Agatha Christie
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The Racist Remark and the Cover Story by Agatha Christie.
These two quickies from Christie are not her best by a long shot. Sure, they provide a light diversion, but they're not satisfying in the least.
Of the two, The Incident of the Dog's Ball feels the most like a typical Agatha Christie story. Truncated as it may be, there is a mystery plot. It even comes replete with a red herring.
It also comes with an anti semitic remark. It's not overt. It probably wasn't even intentional or recognized as such by the writer. The time of publication being 1937, this sort of thing was fairly common everywhere. It is tantamount to a white person calling a black person a nigger in passing conversation prior to the '60s civil rights movement. The slur had become so common as to sometimes be used passively without serious malicious intent. Still, it is incredibly thoughtless and hurtful.
Then came Christie's The Capture of Cerberus, a story about a Nazi propagandist whose speeches inspire a nation. This is an odd one. There's only the light veil of a mystery. It is more of a platform for Christie to spout her wishes for peace and to let everyone know she is anti Nazi. It came out in a collection of short stories produced by Christie from 1939 to 1947. As a mystery, it is perhaps her weakest and reads like her own self-serving propaganda...or perhaps it's an apology?
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