Hallowe’en Party

I know I shouldn’t write two in one day.    I should spread the wealth such as it is, but I have time and inclination to catch up, so catch up I will.  I have not been doing so hot on reading more things.    I was reading the Woman in White (still am, actually) and with two days left and only 40% in, I decided to go to Agatha, my old standby, especially as Hallowe’en Party was next in line and it was the day before Hallowe’en.  Sadly, I did not make it.   I finished it on the 2nd.   Dame Agatha is clearly losing it at this point.   It starts with the titular Halloween party for teenage children.  Ariadne Oliver is attending while visiting a friend.  They are decorating for the party during the day: there will be games and the girls can look in mirrors and see there true loves, bobbing for apples and something called Snapdragon which I had to look up on the internet.   Wonderful thing, the internet.  Snapdragon is a holdover from Victorian times, why anyone still plays it is a mystery.   In a pan you put raisins and brandy, then set the brandy on fire and take turns trying to reach in and grab the raisins.  Losers get singed knuckles, winners get singed knuckles and raisins.   Worst. Game. Ever.

Lovely blue color though.

At the party set up one of the children, Joyce, brags about having witnessed a murder once.  Before the night is through, Joyce is dead and Ariadne Oliver is off apples for life.  Ariadne brings in Hercule and then, most unlike herself, largely disappears from the book.   Hercule walks around town in his too tight shoes interviewing everyone and I had part of the solution from the get-go.   I honestly have no idea if I read this before or not.   It rang no bells, but it was a long time ago and I’ve forgotten a lot, but I really think it did not have the usual pool of possible suspects.   It went on and on about how people who should have been in asylums no longer are, though there was no one in the book who would have been in an asylum in olden times either.  Somehow though even if I guess part of the solution to a Christie book, that doesn’t mean I guess it all and I didn’t.   Though whether that’s because it was ludicrous is a fair question.   At least I now know to avoid any parties where Snapdragon is on the schedule.

TL, DR:  Don’t bother unless you’re a Christie completionist.


This was an R.I.P. read and I’ll probably post it, even though it’s late.   It is too recent to count for Bev’s scavenger hunt.   I have gone back to Woman in White so there may not be more reviews for a while.  I’m also planning to read 50 pages of The Waves for the Woolfalong.   I mean, I’m planning to read the whole thing, but I keep getting not very far in these Woolf books.   Even the diary and I like diaries.  I find it interesting though that even though I’ve only read the beginnings of Night and Day, Lee’s biography and the vol 1 of the Diary they all sort of resonate and reinforce each other.    Especially N&D and the biography, but there’s a better understanding of each because of the others.  I did finish To the Lighthouse and Monday and Tuesday.  I like this Woolfalong idea and would like to do something like it in future years.    Maybe read all of Proust one year.   Or pick another author and do the 4-5 works and a biography like this.   A project which lasts the year, but doesn’t shut out everything else.   Though I probably should have shut out a few more things and done better on Woolf.

Once more vowing to step up my game and finish the year with style and aplomb.  Hoping to finish Woman in White, the Waves, and maybe some other stuff I started earlier.  There’s enough of it to last the rest of the year, sad to say.

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2 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Party”

  1. I watched an adaptation of Hallowe’en Party a while ago and toyed with the idea of reading the book again, even though it wasn’t a favourite first time around. Thank you for pushing that idea out of my mind. Spending a little more time with Wilkie Collins might be better..

    1. I only have 1 and a half Wilkies under my belt, but he’s the man all right. Not that Dame Agatha was a slouch, it’s just tough to stay great for that many decades, I think.

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