Time sure do fly. I meant to write up Christie’s Passenger to Frankfurt before leaving on a long weekend, but I didn’t and here we are at the 21st already. I think I finished it the 15th. I’ve almost read all of her novels. Then I read some reviews of it trying to discern why it spent 27 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Mostly people thought much the same as me, although most of them seemed even more confused. The one who said much of what I would was Furrowed Middlebrow. He even posted the Robert Barnard quote I would have from Wikipedia.
The book does have a plot, sort of. It’s pretty much the same plot as in all her other “spy” novels. A mysterious cabal of rich people have gone all Pinky and the Brain and are trying to take over the world. This time using rebellious youth in all countries and a music festival. It starts off all right with a mysterious woman asking Sir Stafford Nye to borrow his cloak so she can get back to England in an unkilled state. He goes along with it and is swiftly embroiled in The Plot. Any time they or his great aunt are involved, the book is fairly readable, but when they aren’t, it’s a bunch of government committee members rehashing the plot and updating its progress in the vaguest, most repetitive way possible. Sadly, this is likely owing to dementia on Dame Agatha’s part, but that doesn’t explain 27 weeks on the best seller list. Did it come with a free TV?
About 3/4 of the way through, there is an actual idea revealed which I don’t wish to spoil for anyone who’s a completist and feels the need to read this. This idea makes the plot slightly less ridiculous, but should have been revealed much earlier and then thwarted later by the actions of our heroes rather than sort of dismissed through work already done. I think there’s an actual book in this muddle, it just needs serious rewriting, more suspense, more suspicion, and a lot less vagueness and repetition. Cover’s not bad though.