Tuesday, April 20, 2010
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Most intriguing, however, are those Mother Goose rhymes that take a murderous turn -- which is exactly what happens in Agatha Christie's One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940).
M. Poirot, having just conquered his fears of the dentist chair in 58 Queen Charlotte Street, trips lightly into the path of Dr. Morley's next patient. Nothing unusual for Poirot to remark about her, other than her double-barreled surname (Sainsbury Seale), a slovenly tint job and a great silver buckle that has just dislodged itself from her shoe.
Will that buckle become the first in a series of ominous clues to a game of murder? Suffice it to say that the corpses pile up faster than a child can learn to count to twenty.
It's fortunate that Miss Lemon's dear friend, Chief Inspector Japp, is there to provide M. Poirot with just the right amount of opposition to set him on the track of a murderer.
As in most all of Mrs. Christie's novels written and published in the 1940s and '50s (see Taken at the Flood, for another example) readers will find herein snappy dialogue, a sense of humour, and a narrative pace that zings right along. Add to that a bit of espionage, covert identity, intricate plotting, and a neat parallel to the old Mother Goose rhyme, "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" and you have a most amusing way to pass a rainy April evening.