Agatha Christie Essay, Research Paper
Christie, Agatha: The Man in the Brown Suit
B O O K R E P O R T
B y F l o r i a n K a t z i n g e r
The Man in the Brown Suit
Per 3 rd of April 1997
A g a t h a
C h r i s t i e
is known throughout the world as Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language with another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time and in any language, outsold by only the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 79 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays and 6 novels written under the name of Mary Westmacott.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles , was written toward the end of the First World War, in which she served as a VAD. In it she created Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective who was destined to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. It was eventually published by The Bodley Head in 1920.
In 1926, after averaging a book a year, Agatha Christie wrote her masterpiece. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the first of her books to be published by Collins and marked the beginning of an author-publisher relationship which lasted for fifty years and well over seventy books. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was also the first of Agatha Christie?s books to be dramatised ? under the name Alibi ? and to have successful run in the West End. The mousetrap , her most famous play of all, is the longest-running play in history.
Agatha Christie was made a Dame in 1971. Her last two books to be published were Curtain: Poirot?s Last Case in 1975, and Sleeping Murder , featuring the deceptively mild Miss Marple, in 1976. Both were best-sellers. Agatha Christie also wrote four non-fiction works including an autobiography and the delightful Come, Tell Me How You Life , which celebrates the many expeditions she shared with her archaeologist husband Sir Max Mallowan.
C h a r a c t e r s
Anne Beddingfield (A beautiful, young adventurer. She is the main Narrator. Always searching for new novels, by investigating the Man in the Brown Suit)
Sir Eustace Pedler (Member of the Houses of Common, responsible for South-African affairs. A genteel older gentleman. But also doubtless the most smartest character of this novel. In fact he is ?The Colonel?. Some parts of the book are out of his diary.)
Nadina (A famous Russian dancer, who has taken Paris by storm. She is married with Carton. She fools everybody until she was killed by ?The Colonel? at the Mill-House, owned by Sir Eustace Pedler)
?The Colonel? (His profession is jewel-robbery and he is a great brain. ?If you want a thing done safely, do not do it yourself!? The most mysterious figure in this novel.)
Colonel Race (A Secret Service agent. He wants to convict ?The Colonel?. Anne is afraid of him and loves him at the same time. His aim is to conquer Anne?s heart)
Suzanne Blair (A good friend of Anne. They have become acquainted with at the Kilmorden Castle. Suzanne helps Anne unselfish, even she is longing for her husband Clarence.)
Guy Pagett (Sir Eustace Pedler?s secretary. He has a ?guilty secret?: He is married to a woman and has four children, although he is Pedler?s secretary. He is employed by him for six years and did nothing wrong.)
S y n o p s i s
The whole story is about pretty, young Anne Beddingfield, who came to London for adventure. She found it immediately on the platform of Hyde Park Corner tube station, where a thin man, reeking of mothballs, lost his balance and was electrocuted on the rails. Anne was eyewitness and felt that somebody was behind her before the man fell. As she turned round a man in a brown suit came and declared as a doctor, examined the body, resulted that the man is dead and disappeared as fast as he came. Young Anne needed some air and followed the him. Suddenly he throw a piece of paper with the inscription 17.1 22 Kilmorden Castle away. It smelt horribly of mothballs.
Although Scotland Yard?s verdict was accidental death. Anne decided to investigate the case and her first clue was the headline of the Daily Budget:
EXTRAORDINARY SEQUEK TO TUBE ACCIDENT
WOMAN FOUND STRANGLED IN LONELY HOUSE
At the Mill House in Marlow, which is property of Sir Eustace Pedler, the body of a beautiful young woman was found. The house is to be let unfurnished and Mr. Pedler is wintering on the Rivera. An order to view the property of Mr. Pedler was found in a pocket of the man who was found in the tube station.
Now Anne got assured that there was more than a accidental death and she finds out some hints point by point. She found a roll of films at the Mill House, but they still had been developed. The Kilmorden Castle was a ship to South Africa, from where the victim was. She bought a ticket and went on board.
There she experienced some adventures but to describe them all would go beyond the scope of a book report. On the ship different characters appear. Anne gets acquainted with Suzanne Blair, a woman, who helps Anne unselfish in her investigations. Anne also finds out that Sir Eustace Pedler and his secretary Guy Pagett join the Kilmorden. There is also a second secretary with Pedler, Mr. Harry Rayburn and another human being Anne meets, Rev. Edward Chichester. Colonel Race, an alleged Secret Service Agent, tells a story about a diamonds robbery. Anne asked to get cabin 17, because of the clue on the scarp of paper and one night somebody wants to get in. Now Anne and Suzanne think about and finally find diamonds in one of the film-rolls. Anne took them with her just by chance. Anne gave them to Suzanne, she should care about them. On the last night of the journey Anne is nearly thrown overboard by an strong man, but Mr. Rayburn saves her life. On the next morning he tells her a secret. He is the Man in the Brown Suit and that she should better stop investigating in this case. Her life might be in great danger.
After arriving in South Africa Anne walks into her enemies trap. She visits the supposed house of an old friend of her father. Fortunately she can escape and hears a conversation of Edward Chichester and another man. Now the story gets so tangled that I only want to sum it up. Anne, Suzanne, Colonel Race and Mrs. Pettigrew, a new secretary of Mr. Pedler, travel with Mr. Pedler in his private wagon to Rhodesia. There Anne got a message that Mr. Rayburn will wait for her in the night and our young heroine of course follows this hint. The only thing she remembers that she was hit and awakes in Mr. Rayburns house on a small island. Rayburn has saved her life.
There she is told the truth by Harry Rayburn. He travelled to London because he has been told that Carton, who works at De Beers?, a diamonds-agency, is going to sell diamonds, which he and a friend of him have been suspected to have stolen from his friend?s father. (That is the story Colonel Race told at the Kilmorden) . When Carton saw Rayburn at the tube-station, he was so frightened that he had lost balance and felt on the rails. (Carton has seen Rayburn?s face in the newspapers.) Rayburn said that he is a doctor and checked Carter. He found some film-rolls and a paper with 1.17.Kilmorden. He lost the paper somewhere and also the film-rolls. (Anne found it both during her investigation) But there was still another figure. Anita Gr?nberg, or Nadia. She was married to Carton and was also involved in the robbery. She had been killed at the Mill-House. But Rayburn says that he has nothing to do with that.
In the end of the book Anita discovers that ?The Colonel? Sir Eustace Pedler and he killed Nadia at his house in Marlow. He sent Pagett on holiday and so he could easy travel from the Rivera to London and kill Nadia in his own house.
Finally Anne and Harry Rayburn, who is in fact John Harold Eardsley, the son of a diamond-mine owner, marry and have a son together.
C o m m e n t
This is a typical Agatha Christie ?book.
(1988) HarperCollins Trade; ISBN: 0006174752