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Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair atStyles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime.Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novelsand short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of MaryWestmacott.
Did General Ravenscroft kill Lady Ravenscroft or was she the one holding the gun? Many years later their daughter would like to know, so her godmother, Ariadne Oliver, asks Hercule Poirot to investigate. Working in tandem, Mrs. Oliver and Poirot identify and interview an ever-increasing list of witnesses (the elephants of the title). Poirot painstakingly reconstructs long-vanished relationships, and his deductions eventually lead him to one final witness. Even the great Christie recycled concepts from time to time; this mystery is one of several "remembered death" titles, characterized by long, descriptive conversations that can be tedious. In this case the contrast between Poirot's severe, analytical style and that of the charming but erratic Mrs. Oliver adds life to what would otherwise be a rather dull tale. John Moffatt delivers the competent if unexciting reading one expects from this producer. Christie at her worst (which this is not) is still better than most mystery writers. Recommended for all mid- to large-sized libraries.DI. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Boone, IA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
`Splendid...she tells us all we want to know and nothing that is irrelevant.'The Times`The acknowledged queen of detective fiction.' The Observer