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Author Topic: PseudoPod 683: The Mystery of the Blue Jar  (Read 686 times)

Bdoomed

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on: January 04, 2020, 02:32:55 AM
PseudoPod 683: The Mystery of the Blue Jar

Author: Agatha Christie
Narrator: B.J. Harrison
Host: Kat Day
Audio Producer: Chelsea Davis

‘The Mystery of the Blue Jar’ was first published in the UK in issue 233 of The Grand Magazine in July 1924 and in the US in Metropolitan Magazine the same year. Reprinted in The Hound of Death and Other Stories (UK, 1933) and The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (US, 1948).



Jack Hartington surveyed his topped drive ruefully. Standing by the ball, he looked back to the tee, measuring the distance. His face was eloquent of the disgusted contempt which he felt. With a sigh he drew out his iron, executed two vicious swings with it, annihilating in turn a dandelion and a tuft of grass, and then addressed himself firmly to the ball.

It is hard when you are twenty-four years of age, and your one ambition in life is to reduce your handicap at golf, to be forced to give time and attention to the problem of earning your living. Five and a half days out of the seven saw Jack imprisoned in a kind of mahogany tomb in the city. Saturday afternoon and Sunday were religiously devoted to the real business of life, and in an excess of zeal he had taken rooms at the small hotel near Stourton Heath links, and rose daily at the hour of six a.m. to get in an hour’s practice before catching the 8.46 to town.

The only disadvantage to the plan was that he seemed constitutionally unable to hit anything at that hour in the morning. A foozled iron succeeded a muffed drive. His mashie shots ran merrily along the ground, and four putts seemed to be the minimum on any green.

Jack sighed, grasped his iron firmly and repeated to himself the magic words, ‘Left arm right through, and don’t look up.’

He swung back—and then stopped, petrified, as a shrill cry rent the silence of the summer’s morning.

‘Murder,’ it called. ‘Help! Murder!’




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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
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Languorous Lass

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Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 02:30:23 PM
Twist ending!  Love it! 



Marlboro

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Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 05:59:19 PM
We need some Agatha Christie inspired horror stories.

Zombies on the Orient Express

"Aim for ze little grey cells, mon ami!"



 Or maybe a Nosferatu infused (transfused?) version of And Then There Were None?

Ten little vampire boys went out to dine;
One forgot to say "hold the garlic" and then there were nine.
Nine little vampire boys all had dates;
One went with Buffy and then there were eight.
Eight little vampire boys who'll never get to Heaven;
One drank some holy water and then there were seven.
Seven little vampire boys playing with sticks;
One made a crucifix and then there were six.
Six little vampire boys neither dead nor alive;
Robert Neville was their neighbor and then there were five.
Five lost vampire boys thirsty for more;
One made it big and starred on 24.
Four little vampire boys,  just like Chris Lee;
One met Van Helsing and then there were three.
Three little vampire boys with nothing much to do;
Bela went to Hollywood and then there were two.
Two little vampire boys sitting in the sun;
One forgot his sunscreen and then there was one.
One little vampire boy, his hair in a bun;
He tried to steal John Wick's girlfriend and then there were none.




Fwiw: my favorite Christie novels are

And Then There Were None
The Murder on the Orient Express
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Death on the Nile
Five Little Pigs
The ABC Murders
Curtain



« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 06:19:50 PM by Marlboro »



Umbrageofsnow

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Reply #3 on: August 07, 2020, 07:45:13 PM
I love how much foreshadowing there is in this story, and despite all of it I only caught the twist when he woke up to the tweeting birds.

Quote
‘Murder—help! murder,’ repeated the girl. ‘Somebody has played a trick on you, Monsieur. Who could be murdered here?’
Quote
Unlikely as it seemed, the girl herself might be playing a trick on him.
Quote
he was very conscious of the quiet observation under which he was being kept, and it frightened him a little. Was his secret written plainly in his face for all to see? Did this man, by reason of his professional calling, know that there was something amiss in the hidden grey matter?

Jack shivered at the thought. Was it true? Was he really going mad? Was the whole thing a hallucination, or was it a gigantic hoax?
Quote
the older man might have been waiting for such an opening. It was clear that for some reason or other Jack interested him.
Quote
‘It is a wonderful idea,’ she exclaimed.

Her eyes were alight with enthusiasm. Jack did not feel nearly so enthusiastic—in fact, he was inwardly funking it badly, but nothing would have induced him to admit the fact before Felise. The doctor acted as though his suggestion were the most natural one in the world.
Christie justifies everything really well: before we get to twist we already know that the girl just moved into the house, that our protagonist is a bit of an idiot, and that he's not thinking things through because there's a pretty girl involved.

I think the reason it sneaks up on you so well is that the motive doesn't appear until so late in the story, so when that slots all the other hints into place, you aren't really thinking about them anymore.



JDuckworth

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Reply #4 on: August 08, 2020, 08:30:04 PM
We need some Agatha Christie inspired horror stories.

Zombies on the Orient Express

"Aim for ze little grey cells, mon ami!"



 Or maybe a Nosferatu infused (transfused?) version of And Then There Were None?

Ten little vampire boys went out to dine;
One forgot to say "hold the garlic" and then there were nine.
Nine little vampire boys all had dates;
One went with Buffy and then there were eight.
Eight little vampire boys who'll never get to Heaven;
One drank some holy water and then there were seven.
Seven little vampire boys playing with sticks;
One made a crucifix and then there were six.
Six little vampire boys neither dead nor alive;
Robert Neville was their neighbor and then there were five.
Five lost vampire boys thirsty for more;
One made it big and starred on 24.
Four little vampire boys,  just like Chris Lee;
One met Van Helsing and then there were three.
Three little vampire boys with nothing much to do;
Bela went to Hollywood and then there were two.
Two little vampire boys sitting in the sun;
One forgot his sunscreen and then there was one.
One little vampire boy, his hair in a bun;
He tried to steal John Wick's girlfriend and then there were none.




Fwiw: my favorite Christie novels are

And Then There Were None
The Murder on the Orient Express
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Death on the Nile
Five Little Pigs
The ABC Murders
Curtain
The movie "Shadow of the Vampire" is one of my favorites--if you've never seen it, its premise is that the director Murnau (played by John Malkovich) hires an actual vampire (played by Willem Defoe) to play the role of Nosferatu, and the results are equally predictable and brilliant.