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Why Didn't They Ask Evans? by Agatha…

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (1934)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Bobby, the fourth son of the vicar, and "Frankie" the young lady of the manor, grew up laying together as children. But, as young adults, social rank has somewhat separated them. But when Bobby finds a dying man at the bottom of a cliff and decides to investigate the suspicious circumstances, Frankie decides to help. Together they find themselves in the middle of a complex and dangerous plot that involves several murders and my lead to the two of them being the next victims. Good plotting and likable characters. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
'The Boomerang Clue' is an alternative title for the novel, ‘Why didn’t they ask Evans?’ This phrase is uttered by a dying man, and triggers a long and convoluted investigation by two young people: Bobby, the Vicar’s son, and Frankie, a close friend of his.

As with most of Christie’s novels there are false clues everywhere. Bobby and Frankie set out on many trails, some more useful than others. They ask questions, leap to conclusions, aren’t sure who to trust… and only after an exciting finale do they gradually work out the truth.

The plot is complex, not one I could have worked out myself. But I liked the friendship between Bobby and Frankie and was content to go along with their reasoning, albeit with my own suspicions. I thought the two main protagonists were better drawn than typical for Christie's books, and some of the minor characters were interesting too.

Believable dialogue for the mid-20th century upper and upper-middle classes, and a nicely crafted plot that was difficult to put down. Definitely recommended to anyone who likes light crime fiction. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Aug 11, 2016 |
From Wikipedia:

"Bobby Jones is playing golf with Dr Thomas in the Welsh seaside town of Marchbolt. Seeking the golf ball he hit over the cliff edge, he sees a man lying below. The doctor says the man is fatally injured and seeks help. Bobby stays with the man, who briefly regains consciousness, says "Why didn't they ask Evans?", and then dies. Bobby found a photograph of a beautiful woman in the man's coat pocket, but no identification. Roger Bassington-ffrench, wearing plus fours, offers to stay with the body so Bobby can play the organ at his father's church.

The dead man is identified as Alex Pritchard by his sister, Amelia Cayman, at the inquest. She is said to be the woman in the photograph; Bobby wonders how such a beautiful girl could become such a coarse older woman. After the inquest, Mrs Cayman and her husband want to know if Pritchard had any last words. Bobby says that he did not. Later, when talking with his friend Frankie (Lady Frances Derwent), Bobby remembers that Pritchard did have last words and writes to the Caymans to tell them.

Bobby receives and rejects an unexpected job offer from a firm in Buenos Aires. Soon afterwards Bobby nearly dies after drinking from a poisoned bottle of beer. The local police do not pursue this. Frankie thinks Bobby is targeted for murder. Bobby agrees when he sees the issue of the local paper with the photograph used to find Pritchard's sister. Bobby sees that is not the one he found in the dead man's pocket. He and Frankie realize that Bassington-ffrench swapped the photographs and that Mrs Cayman is not related to the dead man at all. Bobby and Frankie search for Bassington-ffrench. They trace him to Merroway Court in Hampshire, owned by his brother Henry and Henry's wife Sylvia. They stage a car accident outside the house with the help of a doctor friend so that Frankie, feigning injury, will be invited to stay to recover. Frankie produces a newspaper cutting about the mysterious dead man; Sylvia remarks that he looks like Alan Carstairs. He is a traveler and big-game hunter who was a friend of John Savage, a millionaire who had killed himself after learning he had terminal cancer. Frankie meets two neighbours of the Bassington-ffrenches – Dr Nicholson and his younger wife, Moira. Dr Nicholson runs a local sanatorium. Frankie writes to Bobby and gets him to investigate the establishment. On the grounds at night, Bobby encounters a girl who says that she fears for her life; she is the original of the photograph that Bobby found in the dead man's pocket. Several days later, the girl, Moira Nicholson, turns up at the local inn where Bobby stays in his disguise as Frankie's chauffeur. She says her husband is trying to kill her and says she knew Alan Carstairs before her marriage to the doctor. Bobby introduces her to Frankie. Moira suggests that they ask Roger if he took the photograph from the body of the dead man. At the next opportunity, Frankie asks. Roger admits that he took the photo, recognizing Moira and wanting to avoid scandal for her....."

I didn't like the book as it was all so much going on and in a "breathless" manner. The characters were rather gullible. The romance & the relationships were very convoluted.... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Bobby Jones is playing golf when he discovers a man has fallen off a cliff and died. When Bobby is soon poisoned with morphia, he decides the mans death was not an accident. Bobby and Frances Derwent decide to try to find the killer. A fun mystery with lots of red herrings.
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
A compelling whodunit, with a nice twist at the end - very enjoyable. ( )
  cazfrancis | Mar 29, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Havrevold, GunvorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kattelus, KirstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Christopher Mallock in memory of Hinds
First words
Bobby Jones teed up his ball, gave a short preliminary waggle, took the club back slowly, then brought it down and through with the rapidity of lightning.
"Isn't it odd," she said. "We seem somehow to have got in between the covers of a book. We're in the middle of someone else's story. It's a frightfully queer feeling."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Why Didn't They Ask Evans is another title for The Boomerang Clue
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
It started when a false step from a misty footpath sent a mysterious stranger plummenting to his death.
How was bobby Jones to know htat witnessing the dying man's last word s- "Why didn't they ask Evans?" - would send him on a death-defying chase?

Bobby and his unlikely partner in detection, Lady Frances Derwent, end up in pursuit of a hauntingly beautiful woman - and a cunning killer who is out to do them in! 

Bobby studied him more closely. An attractive face, humours, determined, resourceful. The eyes, he thought were probably blue. Just as he reached that point in his thoughts, the eyes suddenly opened.

They were a clear deep blue. They looked straight at Bobby. there was nothing uncertain or hazy about them. they seemed completely conscious. They were watchful and at the same time they seemed to be asking a question.

Bobby got up quickly and came towards the man. Before he got there the other spoke. His voice was not weak - it came out clear and resonant.

"Why didn't they ask Evans?" he said.

And then a queer little shudder passed over him, the eyelids drooped , the jaw fell ...

The man was dead.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312981597, Mass Market Paperback)

Was it a misstep that sent a handsome stranger plummeting to his death from a cliff? Or something more sinister? Fun-loving adventurers Bobby Jones and Frances Derwent's suspicions are certainly roused--espeically since the man's dying words were so peculiar: Why didn't the ask Evans? Bobby and Frances would love to know. Unfortunately, asking the wrong people has sent the amateur sleuths running for their lives--on a wild and deadly pursuit tod discover who Evans is, what it was he wasn't asked, and why the mysterious inquiry has put their own lives in mortal danger...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:53 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Bobby Jones witnesses the last words of a dying man--"Why didn't they ask Evans?"--and begins a death-defying chase. Bobby and his partner in detection, Lady Derwent, end up in pursuit of a beautiful woman and a cunning killer.

» see all 9 descriptions

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