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The adventure of the 'Western Star'. a short…
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The adventure of the 'Western Star'. a short story (edition 2020)

by Agatha Christie, Hugh Fraser

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242731,178 (3.57)27
Three episodes of the impeccably turned-out diminutive Belgian sleuth. With the his razor sharp mind and the aid of the affabel Captain Hastings, Poirot unravels the thorniest cases without mussing a hair of his famously sculpted mustache. Set in the elegance 1930's England, the series also includes Chief Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon.… (more)
Member:rickycatto
Title:The adventure of the 'Western Star'. a short story
Authors:Agatha Christie
Other authors:Hugh Fraser
Info:[New York] : HarperCollins, 2020
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:audiobooks, to-read

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The Adventure of 'The Western Star' [short story] by Agatha Christie

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This Hercule Poirot short story was first published in The Sketch magazine in the UK on April 11, 1923. The Blue Magazine printed it in the US in February 1924.

A famous American film star arrives in England. She seeks out Poirot's help, stating that she has been receiving strange threatening letters regarding a large diamond she owns. Then a second woman, Lady Yardley, comes forward with concerns about a similar stone in her collection. Poirot jumps right in to lend the powers of his little grey cells to get to the facts of the matter.

There are times when some of the language and attitudes in Christie's writing bother me. The stories are nearly 100 years old and sometimes use derogatory terms for foreigners or non-white characters....terms that were widely used in the 1920s, but are now considered incredibly rude, derogatory, and unacceptable. Several times characters in this story refer to Chinese people with a racist term.....but in the past the term was commonly used without thought or care. I see the benefit to leaving Christie's works as she wrote them as they are her words and it does reflect attitudes of the time, but this is one area where I have trouble with her writing. The ideas expressed by upper class white characters in her books/stories sometimes come off as incredibly racist and classist. But the elite at the time were racist and classist. I'm not saying that society is any better today....we still have some major issues to work through when it comes to how we treat others. But, most of us don't just toss out incredibly racist terms as part of normal conversation. For example, Christie used the n word in a book title in 1939. That would not be ok at all today. Sensibilities have changed at least somewhat. I don't like it when I come across blatantly racist terms in literature (even when my favorite author is the culprit)....but it does make me glad that some verbage that was ok in the early 1900s is not ok now!! Despite my momentary shock at the term, I did enjoy this story. Interesting case, and Poirot was his usual brilliant self.

Agatha Chrstie's Poirot adapted this story for television in 1990 (Season 2, Episode 10). The story is changed somewhat to lengthen it into a full episode, but the basic case is the same. So glad David Suchet played Poirot for every story that Christie wrote. He does such a good job!

On to the next story: The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor! ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
Rating: 3* of five

The Publisher Says: A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.

Movie star Mary Marvell consults with Hercule Poirot after receiving threatening letters that warn her to return her diamond, the famous ‘Western Star’, to its rightful owner. But who does own the diamond, and is it even the genuine article?

My Review: Again, a 99¢ Kindle Single as well as an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot's second season.

Good lord, society was racist in those days. In 1923, when this story was published, making the villain Chinese was a piece of shorthand for morally degenerate furriner. That the ultimate culprits were not Chinese and that the reason for the jewel theft was simple and sordid adultery made the entire tale predictable. This was more of a Columbo episode than it was a typical Christie.

The look of these shows is stellar. I love it, this Art Deco beauty and lushness. What's very strange to me is how much the atmosphere of the stories (in these early seasons) depends on Poirot and Hastings acting like an old married couple. Bicker bicker bicker! Smile and make up. Bicker some more, Poirot says something cutting, Hastings acts hurt, smile and make up! It was 1990 when these were made, no one can convince me that there's any chance of this being unconscious or accidental.

Well anyway it's a charming way to pass an hour.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ( )
  richardderus | Aug 25, 2014 |
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Three episodes of the impeccably turned-out diminutive Belgian sleuth. With the his razor sharp mind and the aid of the affabel Captain Hastings, Poirot unravels the thorniest cases without mussing a hair of his famously sculpted mustache. Set in the elegance 1930's England, the series also includes Chief Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon.

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