Monsieur Selnes has provided me with a copy of his review of Death and the Conjuror. In the words of Monsieur Wolfe I found the review satisfactory. While the review was moderately helpful for assessing the sleuths I, the diligent man that I am, carefully read the book myself.
Let me start by putting to bed or is it rest - the English language can be so clumsy - the calumny upon Mrs. Christie, repeated in the book, that she may have faked her 11 day disappearance back in 1926. Mon Dieu! Nothing could be further from the truth! Ms. Christie was enduring an emotional upset. I shall not descend into the gutter to explain the source of her mental anguish but let me be exceedingly clear. She was ill, not a faker.
Getting back to Monsieur Spector and Inspector Flint.
I heartedly concur with the good inspector that the number of deaths in locked rooms has reached the level of an epidemic in London. It is time the many sleuths of this great city combined with the police officers at the Metropolitan Police - I abhor the contraction of the Met - and Scotland Yard to promptly solve these crimes and deter the commission of further locked room murders.
I admit it took me a while to realize Inspector’s Flint’s relationship with Monsieur Spector may have been modelled on my connection to the good Inspector Japp. Indeed, Inspectors Flint and Japp are equally dogged - my colloquial English is improving - in the pursuit of the wicked. With the aid of a sleuth possessing a superior intellect they can solve the most difficult of murders.
I have some admiration for the apparel of Monsieur Spector. While nothing can compare with a finely tailored three piece suit and hat, he does dress with a degree of flair. Though his black velvet suit is vulgar he carries a silver headed cane. I do appreciate the drama of him wearing “a black cloak lined in crimson silk”. I have secretly aspired to such a cloak. If only Mrs. Christie would listen to my entreaties. It would go so well with the moustache I have so carefully cultivated. She is so stubborn.
Monsieur Selnes has advised me that he wishes the sleuths of the 21st Century dressed with the style of Monsieur Spector and myself. He confided that he would love to own a black cloak with crimson silk lining.
Were Monsieur Spector and I to meet we would enjoy smoking together. The intense smoke of my tiny Russian cigarettes would be matched by the pungent smell of his “narrow, dark cigarillos”.
I was dismayed that so little of Monsieur Spector’s background was revealed to explain his experience with the deductive process. I am positive there are tales of intrigue in his past.
Monsieur Spector’s process of deduction is sound. It is clear he has spent a lifetime using his little gray cells.
I was surprised when Monsieur Spector referenced the categories of locked room murders set out by John Dickenson Carr. I have never needed to draw upon the approaches of other sleuths and their authors but if a sleuth needs help Monsieur Carr is a master of the locked room murder.
I, myself, would also have started by analyzing how the killer left the locked room.
It is interesting, as with many sleuths and authors, how little attention is paid to the actions of the housekeeper in the book. While not a servant she has the anonymity of domestic staff.
I do not care for the conjuror’s tricks of Monsieur Spector. Illusion is not a part of my life. Deduction is the essence of a sleuth. I would prefer magic be kept upon the stage. Monsieur Selnes advises me he enjoyed the clever deceptions of Monsieur Spector. I sigh in exasperation.