Agatha Christie's Poirot: Cat Among the Pigeons
August 31, 2022 3:50 PM - Season 11, Episode 2 - Subscribe

After revolution overthrows Prince Ali Yusuf, his friend hides priceless jewels in the tennis racquet belonging to English schoolgirl Jennifer Sutcliffe. By rights, the jewels should belong to the prince's cousin, Princess Shaista, a pupil at Meadowbank School. However, no one knows where they are. Poirot finds out that things and people are not quite as they seem.
posted by Carillon (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Overall fine? I liked the setting and thought the actors did good work, but the story didn't grab me and there were a lot of machinations that didn't entirely pan out. Apparently Miss Springer is a lot less of a bully in the story, which makes more sense to me. Also Shaista was very over the top, which is funny in retrospect when you realize that it's someone trying to act like what they think a Princess would be like, rather than what she actually is like.

Lastly, I would argue by rights the jewels should belong to the people that overthrew the monarchy, but I understand that's not how Christie sees the world.
posted by Carillon at 3:55 PM on August 31, 2022

Um, well after murdering a Prince who would’ve made an “enlightened ruler” because he was a “democrat”, I’m not sure the rubies belonged to the revolutionaries (since the book was published in the late 50s, the Prince was probably less enlightened but those revolutionaries were surely Commies). I thought that the actress playing Shaista was just a really bad actress!

I liked the hothouse, claustrophobic atmosphere of a girls school. It reminded me of Josephine Tey’s Miss Pym Disposes. I guess I liked the set up and the actors more than the actual story. Harriet Walter, superb. Anton Lesser, wasted as the police inspector. Not sure why the murderer pulled out a gun and then fired randomly vs taking a hostage and trying to escape that way.

Favorite line: “Mrs Upjohn has gone to Anatolia on a bus.” (So many novels I’ve read in this post-war period have English women traveling overland via local buses around Greece, Turkey, the Middle East exploring ancient ruins and quoting classical literature.)
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:25 PM on August 31, 2022

I thought the actress playing Shaista was being over-the-top but there's so much campiness in these that I didn't really notice it. I liked this one a lot, especially the setting, and the surprise appearance of Anton Lesser.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:51 PM on October 23, 2022

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