I Only Read Pride and Prejudice Because I Hated the Keira Knightley Adaptation

Yes, it’s the bomb that wrecked the Internet. The hate mail and unhappy comments will be abounding. Oh well. All I ask is that you finish the review before writing them.

So this marks the seventh year of my blogging JaneAustenRunsMyLife and I’ve been thinking, it is about time I share how I got into Jane Austen.

So the first Austen-related thing I was involved in, was watching Sense and Sensibility (1995). I think I was 7 or 8 at the time, and I came into the living room and my mom was watching it. It was at the part when Marianne and Willoughby are going off in the carriage together. I watched a bit but then went off to do whatever it was I was doing before.

My sister read Pride and Prejudice in school and when I asked her what it was about, all I heard was “mother trying to marry five daughters…” and stopped listening. Romance?! Ugh. I was not about that and books that were only about people getting married. Ew! (Which P&P is not)

You see I was into mysteries-Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, etc-and “important” classics like Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Wilkie Collins, etc. Pride and Prejudice, no way.

Me, read Pride and Prejudice?

I know I was a snob.

No.

And of course-gothic fiction. I had read Wuthering Heights, The Phantom of the Opera, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.

So time passed and nothing could tempt me into reading Jane Austen. We even had a lady in our church who “adopted” us as her grandchildren and bought a beautiful copy of Little Women and Pride and Prejudice for my sister and I. I already had my beloved copy of Little Women (I know I owned and repeatedly read it and didn’t consider it girly. Why? I don’t know. I was working off teen logic which doesn’t always make sense), and decided to take the Pride and Prejudice as my goal was to read all the classics. But did I read it? NO. I put it on my stacks of to-read books and forgot all about it.

So what finally got this stubborn, obstinate girl to change her mind? A sleepover.

When I was 15 going on sixteen (circa 2007) we had a church girl’s sleepover. Now granted, I was not in a good mood that day. I was bummed that the boys were doing their own sleepover and making potato guns while we did something I found really boring. I can’t remember what it was we did, I just remember wanting to make a potato gun.

It came for the time of the movie and I was not jazzed as the last time the assistant youth leader, Allie, picked-she chose Master of Disguise. 

Or saw. Just a stupid movie altogether.

There were two choices of films and I can’t remember the one I really wanted to watch and argued long and hard for-but I lost to Pride and Prejudice (2005).

I’m angry with you.

I was totally bummed and we started watching it. From the very start I was not happy.

WHAT!!!!

First of all I do not like Keira Knightley as an actress. I don’t think she’s that good as I feel she is the same in every film. To me a talented actor should make you forget who they are, but think they are the character they are portraying. So of course being an emotional teenager I couldn’t stand her.

As an actress not a person.

I didn’t care for anything else in it and to top it all off I could not understand anything they were saying or follow the film.

Now I have hearing loss in one of my ears, but I didn’t know that at the time. When I was a baby I had constant ear infections, so bad they wanted to put tubes in my ears but my doctor gave me a shot and I was good until 2015, when I got an ear infection but still saw Avengers 2: Age of UltronI had to go in that same year and do a hearing test and discovered that one of my ears is damaged from all those ear infections. So when I’m in an environment where there is a lot going on, such as a lot of people talking, it is really hard for me to hear. And when I watch TV or movies something about the volume always bothers me. Either it isn’t loud eough or it is too loud. So I was already upset and then it was probably my hearing problems.

Whatever it was, I was angry, upset, and I hated this film-with the frigid storm of hate that no one but a teen can give.

Anyways, I kept asking what was happening and just completely hating on this film when Allie said to me, “You just aren’t used to the accents. If you watch British dramas you would understand it.”

Oh no. Heck no, those are fighting words. I was deeply offended at that! You see I’ve been watching Masterpiece Mystery, BBC, and others on PBS since before I was born. English accents don’t bother me none.

Don’t mess with me!

She offended me so much I stopped watching the dreaded movie and spent the rest of the night reading in a corner. The next day I resolved to read Pride and Prejudice.

So of course, the first step I had to root through my pile of to-read and began.

As soon as I started reading it, I was hooked! I felt like Isola Pribby in The Guersney Potato Peel and Literary Society. How come no one told me that there were other men to go ape for besides the brooding Heathcliff and romance that is better than the way Cathy treats him.

Why?

To be honest, my sister did try. I just didn’t listen.

After that little taste it was over for me.

I was hooked on Austen.

I then had to watch every version of Pride and Prejudice-discovering that I had seen the Laurence Olivier version earlier when I was watching anything Olivier-related. He’s such a beautiful man.

So most people want to be Elizabeth, and friends said I was like her in some ways-however, I connected much more with Mr. Darcy, you know except the rich part.

When I finished P&P I then moved on to Sense and Sensibility. I took it along with me for my friend’s Sixteenth Birthday sleepover getaway and we ended up having Jane Austen pop up in more than one conversation.

I then watched all the Sense and Sensibility adaptations as well.

Mansfield Park was next and a little harder to get through. I liked Fanny but I really wanted her to punch Mrs. Norris in the face and was disappointed she didn’t. I mean I knew she wouldn’t do a physical punch, but was hoping for a verbal one.

I watched all the film versions of it that I could get my hands on, which wasn’t many as it is a hard one to get.

Then I tried to read Emma, but she kind of annoyed me and I skipped, planning to come back to it later, for Northanger Abbey,  which I just adored. I loved, loved, LOVED, this book. I adored Catherine as that was me!! I was such a tomboy growing up! I loved Gothic fiction! I had an overactive imagination! I loved that no one expected her to be heroine, but she became one. I loved the whole girl reads books and then has an adventure right out of a story. AMAZING! And I loved Mr. Tilney.

I did the same with the films-although I prefer the Felicity Jones and JJ Feild one to all others!

Then Persuasion, so romantic and sweet. I’m really bummed that Persuasion and Northanger Abbey get passed over so much. Persuasion  is slowly climbing it’s way out of obscurity, but doesn’t get the love it deserves.

I then watched all these adaptions as well.

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I began to talk different, act different, dress different. You know how it goes. Watching all those films and reading those books your speech is extremely affected.

My first Jane Austen meme!

You’re view of the world changes:

My second Austen meme!

Your idea of the perfect man changes:

My sister used to poke fun at me, but I didn’t care.

Your life is consumed:

So I know, you are thinking-what about Emma. I decided to watch it, since I was struggling with the main character, and in the middle of watching it-I realized…Emma is Clueless.

After that-no problem at all. I LOVED Emma and how unique she was to the other Austen characters and women of her time.

Read it, loved it (some of my earliest posts were on it), and watched every adaptation I could.

So there we go, my Austen addiction all started because I couldn’t stand a certain adaptation and I was offended that someone thought couldn’t follow British films. Looking back on it, it all seems so petty. But hey, that’s what teens are right?

I then started a blog back in 2011-12 and then couldn’t find it as the title was too generic. I decided to create a new one and that’s how JaneAustenRunsMyLife was born. I mean it’s not that my friends or family don’t like listening to me, but if you have been following you know that when I like something, I really like it and love to talk about it. Sometimes making it annoying for those who don’t care about it as much as me, or who really don’t care about it at all.

And I know, you are all wondering-do I still hate Pride and Prejudice (2005)?

Do you?

I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I don’t like it. It is my least favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Pigs in the house? What? And why did they try and make them look dirty all the time? They were ladies!! And discount-Orlando Bloom who plays Wickham has no charm. However, I do think that their Mr. Collins was good, I liked how Matthew Macfayden and Simon Woods interacted with each other…and that will all have to wait for a review on another day.

So this marks seven years, and the seventh anniversary is wool. Hmm…what should I give myself? I always try to choose pictures from through the years. How about a Mr. Darcy in a wool coat?

Mr. Tilney in a wool coat:

Or Judd Nelson in a wool sweater from Making the Grade Valentine’s Day post:

How about a wool coat and scarf from Sherlock as well.

Ready for any case

How about a rugged Charlton Heston from The Ten Commandments anniversary post, in his wool coat.

There’s not enough wool coats, let’s throw Mr. Sinclaire in from Desire & Decorum

So thanks for the past seven years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!

Yay!

In other news, I have decided to do a give away in honor of my 7th year. Now those of you who have been following me, know that after no one, and I mean literally 0, people entered my last one, I planned to never do one again.

But I decided to try again. I’m still putting it together and since “wool” is the theme of the 7th anniversary, I will be dropping it in the fall. So keep an eye out and of course, follow me on instagram, facebook, tumblr, twitter, or here on wordpress. And a special thank you to all who follow me:

For more anniversary posts, go to I Want Candy

 

A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)

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He lists some well-known Medieval texts. Then the page is torn. The next page is missing. He saw a man burned at the stake, along with a book…a book considered too dangerous to keep. 

So this year it has been hard selecting TV episodes. I had quite a few I was going to cover, trying to decided between Grimm and Supernatural, but then I thought I have already choosen an episoide from both those TV shows. It is time to select one from a show I haven’t covered yet. So I settled on Midsomer Murders.

Midsomer Murders is a Britsh TV series based off a book series of the same name. How their Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) teams works is that they have a county in which they travel all over investigating, similar to the Sheriff’s department. Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is head of the Midsomer unit and is extremely intelligent and excellent at his job. The series is still ongoing, but I stopped watching after Tom Barnaby retired.

How each episode works is someone is murdered, of course. Tom and his assistant, (in this episode Tom has currently been working with his third assistant, Ben Jones, and who I think is the best of the bunch) and they go around meeting different people and we are told their back stories. Typically more than one person dies, with Barnaby & Jones figuring out who the killer is, connecting every dot, and solving the crime.

So Halloween night is approaching. Everyone is getting ready, including a coven of witches who are currently bringing another woman into the fold.

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As part of the ceremony, people around the woman entering hold an knife, arrow, axe, and sword. They also call up demons to their Temple of Thoth.

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The next day, the coven leader, Ernest Balliol is watching an interview of Aloysius Wilmington on his new book. Back in the ’70s, Aloysius was a leader of The Temple of Thoth and claimed to have The Book of Thoth. He lead a huge group of witches and warlocks. However, in his new book he claims everything was a lie. He took a bunch of different ancient religions, cut and paste them, and combined it with drugs, sex & rock ‘n roll.

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He also goes on to call everyone who has ever followed him to be a gullible and stupid idiot.

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Ernest is incensed, telling his wife Estelle he will never be able to get over what Aloysius says,at least not until he is dead.

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Meanwhile, someone has taken poison off of poison dart frogs, broken into the community hall and tampered with a magic box. Who would do this and why?

suspicious Hmm

Aloysius’ nephew Simon, has been working in the library on Aloysius’ estate. Everything will eventually go to him, so he is in charge of deciding which books need to be fixed and which need to be rid of. There are all kinds of books from Wilmingtons through the ages, along with strange ones that Aloysius bought in his youth.

What Aloysius doesn’t know, is that Simon is looking for the famed Book of Thoth.

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He needs it to pay back a debt to Hugo Cartwright. Simon used to work for Hugo’s antique bookshop, but stole money to feed his drug habit. Now he is clean, but Hugo is blackmailing him to steal books from his uncle for him to sell, telling him the only way to make his tab clear, is if he can find the book.

And he’s not the only one who wants it. Ernest also is after the book desiring it to make him more powerful, so he has his daughter Isolde romance Simon, and convince him to hand it over. She too wants the book, but for a different reason. She wants to use it for her mentally unstable mother, who is convinced that she is possessed by demons. So far, Simon has yet to find it, but the pressure is definitely on.

The next day, Ernest decides to confront Aloysius  about what he said on TV. Aloysius  continues stating that Ernest is an idiot.

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And Ernest becomes so angry he charges at Aloysius’ car, breaking the open door.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the girl who was just brought in the coven is Christine, the caretaker of Isolde and her brother Tristan’s mother Rosemary. As I have said before Rosemary is completely mad, believing that she is possessed with demons. She went through the coven ceremony over thirty years ago and it completely took her over the edge, haunting her. Christine only “joined” the coven so she could see what the ceremony was like, and better understand what ails Rosemary.

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Christine is in love with Tristan, but he only focuses on his mother and job as a lawyer.

That day is the day for the magic show, the one the Midsomer Magic Circle puts on every year. The members are Aloysius, Hugo, Jean Wildacre, Anton Thorneycraft, and Felicity Brand. They are doing a wonderful job when it is time for the assistant to go into the Cabinet of Death!.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

While Aloysius is getting everything set up, Jean tells Hugo she knows what he and Simon are doing. He tells her to watch out, poking her big nose in everything will get her into trouble one day.

Jean goes in, and they close the cabinet. When Aloysius goes to open it up, he finds her dead.

Tom and Ben are on the case.

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They investigate and discover that the blades have been tampered with. Instead of retreating back, someone stuffed them with wood so they would stay out, killing Jean. But that wouldn’t have been enough to kill her, so they run a tox screen and discover she was killed from the poison of the poison dart frogs.

They also find the hilt of a knife in the cabinet.

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No one knows why someone would murder Jean, everyone seems to love her. When they question about the cabinet, everyone tells them they performed it three times, and nothing went wrong.

Tom goes to Aloysius and ask him abut the knife hilt they found. He tells them it is a ceremonial knife. He gives Barnaby a book, detailing the other objects used: an arrow, sword, and axe.

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Meanwhile, Ben has been questioning the rest of the Magic Circle, and discovered that Anton and Felicity did not go to the bar with the others after rehearsal, like they told him they did. When they put a little pressure on them, it turns out that the two love Gilbert and Sullivan, meeting secretly (as Anton’s wife would be very upset) to sing show tunes together.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

They aren’t murderers.

The next day, Isolde is doing inventory when she notices certain ceremonial things are missing. Her father tells her not to worry and sends her after Simon, to put some pressure on him to get that book.

Meanwhile, while Aloysius is at church, Hugo decides to head to the Wilmington estate and threaten Simon. Simon wants to stop everything, but Hugo tells him that not only will he reveal everything to Aloysius, but also tell the police that he had motive to kill Jean.

Hugo storms out and doesn’t realize he is being watched by Isolde. That night he receives three ceremonial arrows. He’s next!

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The next day, Tom and Ben head over to the magic shop. Ernest doesn’t want to give them any records, stating he is a priest and they should be confidential. He calls Tristian who tells him he has to comply, giving the records needed and showing them to be little help. The only orders for the knife have been online, and no place near Midsomer, a dead end.

Simon has urgently been searching when he’s found a manuscript. It isn’t the book, but may lead to it.

Simon Wilmington: The writer was a monk, working for the Inquisition in the 16th century. Hw was in charge of books that the Catholic Church had prohibited. 

Isolde Balliol: Books about magic?

Simon Wilmington: He lists some Medieval texts. Then the page is torn. The next page is missing. He saw a man burned at the stake, along with a book, before he wrote this. A book considered too dangerous to keep. 

Later Isolde goes to see Hugo, and warns him to stay far away from the book.

Tom has been reading book Aloysius gave him, and sees that Aloysius spent time in South America, living with the Native Americans and learning their ways of capturing the poison dart frogs. Could he be the murderer?

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

That night Hugo is walking home after drinking in the pub. He trips in the alley, falling on glass and bleeding.

#2

#2

They find Hugo’s body, same poison as Jean.

Meanwhile, Simon finds a book in which the pages feel strange. When he opens up the page, he finds three pages hidden inside. They are pieces of the New Testament William Tyndale printed.

keanu Whoa

What a find! Aloysius is pleased, but Isolde most certainly won’t be.

That night, Aloysius is thinking about everything that has happened, with the murders and ceremonial items left behind. He figures out that it is involving the ritual that he made up, the initiation one.

Aloysius Wilmington: It was one of those daft Temple of Thoth ceremonies that I’d invented. Part of the initiation ritual. North is the knife, South is the arrow, West is the axe, and East was the sword.

It turns out that they were all there the night Mrs. Balliol was initiated. Jean had the knife and Hugo the arrow. He has more, so Tom plans to go over to his place the next day. Too bad the killer has something else in mind.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Yes, that night Aloysius  hears a noise outside. Thinking it is Simon, he goes out, spots an axe on the ground and is murdered.

#2

#3

Tom and Ben go there and find his notes, trying to piece it together.

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Jean was north and had the knife during the ritual, that is why there was a knife found at the scene. Hugo was south which was the arrow, West was the axe and where Aloysius was. E must me Mrs. Balloil, but why was she out of the circle? And who is “R”?

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They question Simon and he reveals the book stealing. He tells them he never killed anyone and about the new book he found.

Anton goes to Tom and reveals that he saw someone the night Hugo was murdered. He saw Isolde there. Did she kill him? She did threaten him.

suspicious Hmm

They try to find her, but she is not home. They hurry to see Simon.

Isolde has confronted Simon. She is yelling at him for keeping the book from her. She slept with someone she doesn’t even like for nothing. Simon yells at her that the book doesn’t exist. He shows her the Tyndale manuscript and she becomes enraged that all her work and killing Hugo was over a BIBLE! She throws it in the fire. Simon tries to get it, but Isolde grabs the fireplace poker and starts beating him, she is arrested by Ben and Tom just in time.

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Back at Tristian’s. His mother is being taken away, to be locked up once more. He is very upset, nothing Christine can say or do will make him feel better.

Tom and Ben have started to question Isolde.

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

She claims to have used magic to kill Hugo, but did nothing to the others. Ben goes to the house to check her room, making her father Ernest angry as he goes for Tristan’s help. There Ben finds nothing, but a picture of her and a poison dart frog. He brings it back and they find out that on her trip to South America, Tristan accompanied her. She also reveals that Estelle is her step-mother and she was after the book to heal her mother, Rosemary.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So that means Rosemary is “R”, then who is E? Isolde tells them her father Ernest. And if Isolde isn’t killing them, that leaves only one other to avenge their mother…Tristan. And where did Ernest go, the last one needed to be killed? To see Tristan.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

They rush over to try and save him.

Ernest has gone to see Tristan who has knocked him out with a shovel. He tied him up and placed him in the backyard, cutting shallow cuts for the frogs to stick their poison in. Before he can do it, in comes Ben and Tom, Ben knocking him down; and accidentally into the frog’s glass cages. Tristian is killed by the very thing he has been using for justice.

The next night is Halloween, and Ernest has seen how Thoth has torn apart his family, turning his back on the coven and leaving.

Tom and Joyce are throwing the party, Tom trying to have a happy Halloween amid all this craziness.

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to There’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

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For more on Midsomer Murders, go to Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

For more on witches, go to What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

For more mysteries, go to There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

For more books turned into TV series, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

A Hunky Helping of a Manwich

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Mmm, mmm, mmm! Doesn’t this look tasty? What a hearty & hunky helping. My favorite sandwich is a Manwich! LOL J/k But this is a true masterpiece, not only because it is made up with characters from some of the best Masterpiece shows, but because they chose three very gorgeous men, with their own unique personalities to give this sandwich some real zest.

The first layer is Sherlock Holmes from the show Sherlock, and played by the very interesting Benedict Cumberbatch. In the modern twist of the old tale, Sherlock is just as intelligent, crime-solving, handsome self. However, this piece has a bit of a bite as Sherlock can be cold, calculated, and just plain rude at times.

Next we have Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey, played by Dan Stevens. Matthew is the male version of the Cinderella story, as he is a regular guy, working as a lawyer; who ends up becoming the next in line to inherit an earldom and the home Downton Abbey. Not only is he intelligent, charming, and attractive; but Matthew is also sweet, humble, unassuming, relaxed, and open to modern views. (Unfortunately Stevens wanted to do other things and his character was killed off in season 2) But still, a tantilizing choice.

And to crown our hunky helping is Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice (1995), played by the very handsome Colin Firth. Mr. Darcy the stubborn and prideful  gentleman, who is revealed to have a heart of gold is a perfect topping on this extraordinary sandwich. Yummy! 🙂 If only I could get all three guys in real life. Haha J/K.

For other Mr. Darcy posts go to Mr. Darcy Talked to Me

For more on Colin Firth go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Downtown Abbey go to There are Some People…and Then There’s Me

Quite A Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011)

She is…a teller of the tall tales, a boaster, a little liar. So when she claims to have witnessed the murder, nobody believes her. And yet, she is… dead. 

So this was a film done by the BBC based on Agatha Christie’s novel, Hallowe’en Party. I think David Suchet is a perfect Poirot, as he looks just the way I always imagined Poirot to look like. However, something I don’t like about the modern retellings, is that  they tend to change a lot of the plot lines of the novel, and usually not for the better (Third Girl was awful. They didn’t use the best twist from the book). Rarely do I watch the film version before reading the book, which I did here, so I didn’t have the same unpleasantness as seeing them change plot lines that I thought were crucial in the book.

So the film starts out with Poirot’s friend, and mystery writer extraordinaire, Ariadne Oliver helping with a children’s Halloween party. All the kids are playing around, laughing, bobbing for apples, eating candy, etc. A little girl named Joyce starts talking to Oliver, telling her that she once witnessed a murder. Everyone makes fun of her, teasing and insulting her as she tends to always tell “tall tales”. No one believes her.

Later the children are all playing snapdragon, which they make sound so creepy. Instead of playing background music throughout the film, they play the children’s voices chanting the song in unison. It is as creepy as The Crucible scene when the girls are all “possessed”.

After the game is done, they are rounding up the children and discover Joyce missing. She is found drowned in a bucket that was used for bobbing for apples.

Oliver wastes no time at all, but immediately calls in Poirot to solve the case.

Poirot immediately looks into which murders in the town are unsolved, to see which ones have the potential to be the one Joyce saw. Many try to discourage him from doing so, telling him that Joyce was a liar and a storyteller. She did it to feel important and show off. Poirot is firmly decided that whether or not Joyce was telling the truth, someone out there is guilty of murder and thinks Joyce was a witness.

The possibilities of who Joyce might have seen are Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe, the aunt of Rowena Drake’s late husband, apparently died of a heart attack. Her death is suspicious because of her will, it said that her au pair was to inherit everything over the family. Authorities believe that it was faked by the au pair, Olga Seminoff, who mysteriously disappeared after the forgery was discovered. Other candidates for murder involve Charlotte Benfield, a sixteen-year-old shop assistant found dead of multiple head injuries; Lesley Ferrier, a lawyer’s clerk who was stabbed in the back; and Janet White, a schoolteacher who was strangled.

Which one is the murder Joyce saw? Who committed it? Did Joyce even see a murder occur? Just like The Bad SeedThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligariand The Secret Window, this is one you have to check out for yourself and see where the truth lies.

The only thing I don’t like about this film, is the fact that Poirot disapproves of those who take enjoyment in such a holiday as Halloween. He thinks the macabre is not something you should be so joyous about. Well, I don’t; I love watching horror movies and getting into Halloween. That’s why I did my 31 Tales of Terror and Woe. In fact today marks 11 days left to Halloween! 😀

Here’s today’s scary post. More to come!

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To start Horrorfest from the begining, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper

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For more on murder, go to Camp Blood

For more on Masterpiece Theater, go to A Hunky Helping of Manwich

For more on Halloween parties, go to A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It

For more film adaptions of books, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more on bobbing for apples, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men