So yes a modicum of click bait going on with the title, but in fairness this post, my 800th (go me), is very much about Christie and which days of the week she chose to murder her characters on. I have wondered how writers go about choosing this aspect of their plots. Is it all random? Do they have a favourite day of bumping people off (albeit fictional ones)?
First things first I haven’t managed to locate the days for every single character Christie killed. I decided to focus on the Poirot and Marple novels and initially it seemed a reasonably easy task. Yet I soon hit a bump in the road followed by a lot more. Christie doesn’t always mention the day of the week so after much hunting the results of this post are based on 30 books: 8 Marples, 4 Non-series and 18 Poirot novels. Within these stories I have located the days for 34 of the deaths, (mostly primary murders, but also some secondary ones) and 1 disappearance and for two of them I have only been able to demarcate them as taking place on the weekend, one because it says so in the text and for the other (The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side), I am inferring that a summer fete is likely to be on a weekend. Feel free to dispute! For the rest the actual day is mentioned in text or there is enough information about other days surrounding the murder to figure out which day of the week it took place on. So after all this preamble what did I find out? (Other than that I need to get a life!).
Here are my findings:
I found after the 1930s, Christie tended to provide much less data as to what day of the week something was happening on, so the bulk of my results are from the 20s and 30s. So if you ever find yourself in a Poirot novel and you worry you could be the victim, then the day to be most careful would definitely have to be a Tuesday, followed by a Friday. These two days comprise over 2/3s of deaths in the 18 novels I have included, (I can’t do it out of all the Poirot novels for obvious reasons), which I like to think is a significant figure. Though I imagine The Big Four and The ABC Murders probably complicate this due to their having multiple deaths. Despite the number of country houses Poirot has visited, you’re best day for survival is Saturday; clearly Poirot hasn’t had too many weekend invites.
Miss Marple’s Cases
Once more Friday is a very popular day for murder, bagging nearly 50% of the total deaths of the 8 books. It would have been nice to have got all 12 books in, but Christie wasn’t feeling too helpful. Generally speaking the earlier it is in the week the safer you will be in a Marple mystery.
Due to the piffling number recorded I can’t really make any conclusions at all, but I have made a start, so if anyone can fill in any of the gaps for me that would be very much appreciated!
Overall combining the Poirot and Marple novels, Friday wins out as the most murderous day of the week in Christie’s world! So be careful!