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Comments The Secret of Chimneys

The Secret of Chimneys: 05/06/05

The political upheavals of WWI seemed to have inspired a great many popular fiction books in the years before WWII started to gear up. Many of these books take a rather humorous and satirical approach to the machinations of one country to control the flow of events of another country. The Secret of Chimneys is Agatha Christie's contribution to this "genre."

Ignoring the romantic ending, The Secret of Chimneys is a political satire that pokes fun at the British Empires history of putting in puppet governments with in countries that would benefit British interests. In this case, it's a post Great War eastern European country that needs a new king. Somehow the Chimneys estate cum hotel holds the secret to who the new king will be. Some of the political parody reminded me of the Marx Brother's film Duck Soup but without the dance numbers.

Another book I'd recommend in this "genre" of political intrigue / comedy, is Alias Jane Smith by Clarence Budington Kelland. Like the other Kelland books I've read, it is the story of a person who has been thrust into an unusual situation and a hostile environment and must use his or her own wits and industry to succeed and survive. In this case, the character is a duchess exiled and penniless in New York during WWII. To survive she must become an interior decorator. In the process she stumbles into a blackmailing ring.

Read reviews at: Nourishing Obscurity, My Utopia, An Unfinished Person (In This Unfinished Universe), Mysteries in Paradise, Be a Love Cat and A Library is a Hospital for the Mind.

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