While utilising techniques from the Golden Age (1920 - 1939) such as non-violence, familiar settings and stereotypical characters, Christie uses irony, red-herrings, foreshadowing and other structural characteristics to redeem her otherwise unbelievable story. Because "all narratives of any length are chains of suspense and surprise that keep us in a fluctuating state of impatience, wonderment and partial gratification" (Abbott, 2002: 53) it is essential that red-herrings and foreshadowing were used throughout in order to intrigue readers. For instance, when red-herrings and foreshadowing are presented together: " she saw her husband lying dead and Dick Windyford standing over him and she knew clearly and distinctly that his was the hand which had dealt the fatal blow" (Christie, 1924, 83) an element of intrigue is created. This intrigue is furthermore enforced with tight structure, third person limited narration and time-stretching. Although the murder is at the end of the story, the dedication to time-stretching using 11 of 21 pages to discuss the events of one day and using accessible language keeps readers interested; " ' And presently,' she said, almost as though she were quoting from something, 'he died-' (Christie, 1924, 103). These elements make up for the lack of convention compliance in regards to the murder occurring at the end and uses the irony of the murderer getting murdered to reinforce the concept that, "crime fiction is a resilient convenience for those who use it, not an exact term" (Bennett, 2017). Although the plot structure is unconventional, non-violent and ironic, the story remains a crime fiction due to its literary techniques aforementioned coupled with its typical cosy setting and characters.
Student - 2017