I have to say that this was the second time that I’ve tried to read this book! The first time I’ve tried, I didn’t go further than two chapters because I found the book too boring: the story about politics, leaders, spies are just too difficult to follow … I think it’s just not really my kind of thing.
But good news: Yesterday I finally finished the book and it’s exactly what I expected : very confusing and boring.
A diplomat- sir Sttaford- being asked to give his identity to a woman(Mary Ann, Countess Renata Zerkowski ) on an airport in Frankfurt, uhmm, OK, and because he was bored with his life, he agrees with it. And back in UK he tries to communicate with her secretly in a such “cats&rats” kind of game! Also lots of references to the Opera Siegfried ( so you basically need to know about Opera by Wagner), to people going to Germany (or Austria?!, not really clear where they are sometimes), and to some secret groups of old men, and festivals, and a big fat lady living in a castle who adores Hitler, and a blonde guy following his steps…. Seriously!!??
And if that is not enough, all those politicians talking about Civil Wars over and over again, about what is happening in the world with young people and lots of comparisons to other movements in our History etc. etc. oh boring boring boring…
Almost at the end of the book they(some old men…) start doubting Mary Ann if she could be trusted or not… Why? just out of blue!!!?? And of course in the same evening just to make everything more complicated they travel to Scotland to talk to a scientist who created a project ( a weapon) with a purpose of being “benevolent”, and everybody wants to get their hand in the project to control peoples mind! The scientist claims that the project is destryoed but everybody still believes that it still exists … Oh dear God…
Suddenly there was a traitor between them: was the helper of the Lord Altamont together with Juanita (who they believed was the countess) who was a nurse helping the scientist. Are you getting crazy already?…lol
The story ends there, without any reference about all the young people, the big fat lady and the blonde guy, the car which was trying to ride over him, etc, etc! What was the conclusion???
The best part of the book was the dialogs with sir Sttaford’s aunt Matilda, for the rest it was not fun to read this book and I wonder if Agatha Christie wrote this book completely alone or if certain parts were added by somebody else! But sure it doesn’t look her style at all.