How we think it’d play out…
The scene is set. In a small but perfectly formed cottage in a tiny Irish town, we find our first contender, Maeve Binchy, awaiting the knock on the door she knows she can’t avoid. A strong, intelligent woman, with not a bad word to say about anyone, or anything for that matter, Binchy flinches at the sound of a rap at the door.
“Ms. Binchy?” enquires a deep, voice from a smartly dressed man, the butler. “I believe you’re expecting me. The car is this way.”
Begrudgingly, Binchy follows the man, and gets into the car. They drive away from the quiet town, away from everything Binchy knows and loves, out of her comfort zone. As the car pulls up outside the grand manor, she is greeted by her opponent.
Agatha Christie had almost been caught out once before, but this time, bereaved of her best-loved character, she would remain the expert, and she would have the upper hand.
“So, Agatha,” Binchy begins, “is this really what it’s come to? Can we not let sleeping dogs lie?”
“No,” Christie simply replies, marred by the loss of her beloved Monsieur Poirot, “not this time. The Queen of Crime must repair her reputation.”
As they proceed inside, Binchy prepares herself. She knows Christie is renowned for her intelligence and meticulous attention to detail, but can she charm her way out with humorous observations and strikingly descriptive characterisation this time?
“I know you aided Ursula K Le Guin in the murder of Monsieur Poirot. I’ve crossed off all the suspects so far and everything points to your involvement, the least likely. Admit you were there that night, confess!”
“You’re wrong this time, Christie, why would I have anything to do with such a terrible crime?! You’re the Queen of Crime fiction, what would I gain from attacking you?”
“Think you can kill me with your kindness, can you Binchy? I know about Detective Inspector Westmacott’s involvement with the robbery at the Scarlett Feather. He aided you with the robbery scenes and now you have repaid the favour by aiding him to frame me. A pure case of foul play if I ever did see one.”
“There really is no need for such dramatics, Christie. The detective and I are old friends, and you’ve pulled this conclusion out of thin air!”
Not one for making rash decisions, Christie is persistent. “Aha! Even more history in the mystery. It has to be you, it’s simply out of the question that Le Guin could frame me alone.”
“I am afraid this time you are mistaken, ma’am,” says a familiar voice. “It was a team effort, and I could not keep this from you any longer. I must confess…”
“The butler!” both Binchy and Christie cry, Binchy in bewilderment, Christie in shock. In this shock twist of events, is the butler guilty? Could Binchy really be involved in such a heinous crime as this? Has Christie been betrayed once again? Or is this all just a big misunderstanding?
PREDICTED WINNER: DRAW – THE BUTLER DID IT
Cast your vote below and tell us what you think in the comments
Don’t forget to vote in our other author face-offs