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Friday, February 16, 2007

Sir Stafford Nye is a diplomat who likes to do things a bit out of the ordinary. He likes things which are interesting and challenging and a bit unacceptable. So he is chosen to join a powerful few who are seeking to discover who is behind all the chaos in the world. Students in almost every country are revolting .. being violent for the sake of violence, championing anarchy, and they have plenty of training and weapons and power. Who has provided these things? And how can they be stopped? These are the questions which must be answered if the whole world is not to be dramatically, drastically changed.

Mary Ann aka the Countess Renata Zerkowski is an agent with the British government. She travels all over the world gathering information, discovering secrets, playing roles. She brings Stafford into the mix for a variety of reasons, and together they are able to help pin down exactly who is in power, who is giving money, who the youth of many countries are following, and how they may be stopped. It's rather scary to think about this, because it seems somewhat possible. As humans we are easily tempted by those who are powerful, especially when we are promised the chance to share in their power, or in the 'better world' they are seeking to create. Story after story has been written along these lines. And stories always contain bits and pieces (or large pieces, sometimes) of truth. What stops us from such deep evil? I suppose my answer is simple: the grace of God.

Stafford has a great aunt .. Aunt Matilda. She is rather old and suffers from rheumatism and arthritis and other aches and pains, but she is remarkably astute and well connected. Many key players in this story are childhood friends, or at least people she knew 'way back when'. Stafford is continually amazed at how much she knows and what is normal for her. I appreciate this about Agatha Christie -- how so often 'old women' which the world thinks powerless as actually powerful, key characters. Miss Marple comes to mind, but I'm sure there are others. Christie values age and wisdom and common sense and understanding which comes when someone has lived well for a number of years. As well as the British modesty of Aunt Matilda, who plays it off as though it were 'all in a day's work' .. nothing to be proud of. A very enjoyable character, as well as a value (that of honoring and listening to individuals) which I appreciate.

Title:Passenger to Frankfurt
Author: Agatha Christie
Date published:1970
Genre: Mystery
Number of pages: 262
Notes:not a typical Christie


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