Well, I'm on to the next Christie and have come across another description that yet again has the same tone and attitude problems that spoiled Third Girl for me:
"It was rather dark in the Espresso, so you could not see very clearly. The clientele were almost all young people. They were, I supposed vaguely, what was called the off-beat generation. The girls looked, as girls always did look to me nowadays, dirty. They also seemed to be much too warmly dressed. I had noticed that when I had gone out a few weeks ago to dine with some friends. The girl who had sat next to me had been about twenty. The restaurant was hot, but she had worn a yellow wool pullover, a black skirt and black woollen stockings, and the perspiration poured down her face all through the meal. She smelt of perspiration-soaked wool and also, strongly, of unwashed hair. She was said, according to my friends, to be very attractive. Not to me! My only reaction was a yearning to throw her into a hot bath, give her a cake of soap and urge her to get on with it! Which just showed, I suppose, how out of touch with the times I was."
I can only hope that this will not take up as much page-time as it did in Third Girl.
On the other hand, can we just take a moment to celebrate both Ariadne Oliver and Hugh Fraser's absolutely delightful narration of her?
Yes, yes we can.
‘Do you want a cigarette?’ Mrs Oliver asked with vague hospitality.
‘There are some somewhere. Look in the typewriter lid.’
‘I’ve got my own, thanks. Have one. Oh no, you don’t smoke.’
‘Or drink,’ said Mrs Oliver. ‘I wish I did. Like those American detectives that always have pints of rye conveniently in their collar drawers. It seems to solve all their problems.