I love the political slant in this story, even if it is rather creepy to read right now. This book is probably the closest that Dame Agatha ever came to writing a political thriller. Well, one that is enjoyable to read, anyway...
Mr Barnes twinkled more than ever.
‘We’re very tiresome people in this country. We’re conservative, you know, conservative to the backbone. We grumble a lot, but we don’t really want to smash our democratic government and try new-fangled experiments. That’s what’s so heart-breaking to the wretched foreign agitator who’s working full time and over! The whole trouble is—from their point of view—that we really are, as a country, comparatively solvent. Hardly any other country in Europe is at the moment! To upset England—really upset it—you’ve got to play hell with its finance—that’s what it comes to! And you can’t play hell with its finance when you’ve got men like Alistair Blunt at the helm.’
Mr Barnes paused and then went on: ‘Blunt is the kind of man who in private life would always pay his bills and live within his income—whether he’d got twopence a year or several million makes no difference. He is that type of fellow. And he just simply thinks that there’s no reason why a country shouldn’t be the same! No costly experiments. No frenzied expenditure on possible Utopias. That’s why’—he paused—‘that’s why certain people have made up their minds that Blunt must go.’
‘Ah,’ said Poirot. Mr Barnes nodded.
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘I know what I’m talking about. Quite nice people some of ’em. Long-haired, earnest-eyed, and full of ideals of a better world. Others not so nice, rather nasty in fact. Furtive little rats with beards and foreign accents. And another lot again of the Big Bully type. But they’ve all got the same idea: Blunt Must Go!’ He tilted his chair gently back and forward again. ‘Sweep away the old order! The Tories, the Conservatives, the Diehards, the hard-headed suspicious Business Men, that’s the idea. Perhaps these people are right—I don’t know—but I know one thing—you’ve got to have something to put in place of the old order—something that will work—not just something that sounds all right. Well, we needn’t go into that. We are dealing with concrete facts, not abstract theories. Take away the props and the building will come down. Blunt is one of the props of Things as They Are.’
It's a shame she ventured on to write Passenger to Frankfurt...