Agatha Christie did it first

And I’m here to prove it.

Note: Mild spoiler for Three Act Tragedy.

You think the characters of Dr Strange, Hermione and James Bond are creations of Marvel comics, JK Rowling and Ian Fleming respectively? Welllllll, not necessarily. They were all created by the Queen of Crime Agatha Christie.

Or it depends which ones!

In book Three Act Tragedy, (also published as Murder In Three Acts in USA) there is a character named Dr Strange, namesake of the Marvel character Dr Strange.

Although he’s referred to as Sir Bartholomew throughout the story, he is a doctor and his surname is Strange.

Three Act Tragedy was first published in 1934. It’s a Hercule Poirot mystery, which also features Mr Satterthwaite, who appears in the Mysterious Mr Quin stories. (Speaking of which, Mr Quin’s first name is Harley, so he’s Harley Quin–a very similar to the character in DC comic universe, except hers is spelled Quinn, therefore I have not included this in the post.) Dr Strange’s first appearance in the Marvel comics was in 1963, almost three decades later.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe he’s played by Benedict Cumberbatch–who is also well known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, the other famous detective! (He was also in Murder Is Easy, but that was incorrectly adapted with Miss Marple, who is not in the story.)

In the same book, we meet a character of Hermione.

Okay, so I admit this one is a bit of a stretch, as it just happens to be a character with the same first name as the beloved witch of Harry Potter fame. But it’s not like it’s a very common name, is it? Besides, if you took the character of Hermione Granger and put her in a murder mystery, you’d have her do some sleuthing, wouldn’t you? Just like the Three Act Tragedy Hermione, nicknamed Egg, does. Well, Hermione Granger does a sort of sleuthing in Harry Potter too; I always insist that the HP books are in the most part mysteries, it’s just that they include the elements of magic. It’s no wonder that the author turned to writing mystery novels. Though I for one wish she’d rather shut up… Sigh. But let’s not get derailed.

The first HP book was released in 1997.

Save the best one for the end.

One instance of the same surname, one of the same, unusual, first name–but now we have the full name.

Yup, that’s right, it was Agatha Christie who first introduced the character of James Bond! In the short story The Rajah’s Emerald, published for the first time in 1934. Same as Three Act Tragedy, as it happens.

It’s a different James Bond, of course, but it’s interesting.

The famous spy James Bond made his first appearance in 1953 in Ian Fleming’s book Casino Royale. These days he’s better known from the films. James Bond of The Rajah’s Emerald is but a humble man–but he does stumble upon a mysterious jewel, the titular emerald, while holidaying at a seaside resort, not exactly enjoying himself.

And so my mind goes on a wander…

James Bond was last (as of this blog entry, July 2022) played by Daniel Craig. And Daniel also plays the detective Benoit Blanc in the film Knives Out (which is shortly to have a sequel), one of my most favourite films of all time. If you’ve seen it, you know it’s pretty much an Agatha Christie mystery, set in modern times in America (it’s its own thing enough so as not to cause trouble with the Agatha Christie estate). It also stars Ana de Armas, who made appearance in the latest (as of this blog entry, July 2022) James Bond film No Time To Die. And Chris Evans, who was Steve Rogers aka Captain America in the above mentioned Marvel films!

Thus I come the full circle.

Anyway, the point of this blog post was:

Agatha Christie was a trailblazer.

The Lab Coat, Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

I went back and forth about whether to post this or not. It made sense to do so, yet–as you can see, it’s not the best photograph:

That’s the problem with photographing displays in museum that are behind glass. The reflection. And not the kind of reflection I usually go for!

The label up close:

So this lab coat is displayed in the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. It’s right next to the Baby, the first computer ever constructed. Geoff Tootill worked on it, together with Alan Turing and others. Alan Turing is, of course, the best known one, the father of modern computing. I’ve previously posted pics of his statue in Sackville Gardens in Manchester. You might also know him from the film The Imitation Game, where he was played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

I’ve been to the Science and Industry Museum many times. But it was only on my last visit there, in June, that I paid any attention to the lab coat. I immediately thought: that looks like something from an old sci-fi, like Isaac Asimov! But I think it was a different short story I read recently that made me look at the lab coat. It is by an author who you would not think of when it comes to sci-fi–Daphne du Maurier! The story’s title is The Breakthrough. It’s included as a bonus in my Kindle version of The Birds and Other Stories. I was very surprised to read it, it has almost a dystopian feel, but fiction set in labs and science institutes evokes that feel in me. Basically, it’s like Frankenstein, except two centuries later. Proves that Daphne du Maurier had a range.

Anyway, that’s concludes my lab coat post.

Morning Skies

No, it’s not someone else’s post, it’s mine, the notorious night owl. Mornings are evil. So how did I come to take three nice pictures of morning skies, in the month of June, when nights are the shortest?

It’s simple–I was up from the night before.

My body clock is irrevocably broken.

They were snapped at the weekend or during a week I had time off work.

Husband Creche… Why???

One day I was walking down a street in Manchester city centre and spotted this sign outside of a pub.

Why do people like this primitive type of humour?

I fail to see what’s so funny about comparing a husband to a child. A child at least needs looking after. A grown adult doesn’t. Pocket money! Does he not earn his own money? Why should women put up with this?

How is being single worse than this???

This is why LGBTQ+ people go “are the straights okay?” And they’re right.

The sexism is, of course, another issue. Don’t women go to pubs?

Stupid on every level.

Lego Wheelbarrow

It was this one time it occurred to me–I wonder if a Lego wheelbarrow exists? So I ask my friend Google, as you do, and found out that it, indeed does. I like wheelbarrows and I like Lego, so you can imagine how pleased I was to discover this!

It comes with a shovel, hoe, two plants (the one in lower left corner that are out of focus) and a gardener, of course. I named him Herbert.

The place I got this gem from is One More Brick. Have a look, the stuff they sell is absolutely hilarious, in fact I made another purchase–but that’s for the next post!

Carts, they said

When I saw this week’s Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge, I knew I had to take part.

The topic is “carts” and don’t you know it’s exactly the kind of stupid thing I like to take pictures of (in fact they’ve already featured on this blog). Though I like wheelbarrows better, I have more pics of carts. I see many abandoned shopping carts, or trolleys as they call them here, in my neighbourhood. I live near a Tesco superstore… but not all the carts I come across are from there.

Escaping to the park. Just like many of us.

Hiding in an alleyway. He’s up to some shenanigans, I bet.

This one got rusty, poor fellow.

I always use shopping baskets when I shop, never trolleys (I don’t think I’ve ever pushed a shopping trolley in the nineteens years I’ve lived in the UK). I’m a single girl, besides I don’t know if I’d be able to operate those things. I’d probably run someone down.