"Mrs. Oliver has been lucky to get these two."

Miss Brent is confused about the supposed name of her host and/or hostess; see page 9.

The name "Oliver" could be a veiled reference to another Christie creation: Ariadne Oliver, a character the novelist invented to poke fun at herself. Miss Oliver appeared first in a set of Christie short stories, Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective (1934), and subsequently appeared in Cards on the Table (1936), Mrs. McGinty's Dead (1952), Dead Man's Folly (1956), The Pale Horse (1961), Third Girl (1966), Hallowe'en Party (1969), and Elephants Can Remember (1972).


Miss Oliver is "a successful detective novelist. . . . She is a middle-aged woman with a penchant for apples. She is described in one of the novels as 'handsome in a rather untidy fashion, with fine eyes, substantial shoulders, and a large quantity of rebellious grey hair with which she was continuously experimenting.'" She is also "the author of 'forty-six works of fiction, all best sellers in England and America, and freely translated into French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Finnish, Japanese and Abyssinian.'" Her most famous detective is not a Belgian named Poirot, however; he is a Finn named Sven Hjerson (Sova, Agatha Christie A to Z [New York: Checkmark Books, 2000], 250).