I am slowly working my way through Christie’s novels in a quite haphazard fashion… this one I had originally picked up because it was the only Christie audiobook at the library, but I ended up reading it in print from the beginning after the CDs were too damaged to play and the book took so long in getting to me that I had forgotten all the important bits! Dedicated, I am. Sort of.
I say this both to impress you and to impress upon you that I have read/listened to this book 1.5 times, and still when I got to the ending I was like… what. It is possible, I suppose, that a keen mind could have pieced together the clues that led to this ending, but mine was not that mind. Alas.
The story is delightful — Christie brings in her alter-ego, Ariadne Oliver, who is off at some rich person’s house concocting a murder mystery event. Things get weird, so Oliver contrives to enlist the help of our good friend Poirot, whose moustaches are fine indeed. Oliver tells Poirot that things are hinky and that she’s worried that her murder mystery puzzle will turn into a true murder mystery, but Poirot writes off her intuition. Until, of course, someone turns up dead. And someone else doesn’t turn up, missing. Sacre bleu!
There are a ton of characters in this novel, and therefore many suspects, and I felt things got a little busy trying to sort out how everyone was related and all of their backstories and whatnot. And a lot of the actual mystery solving takes place off-page, Holmes-style, which was a little disappointing. But regardless, Christie writes a fine mystery and even though I was a bit baffled by the solution, it still affected me as it should. And how can you argue with her wonderful descriptions? You can’t.
All in all a successful story. Which should I read next?
Recommendation: For anyone who likes a classic whodunnit.