Mrs. McGintys Dead. How did she die? Why ask I? (Childhood game) Someone has whacked old Mrs. McGinty with a cleaver. How gruesome! Enter Hercule Poirot, Belgian extrodinaire, epitome of egotism, acme of arrogance, paragon of private eyes, nonpareil of immodesty, viceroy of vanity, nabob of narcissism, the list goes on and on. Just ask him! There is no end to suspects. In the words of Inspector (later Chief Inspector) Clouseau, Suspect no one and suspect everyone. Caution: choose wisely. True to the style of Uncle Earl, Aunt Agatha has Poirot trick the murderer into a confession in front of all parties concerned and in spite of little substantial evidence of guilt. Shades of Perry Mason!
The case was far too tidy. Mrs. McGinty, a domestic, was dead--and James Bentley, her roomer, was convicted. But what to make of a murder in which neither the victim nor the accused had ememies or animosities?
When Belgian detective par excellence Hercule Pairot began investigating, he found only dead ends--until someone made an attempt on his life! Were too many questions being asked in peaceful Broadhinny?
An elderly woman is found murdered in her home. Her lodger, an unpleasant young man, if convicted of the crime, but the police officer in charge of the investigation believes he is innocent and recruits Ercule Poirot to investigate.
Agatha Christie always surprises me when it comes to the identity of the criminal and this time is no exception, which is why I come back to her works again and again. I suspected everyone but the real villain and while many of the characters I pegged as untrustworthy were in fact hiding something (some even concealing secrets related to the case) none of them turned out to be guilty. I particularly enjoyed the characters in this story - the apple-eating authoress, the disheveled hostess, the clingy mother who isn't as weak as she'd like everyone to believe, a publicity-conscious politician, an impoverished nobleman turned farmer, a wealthy heiress who acts like she's the maid... Even if you can't be bothered to keep all the names straight you will know exactly who's who.
One of the themes of this novel is revealed in the alternative title - Blood Will Tell. The notion that character traits are hereditary comes up in conversation and the murder, when discovered, exclaims "I can't help it! It's in my blood!". While there is a reason the saying "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" exists I don't subscribe to the idea that one's predecessors' flaws as well as their strengths are irrevocably a part of one's character and feel that Christie didn't either.
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