A Hercule Poirot mystery by the Grande Dame herself. Always a page turner.
I enjoyed this story, but, for being a Hercule Poirot mystery, there was very little Hercule Poirot in it. He seemed to be a secondary character. I did enjoy the reader, Andrew Sachs. And as always, Christie is terribly funny.
Reading this novel made me grateful that Christie never wrote the Poirot/Miss Marple novel her publisher asked her for. It is simply too difficult to combine lead detectives. In this case, Poirot is barely in the novel, and Mr. Satterthwaite is far less charming (and penetrating) than he is in his short stories. The addition of Sir Charles Cartwright as the one driving the detecting simply confuses the chemistry further.
All of the characters involved in the mystery are very thin, and because they are described from different POV detectives (Satterthwaite, Cartwright, or Egg Lytton Gore, but never Poirot) there is little consistency in the feel. The little bit of romance is unconvincing, again due to the constant changing of POV character, and the motive Poirot eventually reveals is one that Christie has denigrated in other novels.
So all in all, while it should be read by completists like me, I would not recommend this novel to anyone else.
I found this book to be a very entertaining Hercule Poirot mystery. Thirteen guests arrive at a dinner party at the estate of a wealthy Sir Cartwright. One guest sips a pre-dinner martini and drops dead. Obviously, Hercule Poirot is on the job and in admirable fashion I must say. Despite the title, this book is written in novel form and not as a play.
Oops, thirteen at dinner. Wasn't that the title of another book. Well Agatha warned them didn't she. Act I the local rector is done in. Fortunately, Poirot seems to have been number thirteen. Act II a prominent doctor bites the dust. True to form, suspicion switches among the participants. Act III murder is solved by the "little grey cells." Try to outguess this one.
The more I read Agatha Christie's mysteries the more I like them. It seems like with every new volume there's an extra something that makes them more than just an engaging riddle. Either I'm reading the books with a more pronounced human element or I'm just noticing it more and somehow I'm inclined to think that it is the latter.
I really liked Mr. Satterthwaite, the intelligent little man with an absolutely unpronounceable name and a way with people. The Lytton Gore ladies were my "human element" here introducing the subject of being able to see people for who they really are and not in the way Poirot does it. They made mistakes sometimes, sure, but their perceptions felt warm and uncalculating. I liked these characters more than the rest particularly because we learned more about them as people than we did about any of the others and that is really my only gripe - the rest of the cast are barely fleshed out and I wish we knew a little more about them.
Of course I didn't figure out who the culprit was even though I suspected everyone. It almost detracted from the story, this constant watchfulness, attentiveness to every word and trying to see in what way it could be a clue, whether it could be a clue. I really need to turn off that part of my brain next time and just enjoy the story. Learn from my mistakes, my friends!
A great book, as are all of Christie's work. Just an FYI, this book is also known as "Three Act Tragedy."
Remind me not to attend a cocktail party, if Hercule Poirot is on the guest list.
In this twisting labyrinth of a murder mystery, three amateur sleuths attempt to solve two very extraordinary deaths. Both occurred at dinner parties with the same basic guest list. And, while the trio scoured England and Wales for clues, M. Poirot sat quietly in the gallery, acting only as an advisor. It is not until another, or possibly two more, deaths are reported that the great detective is asked to be more that a Belgian Yoda.
Once again, I thought I knew who the murderer was, and once again I was wrong. This is why I love Agatha Christie. The reader WILL enjoy this thrilling roller coaster ride, and will not be disappointed by the surprising conclusion :o)