This is another short series by Christie although Superintendent Battle does I think appear in some of the Hercule Poirot books. I think this is one of the classic of Christie's mysteries where the plot twists and turns until the reader has no idea of the outcome until the last few pages. An ex-wife, her ex-husband and his new young wife, a few cousins, and a frail, elderly lady all are together at the old woman's home on the coast. Throw in the new wife's ex-boyfriend staying at the local hotel and there is tension aplenty. One night a retired judge, an old friend of the elderly lady comes for dinner and tells a story about one of his early cases. A young child shoots an arrow and kills another child. Everyone says it was an accident; but a man comes forth and says he saw the child practicing with the bow and arrow in the woods. Did the child commit murder deliberately and pre-planned it? The judge says the child's name was changed and he or she (he did not reveal the child's sex) was raised away from the area, but that he would recognize that child today because of a physical deformity. Later that night the judge dies in his hotel room, but was it natural or murder? Did someone at the dinner party know that the old judge had recognized him or her as a cold blooded murderer? This is the opening to another more brutal murder and a final attempted murder before Superintendent Battle collars the killer. This is a very tense, well-written story that kept me hanging in until the last page. It too has a surprise ending that I didn't expect.
What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the casual observer, perhaps nothing, but to Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard, these are the only potential clues available to him when he's sent to investigate a murder that takes place during a house party being held at the seaside home of an elderly bedridden lady. I did really enjoy this book. It's actually the second Agatha Christie book that I've ever read and I give it an A!
Unpremediatated violence with a golf club has broken the woman's skull. But everything is so neat, perhaps it was all planned. A typical Christie mystery with wonderful characterizations and a plentitude of clues.