Cards on the Table
Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana's private collection. Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether!
Reviewed on 2nd June 2011
'Cards on the Table' is the second book I've read recently based around the game of bridge, and as a modern-day reader I found it useful to read up on the game to understand what was going on. When Poirot is invited to a dinner party, the host is murdered during after-dinner cards, and only four people could have done it. But all of them are murderers.
It's a good little adventure with a novel setting and a nice range of interesting characters. It introduces Ariadne Oliver, a writer of detective fiction, who serves as a comic element, poking fun at Christie herself and her contemporaries.
The plot moves at a good pace and is filled with twists and turns - the reader kept constantly guessing and updating their theories about whodunit. A wonderful short read that keeps the Poirot tradition going strong.