Hercule Poirot's Christmas
It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed. But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion.
Reviewed on 23rd December 2011
Poirot sets out to solve a gory locked-room murder where all the victim's family are suspects, in this novel which completely misled me with the vast number of red herrings.
The set up is typical - big house, family, servants, murder - but somehow feels refreshed. Poirot is brought in slightly late and his presence fees natural. The family are fairly typical of Christie's round-up of suspects but they are certainly an aid in confounding the reader's attempts to solve the crime! I managed to work out a couple of the side plots, but sadly not the most important one.
A good book, read at the appropriate time of year, though the presence of Christmas in the novel is purely a plot device to gather the suspects together. It's renewed my appreciation for Christie's work a little and once again I'm looking forward to the next book.