I love Poirot and this was a great way to finish it off a series. It’s bittersweet but clever.
Agatha Christie really pulled out all the stops and tried to create this supervillain who had a brilliant understanding of people’s psychology and in the world of Poirot, I think that’s believable. It feels very new and fresh but the setting is still very classic Agatha, in the sense that a group of people who all have motives gather in one place and only one of them could have done. It very clearly has her signature stamp on it.
The only problem with Agatha Christie novels is that because you always know that there’s going to be a grand and clever twist in the end so you keep second-guessing yourself and all the characters. The ending is not cheating like ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ (clever, but unfair). It was a sufficient way to wrap up the crime and Poirot’s career.
I know Agatha preferred Miss Marple to Poirot but I loved all his little quirks and how his actions drive the plot and the denouement. Some detectives feel underwhelming and get lost in the story, making the reveal unsatisfying, like Cordelia Grey in ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’, but this is never the case for Poirot, and in particular, this novel.
On Another Note…
Judith was kind of irritating but when I learnt she was 21, it kind of made sense because I remember all the embarrassing, self-absorbed things I said to my parents when I didn’t know any better and don’t worry Judith, the regret will kick in a few years later when you’re struck down with fever in Africa. Although it is refreshing to learn that children have been arguing about living their own lives and parents have been convinced that the new generation are arrogant and immoral, is a disagreement that has stood the test of time.