Alright I’m a disgusting liar when I clearly said I wouldn’t read anymore Agatha Christie novels, but I can’t walk away from a Poirot, it’s like a drug. And because all Poirot’s are the same, this post will be quick and to the point so I can focus on meatier posts.
The novel, like any Christie novel, is still a fascinating study on the hearts and intentions of people. I think one of her hobbies must have been people watching because there’s so many sharp observations right to the heart of the matter. Nevertheless, I was a little disappointed that Christie spent so much time describing what an emotional sadist the victim was, instead of choosing to demonstrate the mental havoc wrecked upon her family (how did she bend her family to her will? There were so many possibilities…).
Furthermore, like any other Christie novel, there’s so much leaning on the fourth wall, it’s delightful and I will never get sick of it: the jabs at Poirot for treating murders like a parlour game for his own amusement; references to past cases that Christie has actually written; sly references to the fact that one of the suspects would be deemed too obvious in a crime novel and therefore should be dismissed.
The denouement of the crime is also fiendishly clever; lots of little, minute details that ties everything neatly. There is just one large drawback which is that the ending is a very typical Poirot. though, the murderer conveniently is someone that when taken out of the picture, allows everyone to move on with their lives. And this has its pros and con. The pro is that the optimist in me enjoys a happy ending. The big, resounding con though, is that it becomes very predictable and no matter how clever and well thought out the plot is, you can almost guess who the criminal is based on who is the black sheep of the book. The likelihood of the criminal having a secret criminal past to provide a convenient motive is too high at this point.
I know what I’m in for when I read a Poirot. Everyone knows what they’re in for when they read a Poirot. I’ll leave it at that.
On Another Note
I never buy a Poirot for more than $8. It’s either second-hand or from a discount outlet.