It’s time for another Agatha Christie Review Round-Up! I’ve returned to my stash of Hercule Poirot and I’m hoping to finish the books I own this summer.
Hercule Poirot #6
“A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train to the French riviera — ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It’s the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit. And Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it… “
This was another enjoyable Agatha Christie novel! The mystery is, of course, a murder (is there anything else that’s more enjoyable for AC?) that takes place on the ‘Blue Train’ (a luxury train that crosses the countryside and connects cities in Europe). I found it to be very absorbing and a classic Christie mystery. It wasn’t one of my favorites just because I saw a different ending and honestly I was kind of frustrated with who the culprit ended up being. It makes complete sense and is well set up; I’m just being irrational. Regardless, the journey is the part that counts and I found it to be daring and breath-takingly absorbing. Most of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the humor Christie saw fit to include in this mystery (and I couldn’t resist adding a few of my favorites below!).
“I am not mad. I am eccentric perhaps–at least certain people say so; but as regards my profession. I am very much as one says, ‘all there.”
“The expected has happened, and when the expected happens, it always causes me emotion.”
“I do not argue with obstinate men. I act in spite of them.”
The Final Verdict:
A well-rounded and set up murder mystery.
Hercule Poirot #11
(aka Three Act Tragedy)
“A cocktail party ends in murder, but who did it? Why? And for that matter, how? No real cause of death has been established. It’s a real baffler and it’s prompting Hercule Poirot to ask another question…who’s next?“
This is another enjoyable mystery! I found it very intriguing and there are plenty of twists and turns. We don’t see as much of Poirot as others in the series (and personally, I wish that wasn’t so but that’s just personal preference). However, this choice to focus more on the other players and their investigations actually turns out to be a very wise choice on Christie’s part and during rereads, it proves immensely interesting. However, I do wish we were privy to more of Poirot’s sleuthing as the reveal at the end uses evidence acquired out of the reader’s view which makes the piecing together of the story a bit less enjoyable. Nevertheless, I was hooked until the end!
“But yes, exactly that. Think! With thought, all problems can be solved.”
The Final Verdict:
Resembles a country backroad with all the twists and turns!
Hercule Poirot #8
“Hercule Poirot is vacationing on the Cornish coast when he meets Nick Buckly. Nick is the young and reckless mistress of End House, an imposing structure perched on the rocky cliffs of St. Loo.
Poirot has taken a particular interest in the young woman who has recently narrowly escaped a series of life-threatening accidents. Something tells the Belgian sleuth that these so-called accidents are more than just mere coincidences or a spate of bad luck. It seems all too clear to him that someone is trying to do away with poor Nick, but who? And, what is the motive? In his quest for answers, Poirot must delve into the dark history of End House. The deeper he gets into his investigation, the more certain he is that the killer will soon strike again. And, this time, Nick may not escape with her life.”
This was a very interesting installment indeed! I have to say, I immensely enjoyed the journey on this particular mystery and I think it will lend itself well to a few more rereads. There is a good amount of humor embedded in the novel and the ending is something that you will not suspect. I don’t care how good you are at predicting endings, you won’t predict this one! What makes it a great ending, though, is how much sense it makes once you look at the accumulated evidence. The cast of characters, while relatively small when compared with Christie’s other works, is very well drawn and executed with each character having their own, rather deep personality. One thing of note: this is written in first person (the perspective of Captain Hastings) and most other Christie mysteries in the Hercule Poriot series are written in third person. Christie only writes these mysteries in first person if Hastings is present which lends something of an air of impenetrability to Poirot (a wise move on Christie’s part!).
“Poirot,” I said. “I have been thinking.” “An admirable exercise my friend. Continue it.”
The Final Verdict:
A well-drawn mystery with an even more well-executed ending.
Have you read any of these? What’s your stance on Agatha Christie and what are your favorite mysteries that end in complete surprises? (because, after all, being bookworms we all have extensive experience predicting endings and when that isn’t the case, it’s a wondrous occasion to be had!)