I read quite most of the Agatha Christie’s mysteries back in my early 20s, but I guess I must have missed a few. So as I was browsing for Christmas books this year I discovered it at Audible, checked that Christie really did write it (yes) and downloaded it pronto.
It took awhile to get used to this old-fashioned clue-based puzzler, but I persevered and it worked. By the end I was hooked and I may have to check out a few more old time books by her.
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
by Agatha Christie
1938 / 272 pages
read by Hugh Fraser 6h 20m
rating A++ / crime puzzler
Simeon Lee is very old and very rich and there are several family members and their spouses who want to inherit. But, there are new people who also want to inherit in which case the will would have to be changed, right?
So the mean and devious Simeon Lee sets it up so that the group gathered in his home on Christmas Eve all know he has a surprise for them.
And then he’s dead, murdered, found in a room locked from the inside. Ahhhhhh…..
Motive, motive who’s got the motive? – They all do. There is the son who stuck around, dutifully minding his father’s wishes – and he has wife. There’s the son who left home to wander the world and has only recently turned up. There’s a third son who left the business, but is married and lives not too far away. The daughter is deceased but she has a daughter who has turned up along with the son of an old business partner. Ah …the long time butler? – Besides that there are any number of people in the small town nearby who really do not like Simeon Lee – long held grudges there.
But never fear, Poirot has no family obligations on Christmas Eve and he’s quite pleased to show up. So resolution of the case is expected from observations and logic. No bothering with chase scenes or rounded characters. This is the Golden Age of mysteries and the clues were the thing.