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4.2 out of 5 stars60
4.2 out of 5 stars
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2003
Yes, despite all Agatha Christie's other top-notch mysteries 'After the Funeral' is my favourite. I have read it several times. The Abernethie family are portrayed with considerable depth and their family home, Enderby Hall, is described in a way that conveys real atmosphere. The events in the story (without giving anything too much away) include a bombshell dropped by an old aunt after a family funeral, an axe murder, poisoned wedding cake and an electrifying climax in the ancestral home courtesy of M. Poirot. An absolute classic!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2014
"It begins, all this, at a funeral. Or rather, to be exact, after the funeral!"

So this is the first Poirot novel I've read and am reading as part of my World Book Night challenge. Having only read one other Christie novel (I know...shameful) this follows the formulaic template but then why change what works?

There's a lot of characters at the start which you have to get your head around. The chapters are split into parts each dedicated to a different character which does mean you get a thorough overview of the characters and as alibis are deconstructed there are snippets of clues to be had. I still didn't work out who did it although afterwards you realise that the clues were there!

Although this is a Poirot novel, for about the first two-thirds of the novel the investigating is conducted by Entwhistle, the family solicitor. It's only much later that Poirot is brought in - almost as a closer! It was around page 107 when he's first mentioned and this is how he's introduced (made me chuckle!):

"There were no curves in the room. Almost the only exception was Hercule Poirot himself who was full of curves. His stomach was pleasantly rounded, his head resembled an egg in shape, and his moustaches curved upwards in a flamboyant flourish."

With rather a good twist that is well wrapped up rather nicely at end, if not a little too quickly, a must read for all Poirot and Christie fans!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2006
Richard Abernethie, head of the large rambling and more importantly rich Abernethie family is dead, and the remnants of the family gather together in the family’s large country mansion house for his funeral. The person who makes the most impact at the funeral is Richard’s youngest sister, Cora, whom the rest of the family have not seen for years, who in her very own way of making inappropriate remarks, comments that “But he was murdered wasn’t he?”
Richard’s death which up until that point hadn’t been considered suspect is closely analysed by the members of the family and especially by the family’s solicitor Mr Entwhistle, whose suspicions are substantially increased when only a day after the funeral Cora herself is murdered in a frenzied hatchet attack.
The obvious motive is money and with Cora’s share of Richard’s will now being split amongst the other family members, Mr Entwhistle begins to make enquiries as to everyone’s whereabouts on the day of Cora’s murder. When he feels he has taken things as far as they can go he calls in a favour of an old friend, a certain M. Hercule Poirot.
The novel is very typically Christie with the various members of the family all having their own little secrets as to their real whereabouts and motives. Poirot poses as the head of a foreign charity planning to buy the house for refugees and thereby gains access to their movements.
It’s always quite hard to say when a Christie novel is set, as she very rarely mentions dates. Published in 1953 the book takes great care to mention how times are changing for the Abernethie family, they must sell the house knowing it will probably be bought by a company for redevelopment, much is made of the problems of securing “good staff these days” and poor M. Poirot, very much a celebrity in his day is now unheard of by the younger members of the family.
But these are all interesting and entertaining subjects to read of in a Christie book, along with her very un-PC writing about foreigners and the mental state of Cora, it is for these very outdated attitudes that make the books still so much fun to read. The actual hinge of the plot and crime is, as in many of her books, quite farcical and could never happen in real life (surely) but is still intriguing and lots of fun to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 10 January 2014
I saw that this was being included in the 2014 World Book Night selection, so I thought I'd try it. I'm not much of a 'whodunnit' fan, spending the whole book on the lookout for clues.

In true Christie style, a detective is called in to assist after a funeral of the head of a wealthy family appears to lead directly to his sister's brutal murder. The sister who was heard to say quite clearly that her brother was murdered. But with such a large family, who could be guilty?

Poirot himself only makes his first appearance halfway through, much of the initial detective work done by a family lawyer and an employee of Poirot. The famous detective only plays a larger role in the third act, when he (surprise surprise) brings all the suspects together for questioning and revelation.

It all seems to follow convention, and is quite enjoyable to guess and find the clues. As a one-off for me I enjoyed the experience but I'm not going to be reading the genre any more regularly. Characters are fairly flimsy, not a huge amount happens. It all follows a predictable pattern of structure that I think I would find personally a little tedious on repetition.

I wasn't too keen on Poirot, myself. Didn't warm to him as a detective and in this example I didn't find him well-written, maybe in other plots he has more back story and well-rounded appearance. I seem to remember liking him more in 'Death on the Nile' and 'Murder on the Orient Express', and preferring Christie's books with no series stalwart detective.

Still, it's a good way to while away a couple of hours, and as usual, the murderer isn't obvious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2012
The elderly and wealthy Richard Abernethie dies, and at the reading of his will his extended family gather to hear the fate of his estate. His eccentric younger sister Cora, famous for speaking out of turn, pipes up "It's all been hushed up rather well hasn't it ... but he *was* murdered, wasn't he?"

The next day Cora herself is found brutally murdered with a hatchet, and it is up to Poirot to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the Abernethie family....

It's surprising that this isn't one of Christie's more famous books - it has all the classic ingredients of a best-seller. Typical English country house murder-scene, with a lot of wealth and intrigue thrown in. I suppose the reason is that it's rather more sedate than other mysteries (Death on the Nile, A Murder is Announced), but this slight difference in style doesn't detract from what is essentially a brilliant mystery. Very cleverly done and if you keep your eyes peeled you might be able to guess it - the solution isn't just plucked out of nowhere. A great whodunnit with a classic Christie twist, at the end, as always! I thoroughly recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2006
Following the funeral of Richard Abernethie, his surviving family gather to hear the will. Discussing the man's sudden death, his odd sister, Cora Lansquanet, opines that the matter has been hushed-up very well. After all, she says, he was murdered, wasn't he? Having set the cat amongst the pigeons, Cora herself is found murdered, presumably to ensure she couldn't name her brother's murderer.

Maybe this is not one of Ms Christie's best, but it is a clever puzzle, and there is a strong sense of times changing, as the ancient family prepares to watch their ancestral home pass into the hands of strangers, perhaps to be redeveloped into apartments. As always with Ms Christie's work, the story is full of clues and red-herrings, with every member of the family having something to hide and some motive for the murder. Poirot is fully the equal of everyone, and anyone who tries to deceive his "little grey cells", is wasting their time. This may not be the best of Ms Christie's books, but it is a very satisfying tale.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2003
Christie's last classic performance, playing (as she did in the 1930s) on the genre's conventions. Here, a wealthy old man is cremated without any suspicion of foul play arising until his sister asks 'He was murdered, wasn't he?', whereupon she is battered to death. The family lawyer calls in Poirot, who functions late, but very effectively. Clueing top-notch standard job, including two brilliant devices (the mirror and the wax flowers) dangled lovingly (yet tantalisingly out of reach) before the reader's very nose. Murderer's identity as brilliant as the plot used to camouflage the murder, and, as a character, ranks with those in Lord Edgware Dies and Five Little Pigs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2012
I found After the Funeral to be very interesting reading. I have now read 15
Agatha Christie mysteries on Amazon Kindle and throughly enjoyed all of them.
I find all Hercule Poirot cases very interesting and it is easy to understand
how Agatha Christie sold so many books. A pure genius, second to none.

I will be reading many more of her works,

Gary Atkins.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2010
I freely admit that I'm a massive Christie fan, so it's not surprising that I rate this highly. I think it's hard to think of a writer who has managed to marry so successfully character and plot, in a way that still resonates today. While Hercule Poirot would drive me demented, I don't think that there's a sleuth in fiction I enjoy as much as him or Jane Marple.
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on 28 January 1998
A true Christie mystery, an English country house murder, a definite set of suspects and more plot twists than you can shake a stick at. The story begins with a funeral of a rich old man, or rather with the reception after it, when one of the heirs announces "Well he was murdered wasn't he?" When she is killed the next day the family lawyer calls on Hercule Poirot and it all begins. I will refrain from giving too many details, since half of the fun is in figuring out the people for yourself.
Unlike in some of her later books, Christie does not yield to the temptation to spout politics or philosophy, yet it still manages to be moderately deep. While not my very favorite of her books (I'm partial to Miss Marple) it was entertaining and I was unable to guess the murderer, despite my long acquaintance with her style.
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