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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking Christmas mystery
Hercule Poirot is spending Christmas in the country with his friend Colonel Johnson, Chief Constable of Middleshire, and suffering terribly from the lack of central heaintg ("Nothing like a wood fire", says Colonel Johnson, but Poirot disagrees). Disagreeable wealthy old tyrant Simeon Lee is bloodily murdered in mysterious circumstances, and Poirot is called in to...
Published on 5 Feb 2005 by L O'connor

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not her best
Predictable and too much exposition, still fun. She has done better, though this is still a fun read. I. Love her imagination
Published 23 months ago by Lord Moose


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hercule Poirot's Christmas, 18 Oct 2012
This review is from: Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot) (Paperback)
I know The Murder of Roger Akroyd is supposed to be her masterpiece but for me this was Agatha at her very best. This was unsolvable and so unexpected I had to re read parts to see what I might have missed along the way! A country house at Christmas, a gathering of the clans and the sudden, quite brutal death of the elderly grandfather made this pure vintage Christie for me. Hercule as ever is sublime in his smart observations and dry wit, never missing a trick along the way with his usual ocd worries of disorder and draughts within this ancient crumbling manor. Snow, yule logs and Xmas puds abound to wrap around a yummy festive tale giving the reader a delicious seasonal murder mystery to solve. Simply the best!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Christie is always a treat to read, 3 Dec 2009
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
First Sentence: Stephen pulled up the collar of his coat as he walked briskly along the platform.

Elderly, wealthy Simon Lee has gathered his family around him for a Christmas reunion. Hardly a joyous celebration when the guests hear furniture being overturned, an inhuman scream and find Simon murdered in his locked room. Visiting a friend in the area, Hercule Poirot offers to assist in solving this case where everyone had reason to wish the old man dead.

Reading Christie is always a delight. There is wonderful, wry humor in her writing such as the description of the butler being like a faithful old retainer of fiction and the Inspector inquiring "Do you mean to tell me, Superintendent, that this is one of those damned cases you get in detective stories where a man is killed in a locked room by some apparent supernatural agency?"

Ms. Christie's books were contemporary when written and historical to us now. Her strong descriptions of that time and the related social mores make fascinating reading. Her sense of place is equally strong. I find it interesting that she, as did many English authors of that time and later, assumed her audience had a classical education as evidence by her use of non-translated French phrases and Shakespearian quotations.

It is her plotting and use of characters I most enjoy. She sets her story up by introducing each of her very distinctive characters assuring the reader knows who they are and how they relate in the story. I greatly appreciate that Ms. Christie didn't feel it necessary to make the local police seem incompetent in order to have Poirot be brilliant. There was only one mild portent when Hilda said "Not of you. I am afraid--for you!", and one coincidence to which Poirot says "I am always prepared to admit one coincidence." Thank you, Miss Christie!

There are several very clever twists to the plot and the classic revelation at the end. If you've not read Christie, I highly recommend so doing. For me, she is a reliable, enjoyable reread.

HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS (Trad Mys-Hercule Poirot-England-1930s) - VG+
Christie, Agatha - 19th in Poirot series
Berkley; reissue 2000, US Paperback - ISBN: 9780425177419
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4.0 out of 5 stars We wish you a bloody Christmas, 16 Jan 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot) (Paperback)
When most families get together for Christmas, they can end up wanting to kill each other. Most don't actually do it.

But when a family patriarch is a malevolent old lecher like Simeon Lee with vast quantities of money, it's no surprise when he ends up dead. Agatha Christie's "Hercule Poirot's Christmas" is a decidedly unsentimental little Yuletide murder mystery, full of snow-covered manorhouses, gruesome noises and plenty of people who have come for the holidays -- and aren't what they claim to be.

As the book opens, a young Spanish girl named Pilar and Stephan Farr from Africa encounter each other on a train, heading for the exact same house -- that of Simeon Lee. Oh yeah, and they both obviously have something to hide.

Turns out that old diamond mogul Simeon is gathering his adult children at his house, where the downtrodden Alfred and increasingly fed up Lydia live. Among the kids: stuffy MP George and his slinky wife Magdalene, globe-trotting "black sheep" Harry, and sensitive mama's boy David and his steadfast wife Hilda. Pilar and Stephen are welcomed with open arms, but Simeon starts playing mind games with his resentful offspring by revealing the intention of changing his will. That night, the house is roused by a gruesome howl -- and he's found with his throat cut in a locked room.

Due to the puzzling nature of the crime and the bizarre evidence, local superintendent Sugden calls in the famed detective Hercule Poirot -- especially since Lee has not only been killed, but his uncut diamonds have been stolen. With his little grey cells, Poirot begins unravelling all the family secrets and lies -- including some surprising facts about Pilar and Stephen. But since the murderer is close at hand, Poirot must solve the seemingly impossible crime before another Yuletide murder happens.

Apparently Agatha Christie wrote "Hercule Poirot's Christmas" for a funny reason -- her brother-in-law complained that her murders were all so clean and bloodless. Ladylike murders tended to be more Christie's forte. So this one is not only bloody, but downright gory -- Simeon gets his throat cut and the whole room is sprayed with blood. You can tell Christie had some fun writing about that, especially with the obligatory quote from the Scottish play: "who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him?"

So even though "Hercule Poirot's Christmas" has everything a Christmas story should have, it's actually really lacking in festivity -- from the very first scene, we're treated to a Yuletide England that is dark, smoky, grimy and full of barely-hidden resentments and old wounds. Christie sprinkles the plot with plenty of suspense, bizarre clues that aren't easily figured out (especially a rubber scrap that Pilar picks off the floor), and a plethora of suspects who would have liked to see Simeon cold'n'dead, but who couldn't possibly have gotten inside to do it.

And while the investigation is pretty straightforward, it's strewn with some surprising revelations about a couple of the family members. Christie's writing and dialogue tend to be a bit choppy, with many short exclaimations. But her vivid descriptions (London girls are described as "smooth egg-shaped faced, scarlet-lipped") and tightly coiled plot keep the story chugging along, although the murderer is only moderately hard to figure out.

Hercule Poirot comes in when the book is already well underway, and in a way he almost takes a backseat to the other characters. The spawn of Simeon cross a wide range -- the scrappy bad-boy, the whiny mama's boy, the stuffy airbag and the downtrodden guy -- as do their wives, who range from a plain "nice woman" to a flaky sexpot with a rather shady sexual past. Pilar and Stephen are perhaps the most colorful and least resentful people in the cast -- and Simeon is a nasty, malevolent old tyrant.

"Hercule Poirot's Christmas" is thankfully devoid of sentimental reason-for-the-season dribbling -- it's all about wretchedly dysfunctional families, gruesome murder and the occasional popped balloon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 6 July 1998
By A Customer
This is definitely one of Agatha Christie's most suspenseful and intricately plotted novels. The mystery is baffling and offers the reader plenty of clues, both physical and those dealing with human psychology, with which to solve the case, and the characters are drawn with vivid detail. Although there are a few too many instances of mistaken identity, they do not detract from the excitement and the solution comes as a shocking but satisfying surprise. Highly recommended for all fans of Agatha Christie and mystery/suspense novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good murder mystery, 17 April 2007
By 
S. J. Stevens "perhad" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot) (Paperback)
Agatha Christie has done it again. This is the seventh Poirot book I've read and it's the best one so far. The whole story is really good from beginning to end I couldn't help but to keep on reading it till I completely finished it. The plot is really good and I was totally shocked at the identity of the murderer of Simeon Lee.

If no one has got round to reading Hercule Poirot's Christmas then please consider it as the next book to read. Who knows, but maybe you could be hooked on this book as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Mystery - Not Just for Christmas!, 28 Mar 2010
This review is from: Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot) (Paperback)
I was a bit hesitant to read this at first, as I don't like seasonal books out of their season (call me strange!), as I read this in March. However, there are no mentions of festivities really as the events take over!

The mystery centres around the brutal murder of cruel tyrant Simeon Lee who is apparently killed within a locked room! Poirot and two local detectives are called in to investigate the case and the stories of Simeon Lee, his sons and daughters-in-law and granddaughter, Pilar unfold. Every person in the house seems to have a reason to have murdered Mr. Lee, this novel has twists and turns for fun! This novel also put me in mind of the storyline of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Poirot). Murder, deception, theft and greed abound in this novel and you are left guessing the identity of the murderer until the very end.

As is usual with a Christie story we have an international angle: Simeon Lee made his money in South Africa, his granddaughter is from Spain etc. Despite this, Christie always manages to retain the quintessential English charm which pervade her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheating, 31 Oct 2007
By 
Jamie B (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot) (Paperback)
This is a very enjoyable read, but has no-one else felt cheated by the revelation of the murderer's identity? Also I have always been less than convinced by the mechanics through which the crime was 'committed', (although the excellent adaptation of this story in the Poirot television series did make it appear more plausible.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hercule Poirot's Christmas, 11 Dec 2011
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
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When Hercule Poirot is staying with his friend Colonel Johnson for Christmas, you would hope he would have a peaceful holiday. However, wherever Poirot is crime is not far away, and they are called to a murder at Gorston Hall where Mr Simeon Lee has met his end in a bloody and violent way. The house is full of family and visitors and there are plenty of suspects for Poirot to get his teeth into, as well as a robbery to make things more interesting.

Mr Lee had all his family to stay for Christmas - his four sons, three with their wives, plus his only grandchild and the son of an old business partner. With Agatha Christie though, you can take very little at face value and a lot is not what it seems. Agatha Christie is the Queen of Crime for a reason and that is that she was a really good writer, who told a great story. I rarely even try to work out 'whodunnit', but I was certainly stumped in this novel! However, if you are looking for a great read with a Christmas twist, you will certainly find this an enjoyable book to curl up with on a winter evening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A body in a locked room, If it was you what would you do?, 5 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Simeon Lee is found dead in his locked study. Everyone appears to have a motive for wanting the old man dead, but who had the motive, the opportunity and the imagination to commit a crime like this? Read the book to find out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, second only to Appointment with Death, 21 Jun 2000
By A Customer
One of the best stories Ms Christie has ever written. Suspense, Suspects and the most unlikely murderer. Poirot's eye for a family resemblance solves the mystery, with the help of his little grey cells!
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Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot)
Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot) by Agatha Christie (Paperback - 15 Oct 2007)
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