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First published in Christmas 1923, this tale of a family curse is narrated by Hastings. The story begins in WWI, when Poirot and Hastings bump into Captain Vincent Lemesurier and his uncle Hugo. This is a swiftly moving curse, because even as the men chat a messenger arrives to inform Vincent Lemesurier that his father had a serious accident falling from a horse and, as his son rushes home, he is also killed.

Time passes and then Poirot is visited by Hugo’s wife . The curse of the family says that the first born son can never inherit and she is the mother of two young boys – the eldest of which has had three narrow escapes from death. Can the curse be real and, if so, is her son doomed? Of course, Poirot can solve the mystery and nobody can tell of his exploits quite like Hastings. An enjoyable early story and, of course, wonderfully written.
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on 18 February 2015
A typically teasing problem and all the usual twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until Poirot reveals all!
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on 23 December 2014
Not one of Agatha's best I'm afraid just a little predictable short story on the usual lines of Poirot disappointing
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on 13 March 2015
As always, a joy to read. Just when you think you've read all her works another little gem pops up
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on 19 August 2015
i hadn't read this story before, it was brilliant, poirot once more great.
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on 25 April 2015
A short novel written by Agatha Christie, wished it had been a bit longer!
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on 30 October 2014
Didn't realise it was a short story ... but very good never the less.
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on 30 October 2014
A nice little story -- not her best
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on 10 August 2015
Quite good, surprise ending
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on 27 August 2014
very good
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