Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot) Paperback – 26 Sep 2013
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‘You yearned for a “good violent murder with lots of blood”. So this is your special story – written for you.’
From the Back Cover
It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed.
But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their reason to hate the old man…
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. She wrote 80 crime mysteries and collections, and saw her work translated into more languages than Shakespeare. Her enduring success, enhanced by many film and TV adaptations, is a tribute to the timeless appeal of her characters and the unequalled ingenuity of her plots.
‘You yearned for a “good violent murder with lots of blood”. So this is your special story – written for you.”
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Top Customer Reviews
The family is the dysfunctional Lee family, summoned to pass Christmas together in the house of old Simeon Lee, the patriarch. During this stressful reunion, a commotion followed by a blood-curdling scream is heard from the room on the first floor occupied by old Simeon. When the locked door is forced open, the furniture is found upended, the safe rifled, and Simeon is found lying dead with his throat cut. The door key is in place, on the inside of the door.
Having depicted how the family members despise, hate, or resent each other up to this point, Agatha Christie next allows the investigations and theories to develop. Poirot is on hand, but she cleverly allows other police inspectors and investigators to do most of the work and make most of the mistakes.
The solution is one you will never forget, but also one that you will probably never arrive at before Poirot reveals all. Agatha Christie is wonderfully clever at laying out all the clues in an arrangement that directs the reader away from the vital ones.
Apart from a few lines of description, almost everything in the text is dialogue. To anyone in the world who has not yet read this 1940 mystery nothing more need be said. To those who are re-reading it, I suggest they notice how cleverly it is plotted and planned.
The house is full of Simeon Lee's put-upon sons and their put-upon wives, any one of whom might have had reason to do Simeon in, especially as he had just announced that he was about to change his will to include his beautiful young granddaughter Pilar, just arrived from Spain, whom none of the family had ever set eyes on before. The family are anxious to insist that the murder was an outside job, but Poirot is equally convinced that it was not.
This is one of the best Poirot mysteries, with lots of interesting characters, especially the delightfuly vivacious, high-spirited and unconventional Pilar, and a cunning murderer to unmask. A real Christmas treat.
But I needn't have worried. As expected the writing was so good that it really didn't matter, and in a way helped, making me scour the text trying to see where the trail was left to lead me to the culprit.
Most people are familiar with the traditional Poirot novel and this is no exception. A number of family members descend upon a mansion at the request of multi-millionaire Simeon Lee for Christmas. Simeon is a cruel man and in the past has upset all of his children, but now, crippled and old he appears to want to make amends.
When the old man is murdered, seemingly there is no way the killer could have left the room after committing the deed. The police are baffled, but luckily Poirot is in the neighbourhood and puts his little grey cells to work.
Well worth a read, whether you are new to the novels or not.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always a fan of the series and this book just makes a nice addition to the collection. You don't have to have read the previous books to enjoy itPublished 5 months ago by SMK