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on 6 July 2015
Agatha Christie, queen of crime writing, was the first crime novelist whose work of this kind I read. It remains my favourite genre. Her style of plotting is one that I like too. Peril At End House was one book in a set given to me by my mother as a Christmas present.

It involves Christie’s idiosyncratic creation, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. He is a wonderful vehicle for solving a murder mystery.

Peril At End House starts in a beautiful part of the UK. So, while on holiday by the sea in St. Loo, Cornwall with his trusted companion Captain Arthur Hastings, Poirot suffers a fall and injures his ankle. While there, they meet Nick Buckley, a young woman who lives at End House. She seems to be accident prone. She is heiress of a local estate. Nick tells them that she has had three potentially life-ending accidents in the last three days. Poirot suspects more than mere chance is behind these events so he decides to protect her and find the killer. Strange connections surface between distant relatives, an absent pilot and a local gang of friends.

Nick’s best friend is Frederica is a woman separated from her violent husband. It seems she is a drug user. Frederica tells Poirot that Nick lies a lot. The Crofts are an Australian couple who have rented a lodge at End House but seem a bit too friendly. When Poirot learns that Mr. Croft mailed Nick’s Will to her lawyer, but that it was never received, he suspects the Crofts of foul play too.

Poirot also discovers her lawyer is her closest living relative and fears he might want to have End House for his own. Lots of suspects are in the mix and the danger continues to grow.

Peril At End House is crafted with Christie’s usual style and the tension is cleverly layered until Poirot finally reveals the explanation in full. It is not a long book and is quick to read, but I did enjoy it very much. If you enjoy a traditional murder mystery, I highly recommend it.
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on 9 August 2010
This is a fairly standard Poirot novel featuring Captain Hastings as the narrator. Poirot decides to intervene when a young lady is shot at within spitting distance of his holiday accommodation.

I'm afraid that I was not particularly impressed by this one. There were probably too many characters and it seemed a lot of effort for both the reader and Poirot to keep track. Indeed, the detective had to resort to writing down lists of the suspects several times to keep track.

While by the end of the novel everything does finally add up, it seems that the clues were rather lacking, and there was nothing there for the reader to get their teeth into to try to solve the mystery themselves. I think Christie has possibly gone a little too far with trying to out fox her audience.

Overall though its not bad for a quick read. Certainly more entertaining than a lot of what's available.
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on 3 October 2012
Peril at End House was a solid read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It kept me guessing as to who the evil-doer was, but that was mainly down to the author giving away so few hints as opposed to me genuinely being outmatched. However, I think the fact that so few hints were given away was a good thing. It makes it more `real life' as in the real world we are not often bombarded by the sheer stupidity of criminals. So perhaps it is best to not always have such an easy time of it in crime fiction?

Well worth a read, in my opinion.
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on 25 November 2009
This book is exactly what you come to expect from an Agatha Christie mystery, but with a change in Hercule Poirot, the famous detective and star of this mystery series. He has just retired and is slowly settling into a quiet, calm life of leisure and is refusing to be called back into duty. His mind, he thinks, is made up. However, a new mystery finds him, small and subtle at first, then shows itself to have a sinister meaning. He can't help but observe that which is right in front of him, and without meaning to, he is drawn into its web, and begins to apply his detective skills.

The great Hercule Poirot, who is known far and wide for his unmatched detective skills, can't resist asking one question, then another, then another. A perplexing and potentially deadly set of circumstances takes shape, and his concern for the wellbeing of a young woman he happens to meet, leads him to investigate. However, the motives and players behind this mystery prove themselves difficult for him to ascertain. Where he was always bursting with confidence and assuredness in his perceptions, skills, and outcomes, he is now struggling with something unfamiliar to him - a shaky self-confidence that worsens and lingering uncertainty. He finds himself bumbling about without meaning to. As events unfold, he feels powerless to stop them. His once sharp and nearly infallible intellect and investigative skills seem to be outmatched. His frustration grows and so do his mistakes, missteps, and incorrect assumptions.

With its intriguing twists and turns, Peril at End House is a very engaging and rewarding mystery tale and will be sure to please die-hard Agatha Christie fans as well as those new to the stories.

Rai Aren, co-author of Secret of the Sands
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on 21 January 2017
Once again I figured out the murderer in the first few chapters - is Christie too predictable or am I simply wasted in my current line of work and ought to become a detective pronto? Either way I enjoyed this one immensely, and am looking forward to the next one. The only real problem I had was that there were quite a few characters introduced but none of them were ever given a great deal of development. I think this in part made guessing the killer easy.
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on 29 August 2016
Agatha Christie has a modus operandi as recognisable as any serial killer, and the details are all present in Peril at End House. A cast of well-sketched suspects, a smattering of red herrings, all accommodated within an old family house under the eye of the ingenious detective Hercule Poirot. The interplay between Poirot and the tale's narrator Hastings is a particular joy in this investigation and it's often hilarious, only adding to the effortless readability of the book. The third act is a good one. Christie is the queen of crime for a reason - she delivers the goods with yet another mystery.
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on 20 March 2017
Poirot and Hastings are a sedate and amusing counterpoint against the rackety and dark lives of the main protagonists of this tale.
The story is told straightforwardly by Hastings, again a nice touch given the twists and turns of the plot.
Agatha's characters can seem like parodies but there is always a grain of truth and a deal of perspicacity in her observations of human nature.
Thoroughly enjoyable.
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Nick Buckley meets Hercule Poirot and his side kick - Hastings, who narrates this ingenious mystery. Nick seems to be in danger and Poirot is determined to protect her from whoever appears to want her dead after he picks up her hat which has a bullet hole in it. She herself tells him about some lucky escapes from an assortment of potentially fatal accidents. Who could want her dead? Poirot and Hastings are puzzled.

Gradually the evidence builds up which suggests Nick is in danger. Can Poirot prevent a murder? Or will the murderer outwit him? This is one of the most baffling Christie mysteries in my opinion and one which keeps me guessing every time I read it. Poirot as ever picks up the little details that everyone overlooks and Hastings provides the rather less observant foil for his brilliance.

The Poirot series can be read in any order and I am enjoying reading them completely at random. I've never been as keen on Poirot as I am on Miss Marple but he is definitely growing on me.
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on 24 September 2015
This is one of the first Agatha Christie mysteries I read (I was only 16 at the time) and though not the best, it is a decent introduction to her books. The story is quite short and cracks along at a fair pace; with a fairly logical approach and rather light-hearted atmosphere.I got 'whodunnit' if largely by intuition.
Looking back, I can now see that Christie's subtle understanding of human evil was beginning to emerge linked in to a strong understanding of how we can easily be deceived. The characterisation is still a little functional in places but the fact that I found myself hooked says a lot for Christie's subtle brilliance.
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on 5 November 2016
Another classic crime novel from the pen of the Queen of Crime. It hooked me, like most of her books, from the beginning and the mystery kept me guessing until the finale where all is revealed. Excellent.
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