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Hercule Poirot's Christmas
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 July 2017
A classic locked door mystery in all its gory glory. It's Christmas Eve, a dastardly murder takes place at a large mansion house in the village in which M. Poirot is staying with a friend. He offers to assist. The setting is bizarre, the family dysfunctional, the victim - the patriarch of the family. The murder, behind a locked door within the, generally, locked doors of the big house. The murder is a particularly gruesome one. To the discerning M. Poirot, it is clear that this family are not grieving. In fact, they are all suspects and all suspect each other. Full of atmosphere and tension, this will keep you reading. The denouement, when it arrives, is quite ingenious in its detail. A fabulous read- you will not be disappointed. Recommended.
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Hercule Poirot is spending Christmas with a Chief Constable when a murder takes place not far away. Naturally Poirot's expertise proves invaluable in solving the crime and bringing the murderer to justice. Simeon Lee is a particularly dislikeable corpse and anyone in the house - and many outside it - could have had the motive to do away with him. He has invited all his relatives to spend Christmas with him and then he plays one off against the other.

There are two strangers in the house - Stephen and Pilar - the son of Simeon's former business partner and his only grand daughter respectively. Are they really who they claim to be and what are their reasons for spending Christmas in a house full of strangers? Naturally the family suspect the strangers.

I became totally engrossed in this well written and well plotted story and had to keep reading until I found out who had committed the crime. The answer was not at all who I thought it was either though the clues were there if I had read them correctly.

I have yet to read a bad Agatha Christie crime novel - they are all of an excellent standard. Background, characters, plot are all first class.
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on 22 December 2015
I have loved the TV and film adaptations of Agatha Christie's works for years, despite being scared silly by them as a child. I only recently began reading the books; Hercule Poirot's Christmas is one book I haven't seen adapted.

It isn't an overly Christmassy book other than it being set at Christmas however being an Agatha Christie story, I wouldn't expect it to be!

As I haven't seen an adaptation of this book, it made the read more interesting. I didn't know who the culprit was so I was kept guessing until the point Poirot works the room of suspects in the way only he does. He suggests everyone could have done it along with their motive before swinging round to put us all out of our misery and accusing the culprit.

Agatha Christie has a style of her own which is a pleasure to read.
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on 3 January 2014
This one was easy - I worked out who the murderer was quite early in the story. And again several times during the story, a different person or combination of people every time. Unfortunately, I was wrong every time. That is the genius of Agatha Christie - she gives you the facts, and a sort of hint, and you know you shouldn't get lead astray but you do, so that when the murderer is finally announced you realise just how great a storyteller she was. I did pick up the hint in this book, and thought there might be something in it, but not in the way it turned out. Although the story never goes outside one house and the characters assembled in it, it could, quite frankly, have been any of them, and right up until the denouement by Poirot, you are still changing your mind on almost every page. Yes, it's a different world (unless you still have a butler and servants), but the ingenious way in which the murder is committed and the false trails laid along the way, so that you suspect every single person at one time or another, confident that you are right but knowing you probably aren't, make this one of the best of the Poirot books, and that is high praise indeed.
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on 23 February 2018
My 3rd Agatha Christie and the one I've enjoyed the most. We read this for book club but with a twist - we all had to read to a certain point then stop and try and guess on the night who the murderer was (one of the members read the whole book so they could fill us in). It was great fun and none of us had a clue!
Simeon Lee's family gather for Christmas - 4 sons and their wives, a surprise granddaughter and the son of an old friend. When Simeon Lee is brutally murdered, Hercule Poirot does his thing to solve the murder.
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on 22 March 2014
Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot needs no introduction, surely. Most modern audiences will be familiar with him as portrayed by David Suchet on television, or by Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney in film (among many others). I can’t remember reading a Poirot mystery before, although I read a number of Agatha Christie books in my teens and twenties. She is certainly formulaic in her country house murders.

We are introduced to the elderly patriarch, his sons and their wives in order. Also, for our diversion, we are introduced to some extraneous characters and a couple of prodigal children, or sons or daughters thereof. It’s an enjoyable mix, as one immediately starts to decide who did it, even before the murder takes place. As usual, I failed to spot the right character, but I did do better than usual at unravelling the key detail glossed over rather early in the story. I don’t think it’s one of her best, but it was a perfectly acceptable read to accompany a surfeit of Christmas pudding.
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on 6 February 2017
I thought it was ridiculous that I had reached this stage in my reading life and not have read an Agatha Christie. As I expected it is well written, allowing the reader a real insight into the characters. their relationships and the enviroment they inhabit. The pace never lets up and the final reveal was not one that I had expected. I would definitely be encouraged to read another, rather than be lazy and watch the many movies and tv series'.
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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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on 17 May 2014
The greatness of this novel are her creations: the pictures she gives us about these characters: Simeon Lee, those of his sons that were born "on the right side of the blanket", and their wives. They are both poignant and convincing. One can easily imagine Simeon's anger that none of those sons had produced any heirs. Also, although she was dead, I had no trouble imagining what Simeon's wife was like; and understand why he rejected her. I could easily imagine, too, how she played on their son David. He was at once, the son least like his father in appearance, but the most like him in his maintaining anger and resentment against his father. And at the end, David was a different man: at peace with himself: not because Simeon was gone, but because he saw his father for what he was.
The flaw, was the murder scene. It was complicated, and it would have required a knowledge of where it was in the house, and what was in it. And from that, the planning. And then, the setting up of the scene itself. Each of those raise their own questions.
I would have loved to have given this novel 5 stars. It is still a great one. It is the work of a genius. And Agatha Christie was that. The most widely read author in the world, both yesterday, today, and no doubt tomorrow.
Kenneth Cooper
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VINE VOICEon 4 August 2015
This is the usual easy to read whodunit in typical Agatha Christie style, full of red-herrings and unlikely dialogue. Although her novels are now rather dated they are still fun to read, and keep the reader guessing the identity of the murderer and piecing together the clues. I must admit I failed again on this score, although to be frank the solution did seem rather unlikely. There were some coincidences and plot devices that on examination seem a bit contrived, but we all expect that of Agatha Christie and forgive it! Another triumph for Hercule Poirot.
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