The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder….
When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance.
At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’
In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.
“It begins, all this, at a funeral. Or rather, to be exact, after the funeral!”
So this is the first Poirot novel I’ve read and am reading as part of my World Book Night challenge. Having only read one other Christie novel (I know…shameful) this follows the formulaic template but then why change what works?
There’s a lot of characters at the start which you have to get your head around. The chapters are split into parts each dedicated to a different character which does mean you get a thorough overview of the characters and as alibis are deconstructed there are snippets of clues to be had. I still didn’t work out who did it although afterwards you realise that the clues were there!
Although this is a Poirot novel, for about the first two-thirds of the novel the investigating is conducted by Entwhistle, the family solicitor. It’s only much later that Poirot is brought in – almost as a closer! It was around page 107 when he’s first mentioned and this is how he’s introduced (made me chuckle!):
There were no curves in the room. Almost the only exception was Hercule Poirot himself who was full of curves. His stomach was pleasantly rounded, his head resembled an egg in shape, and his moustaches curved upwards in a flamboyant flourish.
With rather a good twist that is well wrapped up rather nicely at end, if not a little too quickly, a must read for all Poirot and Christie fans!