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Hercule Poirot's Christmas

Page history last edited by Jon 12 years, 7 months ago

Christie, Agatha - Hercule Poirot's Christmas / Murder for Christmas / A Holiday for Murder (1938)


Review by Nick Fuller


Yet another highly successful intellectual parody of the detective story. Here Christie takes all the clichéd elements upon which she can lay her hands (country-house at Christmas, wealthy invalid surrounded by greedy family, and the crime is "one of those damned cases you get in detective stories where a man is killed in a locked room by some apparently supernatural agency") — and produces a deliciously rich pudding. The events of the story take place over a period of seven days. The first day introduces the characters and their motives; the murder is committed on second day, and the alibis and circumstances of the crime are established; the third day consists of the characters' conversations with Poirot; on the fourth and fifth days truths begin to be revealed; on the sixth day the murderer's identity is revealed; and the seventh serves as an optimistic epilogue. The characters (with the extension of the strong yet placid Hilda Lee) are stock, as this is a traditional family crime, where there is "a poison that works in the blood — it is intimate — it is deep-seated ... hate and knowledge..."; but Poirot is in fine form—amusing, wise, discerning, jealous of the assisting policeman's moustache; using the clue of a portrait and of a (continually repeated) family resemblance to unravel a complicated problem of heredity. The solution is brilliant, blame falling upon a character the reader never suspected.


See also; http://traditionalmysteries.blogspot.com/2011/10/hercule-poirots-christmas-by-agatha.html


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