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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

5/5

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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