fredag den 11. december 2009
Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot´s Christmas (1938)
“In a big grandfather arm-chair, the biggest and most imposing of all the chairs, sat the thin, shriveled figure of an old man. His long clawlike hands rested on the arms of the chair. A gold-mounted stick was by his side. He wore an old shabby blue dressing-gown. On his feet were carpet slippers. His hair was white and the skin of his face was yellow.”
Old Simeon Lee, the millionaire, invites all his children, even the prodigal son and the unknown granddaughter, to spend Christmas with him. Is he turning into a kind and soft grandfather, or does the old man have other motives for gathering his family around him?
Soon after the family reunion, he lets it slip that he is going to call his lawyer, and afterwards he tells his four sons that he regards them all as weak and useless. Small wonder that the next scene offers “a horrible high wailing scream that died away in a choke or gurgle.” Someone has had enough of the unpleasant tyrant and killed him in an orgy of blood.
Fortunately the local Superintendent Sugden is on the spot, and a vigilant Hercule Poirot is not far away either so though the traditional English Christmas has been spoiled, the innocent can relax and begin to lay plans for the future before New Year´s Eve.
This review is part of Kerrie´s Christmas meme: Suggest a Christmas Title.
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Dorte - Thanks for this excellent review : ). I love this story! What I like about it especially is the subtle set of clues that are woven throughout the book if one only pays attention. Such an interesting character study of the people, too!
Believe it or not, I have yet to read any of Christie's books. I have no idea how that happened but I really need to correct that mistake.
Margot: I was quite surprised when I realized I had never read this one before (it has been on my shelf for years). I agree that the characters are very well drawn.
Lilly: if you need something Christmassy, this is a perfect place to start. If you want something cosier, you could try some of the Miss Marple stories.
I love this one! The old man was really wicked.
Mystery Writing is Murder
I aim to read this over the "season" Dorte, but I'm a bit bogged down and not reading very quickly at the moment so may not get to it.
Elizabeth: yes, some murders are quite a pleasure to read about, aren´t they?
Kerrie: oh, and now I am not quite sure whether you are too busy or unwell, but as you don´t read very quickly you are probably not well. I hope you´ll get much better soon!
I recently reread this one in audio - my memory for who actually did it when it comes to the Christie novels is usually so fuzzy but in this case, there was such a memorable twist, I remembered about three-quarters of the way into the book. But I still had a lovely time listening!
Belle: yes, I can see that when one gets into it, there are things one should be able to remember (my memory is also horrible, but the good thing about it is that I can re-read and re-enjoy all the good books and save a lot of money).
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