A fifth instalment in the author’s loving recreation of Hercule Poirot and his famous little grey cells. A Christmas based mystery presents itself to the Belgian detective and his colleague Inspector Catchpool, who is a sort of amalgam of Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp. Set in the early 1930s in a crumbing mansion by the coast, the home of Catchpool’s overbearing mother, the pair investigate a murder in the supposed safety of a ward in a nearby hospital. When a friend is admitted to the same place his wife is convinced he will meet the same fate, but refuses to elaborate. Poirot must work fast to solve the case before the killer strikes again, or face the horrific consequences – having to spend the whole festive period with the Catchpools! There’s a large cast of quite eccentric characters with complex interrelationships, which are gradually revealed as the plot progresses, and of course there’s the usual quota of red herrings. Hannah nicely evokes the atmosphere of England and its inhabitants in that pre-war era, and expertly recreates Poirot’s familiar character with all its foibles. As with the earlier novels, my one grumble is I would have liked more Poirot and less Catchpool in the pages, but otherwise it’s another intriguing yarn, ideal to while away the hours over the upcoming holiday period, and inevitably one to which it’s fiendishly difficult to work out the solution.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Agatha Christie’s novels.
One thing you’ve learned
Who doesn’t love a festive murder mystery?