Narrator: Hugh Fraser
Series: Hercule Poirot #31
Published by HarperAudio on July 3, 2012 (first published March 1953)
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 6 hrs 56 mins
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When Cora Lansquenet 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. . . .
In After the Funeral, everyone gathers at the estate for the funeral of Richard Abernethie, and imagine the surprise among the clan when dotty, arty Aunt Cora says, “But he was murdered, wasn’t he?” They all try to brush her comment under the rug, but Mr. Abernethie’s elderly lawyer and friend, Mr. Entwhistle remains bothered, her remark nagging at him. He asks a few questions, but then Aunt Cora ends up dead too, killed with a hatchet in her bed. Entwhistle calls in Poirot, because clearly Cora wouldn’t have been killed if it hadn’t been for that remark.
Poirot shows up a little late in this way, but Mr. Entwhistle is a good character, so it works. We have the standard mystery characters of the era, including the family butler, the motherly wife, the gambler, the hypochondriac, the actress, the stockbroker of questionable values, most of whom are potential suspects. Almost all of the family gained from Abernethie’s death.
I feel like it was a fair mystery, meaning the reader could have solved it. There were lots of clues, but they didn’t make sense to me until the killer was revealed. Poirot pulls off an excellent denouement in this one. It’s a good combination of drama and surprise. I mean, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, it’s often the characters you overlook that are the killers.
After the Funeral was a good one, not one of Christie’s best I don’t think, but definitely good.