Narrator: Hugh Fraser
Series: Hercule Poirot #21
Published by Harper Audio on July 3, 2012 (first published 1938)
Source: On shelves
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 6 hrs 8 mins
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In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder—and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case.
Christmas Eve, and the Lee family’s reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture and a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed.
When Hercule Poirot offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man. . . .
Wealthy, mean Simeon Lee has invited his family to spend Christmas. We’ve got 4 adult sons, three of whom have wives with them, and a granddaughter from Spain, an exotic young woman out of place in the traditional English setting. Simeon’s goal, however, doesn’t seem to be a happy family reunion. Instead, he is amusing himself by re-igniting all the old angers and rivalries. Of course, it’s still a shock to them when he ends up dead, murdered in a locked room.
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas was another reread for me, and to be honest I’m surprised I didn’t remember who the killer was. Poirot was staying with a friend in the neighborhood when the death was reported and agreed to help discover the killer. Of course, we’ve got plenty of motives, from hatred to money to diamonds, and everyone in the household is a suspect. I like how much even the most minor of the characters has their own personality. Each is more than a collection of eccentricities; they have purposes and strengths.
The plot was well put together, which is no surprise. The puzzles are what Christie’s books are all about. The clues were there, but Christie still managed to pull off a good twist, one I should have remembered.