Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Jane Wilkinson a beautiful actress is married to Lord Edgware. She approaches Poirot, asking him to help her obtain a divorce. However, when Poirot and Hastings, go to see Lord Edgware, he seems to have no issue with divorcing her. Jane Wilkinson will have her freedom after all. Then, Lord Edgware is found dead, leaving Jane a widow, free to marry the Duke she has her eyes on. Jane Wilkinson has no motive now, no many how many times she may have threatened to "get rid of" her husband, and a solid alibi. So who did it? We have a fair number of suspects, including a nephew in need of money, a daughter who disliked him, and another actress adept at impersonations. Each chapter brings us a new revelation, a dead suspect, a clue, a red herring. Poirot seems a bit unsure some of the time. Just when he thinks he has the solution, something happens that shows him he's...
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Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne is a bit unusual for a Christie detective. He is not a conventional detective, but a person who provides "happiness"; his ad in the paper says: "Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne." He's understands human behaviour, a bit like Miss Marple but with more statistics. With his acquired knowledge, he sets out to sell ‘happiness’ to people, in rather smart and surprising ways. He uses a mixture of fantasy, crime-solving, and psychology to resolve his clients' unhappiness. The stories are initially set in England. The later ones are set in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran where Parker Pyne while on holiday keeps finding new clients. I can't say I didn't enjoy Parker Pyne. Some of the stories are quite clever. I didn't love it however. ...
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The Hollow by Agatha Christie

The Hollow by Agatha Christie

Dr. John Christow may be a good doctor, but he is also a bullying, narcissistic man. He seems to be in the midst of a mid-life crisis, takes his anxiety out by hectoring his poor dim-witted but adoring wife Gerda. The Christows head off to a weekend at a country home called The Hollow, owned by Lady Lucy Angkatell. Also visiting are John’s new mistress, a sculptor named Henrietta Savernake (who is also a cousin of Lucy’s). And the neighbor is his ex-fiancée, a beautiful but self-centered actress named Veronica Cray who had left her native England — and John — for Hollywood. And then there's another triangle. The bookish Edward Angkatell, another of Lucy’s cousins, harbors a one-sided love of Henrietta. In turn, a poor relation and fellow guest, Midge Hardcastle, secretly pines for Edward, fully aware of his unrequited love for Henrietta. Lots of wishing and wanting. I have to admit my favorite character, aside from Poirot, was...
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Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

When will these older, wealthy men stop inviting their whole families, most of whom hate them or each other, to Christmas house parties? Simeon Lee is the one who's done it this time. All his children, a grandchild none of the others know, and an old "friend's" son, are at the house for Christmas and of course Simeon Lee ends up dead, killed in a locked room. There are plenty of motives, although how was he killed is a good question. The killer was a surprise to me. I'm not sure we really had enough clues to guess who it was on our own. But it's a good ending. I do love Christie. I also listened to this short story. It's another Christmas only this time, Poirot already knows what the crime was, a stolen gem. It's his job to track it down. But he also learns how enjoyable an English Christmas can be. There's no actual murder in this one, which...
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Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Jane Wilkinson wants to be rid of her husband, Lord Edgware. She asks Poirot to see him, to convince him to grant her a divorce. At the same time, she talks about how she would go about killing her husband if need be. As the title makes it clear, Lord Edgware does die. Jane, however has an ironclad alibi - but she was also observed at the scene of the crime. As always, Christie gives us several suspects and possible motives and two more dead bodies. She provides us plenty of clues, but also enough red herrings to keep us guessing. This time around we have several characters who are actors, which makes it even more difficult to tell who is lying. The final solution was well done, believable but with a perfect twist. Hastings is our narrator here, and I read the version narrated by Hugh Fraser, which was perfect. Hastings gets made fun of by Poirot for not understanding, but...
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Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

I love the title Sparkling Cyanide. Christie's titles don't tend to be particularly noticeable, but Sparkling Cyanide stands out. It captures clearly the method of murder - cyanide in the champagne, and it's a bit glamorous. Rosemarie died a year ago, presumably suicide. She was a beautiful woman, but her death benefitted several people. Her husband, George, truly loved her, in spite of her affairs, and has come to believe that she was actually murdered. Any one who was at the dinner the night she died could have done it - her lover or his scorned wife, her sister Iris who stands to inherit, the husband's trusted secretary, or a rather shady "friend" who, a year later is making moves on Iris. George organizes a second dinner party, with the same people, hoping to force a confession. It all goes terribly wrong when George is killed too. Colonel Race, a friend of George's, helps in the investigation. He doesn't actually do much, but he is on...
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