Sypnosis From Goodreads:
Motives for Murder: A fortune in uncut diamonds, hidden by an eccentric old man A woman’s love, too freely given A business empire built on ruthlessness Each of them may have been a motive for the brutal slaying of wealthy old Simeon Lee. Coupled with Lee’s family, each member of which hated him and wished to see him dead, they presented Hercule Poirot with a baffling challenge–one which the astute detective solved only through his uncanny ability to see “the little things.”
My third read of this gem by Dame Agatha Christie, one of my favourite festive season reads and one of my favourite books of hers. She’s my favourite author and I’ll never tire of re reading her books.
Old Simeon Lee has gathered his family around for a Christmas together; but on Christmas Eve, everyone hears loud screaming and wailing from the patriarch’s room. But the door is bolted from the inside; after breaking it down, they find masses of furniture overturned and the elderly man dead, his throat slit.
What ensues is a mystery like no other; though I read this twice before, so I knew what was coming, it was an utter delight reading as everything unfolded once more.
The characters are all mostly likeable; the Lee sons, i couldn’t hate any of them and I felt for them having been subjected to such a sadistic parent as Mr Lee (you’ll find a similar theme in Agatha Christie’s Crooked House and Appointment with Death).
In terms of couples; Alfred and Lydia remain my favourite. The most loyal of Simeon’s sons, he can’t find fault with his father and will always defend him no matter what; Lydia is slightly more scathing when it comes to Mr Lee, but at the same time she loves her husband and isn’t too hurtful to him. I think she appreciates him and while she didn’t care for her father in law; her love for her husband was triumphant over all.
Pilar and Stephen’s relationship was adorable, reading about how it blossomed from their first initial meeting on a train, where initially neither knew that the other was headed to the same destination. From the word go, there’s lots of mystery surrounding her character, and it’s not until the surprising revelation at the end where everything well and truly comes together with her character.
Poirot, although he doesn’t make an appearance until the first quarter is over, shines as usual. I do adore the little Belgian with his egg shaped head; and his constructing of the case’s results are immaculate as his moustache.
When I initially started re reading this, I was listening along to the audiobook too, narrated by nonr other than Poirot regular, Hugh Fraser. He did a fantastic job, reading all the characters lines perfectly.
“I believe the present matters — not the past! The past muust go. If we seek to keep the past alive, we end, I think, by distorting it. We see it in exaggerated terms — a false perspective.”
“In conversation, points arise! If a human being converses much, it is impossible for him to avoid the truth!”