Published in 1973
Sypnosis from Goodreads:
Hercule Poirot is determined to solve an old husband and wife double murder that is still an open verdict! Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. Here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies — a husband and wife — shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into the past and discovers that ‘old sin can leave long shadows’.
This was yet another re read on my part, but there’s something that’s always exciting about going back to an Agatha Christie favourite mystery and re reading it. No need to over stretch those little grey cells, the reader can just cruise along as one reacquaintes themselves with the story, the setting and the characters.
What always stood out for me and sort of separated this one from many of Christie’s other mysteries, is that the murder in question took place in the past; we know the who, sort of. Well we know who’s deaths are being questioned, but we definitely don’t know the what’s and whys. Even re reading this, I was reminded of those feelings of intrigue and wondering what was happening. I really love how the reader is transported into the past as it were at the very conclusion, when Poirot is explaining what he thought was the conclusion; again, I’m reminded of the awe feeling I felt when I read the book initially, thinking of the immense tragedy that this case held. This is a mystery, yes, but what lies at the heart of it, in my opinion, one of the most tragic and heartbreaking murders ever; the reader, I find, is given hints throughout which lead to a conclusion of ‘whodunnit’, and even the first time I read this book, as I got absorbed into the story and followed Ariadne Oliver, a fictional version of Dame Agatha herself, as she familiarised herself with elephants (aka ‘once familiar faces’ that had ties to the mystery, I was captivated.
All in all, this is an enthralling mystery that will have the reader engaged from the word go, and there’s a fantastic cast of supporting characters; Celia Ravenscroft is headstrong and curious, easily one of my favourite supporting characters in Christie’s books; and Ariadne is always refreshing and fun to read about, I love her friendship with Poirot; this book is honestly one of my all time favourite Christie mysteries, and I’ll never tire of reading it.
And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,