Hercule Poirot takes on one of the most challenging cases of his career.
I haven’t read nearly enough Agatha Christie, even though I know lots of her stories via their TV/Film adaptations. I’m not sure Hallowe’en Party was the best place to start but I chose it because of the title and I can’t say I didn’t have a good time hanging with Hercule and speculating about all the villagers of Woodleigh Common.
HP revolves around the shocking murder of thirteen year old Joyce Reynolds, who finds herself face down in the apple bobbing tub at the end of a Halloween party hosted by Rowena Drake.
Mere hours before the tragic death, Joyce had been boasting publicly about having witnessed a murder. Now everybody’s a suspect in hers. Ariadne Oliver, well known author and friend of Poirot is present on the night of the incident – and calls upon her old pal to come and have a look around for himself. Can Poirot, with his well-seasoned eye for detail, work out who would commit such a heinous act?
As the story unravels we learn more about the villagers – of their connections to one another, of the secrets that lie just below the surface. Joyce, it seems was not a well-liked little girl and already had a reputation for being a big fat liar. But why would anyone kill her and in such a horrible way?
When Poirot finds out about some seemingly random murders commited in Woodleigh over the years – as well as a dodgy will made out to a shady au pair – he becomes a dog with a bone. Could they all be related?
Well it’s not for us to uncover the truth – Poirot’s got this – but it’s fun for us to guess.
While this book is fun enough it was originally criticised for its poor characterisation and loose ends – “Not Christie’s best”. I can see why, it’s quite forgettable, to the point I had to read up on the ending again to remind myself.
I love Ariadne Oliver’s friendship with Poirot though – and it is never wasted time to take a wander with such a legendary character.
Publisher: HarperCollins (24 Sept. 2015)
Bought new paperback for myself