Death comes to the town of Broadhinny. On November 22, Mrs. McGinthy, a widow of sixty-four who worked in various village houses as a daily domestic, is found murdered, knocked in the back of the head, in her cottage parlour. Her bedroom has been ransacked, the floorboards pried up. Police find her savings, thirty pounds' worth, hidden under a stone behind the house. Suspicion falls immediately on her boarder, the "sometimes cringing and sometimes truculent" James Bently. But Superintendent Spence is not sure James did it, so he calls his dearest friend Hercule Poirot to help.
Mrs. McGinthy's Dead is a very complex story. Maybe a bit too complex to be good. The story evolves on a high pace, but in my opinion the outcome is one of the most disputable of Agatha's long and successful career. What seems to be a clear case at first, becomes a hodgepodge of intrigues and secrets. Finally, just a few pages before the end, a certain vital clue is discovered. Without this clue, it is truly impossible to find the murderer - unless your first name is Sherlock, of course. So "fairness" is not directly a word I would associate with this book. "It had not been an interesting murder," the Belgian sleuth things to himself at a certain point, but it gave me a nasty headache to find out what really happened. Next time I will read something lighter, I guess.