Lucy Angkatell invites Hercule Poirot to lunch. To tease the great detective, her guests stage a mock murder beside the pool. Unfortunately, the victim plays the scene for real.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A far-from-warm welcome greets Hercule Poirotas he arrives for lunch at Lucy Angkatell’s countryhouse. A man lies dying by the swimming pool, hisblood dripping into the water. His wife stands overhim, holding a revolver.
As Poirot investigates, he begins to realize that beneaththe respectable surface lies a tangle of familysecrets and everyone becomes a suspect.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Hercule Poirot actually isnt the spot light in the story. You will not find the usual Hercule Poirot, who like to use his "grey cell" to put the crime scene back together. If you are looking for a typical Poirot's advanture, you'll be disappointed. =)
Hercule Poirot has taken a weekend cottage in the country. Naturally his new neighbors, the Angkatells, Lucy and Henry, invite him to join their houseparty for luncheon. The other guests include Dr. John Christow, his adoring and boring wife Gerda, his mistress Henrietta Savernake, the renowned sculptor as well as Midge Hardcastle, a distant cousin, David Angkatell another distant cousin currently at Cambridge and Edward Angkatell, the current occupant of the family estate, Ainswick.
We are given background information on these characters and their relationships to one another in the opening chapters of the novel. By the time Poirot arrives on the scene the tension is so thick that it is almost a relief when the murder is committed! The story progresses in typical Christie fashion, all the clues are fairly laid out leaving the reader to sort through the red herrings to solve the crime.
This 1946 novel has worn well, it could be filmed today as either a period piece or updated and be enjoyed either way. Christie herself has questioned the appearance of Poirot in this story, Hercule is not pivotal to this one, although he does not detract from the book either. This is one of those books that could be enjoyed by non Christie detective fans as well as her devotees. In fact this one could even be enjoyed by those who are not particularly murder mystery fans.
The detective story elements are not, however, Christie's best. The murder is quite simple-the murderer is obvious, but the circumstances, involving several guns and a painting of Ygdrasil, are inexplicable-and the entire thing is a reworking of LORD EDGWARE DIES. Poirot is very much in the background, acting only as a deus ex machina at the end-it was a mistake, Christie later felt, to have him in the book.
The result: a beautiful yet somewhat flawed masterpiece.