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Peril at End House: A Hercule Poirot Mystery Paperback – Oct 25 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (Oct. 25 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 6717745142
  • ISBN-13: 978-6717745144
  • ASIN: 0062074024
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“The actual solution is quite unusually ingenious.” (Times Literary Supplement (London))

From the Back Cover

On holiday on the Cornish Riviera, Hercule Poirot is alarmed to hear pretty Nick Buckley describe her recent “accidental brushes with death.” First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car failed. Then, on a coastal path, a falling boulder missed her by inches. Later, an oil painting fell and almost crushed her in bed.

So when Poirot finds a bullet hole in Nick’s sun hat, he decides that this girl needs his help. Can he find the would-be killer before he hits his target?

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is exactly what you come to expect from an Agatha Christie mystery, but with a change in Hercule Poirot, the famous detective and star of this mystery series. He has just retired and is slowly settling into a quiet, calm life of leisure and is refusing to be called back into duty. His mind, he thinks, is made up. However, a new mystery finds him, small and subtle at first, then shows itself to have a sinister meaning. He can't help but observe that which is right in front of him, and without meaning to, he is drawn into its web, and begins to apply his detective skills.

The great Hercule Poirot, who is known far and wide for his unmatched detective skills, can't resist asking one question, then another, then another. A perplexing and potentially deadly set of circumstances takes shape, and his concern for the wellbeing of a young woman he happens to meet, leads him to investigate. However, the motives and players behind this mystery prove themselves difficult for him to ascertain. Where he was always bursting with confidence and assuredness in his perceptions, skills, and outcomes, he is now struggling with something unfamiliar to him ' a shaky self-confidence that worsens and lingering uncertainty. He finds himself bumbling about without meaning to. As events unfold, he feels powerless to stop them. His once sharp and nearly infallible intellect and investigative skills seem to be outmatched. His frustration grows and so do his mistakes, missteps, and incorrect assumptions.

With its intriguing twists and turns, Peril at End House is a very engaging and rewarding mystery tale and will be sure to please die-hard Agatha Christie fans as well as those new to the stories.

Rai Aren, co-author of Secret of the Sands
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mystery writers are supposed to play by a set of rules, ie give the reader all the clues, no rare, undetectable poisons, the murder can't be the butler, detective, victim or someone we've never met etc. Agatha Christie always played fair in that all the clues were present for the reader, and she didn't rely on obscure poisons unknown-to-science but she was somewhat more creative in her interpretations of some of the others. PERIL AT END HOUSE is an example of Christie's creativeness with one of the rules of mystery writing (but you'll have to read the book to find out which rule).
Poirot and Hastings are spending some time at a seaside resort. Poirot is still insisting that he has retired but concedes that "...if a bullet should strike the wall by my head, I would ...investigate the matter!" Needless to say one does and Poirot is soon investigating the numerous attempts on the life of a young woman. Poirot sorts his way through a murder, drug trafficking, false identities, secret engagements and attempted frauds to reach the truth.
The ending is clever and we are treated to Poirot being forced to ask someone else for the answer to a minor secondary puzzle.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This mystery is less a who-done-it than it is a who's-gonna-do-it. Attempts are being made on the life of Nicky Buckley, the pert proprietress of End House. Poirot sets out to foil the would-be murderer, but feels that he's failed miserably when Nicky's cousin dies instead. Poirot redoubles his efforts to save Nicky and to solve the cousin's murder, but he finds himself in a quandary. As Poirot fruitlessly attempts to discern a motive and discover the murderer, Nicky has another narrow escape from a poisoning attempt. Poirot finally decides that the only way to flush the murderer out is to fake Nicky's death. The denouement is both surprising and satisfying. Another nice thing about the story is the glimpse into the mind of Poirot as he sorts out the clues. In this case he does not keep his thoughts and surmises secret from Captain Hastings, and we follow him step by step as he winnows through the evidence to come to his conclusions. He does, however, hold back enough to surprise the reader in the final chapter.
Now for the critique: [1] Christie either knows nothing about the behavior of bullets or expects her readers to know nothing. Her description of the near fatal shooting of Nicky is as full of holes as Nicky's hat. Poirot took no notice of the fact that there was no noise from the report of the pistol, no noise from the ricochet of the bullet, and no scuff mark on the wall. No mention was made of the bullet being deformed by striking the wall. This is not the first time Christie has betrayed such ignorance. In the short story "Dead Man's Mirror", a bullet struck a gong without denting the gong, deforming the bullet, or depositing a lead scuff on the gong.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Poirot and Hastings return in this novel set in the resort town of St. Loo on the Cornish coast. While on a week's holiday, the pair meet Miss Magdala Buckley who has had a series of life-threatening accidents. Poirot believes these "accidents" are more likely attempts on her life. In true Christie tradition, a murder soon occurs. However, Miss Buckley is not the victim, but the newly-deceased is a cousin of hers. Poirot must prevent another murder while discovering why anyone would want Miss Buckley dead. Into the mix enters her friends Frederica Rice and Commander Challenger as well as a mysterious couple from Australia who live in a cottage on the grounds of End House, possible narcotics involvement, and a surprise ending that will truly amaze. I won't reveal what the ending is, of course, but it is one that Christie will successfully use again in later works.
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