Arthur Hastings is on leave recuperating during the First World War. When on convalescence he meets an old friend, John Cavendish, who invites Hastings to stay with him and his family at Styles. While he’s there, John’s stepmother, Emily Inglethorp, is murdered, and Hastings persuades John to allow his friend, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, to investigate.
This is the first of Agatha Christie’s Poirot mysteries and I found it very enjoyable. Some of the language is is very dated, but the mystery itself is intriguing and Poirot is a fantastic character.
Colonel Protheroe is murdered in the vicarage, not long after the vicar Len Clement has expressed his dislike of the man. Protheroe was not a popular man in the village of St Mary Mead and the list of possible suspects seems long, but luckily an elderly observant woman by the name of Miss Marple is on the case.
This is the first Marple novel by Agatha Christie and it is typical of her type of story – lots of characters and plenty of red herrings. I enjoyed reading it very much and I didn’t work out who the murderer was. I was surprised that the story was narrated by the vicar but it worked well, and I liked the characterisations in general. However there seemed to be several similar gossipy old ladies and it was difficult to keep track of which one was which. However this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more Agatha Christie in future.
A snowdrift stops the Orient Express from running. It is unusually full for the time of year, and when an American tycoon is murdered overnight, Hercule Poirot begins to question every passenger in turn.
Although I’ve read some Agatha Christie before this is the first Poirot novel I’ve read. I already knew the plot and the outcome, but I didn’t feel this spoiled my reading experience. Christie’s writing style is very easy to read, and the amount of details she includes is very clever and her plotting is brilliant.