Peril at End House by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #8) ★★★★☆
Genre: Mystery, Classic
Hercule Poirot has retired from solving crimes. But while on holiday he meets Nick, a young woman who has escaped death several times over the last few days. Poirot suspects these are more than accidents and can’t resist trying to solve the mystery in the hope of saving Nick’s life.
This is my fourth Hercule Poirot novel (they don’t necessarily need to be read in order and work well as stand alones), and definitely my favourite so far. I can’t resist a know-it-all protagonist which seem to be found in Classic mysteries (think Sherlock Holmes) and Poirot is definitely one of them. But he is only human and in this story he is well aware that he can’t quite crack what is going on.
I often find with older novels the female characters can be weak but that’s definitely not true here. Nick is a fantastic secondary character, she’s not a damsel in distress but she’s also not afraid to accept help when it’s needed. But equally she seems to be realistic of the time. She initially waves away suggestions that somebody is trying to murder her (she’s a society girl, who would want to do that?), and I enjoyed the relationship between her and her close ‘friend’ Freddie.
This has the classic Agatha Christie structure that I knew about before |I ever read any of her works. Multiple potential suspects with no clear front runner, plenty of red herrings and twists and turns. And it’s the ending that really got me (as should be the case with any great mystery). It was fantastically pulled together, answering all the questions and definitely giving you a great surprise.
Overall a great classic crime story, and one I’d recommend picking up.
Interested in Agatha Christie? Check out my review of And Then There Were None (my favourite of her novels so far!)