By: Agatha Christie
At the behest of his friend Mrs. Oliver, Hercule Poirot is asked to investigate the sudden and cruel death of a young child. Under the most unlikely of circumstances, the young girl is found drowned at a Halloween Party in the tub used for apple bobbing. No one at the party witnessed the murder, and no one knows how it could have happened with thirty guests present.
While searching for evidence, Poirot will discover there is more than meets the eye in this quiet little community where nothing ever seems to happen. In fact, it appears people have been quite busy.
Now, dear reader, if you recall from my last Agatha Christie book review The Murder at the Vicarage, you will recall that I didn’t like that story much. Miss Marple wasn’t really my cup of tea, at least not in that story. However, I did come back to Christie because, as the most prolific writer in history (aside from Shakespeare and the creators of the Bible), she deserves that much. She’s earned another review out of pure respect for her dedication to the writing craft. So that’s what I did and here we are again.
I decided to go with another Hercule Poirot story simply because he was engaging in The Murder on the Orient Express. He’s an engaging narrator and overall fun to read. As a result, Halloween Party was a decent cozy mystery. I must say my feelings towards the story are likely a little biased due to the season and the fact that Halloween is my favorite time of year. The story automatically got points there.
Other than the outdated views and occasionally convoluted trains of thought, this story was entertaining and decently interesting. There were also multiple mysteries in one, which I appreciate though detailed ran together sometimes and made the story harder to keep straight.
Like all stories of this nature, a degree of belief must be suspended when looking at how the characters reach their conclusions. Occasionally, some dots are connected that seem farfetched or a character may appear to pull something out of thin air to stretch the big reveal into something clever.
That being said, I believe that kind of reasoning is expected in cozy mysteries and Agatha Christie novels in general. It wouldn’t really be a novel by Christie without such fantastical conclusions just like you couldn’t have a Sherlock Holmes story without some “obvious” conclusion being deduced by Sherlock and Sherlock alone. The convoluted nature of these stories is what keeps readers coming back. What fun would it be if the answer was obvious?
I will give my props to Christie for her ability to expertly deflect a reader’s attention when it comes to important details. I was able to work out part of the mystery but not all of it because of the way she framed certain clues. She makes you read between the lines. That’s why she’s the Queen of Mystery.
I also might give Miss Marple another go. She deserves that too I guess.
Overall rating: 4