AUTHOR : Agatha Christie
PUBLISHING HOUSE : Mondadori
LITTERARY GENRE : Thriller
PUBLICATION DATE : 1956
PAGES : 288
AUTHOR’S LIFE : Agatha Christie was born on 15 September 1890 in Torquay. She was a famous writer of detective stories. Her father was American and her mother British. She died in Wallingford on 12 January 1976.
A big party with many attractions was celebrated in a luxurious country house. The famous writer of detective stories, Ariadne Oliver organized a kind of “treasure hunt” by which guests had to unlock the secrets of a fake murder.
Poirot was invited to attend the celebration.
While on his way to Nasse House, Poirot gave a ride to two young hitchhikers, a Dutch and an Italian. Once there, Mrs. Oliver told him to expect several changes to the original plan, and that an actual murder might take place.
The members of the house were George Stubbs, the owner, his much younger wife, Hattie, Amy Folliat, the only survivor of the family that once owned the house, and Michael Wyman, a guest.
On the day of the hunt, Hattie discovered that her cousin, Etienne Sousa was coming to see her and she seemed quite scared. At the party a young scout, Marlene Tuckers, had to play the part of the dead, and was located in the boathouse waiting for people to arrive, when someone suddenly approached.
It was some time later that Poirot and Mrs. Oliver discovered the dead body of Marlene in the boathouse, and it also turned out that Hattie had disappeared.
The investigation focused on Etienne De Sousa, a rich young man.
Another possible suspect was Amanda Brewis, the secretary of George who was in love with him.
Poirot’s attention catalyzed on Amy Folliat, who seemed to know much more than what she wanted to admit. After the sailor Merdel died, the investigator found out who the grandfather of Marlene was. At this point Poirot succeeded in putting together various clues: Marlene had said that her grandfather had seen someone bury a woman in the woods. Marlene was the kind that could blackmail the culprit and had received small amounts of money just before her death.
At the end, Poirot revealed that George Stubbs was the younger son of Amy Folliat. His mother had made him marry Hattie, a young rich lady. Unbeknownst to Amy, though, George was already married, that is why he killed Hattie, and replaced her with his real wife.
Marlene had discovered the plot and they thought it was better to eliminate her.
This book was exceptional. I found it interesting and full of suspense. Places and characters are all accurately described. I personally like the way Agatha Christie writes.
© Martina Ben