Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

agathaAgatha Christie, queen of crime writing, was the first crime novelist whose work of this kind I read.  It remains my favourite genre.  Her style of plotting is one that I like too. Peril At End House was one book in a set given to me by my mother as a Christmas present.

It involves Christie’s idiosyncratic creation, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. He is a wonderful vehicle for solving a murder mystery.

Peril At End House starts in a beautiful part of the UK. So, while on holiday by the sea in St. Loo, Cornwall with his trusted companion Captain Arthur Hastings, Poirot suffers a fall and injures his ankle.  While there, they meet Nick Buckley, a young woman who lives at End House.  She seems to be accident prone.   She is heiress of a local estate.  Nick tells them that she has had three potentially life-ending accidents in the last three days. Poirot suspects more than mere chance is behind these events so he decides to protect her and find the killer.   Strange connections surface between distant peril-at-end-houserelatives, an absent pilot and a local gang of friends.

 

Nick’s best friend is Frederica is a woman separated from her violent husband.  It seems she is a drug user.   Frederica tells Poirot that Nick lies a lot. The Crofts are an Australian couple who have rented a lodge at End House but seem a bit too friendly.  When Poirot learns that Mr. Croft mailed Nick’s Will to her lawyer, but that it was never received, he suspects the Crofts of foul play too.

Poirot also discovers her lawyer is her closest living relative and fears he might want to have End House for his own. Lots of suspects are in the mix and the danger continues to grow.

Peril At End House is crafted with Christie’s usual style and the tension is cleverly layered until Poirot finally reveals the explanation in full.  It is not a long book and is quick to read, but I did enjoy it very much. If you enjoy a traditional murder mystery, I highly recommend it.

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