Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Peril at End House (1932)

From the Harper Collins website:

"Nick Buckley was an unusual name for a pretty young woman. But then she had led an unusual life. First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car failed. Then on a coastal path, a falling boulder missed her by inches. Later, an oil painting fell and almost crushed her in bed."

The Times Literary Supplement says "the actual solution is quite unusually ingenious." SPOILER ALERT! And they are right! The murderer is Nick herself, the very same person Poiret is trying to protect! And, naturally, she isn't trying to kill herself but someone with her same name in order to gain their inheritance.

I guessed it ... well in advance and believe Agatha Christie wants us to arrive at the solution long before it becomes officially known, making the conclusion that much more satisfying to her readers.

How does she do it? In this novel, it was an over-exaggeration of drama. Nick reacted just a little too much over the top and I said to myself, that doesn't sit right. Place that along side Christie's references to plays and theatre, and it's the only solution. Nick must be acting a part ... and so she was.

Great fun to read. You can also view the made-for-TV version in seven parts on youtube. Visually very satisfying.

To find on amazon: Peril at End House: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)

No comments: