Peril at End House (1932) – Agatha Christie

It’s time to check in with that little Belgian investigator, Hercule Poirot, is doing. He and Hastings return in Agatha Christie’s Peril at End House. And to keep the genre fresh, this time Poirot and his slawart companion are determined to stop a murder before it happens.

When a chance meeting with Nick Buckley, a vivacious young woman, leads to the realisation that she seems to be targeted for murder, Poirot is intent on stopping the crime before it takes place. He and Hastings explore Nick’s home, End House, her friends, and her staff.

Hercule asks Nick for one of her famliy to come watch over her, someone he doesn’t think is involved in the attempts on her life, but that just puts someone in harm’s way, and the murderer strikes… missing Nick, but killing her cousin.

With the loss of one life, Poirot is fixated, near obsessed, with discovering the true criminal, and keeping Nick safe.

Christie delivers an engaging mystery, once again filled with her signature wit, interesting characters, and a convoluted investigation, that takes Poirot and Hastings to an answer that surprises everyone except for Poirot when he finally comes to it.

There are plenty of suspects, lots of opportunity, but is there a motive? The story weaves in secret engagements, a missing pilot with designs on flying around the world, hiding cons, secret panels, lost mail, and all those little grey cells.

It’s been a few weeks since I dove into a novel by Christie, and I fell right back into her writing style, pacing, and humour. I developed my own list of suspects, and had some ideas as to what whas really going on, but I was also happy to see where the story itself led. And I was delighted to learn that I was absolutely wrong in my choice of suspect.

I had so much fun with this book, perhaps because I hadn’t read one in a bit, that I just threw myself into it completely, and I burned through it quickly, looking for the clues that would lead to the guilty party, only to have Christie pull the rug out from under me in the last few pages.

But as you look back over the story you can see all the clues that lead to the actual reveal. I love it! She keeps her mysteries lively, and involved, filled with a variety of characters, and twists and turns aplenty, and there are so many more of them for me to discover.

I’m not sure my younger self would believe me if I told him how much I would love these novels, considering what a difficult time I had with them back then.

My next visit with Christie will be a collection of short stories featuring Miss Marple, in The Thirteen Problems.

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