Hercule Poirots Christmas
Wealthy Simeon Lee, one-time diamond prospector but now an invalid, invites all his family to spend Christmas with him at his mansion somewhere in the English midlands. It is some time since they have all been together and he has planned a happy, festive family reunion you might think. Wrong!
In ‘Hercule Poirot’s Christmas’ Agatha Christie creates one of her most unlikeable characters in Simeon Lee. He taunts his sons with his wealth and their dependence, calls them weaklings and seems to have time only for Pilar, (the child of his diseased daughter who had made her home in Spain) whom Simeon had never seen until now. Simeon berates and humiliates the rest of them in the crudest of ways and we really can’t help but feel that he is ‘asking for it.‘ Included in the family gathering is Simeon’s son Harry, the black sheep of the family and Stephen Farr, the son of Simeon’s old prospecting partner.
‘Hercule Poirot’s Christmas’ is that eternally fascinating thing a ‘locked room’ mystery. Because when the murder happens, the room door has to be broken open and the windows are locked shut - great stuff!
Poirot is spending Christmas nearby with Colonel Johnson, the Chief Constable of the County and of course his help is requested and found to be invaluable. (Colonel Johnson also appears in the earlier ‘Three Act Tragedy’ and it would be a good idea to read that before reading ‘Hercule Poirots Christmas as they do discuss the case and the murderer.)
The first time I read this book was when I went on holiday with a school friend and her parents. My friend’s mother saw what I was reading and said, ‘Oh, I’ve read that, it’s ever so good, ……is the murderer!!’ So I can claim in all honesty that there is at least one Agatha Christie book where I knew who the villain was half way through!
‘Hercule Poirot’s Christmas’ is one of Agatha’s goriest novels. One of the characters actually quotes from ‘Macbeth’saying ‘Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?’
All Agatha’s books have surprise endings of course, but to my mind, this is one of the greats.
You can get hold of Hercule Poirot’s Christmas via the following links.Hercule Poirot's Christmas