Christmas goes wrong. Poirot solves mystery.
In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder — and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case. The wealthy Simeon Lee has demanded that all four of his sons — one faithful, one prodigal, one impecunious, one sensitive — and their wives return home for Christmas. But a heartwarming family holiday is not exactly what he has in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults and finally announces that he is cutting off their allowances and changing his will. Poirot is called in the aftermath of Simeon Lee’s announcement.
Merry Christmas readers!
This book joined my shelf sometime last year when I was stocking up on Agatha Christie books. I sadly have to admit I watched the TV show version (the one with David Suchet) before reading the book. 🤦♀️ The book is SOOOOO much better than the TV episode. Some characters are dropped in the TV show.
The setting of this book is in the Lee household over the Christmas period. It is a quintessential English Christmas where the whole family is invited even though it is sure to cause tension within the family. Personality types clash and Simone Lee, the father and head of the household, drops a classic Christie bombshell – his will is going to be changed. No one knows who is in favor and who will be included. That night, however, he is murdered in a seemingly violent way, with an ear-piercing scream and blood all over the floor. Poirot is called in to solve the case and does so, unraveling a complex and deceptive mystery, surrounding a simple plot.
The characters were easily identifiable as they were stereotypical, though numerous. These included: the prodigal son, the dutiful son, the unwell son, the sensitive son, as well as the foreign young woman and the old friend. An interesting thing about this book is that nothing is as it seems and there is much double crossing and triple crossing. I could pick up the subtle hints and foreshadowing early in the book, which made perfect sense at the end when the culprit was revealed.
To help you solve the case before Poirot (is it even possible?!) I will give you a hint: It’s all in appearances.
The style of writing was typical Christie, simple but in 1930s language. Everything that is included is for a purpose.
I gave this read 5/5 stars as the culprit is again who you least expect ***cough cough, and speaks rapidly*** although I did expect this person as I saw the episode. Sorry! Poirot solves the case most expertly. This read was rapid, so if your looking for a quick Christmas read to fit into your other festivities, this is the one, a true family drama. There were no let downs to this book; it was witty and humorous with a dramatic murder mystery.
Except one let down, actually on my part, please readers it would be great if you could help me out here: What was the motive? Was it the diamonds?
I would recommend this to any Christie fans or anyone up for a Christmas-y whodunnit. I would give an age limit to ages 16+ as it was a little gory, sorry I should be honest here, A LOT GORY. Check out the Content Warning below for more info. It is a great book though, highly entertaining.
Content Warning: Gory death, murder, talk of children born out of wedlock and affairs. Minor sexual references.
Release Date: 19 December 1938
What’s In A Name?
The meaning of the title is pretty obvious. I probably don’t need to go into it, but, well, the mystery takes place over the Christmas period. It may also be implying that the mystery is Hercule Poirot’s Christmas and that he never gets a break from detective-ing. There is always a mystery to be solved. He can’t go anywhere without a mystery popping up (anyone feeling Nancy Drew vibes, that girl has an uncanny knack of attracting mysteries).
And families now, families who have been separated throughout the year, assemble once more together. Now under these conditions, my friend, you must admit that there will occur a great amount of strain. People who do not feel amiable are putting great pressure on themselves to appear amiable! There is at Christmas time a great deal of hypocrisy, honorable hypocrisy, hypocrisy undertaken pour le bon motif, c’est entendu, but nevertheless hypocrisy.Poirot – very true Poirot, very true
- What was the motive?
- What are your favorite Christmas reads?
- Have you watched the David Suchet TV show or read any other Christie’s?
Well, Merry Christmas readers!
I will be having a little hiatus over the Christmas period and will see you in the new year! Remember: Christmas is just one day in the calendar year and don’t get too worked up over getting the day what you want it to be. It is better to give than to receive. If you want to see some bookish gift ideas check out this post.