AUTHOR: AGATHA CHRISTIE
Details: No. 36 Hercule Poirot Mystery
During the preparations for a Halloween party a young girl, Joyce, proclaims that she once saw a murder done. Nobody believes the girl, even though she insists it’s true, and the preparations for the party are finished without anyone paying anymore attention to the girl’s statement.
Later that evening, after the party has taken place and everybody is going home again, young Joyce is found, drowned in the bucket that was used for apple bobbing.
Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, an author of mysteries and friend of Hercule Poirot, was present when the girl made her bold statement and turns to the Belgian detective for help. She convinced that the girl was murdered because of the statement she made, and she feels guilty because she also thinks that Joyce said what she did to impress her.
Poirot is intrigued and travels to Woodleigh Common to investigate and before long he stumbles upon other unsolved deaths, cases of forgery and disappearances although for a long time they all appear to be unrelated to each other.
By the time it all becomes clear to Poirot another child has died and a third one is in mortal danger.
It has been a very long time since I last read a book by Agatha Christie. When I was a teenager she was my introduction to adult mysteries as well as the first author I read in English and it was nice to get reacquainted with her and Poirot after so many years.
This is of course a typical Christie mystery. A relative small cast of suspects, a village filled with gossip and people with dubious motives and secrets to hide and enough clues to help Poirot solve the case but not quite enough for the reader to do the same.
Having said that, I had part of the mystery solved as soon as a particular character was introduced and other answers seemed self-evident, although that may be the result of years of reading mysteries.
I enjoyed this return to the world of Agatha Christie and her characters and now that the library where I work has a shelf full of her books, I think I’ll be reading more of her mysteries in months to come.