“It is romantic, yes,” agreed Hercule Poirot. “It is peaceful. The sun shines. The sea is blue. But you forget, Miss Brewster, there is evil everywhere under the sun.”
Once, long ago, pirates and smugglers roamed this section of the Devon coast. Today, the island is home to the Jolly Roger Hotel, where a very different sort of piracy seems to be taking place. The hotel is abuzz over the apparent romance between former actress Arlena Marshall and Patrick Redfern, a handsome younger man. Three guests are especially worried by the gossip. Two of them are the lovers’ spouses, Stephen Marshall and Christine Redfern. The third is Hercule Poirot.
Such an explosive situation is bound to ignite. One morning, Arlena is found sunbathing on an isolated beach, her usual habit. The only difference is that this time, Arlena is dead. Continue reading “Evil Under the Sun (1941) by Agatha Christie”
“I am afraid,” he said simply. “Yes, I Hercule Poirot, am afraid.”
Heiress Linnet Ridgeway has everything. She’s beautiful, rich, and completely independent. When she meets handsome Simon Doyle, her happiness is complete. The fact that Simon is engaged to her friend Jacqueline de Bellefort is surely just a technicality. Jackie doesn’t see it that way, however. She devotes herself to making the couple miserable, trailing them wherever they go.
As Linnet confides to Hercule Poirot, the newlyweds hope that a Nile cruise will help them escape Jacqueline. But Jacqueline isn’t the only one who might be dangerous to them. Someone like Linnet, who has so much of everything and takes it all for granted, provokes strong reactions. In the shadow of ancient temples, death has never been nearer, leading to a shocking crime. It won’t be easy for even the great Poirot to uncover a shipload of deadly secrets. Continue reading “Death on the Nile (1937) by Agatha Christie”
“Has it got to be sleeping pills? […] I’m suggesting another method. Rather a sporting method, really. There’s some excitement in it, too. I’ll be fair with you. There’s just a hundred to one chance that you mightn’t die. But I don’t believe under the circumstances, that you’d really object by that time.”
At the height of the Cold War, famous scientists are disappearing all over the world. Thomas Betterton is only the latest. Government agents are convinced the researchers have been recruited by Communists. Betterton’s wife, Olive, insists she knows nothing of his whereabouts, but Jessop of the Secret Service believes she does. He thinks she will lead them straight to her husband. All they have to do is wait.
Hilary Craven has also lost her husband, under rather different circumstances. He left her for another woman, just before the death of their only child. The holiday that was meant to cheer her up has only reminded her how little she has to live for. On the verge of suicide, she is offered a surprising opportunity. The lives of Hilary Craven and Olive Betterton are about to intersect, and the fate of the free world may depend upon it. Continue reading “Destination Unknown (1954) by Agatha Christie”
“When planning a murder never depend upon a woman doing what she says she’ll do.”
As a famous actress, Jane Wilkinson is used to being the center of attention. But this time, she’s the one seeking an audience with a celebrity, master detective Hercule Poirot. Her request is simple: “M. Poirot, somehow or other I’ve just got to get rid of my husband!” Continue reading “Lord Edgware Dies (1933) by Agatha Christie”
“Nothing could be more agreeable than a juicy English apple—And yet here were apples mixed up with broomsticks, and witches, and old-fashioned folklore, and a murdered child.”
Everyone in Woodleigh Common agrees that Joyce Reynolds is not a nice little girl. So when she brags of having witnessed a murder, fellow guests at the Halloween party dismiss it as another of her tall tales. All except one—the murderer. By the end of the evening, young Joyce is dead, drowned while bobbing for apples.
Unfortunately for the killer, detective novelist Ariadne Oliver is also at the party. Soon her friend Hercule Poirot is on the case. What he finds is a perfect-looking community that is seething with dark secrets, a shiny red apple full of worms.
Continue reading “Hallowe’en Party (1969) by Agatha Christie”
“Like to see the picture of a murderer?”
Miss Marple’s nephew was very kind to send her to the West Indies. And it’s very pleasant to sit on the beach, beneath swaying palms. But isn’t it maybe just a tiny bit…dull?
Even when a fellow guest’s stories turn to murder, her attention wanders. Something about a man whose wife died after a previous suicide attempt; very sad, except that it had happened to him before, under another name. Major Palgrave even has a photograph of the man. Then he catches sight of someone over Miss Marple’s shoulder and hastily changes the subject, shoving the unseen snapshot back into his wallet.
Miss Marple wouldn’t have thought anything of it. Except that Major Palgrave dies that night. And the photograph has disappeared.
Continue reading “A Caribbean Mystery (1964) by Agatha Christie”