17 Dec 2010


The fifth and therefore officially the last book to be read for my Holiday Reading Challenge 2010 (click HERE for details and HERE to post reviews) but hopefully I have yet another book to read and review.
Hercule Poirot's Christmas was also read by ANNE @ Learning To Juggle

Christmas Eve and the Lee family's reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, and a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies in a pool of blood; his throat slashed.

When Hercule Poirot offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man.
...... from the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: Stephen pulled up the collar of his coat as he walked briskly along the platform.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: You have said that Christmas is a season of good cheer. That means, does it not, a lot of eating and drinking? It means, in fact, the overeating! And with the overeating there comes the indigestion! And with the indigestion there comes the irritability!

Hands up all those who have yet to read any Agatha Christie. Up until now this would have included me - hard to believe but true.

My first impressions? For such a world renowned author, isn't this book badly written. Akin to something I would expect of an o'level student aged 16 or so, I could not believe how badly constructed this was and, though in no way Christie's fault, the number of spelling mistakes and misprints in this (2001) edition was unbelievable. Not at all what I expected.

As for the story itself? I think dated is the word I would use. In an inscription to her brother-in-law in the first few pages, Christie writes

".......... You yearned for a 'good violent murder with lots of blood' A murder where there was no doubt about it being a murder."

Oh dear, I don't particularly like mention of too much blood but I'm afraid that this 'violent' murder with lots of blood may well have been cutting-edge when it was first published in 1938 but by today's standards is very tame.

A good, old fashioned whodunit set in far more genteel times. Personally I prefer my crime novels to be a bit more gritty and, preferably, solved by forensics rather than a dapper little Austrian men with great observational skills.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas was a library book read.


Trac~ said...

Happy weekend my friend! Thanks for the book review! Have a great weekend and stay warm! Thanks for stopping by to say hello yesterday! Hope to catch up soon! :) xoxoxo

Arti said...

I have my hands up too!! Never read Agatha cristie!!!
This looked good from the outer cover, though my excitement fizzled out soon as I read your review...

Su said...

I've never read Agatha Christie, either, although she lurks in the back of my mind as someone to read. But I did enjoy the episode of Doctor Who with her in it.

I guess her books are all period pieces now. It's interesting to think that just by waiting around for seventy years, she ended up writing historical fiction. :)

bookaddict4real said...

Hi I was stopping by to thank you for visiting my book blog. I wish I had know about this challenge before now. Thanks again for stopping by.

Melissa said...

I tried Agatha Christie once upon a time, but I was too young for it, I think haha I couldn't enjoy it! Perhaps I should try again now, eh?

Happy Friday! :D

Boonie S said...

Interesting review. I like your style.

All the best, Boonie

Suko said...

Petty, it sounds as if this mystery did not meet your expectations. Spelling mistakes and misprints would certainly bug me as well.

Kelly said...

You're not alone because I've still yet to read an Agatha Christie. I did see the stageplay of Mousetrap in London one time, but haven't read any of her books.

Maybe someday, but not anytime soon.

Vivienne said...

I have only read one and although I enjoyed it I would say now that perhaps it was a little out dated. I would imagine the copy you had of this book is responsible for the spelling mistakes and misprints, you would probalby need a better reprint.

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never read anything by Agatha Christie, either. I'm not sure I will anytime soon; it depends.

GMR said...

*types with one hand raised*
Haven't read any of this infamous authors works either....though it doesn't sound like this title was particularly enthralling. Oh well...better luck next time. Have a great weekend and happy reading!

BLHmistress said...

Hopping around to wish you a happy Holiday. A new follower as well.

My Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop

Melissa Gill said...

I've never read any Agatha Christie either. Mainly for the reasons you mentioned. I assumed they'd be old fashioned. Thanks for confirming. Congrats on getting your 5 Christmas books read, with over a week to spare!

dr.antony said...

Wanted to know how you were doing.Pl write when you find time.

Howard Sherman said...

This might be the best Book Blogger Hop question I've seen to date.

So what's the answer? Plot! Hop over to my blog and let me tell you how a good plot rescued bad characters from bad book oblivion.

Howard Sherman

naida said...

I read this one a while ago and thought it was okay. I know what you mean about it being dated.

Jenners said...

I would think that her books would be better edited!!!! You should give her another try ... but maybe go with a more well-known of her books.

Anne said...

Thanks for the link.

While I enjoyed the novel more than you did, I can certainly understand how it feels dated and less "gritty". In fact, my mother refers to Agatha Christie mysteries as "cozies".

If I were going to recommend a Christie novel, the first would be And Then There Were None. But if you enjoy the Poirot character, Murder on the Orient Express is a lot of fun - it was inspired by the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping. If that doesn't date it too much!

Wakela Runen said...

I have actually read several of her books. I think mainly because my sister has her entire collection. They are very dry to read. I think it is because we are so used to things being much faster paced now.

I haven't read this one though.

<a href="http://www.wakelarunen.com>Wakela's World</a>