Some of Agatha Christie's mysteries are more about characters and some are more about mystery, and this is one of the latter. That's not to say that the characters are poor, only that the mystery itself takes center stage. It's a real whodunnit: A dinner party includes 4 criminals, whom the host claims to know have each gotten away with murder, and 4 sleuths, both professionals and amateurs......and while the 4 criminals are in a room playing bridge, one of them quietly and secretly murders the host. Whodunnit, and how will Poirot figure it out? Keep listening and find out.
Hugh Fraser does a terrific job, as I've enjoyed in the past.
I really do enjoy these well-narrated Agatha Christie novels, and this one doesn't disappoint. Although I'm not a huge fan of the egotistical Poirot, I am a big fan of Christie's mysteries and her (other) characters and, yes, Poirot is growing on me, if only as a somewhat laughable genius.
This mystery involves a series of alphabetical murders - the person's name and their town, running down the alphabet - that have been fortold in a series of taunting letters sent to Poirot, daring him to stop them or solve them. For reasons that later become apparent, it takes Poirot to the fourth murder (in Doncaster) to solve the problem and find the murder. In the interim, there are suspects, witnesses, red herrings, subtle clues, and a roulette wheel.
I recently found out that the character of Arthur Hastings (Poirot's friend who chronicles many of his adventures in several Agatha Christie novels) was played for almost 25 years on TV by the narrator of this book, Hugh Fraser. A nice match.
This story is narrated in the first person by Captain Hastings, played in the well known British TV series "Agatha Christie's Poirot" by the narrator of this book, Hugh Fraser. It's a perfect match, and Fraser is a wonderful performer on many Agatha Christie audiobooks. He's terrific. This was Dame Christie's first book, and is also the first appearance of Hercule Poirot, recently arrived in England from the German-occupied Belgium of WW I.
The mystery is well crafted and well written, with all the clues laid out but well hidden under red herrings and the setting of a family manor home during the deprivations and suspicions of a country at war.