A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, December 20, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Hercule Poirot's Christmas


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. 



Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot, #20)Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie is a 1938 publication.

A masterful Golden Age mystery!!

Simeon Lee, a difficult old man, blessed with wealth, but cursed with bad health, has invited his adult children home for the holidays. One might believe the old man has become sentimental and is hoping for a reconciliation and perhaps forgiveness from his family before he passes on.

However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. It would seem that Lee, the host of this less than cheerful gathering, is playing some dastardly tricks on the people who hope to inherit his fortune.

Unfortunately, his game backfires horribly, leaving investigators with a house full of suspects and a puzzling locked room mystery on their hands. Thankfully, Hercule Poirot has kindly offered his assistance in solving the case.

"Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?"

When I was younger, if I were to grab an Agatha Christie novel, for some reason, I always chose a Miss Marple mystery.

But, over the years Hercule Poirot became my favorite of Christie’s detectives. However, there are still many books in this series I have yet to read- and this was one of them.

While I understand that some aficionados have suggested it might be wise to read ‘Three Act Tragedy’ or ('Murder in Three Acts"), before reading this one, but I wanted to read a holiday themed mystery so I skipped way ahead. ( I honestly don’t think it really matters what order you read them in- but purists will be purists-😁😁 - and I'm just in this for the fun- so... )

Christie’s trademark twists kept me on my toes in this solid whodunit/locked room mystery!!

I didn’t figure out who the murderer was and loved the clever red herrings Christie used. I also enjoyed her tongue in cheek humor, poking fun at her own tendency to avoid too much graphic violence and her slight sarcasm about ‘locked room’ mysteries, carefully avoiding any insult to the reader’s intelligence.

Although I thought Poirot was maybe a bit subdued in this installment, I can’t think of a better way to wind up my 2019 holiday reading than with a solid Golden Age mystery written by the queen of crime herself!






Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

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