When I first heard that there was going to be a new Poirot mystery, I was absolutely buzzing (and even that feels like a bit of an understatement). Surprisingly (or maybe not so much), it took a little while for me to even open the book. I spent a good couple of hours lightly tracing my fingers across the cover and was generally in awe at the sheer magnificence of it. Of course, upon opening it, my first instinct was to inhale that bookish smell – something that took another hour or so of my time.
The sheer delight that came with reading this book would be impossible to describe and therefore a pointless endeavour to be undertaken. Once again, Poirot was presented with a beautifully intricate mystery, which got more complicated as the story progressed. Details were meticulously thrown in, which lead to further confusion and frustration at what appeared to be an unsolvable case.
I loved how there were no coincidences within the story (after all the universe is rarely that lazy) despite the appearance of this being the case. How all these small details linked up was just incredible. But like always, what was amazing to say the least was how all the clues had already been given throughout – there were no hidden clues when Poirot revealed the events leading up to the murders and the culprits. The only thing left was to use order, method and the little grey cells to solve the mystery. As usual I tried my utmost hardest to try and solve the case alongside Catchpool and Poirot, so much so, that I even started to make my own lists of questions and facts that needed to be honed in on. I can proudly say that I made a couple of connections that Catchpool had missed, but that was about it.
Let’s be honest, the end scene where all is revealed is the highlight of any Poirot book and not gonna lie, but I reread that a couple of times after finishing the story in its entirely just because of the sheer epicness.
As always, the characters were depicted as being psychologically complex as were their relationships with each other. There are never any clear-cut characters, which made for a somewhat thought provoking read. Touches of humour had also been thrown in, which mellowed out some of the more serious aspects of the narrative. Whilst I did miss the presence of Hastings (curiously though not so much Japp), it cannot be denied that Catchpool filled Hastings’ role nicely – by no means perfectly, but near enough.
In a nutshell, this was a book that I wanted to quickly read to solve the mystery but at the same time, I wanted to savour it. Similar to all the Poirot books, it seemed that the last page came all too soon and I was left hugging the book before going on to reread some of the scenes.
P.S. Why was the broom late for the meeting? It overswept 😉