‘Did General Ravenscroft kill Lady Ravenscroft or was she the one holding the gun? Many years later their daughter would like to know, so her godmother Ariadne Oliver, asking Hercule poirot to investigate.’
I tried to like this book, as I do with every book I pick up but even the best authors in their genre sometimes let slip a drab, dull book.
The hallmarks that make Christie books fun are the good plots that keep you guessing, a touch of humour and a pacy plot. I didn’t really find any of those things in this one.
Any story with Hercule Poirot (which has to be said in that Belgian accent) is usually entertaining, and he is on fine form it has to be said but the pedestrian plot doesn’t give him much to work with. His fixation on certain items that puzzled him didn’t help, as I was loudly remonstrating and pointing out the obvious. In a crowded place, in the middle of town. On a busy day.
The other character of the piece,Ariadne Oliver, (whois a reoccurring character in Christie books and whom I shall be avoiding after this showing) is completely annoying and a one joke character. She is forgetful sometimes. That’s it. Theres not a lot of mirth to be had after the first time she shows off her trait. She is a classic love or loathe character.
This is a poor book by Christie’s standards, it has nothing like the coherence and structure of her earlier books. It was very slow starting, the reader is ‘treated’ to lots of talking and not much in the way of people doing things. Ploughing through all the talking took a lot of doing, which for such a short book is always a bit annoying. With a very, very predictable ending the book doesn’t redeem itself with any sort of classic twist. It really needs more direction and to be injected with a pacier edge.
Maybe I am being overly mean but I think this is definitely one for the fans only. I don’t think this will convert many to her writings, happily she has written tons more, better books, so go seek those first. I’m sure even the elephants remembered to avoid this. I’d give it a two out of five, if I did my reviews with ratings, but I don’t.