• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    amaryllisturman on [836] The Girl on the Train…
    Andrea on [829] Inferno – Dan…
    Matthew on [825] Paradise Lost -John…
    Anokatony on [825] Paradise Lost -John…
    Matthew on The King’s English Books…
    Katie Marie on The King’s English Books…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 997,321 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,723 other followers

[729] Peril at End House – Agatha Christie

1end

” It has happened. In spite of everything—in spite of my precautions, it has happened. ” (Ch.8, The Fatal Shawl, p.77)

Peril at End House is one of Christie’s cleverest books and yet not as known as, say, Murder on the Orient Express. It’s set in Cornwall, where Poirot is on holiday with the narrator, Captain Hastings, whose dry comment on the case to follow often balances the Belgian investigator’s self-satisfaction. While Poirot is happy to be in retirement, his ego is indeed still thriving.

Then he meets Nick Buckley who tells of her three “accident brushes with death.” When the small neat hole found on Nick’s bonnet is found to be made by a bullet, Poirot knows peril is very close at hand, even though she treats it all as a joke. Indeed it seems as though Poirot is right, and in spite of all his precautions, murder happens, right outside the Peril House. The alleged curse that the house is haunted and only evil can come out of it is more than alive. Nick’s cousin, Maggie, who was wearing Nick’s shawl, was shot.

Poirot sets off to investigate everyone’s motive—and he suspects everyone around Nick. There’s the housekeeper Ellen who seemed very surprised Maggie was the victim; the mysterious and affected Frederica; the cousin Charlie, who will inherit Peril House in the event of Nick’s death; the art collector Lazarus; and the old Australian couple who rented out the lodge house from Nick. The interesting thing about this mystery is that Poirot has been wrong, and his ego badly hurt. But quickly he redeems himself and discovers what he has overlooked.

Peril at End House has many twists and turns as usual with an Agatha Christie plot and everyone is not what they seem to be. Though money is the ulterior motive, identity plays a crucial role in this rather convoluted mystery. The whole atmosphere of the old derelict house is fantastic. The solution has crossed my mind, but not as a real option. It’s an overlooked but clever mystery, and rare that the actual murder doesn’t happen until about a third of the way.

226 pp. William Morrow. Trade Paper. [Read|Skim|Toss] [Buy|Borrow]

2 Responses

  1. I think Peril at End House is one of Christie’s best, but I’ve seen several reviews lately that weren’t favourable. I’m glad to find someone else who enjoyed it!

  2. I’m actually not very fond of this one. I’m not a huge Poirot fan, and this, along with The Big Four and Murder on the Links, is where I find him to be the most annoying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: