Fireplaces, family gathering, gristly murder, fancy house full of holiday cheer...I'm a big fan of the author and as usual Poirot stuns with his crystal clear logic that takes some colorful turns, I tried my best to guess who the killer was and I did more work with this book than with my last read, I had some clues right but I was wrong again and it was still a satisfying mystery, the characters were colorful, interesting and quite memorable because I knew exactly who was who and everything about them, it made the puzzle solving so much richer and the search for the killer so much more rewarding.
In a nutshell a rich man, Simeon Lee is murdered right before Christmas after he finally took the time to get all of his immediate living family to join him for the holiday. Some members had past resentment and issues between them and old Simeon was banking on making some pranks from it, he liked a bit of fun you see with whomever he marked as weak and he considered most of his money taking children just that. The crime took a while to happen and you get to go along for the ride and observe both sides of the mystery before it even happened, in parts this reminded me of M.C Beaton's Death of a Prankster which was another marvelous holiday read, both books sit warmly in my heart now :)
The best advice that I could leave to those who want to solve the mystery is to pay attention to all the details, they are given to you on purpose, and think outside of the box, If I could go back in time I would check out all the book covers, some give hints to the clues; my edition made me chuckle when I looked at it after I finished. Imagine a whole house filled with random characters on Christmas, trapped in the snow covered mason surrounded by miles of forest that was a witness to a gristly murder, someone bad is between them, those frosty afternoon snow walks are no longer safer nor cheerful... ominous thoughts and feelings come down as another death is being planned...
This is a Hercule book# 19 but it can be read out of order, I often pick one out of the blue and they are always a good choice, the problem Is reading just one.
- Kasia S.