Book Review : Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

November 14, 2016 Book review 15 ★★★★

I’m on a quest to read every last one of the books by the Queen of Crime, the dame herself.  So I course I snuck Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie into my HoHoHo Readathon books.

Book Review : Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha ChristieHercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
Published by Harper on 19 Dec 1938
Genres: cosy mystery, Crime, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Library

It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. The tyrannical Simeon Lee has been murdered, and Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate.

Motives for Murder:
A fortune in uncut diamonds, hidden by an eccentric old man
A woman's love, too freely given
A business empire built on ruthlessness

Each of them may have been a motive for the brutal slaying of wealthy old Simeon Lee. Coupled with Lee's family, each member of which hated him and wished to see him dead, they presented Hercule Poirot with a baffling challenge--one which the astute detective solved only through his uncanny ability to see "the little things."

CRIME Murder Mystery Page-Turner suspense

My thoughts on Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Don’t expect:

– A holly jolly Christmas read with happy families singing carols around the Christmas tree
– Poirot to be in a festive mood.  He seems to be a bit of a grinch.  A realist maybe.  But there is grinch tones.

“There is at Christmas time a great deal of hypocrisy, honourable hypocrisy, hypocrisy undertaken pour le bon motif, c’est entendu, but nevertheless hypocrisy!”

Do expect:

– a gory murder with gallons of blood spilt
– a feuding family
– a house full of suspects, each with a motive
– lots of moustaches
– a perfectly planned plot
– to get annoyed with Poirot when he states how everything points to one solution, and you are staring blankly at your book wondering if you missed a few pages along the way.
– a totally unexpected culprit
– a debate about central heating versus wood fires
– lots of dialogue (nb – pay attention to the dialogue)
– a very satisfying read

Overall huge thumbs up.  I’ll never love Poirot as much as I do crafty Miss Marple but I do enjoy his large opinion on himself and his impressive little grey cells that know everything.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie?

If you’ve enjoyed Agatha Christie before then you won’t need any recommendations from me, you’ll know she is master plot planner. If you haven’t read one before, I’d suggest you start with And Then There Were None as that is my favourite so far. Also if you love mysteries but have dismissed these books as stuffy and old-fashioned, you should try one and let AC woo you in to her massive fan base


Talk to Trish: Do you read Agatha Christie books?  What is your favourite one?  What do you think about Poirot’s thoughts on Christmas?


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15 Responses to “Book Review : Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie”

  1. Lark

    That’s a great reading quest! I just checked Murder on the Orient Express out of the library because it was the next Christie on my list; but your review really makes me want to read this one, too. 🙂
    Lark recently posted…Cold Comfort Farm

    • trish

      I loved Murder on the Orient Express Lark, the setting is fab! But this is a nice one to read for the upcoming season too.

  2. Toady

    I like the sounds of this quest that your on. I haven’t read an Agatha Christy book since I was very young, and have vowed to read/ reread all of them at some point to. I have And Then There Were None on my shortlist.
    I would love to read Hercule Poirot’s Christmas for the holidays, but it isn’t meant to be this year because I have a real thing for only reading series in order.
    Terrific review.
    Toady recently posted…Nonfiction November: Fiction / Nonfiction Book Pairings

    • trish

      It’s a fun quest and I pick up the books whenever I find them in second-hand bookshops as I just love collecting them. And The There Were None is still my favourite so I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Rita @ View From My Books

    I don’t read Agatha Christie,truthfully. Oh I read And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express, her popular ones, way long time ago– maybe 25-30 years ago? So, I really don’t know if I would enjoy them. I guess I assumed they would be “stuffy”. But my tastes have changed several times over the years, so who know? Funny to hear buckets of blood spilled– not cozy, lol? Really, the blurb up there sounds like fun. Maybe I will give it a try after all.
    Rita @ View From My Books recently posted…Ending HoHoHo Readathon Today- Final Results

    • trish

      This book was dedicated to her brother-in-law who felt who books weren’t bloody enough! So she went to town here for him 🙂 I love dipping in and out of them as they are superbly plotted.

  4. Toady

    I wanted to read this so bad for the Ho Ho Ho Readathon, but I have a real thing for reading series books in order and I still have the first of this series to read. I had no idea that it was so gory, and at Christmas? I expected something closer to Noir. Either way, it sounds like a great read. I look forward to making my way to it one day.
    Toady recently posted…Nonfiction November: Fiction / Nonfiction Book Pairings

    • trish

      I only realised the other day that I’ve never read the first book in this series so I put it on my Christmas wishlist! The characters are so well known via tv shows and films, that I don’t really mind reading out of order though. And each book is standalone. That said it would be nice to read to them in the right order!

  5. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    I remember this book as being interesting and entertaining — if, as you point out a bit grim and grinchy for Christmas. I haven’t re-read it in years, but since sometime last year we have been rewatching all the Poirot episodes with David Suchet. They did a good job with this one, and as I recall the book, the adaptation was reasonably faithful to it. And it’s definitely one of those surprise endings that Christie pulls off so well. Nice review!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…HoHoHo Read-A-Thon Wrap-Up (2016)

    • trish

      I love watching the Poirot tv shows, they are great. I haven’t ever seen this one on screen but will do so soon now that I’ve read the book. And yes I was totally shocked at the ending, one of the few I never suspected!

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