This is the 9th Hercule Poirot novel and was the recommended choice for this month’s Christie Reading Challenge which specified a book including a society figure. Its 1933 publication date means that it is the earliest of the novels I have read for the Challenge. I’m beginning to think that my suspicions that those featuring Poirot would not be my favourite of hers is coming true, I do find him a little hard to take as a character.
However, this is narrated by sidekick Captain Harding who I do like and who is as exasperated by the Belgian detective as I am, who wearies at any mention of “his little grey cells” which assist greatly in helping Poirot solve his cases.
I also like there being more than one corpse, thus whittling down the suspect list. My only real gripe is with characterisation. I feel that they are introduced well and I know who each is and the relationship to the victim initially but start to lose my grip on this mid-way through. I think this is because there is limited character growth. This was certainly a stronger feature in the later publication “The Hollow” I read in January so perhaps this is a way in which Christie developed as a writer.
It’s no spoiler to say that it is Lord Edgware who is the first victim here. His American actress wife has already met Poirot and enlisted his help before the nobleman’s demise. Other suspects include his heir, a disappearing butler, a film actor and a stage actress who impersonates Lady Edgware as part of her act. Poirot is keen to find out whodunnit before Inspector Japp and asks the right questions to the right people. Unusually this book ends with the confession by the killer which has been sent to Poirot so no looking to the last page or it will spoil everything. Next month the challenge is to read a story set before World War II. I’m hoping to read one of her stand-alone novels and it will be interesting to see if, as I suspect, I will favour these.
Lord Edgware Dies was published in 1933. I read a Harper Collins e-book which was available on Borrowbox, my library service’s online app. Further details about the Agatha Christie Challenge and Facebook/Instagram book groups on this title can be found at http://www.agathachristie.com.