Book Review: Peril at End House by Agatha Christie (1932)

Synopsis: While vacationing with his friend, Arthur Hastings, the now-retired Hercule Poirot encounters a young woman, Nick Buckley. There is nothing overly special about Nick. She has only a few friends, has no money and her family home, End House, is heavily mortgaged. Yet, somebody is trying to kill her.

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Review: When I started reading this book earlier this month, I was excited to get back to reading what sounded like it would be an interesting whodunit mystery. I managed to finish the book a little earlier today (while waiting for an oil change) and I have to say this is now one of my favorite Agatha Christie novels.

This was definitely an interesting mystery, largely because the young Nick Buckley is such an unlikely would-be victim. Poirot has every reason to suspect her life is in danger from the start and that suspicion seemed to be confirmed when her cousin, Maggie, is murdered in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity.

However, at the same time, there seems to be no real motive for killing her. She is far from being rich and any potential heir would end up with a house that has a mortgage attached to it. And, while her "friends" all are a little suspicious, there was no indication any of them would benefit, in any way, if she was no longer around.

In fact, even when the potential motive for her murder is finally revealed about halfway through the novel, her would-be killer still isn't obvious. There are two who seemingly would benefit from her death. But, neither of them ever gives any sort of indication they even know they will benefit.

I will confess, the twist at the end of this book was definitely something I wasn't expecting, though, in hindsight, I probably should have. Plus, not only does Poirot catch the killer, he also exposes a wanted fugitive and a drug dealer all in one reveal. I almost had a hard time keeping up and loved every minute of it.

Final Opinion: This is a classic mystery novel that kept me stumped throughout and, because of that, I enjoyed every page. It's definitely one I'm glad I took the time to read.

My Grade: A


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