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Hallowe'en Party: A Hercule Poirot…

Hallowe'en Party: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) (original 1969; edition 2011)

by Agatha Christie

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2,803693,040 (3.46)106
Title:Hallowe'en Party: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2011), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie (1969)



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In which a young girl is killed, and Ariadne Oliver calls in an old friend.

It’s no surprise that Dame Agatha came to rely on Ariadne Oliver as Poirot’s familiar in his last novels. Aside from being a dynamic character in her own right, and a fun fictionalisation of Christie, Mrs. Oliver is an extension of the themes in the last Poirot installments: his world-weariness, and his disconnection from the world, a world which no longer relies upon the same kinds of social mores and interpersonal tricks that he excelled at recognising. But despite the power of such a change to one of crime fiction’s most fascinating detectives, Christie’s age – and, ironically, her own disconnection from the modern world – prevented her from chronicling this with her younger self’s zest.

The more recent episodes of the David Suchet series (creeping in from Series Nine, and in full throttle by Series Twelve, when "Hallowe’en Party" was adapted) have taken up this element of the character to considerable success. "Hallowe’en Party" was a decidedly successful adaptation, with Suchet and Zoë Wanamaker giving strong performances in the lead roles, and the director and designer taking full advantage of the creepiness allowed by a Halloween setting and airdate.

To the book, then: there’s no denying that "Hallowe’en Party" shows some of the structural faults from Christie’s late period. Not all the clues fold out into anything, and there are too many characters cluttering up the narrative. The return of Superintendent Spence – not included in the TV adaptation – is also under-realised. Yet, it remains one of my personal favourites. Mrs. Oliver has a stand-out appearance, and I personally was caught up in the novel’s atmosphere. Christie shows an almost sadistic delight in the brutality, too. Not that this is necessary, or even desirable much of the time. But here we are as compelled as the aged Poirot to track down someone who could commit this vile crimes, and the nature of the murder – a far cry from poison over tea and scones – ties in yet again to the world-weariness Poirot exhibits.

Poirot ranking: 9th out of 38 ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Audiobook read by John Moffatt.

Mrs Rowena Drake is hosting a Hallowe’en Party for the teens in her area. Mrs Ariadne Oliver, who is visiting a friend, has been roped into helping with the party preparations. During preparations she meets a young fan, Joyce Reynolds, who states she loves Mrs Oliver’s mystery books. That evening during the party itself, Joyce is found drowned in a bucket intended for apple bobbing. Who could possibly have murdered a child?! Ariadne asks her good friend Hercule Poirot for assistance.

I love Hercule Poirot, although he can sometimes be insufferably smug and “superior.” I love the way he puzzles out a problem, sees the clues in seemingly inconsequential events and facts, and puts the whole together to reveal the culprit. This time he has the immediate murder of Joyce to solve, but he quickly learns that she had claimed to have witnessed a murder once. What possible murder could she have witnessed? Or was this just an idle boast intended to get attention from a mystery writer she admired? There are no unsolved open cases, but a couple of deaths that MIGHT be suspicious. Could one of those have been murder? Could Joyce have actually seen something?

Christie gives us plenty of options, including more than one red herring. I didn’t figure this one out until Poirot revealed the culprit.
John Moffatt does a fine job narrating the audiobook. I like his interpretation of Poirot, but he has a deep voice that just isn’t right for most of the women, and certainly not for the teenagers involved. ( )
  BookConcierge | Oct 26, 2018 |
Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie was originally published in 1969 and I have to say that I much prefer Agatha Christie when her books are set in an earlier decade. Hallowe’en Party is set in the 1960’s and the author seems to rotate from being dismayed, amused or disinclined to understand the culture, fashion or music of the day. While I always enjoy reading about Hercule Poirot, this isn’t one of her best mysteries. I suspect that toward the end of her writing career, this being her 39th Poirot story, she often was writing by rote.

Poirot is called upon by his friend Ariadne Oliver to solve the murder of a 13 year old girl, killed at a Halloween party. She had earlier been bragging that she had once seen a murder, and although most people dismissed her as a liar, it seems apparent that a murderer believed her.

I would hesitate to recommend this book to first time Christie readers. I suggest they start with her earlier works and leave Hallowe’en Party to the die-hard fans who will be more willing to accept the stilted dialogue and murky plot. This book in no way lessens my love of this author’s work, but I will definitely be looking for one of her earlier novels next time. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Oct 23, 2018 |
The ending was pretty absurd and over the top, not one of Christie's best. Still, an enjoyable read, especially Ariadne Oliver's complaints about Poirot. I think Christie was getting a little tired of her detective! ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
''The past is the father of the present.

The ''crime'' writers who write like Christie are few. The ones who try to write mysteries similar to her own are non-existent. I may sound harsh, but those who struggle to imitate her should take a step back and reconsider. And why is that? Because she understood, embraced and elevated to a whole new level the implications of the past when facing the present. As horrible as a present situation may be, the roots of all evil lie in the deeds of the past. This is present to every work of the Queen of Crime. In my opinion, ''Hallowe'en Party'' delivers this notion in a highly atmospheric manner and presents one of the most elaborate crimes Agatha ever delivered.

13 year old Joyce, a little busybody who wants to be in the centre of attention, is found murdered in a tub filled with apples, in a twisted apple-bobbing game on Halloween. Hercule and the wonderful Ariadne Oliver are called to solve the crime. In this work, sexual passion and obsession are the motives that guide each suspect and there is a plethora of fascinating stories of people attracted to beauty, vice and a twisted notion of love. Agatha creates a unique atmosphere, with prominent descriptions of the Halloween festivities, the beautiful garden, the temptations that guide the characters to questionable deeds. The snapdragon scene, a haunting game that isn't included in many works of Fiction, is among my favourites in all of Christie's novels and stories. Not to mention that I love Ariadne to pieces. I think she's an exciting character on her own and the proper equivalent to our beloved Hercule. And, naturally, the ITV film production was perfect, despite some deviations from the novel.

If you want to experience Halloween through Crime Fiction, don't look further. ''Hallowe'en Party'' is just what you want, with a healthy dose of good old British mystery. Can't get any more perfect than that...
( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Almeida, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baudou, JacquesPréfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Durivaux, ClaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haugen, KimInnl.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Honsel, T.Traduttoresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Κυριαζής, ΑχιλλέαςTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kasteren, Lambert vanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krzysztof MasłowskiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liebe, Poul IbTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liivamägi, UrveTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Margalef Llambrich, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masłowski, KrzysztofTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffatt, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thommessen, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van de Berg, AlbertPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Kasteren, LambertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To P. G. Wodehouse
whose books and stories have brightened my
life for many years. Also to show my pleasure
in his having been kind enough to tell me
that he enjoys my books
First words
Mrs. Ariadne Oliver had gone with the friend with whom she was staying, Judith Butler, to help with the preparations for a children's party which was to take place that same evening.
(Judith Butler on teenage parties:) "Peculiar drugs and -- what do they call it? -- Flower Pot or Purple Hemp or L.S.D., which I always have thought just meant money, but apparently it doesn't."
"I suppose it costs it," suggested Ariadne Oliver.
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From the back

The guests included ghoulies, ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties. But the scariest ingredient of the party was the little girl who claimed to have witnessed a murder.

Of course, no one believed her...until she was drowned that very night.

Now the great detective, Herule Poirot, must unmask the murderer amongst the things that go bump in the night...

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425129632, Mass Market Paperback)

At a Hallowe'en party, Hercule Poirot aids mystery writer Ariadne Oliver in an investigation into the murder of a young girl-who may have witnessed a murder herself. But unmasking the killer proves more daunting than bobbing for apples.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:04 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A Hercule Poirot Mystery.

(summary from another edition)

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