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Evil Under the Sun (1941)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot (22)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,458562,628 (3.71)175
Agatha Christie's exotic seaside mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun... she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena's arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent 'crime of passion' have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?… (more)
  1. 80
    Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (Porua)
    Porua: Hercule Poirot and holidays never get on well together. Wherever Poirot goes death seems to stalk him. If anyone enjoys Evil under the Sun s/he should also enjoy Death on the Nile. Both books feature not only Poirot in a holiday mood but also women who are fatally attractive and men who desperately fall for them. But then things are not always what they seem.… (more)
  2. 00
    An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapeña (MissBrangwen)
    MissBrangwen: Both mysteries, although different in style, feature the murder of a similar character in a holiday setting.
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» See also 175 mentions

English (51)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Again a nice reread. ( )
  devendradave | Sep 1, 2020 |
I will say that "Evil Under the Sun" has some great quotes throughout, and the atmospheric setting is well done by Christie (she loves her island murder mysteries), but the why behind the murder of a character equaled me feeling baffled and I hate what Christie did to a strong female character. I actually kept trying to push forward on my Kindle hoping that was not the way that Christie ended the book, sadly it was.

"Evil Under the Sun" is the 24th Hercule Poirot book. We find our egg-shaped detective on vacation at the Jolly Roger in Devon. He and other vacationers are watching a tragic story play out between two couples (the Marshalls and the Redferns). Arlena Marshall is the type of woman that men just can't help being drawn to. When Patrick Redfern runs into her at the Jolly Roger, many people are just waiting for when the twosome finally get caught inflagrante delicto somewhere. The long suffering spouses (Kenneth and Christine) are just sitting around putting up with and in turns lashing out at others who are all wondering "so you just going to sit and watch? Or?"

When Arlena Marshall is found strangled to death on a secluded cove, many wonder if her passive husband finally snapped.

The characters in this one are very memorable. We have Rosamund Darnley, a successful business woman, Kenneth's young daughter, Linda, a couple that cracked me up due to the husband going yes darling through most of the book (the Gardeners), a reverend that creeped me out, a retired officer, another man named Horace Blatt, a spinster (eyeroll) named Emily Brewster, and of course the police who come on to the scene that Poirot investigates with.

I really enjoyed Rosamund until Christie ruined her in the end. I was so annoyed the way this character ended up and why she was so devoted to Kenneth made no sense to me. She hadn't seen the man in decades it seemed and she seemed to be focused solely on her dislike for his wife.

The Gardeners were welcome comic relief. I thought they were funny and I loved that the husband was devoted to her and didn't seem to mind her carrying on about things.
Linda I felt sorry for through this whole book. Her father was pretty awful and when Rosamund frightens her at one point to be quiet and stop thinking about Arlena being murdered I was worried for her. And then at one point when Linda is in danger her dad is all well that's fine then. Seriously.

I did love the writing in this one. Christie sets the stage so to speak with the beginning of the location and the tragedies that befell those who lived there. The remote island and murder made me think about "And Then There Were None."

I always love reading these books to see how it was that back in the day many people just seemed to constantly be on vacations at resorts.

The flow was really good in this one. The story moves along at a quick pace and I didn't find myself getting bored at all. I loved it in the end how Poirot put things together. That said, the why behind the murder didn't work for me at all. It sounded flimsy as anything.

The ending set me off the most though. Guilty party(ies) are called out and the romance between two characters seems set.

Spoiler discussion about that ending:


I would have kicked Kenneth in his shin and popped him one in the eye if he talked to me like that. The fact that Rosamund would have to give up her life/career to go sit in the country and be the proper wife cause that's all he would put up with? The man is awful. I would have run screaming from him.


( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
In which a seaside holiday goes horribly wrong…

"Evil Under the Sun" is a somewhat inconsequential little Christie, written on the heels of her most prolific decade as a novelist. The crime is ingeniously plotted, although the mystery itself is bog-standard, with a host of intertwined resort guests and a seemingly impossible murder. The characters are interesting, if not compelling, but the joy is in seeing Poirot’s reasoning, for this is one of those books where his little grey cells are put to such good use.

"Evil" is no classic, but it’s a solid example of what made Christie Christie, and it’s not really a surprise that this was chosen to follow "Death on the Nile" in the Peter Ustinov series of films.

Three-and-a-half stars.

Poirot ranking: 20th out of 38. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie features Hercule Poirot in his 24th mystery. This time, the detective is enjoying a holiday in Devon at the Jolly Roger Hotel on Smuggler's Island. After the murder of an attractive, flirtatious woman, Poirot is invited to aid the local constabulary with the investigation. The setting of an old hotel on the island with its coves and caves was inspired by Burgh Island and was an important part of the mystery. Christie created a variety of quirky hotel guests, filling in their stories and showing their interactions. Poirot works through the evidence and interviews methodically, often declining to comment when the police begin to form their own opinions. In the end, he creates a bit of a test that leads to the murderer. There were red herrings and subplots that kept it interesting.

I have several Christie's planned for the year and am looking forward to reading more. ( )
  witchyrichy | Feb 3, 2020 |
Synopsis: Hercule, along with a group of people turn up at a seaside house to spend a few days in the sun. A woman is killed in a small cove with no one around to do the deed. Hercule has to sort out who had motive, and opportunity.
Review: Like most of the Hercule Poirot mysteries, it was a bit tiresome in spots. ( )
  DrLed | Jun 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahmavaara, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aru, MartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baeckström, BirgitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balčiūnienė, Irena MarijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bennett, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García Clavel, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagerup, AndersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaljuste, MariIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Houbie, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lourenço, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pille, AxelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savonuzzi, ClaudioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwarz, Martin MariaSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stawiński, MarianTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suchet, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tedeschi, AlbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Terilli, LaureTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timson, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Värv, MaarjaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkening, StefanSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In memory of our last season in Syria
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When Captain Roger Angmering built himself a house in the year 1782 on the island off Leathercombe Bay, it was thought the height of eccentricity on his part.
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Agatha Christie's exotic seaside mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun... she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena's arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent 'crime of passion' have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?

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