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Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie

Hallowe'en Party (1969)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery (36)

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2,182392,978 (3.46)67



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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Interesting beginning, boring middle and so-so ending. The narrative switches from person to person - didn't like it. Poirot got OLD.. relied on others' opinions (!) - not the reason I read a Poirot mystery.

Christie herself seems matured.. old to be honest. Very strong opinions and views on society and crimes spoken through her characters this time. Not the usual murder for inheritance/benefit, although that is present - this crime thriller explores the more prominent threats today - murder related to sexual assaults, child sexual abuse, mentally disturbed serial killers - threats that were only beginning to worry a small-town society in the 50's perhaps... ( )
  PsYcHe_Sufi | Jul 12, 2015 |
My initial thought about Hallowe'en Party was that it was written in a vastly different style from the other Hercule Poirot mysteries that I had read by Agatha Christie. The reason, I quickly ascertained, was that it was one of her later works (1969 to be exact) and her narrative voice (as well as the times) had vastly changed. Christie certainly knew how to adapt to stay 'en vogue' because I had to check more than once that it wasn't some weird adaptation that I was reading instead. This mystery involves a retired Poirot being called in to consult on a murder by a friend (a female mystery writer of great repute who loves apples). What struck me is how often the characters mentioned individuals with mental disorders and how they were 'let out because of overcrowding in the hospitals'. Was that a huge concern in the 60s? The story was very convoluted so that you had to constantly re-write the timeline of events as they unfolded (the past caught up to the present in a big way). I wouldn't say this was in any way one of my favorites (Murder on the Orient Express which was my first Poirot mystery remains my absolute favorite) but I did rush home to finish the last 10 pages... ( )
  AliceaP | Feb 28, 2015 |
A slightly grim offering from Christie, simply because the mystery deals with the murder of children. Ariadne Oliver is visiting a friend in the country and she tags along to help decorate for a Halloween party. Since Ariadne is a mystery writer, it isn't long before the kids helping start talking about her books. One little girl, Joyce, declares that she saw someone murdered once. Since she has the history of telling tall tales, no one believes her. Nonetheless, someone secretly took her message to heart, because she is found dead after the party is over, drowned in the bucket used for bobbing for apples.

Ariadne rushes to her friend, Hercule Poirot, for help. He immediately agrees to lend his services when he hears there has been a child murdered, and drives back to the country with Ms. Oliver. There, he begins his typical rounds of examining the crime scene and questioning everyone with a remote connection to the victim. Due to Poirot's dandified fashion and foreign ways, many people underestimate his great skill as a detective, which Poirot utilizes in his favor. As he questions the hostess of the party, the other children, Joyce's family, and various other persons, it is clear that a precise picture of events is forming in his mind, even though the matter remains obscure to everyone else (including the reader). Before he is able to come to any definite conclusions, however, another child is murdered: Leopold, Joyce's younger brother.

Events unravel rapidly from there. While I generally like to include a plot synopsis in my reviews - purely for my own benefit of being able to look back and quickly recall the summary of a book - I avoid the practice when reviewing a mystery. Suffice it to say that the hunt for the killer involves the party, Joyce's single close friend, a beautiful sunken garden, and a scandal from many years earlier involving a wealthy widow and her au pair. Poirot cleverly draws all the threads together and identifies the killer, and though the crime was tragic, and the ending of it strange and sad, at least justice is served and order restored.

I always enjoy reading an Agatha Christie story. The mystery is gripping and believable, the clues are not withheld from the reader, but the interpretation of those clues is still a surprise. While solving the mystery absorbs my attention, the characters are first class in a Christie novel, and the setting, while not intimately detailed, is solid. This novel retains all of these fabulous qualities, and I breezed through it quickly, always eager to find the ending and the answer. The nature of the crime was more upsetting than usual, and the intricacy of the mystery not as compelling as some of the better known Poirot mysteries, but overall this was a satisfying mystery read. ( )
  nmhale | Jan 12, 2015 |
A few weeks ago my husband and I took a weekend road trip. Over the course of 4 days we traveled a total of 14 hours. I thought a good way to make the time go faster was to listen to an audiobook. Like a lot of things in our life together, our book likes are not always the same. But we both like a good mystery, so I chose Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie. In this novel, Hercule Poirot, now retired, is the sleuth.

The story opens in a small English village. A group of ladies, teenagers and children are gathered to decorate for a Halloween party to be held the next night. During the course of the activity, a young girl boasts that she has witnessed a murder. A famous mystery novelist is present, and Joyce is eager to impress her. But although Joyce is known to be a liar, often making up stories to make herself seem more important, a killer takes her assertion to heart. After a real murder occurs, Hercule Poirot is called in to get to the bottom of the case.

My husband and I had fun gathering clues right along with Poirot. We figured out just whodunit early on in the narration, but that didn’t spoil our enjoyment of the book. Motives were hard to decipher, so we needed Poirot’s help as well. The reader for this book did an outstanding job bringing all the characters to life. He did great voices for both the men and the women.

Perfect for our car trip, Hallowe’en Party is a good choice for those who like mysteries and need a little escape into the English countryside as well as the workings of the mind of Hercule Poirot.


Audience: teens to adults. ( )
  vintagebeckie | Nov 13, 2014 |
While preparing for the upcoming Hallowe’en Party, thirteen-year-old Joyce Reynolds begins boasting about a murder she claims to have been a witness to many years ago. The reason she gives for not coming forward sooner was she didn’t realize it was an actual murder until recently. For the most part, no one took much notice of her ramblings but someone apparently did. At the Hallowe’en Party, Joyce was found drowned in the apple-bobbing tub. The immediate reasoning for her own death seems to be the death that she witnessed.

Tis the season for a good murder mystery and what better than a murder mystery which occurs at a Halloween Party? This was my train of thought going into this one but that thought quickly derailed. This is my second Agatha Christie book (my first being And Then There Were None — it pains my to rate a Christie book so low after that one) and my first foray into the Hercule Poirot series and even though I’ve been told that they all manage well as stand-alones, that you can jump right in at any point, Hallowe’en Party was clearly a poor starting point. I started reading this in print and was at first enjoying it but once Poirot began his investigation I kept wanting to put the book down in favor of more interesting things like laundry and vacuuming. I tried powering through but I failed when I began to think I was so out of it I was forgetting to turn the pages and was reading the same passages all over again because the many people he interviewed all had the same. exact. things to say about Joyce. Poirot’s investigation seemingly led no-where yet he was able to postulate exactly who the killer was with little to nothing to go on. Good for you, Poirot. I guess that’s why you’re the detective and I am not. It was all very wearisome though. I switched to listening to the audio after a bit so I could multi-task and have exciting times in laundry folding as well.

Poirot was quite a character but I haven’t given up completely on him; I do still anticipate reading the earlier installments (Yes, Dani, like Murder on the Orient Express). He was like a quirky, French version of Sherlock. I’m at least thankful that Sherlock isn’t weird about his facial hair as Poirot clearly is.

‘There was only one thing about his own appearance which really pleased Hercule Poirot, and that was the profusion of his moustaches, and the way they responded to grooming and treatment and trimming. They were magnificent. He knew of nobody else who had any moustache half as good.’

I’m not sure I’d call it “magnificent” but it’s certainly something.

For those of you that are looking for a perfect theme read for Halloween night, alas this isn’t one I’d recommend. Not only because it’s one of the least interesting mysteries I’ve read as of late but even though the murder takes place on Halloween and the rest of the book centers around that, the actual “Halloween” aspects of it last only a few short pages. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Nov 4, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffatt, JohnNarratorsecondary 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 whe was drowned that very night.

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

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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)

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A Hercule Poirot Mystery.

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