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Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha…

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (1938)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery (20)

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2,898712,957 (3.69)141



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» See also 141 mentions

English (58)  French (3)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I read this to kick off a planned spree of mystery reading, after learning that it's frequently cited as the go-to Christmas mystery classic. Awkwardly, the Christmas part is 100% incidental. Christmas has nothing to do with this story, in fact - I'm left feeling that it was altered to mention Christmas just to boost interest or seasonal sales. A family can gather for reasons other than the holidays, and the holiday season tends to necessitate some holiday-oriented details (a formal meal, decoration, gifts). Characters barely even mention experiencing crisis/working regarding a murder case over Christmas as any sort of extraordinary experience (one exception being a quality passage where Poirot points out that tensions are higher at the holidays).

This is an acclaimed closed-room mystery, as well. IMO, it breaks one of the cardinal rules of a decent mystery - in that the resolution feels "unfair", and key roles are played by a virtually uninvolved/undescribed mover until the 11th hour. Maybe this just points to a version of the cynicism that accompanies this era of mystery writing - aka "the butler did it" (not saying the butler did it in this book).

All in all, it wasn't an unpleasant or overtly disappointing novella - but I don't feel that it earns the places it is reputed to hold in literary ranks and recommendations. ( )
  Ron18 | Feb 17, 2019 |
This was a thoroughly enjoyable Agatha Christie story. Thanks again to my SantaThing buyer for 2018. ( )
  bcrowl399 | Jan 21, 2019 |
In any other family, it might look like a cozy holiday reunion -- all of Simeon Lee's children and their spouses assembled for the holidays. But the Lee family is seeped in biting sarcasm and revenge served cold, and before the holiday is over, they will find Simeon Lee lying in a puddle of blood. Nearly everyone hated the old man -- but who hated him enough to kill him?

It's been a long time since I read through all of the Poirot mysteries, so this one sparked only a few dim memories for me, and the ending came as a surprise. If you're looking for an enjoyable whodunit set at Christmas, this is a good one -- and the audiobook version is likewise well-executed. ( )
  foggidawn | Dec 6, 2018 |
I Loved this book. I always enjoy reading Agatha Christie books with the goal of figuring out the murderer before Poirot announces it. Sometimes I'm right, but with this book I was completely stumped. I Loved it! ( )
  cindyalee | Nov 6, 2018 |
Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

If there’s one Christie that remains an icon of my childhood, it is "Hercule Poirot’s Christmas". Long before I knew who David Suchet was, or the intricacies of Christie’s career, I’d seen Suchet’s film adaptation, and knew this plot like the back of my hand. The onerous old man upstairs, the miniature gardens, that horrifying pig-like squeal… it all comes back to me as clear as the first night I watched that film.

Of course, the other side of that coin is that I know the book too well: to me, the clues stand out glaringly (as they did when I rewatched the Suchet film last Christmas), and yet I doubt this would be the case for new readers. The premise is pretty standard, really: Poirot is invited – nay, commanded – to the home of a grotesque partriarch in the week before Christmas, only to be called back later that night when one of the family has been murdered. Both Simeon Lee and his nervous adult children are very well-drawn; the country house – filled with bedrooms and conservatories – is perfectly mapped out, allowing for each clue to neatly fit into the larger jigsaw puzzle. The final denouement is undoubtedly beyond our grasp – one element of the murder is an obscure novelty, for instance – but it still works. And the biggest clue – as in "At Bertram’s Hotel" – has pervaded the entire novel, masquerading as ambience the whole time. Poirot has had stronger examples of characterisation, but he makes up for it towards novel’s end, as his passion and anger get the better of him. Beautiful. A biased 9.5/10.

[US titles: "Murder for Christmas" and then "A Holiday for Murder". I understand they wanted to sensationalise the books, but that second title - beyond not making any sense - is simply dreadful.]

Poirot ranking: 6th out of 38 ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Acedo, Sara R.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alves, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckman, PerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomkvist, Torsten, 1912-1967Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bobba Varnero, OriellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bouillot, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claverie, OlivierNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Correy, Michael P.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dittmann, KlausNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duurloo, EllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enrico PiceniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freitas, Lima deCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, Claes, nOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jabłońska, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ljungmark, HelenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luho, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mallorquí Figuerola, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Milcarz, AndrzejTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mondadori, OscarIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliveros, GonçalTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pangsepp, RudolfIllustreerija.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piceni, EnricoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polillo, MarcoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Postif, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodrigues, Fernanda PintoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salek, Vânia de AlmeidaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sallis, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suveren, GonulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teytaud, JørgenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toming, RalfTÕlkija.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vuerhard-Berkhout, A.E.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Murder for Christmas and Three Other Great Mysteries: The Hollow, Murder in Retrospect, Thirteen At Dinner by Agatha Christie

Quintuplet #04 by Agatha Christie

Poirot: The Perfect Murders: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, Murder in the News, Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

Eine Weihnachtstragödie und andere Geschichten by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Crime Collection: The Body in the Library, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile; Dumb Witness; Appointment with Death; Murder for Christmas; Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie

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Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
Dear James,

you have always been one of the most faithful and kindly of my readers, and I was therefore seriously perturbed when I received from you a word of criticism.

You complained that my murders were getting too refined - anaemic, in fact! You yearned for a "good violent murder with lots of blood." A murder where there was no doubt about its being murder!
So this is your special story - written for you. I hope it may please,

Your affectionate sister-in-law,

First words
Stephen pulled up the collar of his coat as he walked briskly along the platform.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425177416, Mass Market Paperback)

Christie, Poirot--and murder--are never out of season. A family get-together for the holidays begins with a game, and ends in cold-blooded murder. Who better to solve it than Poirot, who "has solved some puzzling mysteries in his time but never has his mighty brain functioned more brilliantly than in Hercule Poirot's Christmas" (New York Times).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:42 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed. But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man.… (more)

» see all 11 descriptions

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