My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been rereading Dame Agatha and one of my reading challenges had the prompt of read a first book by a favorite author so as far as Doc. Google can tell me, this is her first book. It's also the first Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings book. They are two of my all time favorite detectives.
I marked it historical even though it's not written as one but rather because it's just six years shy of being 100 years old. Wow. I can't even believe that. But as such it does have a lot of things that modern authors have gotten away from, like adverbs. So you have to keep in mind when this was written. Not only that Dame Agatha was laying the groundwork for all those mysteries to follow. Mysterious poisonings, locked door mysteries, misdirections etc etc.
Captain Hastings is visiting an old friend, John Cavendish at Styles when John's wealthy and recently remarried stepmother is poisoned. It quickly becomes obvious someone at the household has to be guilty of the murder, with the likely suspect being Mr. Inglethorpe, her new and recently estranged husband. The family would certainly like to see him hang for it.
However, Hastings learns his good friend, the retired Belgium detective, Hercule Poirot, is also in town and known to the Cavendishes who ask him to help them figure this mystery out. Poirot, however, is less sure of Inglethorpe's guilt and with the help of Hastings (who does come off as a bit put out and jealous of Poirot's quick wit) they try to get to the bottom of how Emily Inglethorpe could have been given strychnine before the wrong man hangs for it.
I enjoyed it very much. It's always fun to revisit Christie's books, especially now as an adult (I read them all in my teens many years ago).
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