Lady Angkatell, intrigued by the criminal mind, has invited Hercule Poirot to her estate for a weekend house party. The Belgian detective’s arrival at the Hollow is met with an elaborate tableau staged for his amusement: a doctor lies in a puddle of red paint, his timid wife stands over his body with a gun while the other guests look suitably shocked. But this is no charade. The paint is blood and the corpse real!
Christie described this novel as the one “I had ruined by the introduction of Poirot.” It was first published in 1946 in London. In the USA it was published under the title Murder after Hours. Christie adapted the novel for the stage though with the omission of Hercule Poirot. – Goodreads
As many of you know, I’m a great fan of a good mystery novel, but for some reason I’ve never really read any of the legendary Agatha Christie’s works!!! It’s rather a bit shameful really, but I was in luck. A friend of mine invited me for dinner to her mother’s house, knowing I would marvel at her book collection. And of course, part of this collection were nearly the full set of Hercule Poirot books, all still some of the original printed material.
The two books I chose weren’t for any particular reason; I just didn’t want to seem too greedy. The first one I read was The Hollow. It took a bit of time as the books are very condensed per page and a lot of information is given in these books. So here are my thoughts:
The story starts off at the mansion of The Hollow, where Lady and Lord Angkatell reside. Lady Angkatell’s cousin Midge is staying with them and she gives us a little rundown of Lady Angkatell’s character: she seems dim witted, but actually you start to realise that this may all be a front to fool people. She’s obviously rich, having grown up at Ainswick, the home that has now gone to Edward Angkatell to inherit.
We get to meet more of the characters as Lucy invites them all for a weekend at The Hollow. There we meet Edward Angkatell, who seems to be in love with another one of Lucy’s cousins, Henrietta. Henrietta in turn is in love with Dr John Christow, who is married to Gerda Christow and has two children with her. Then there is John Christow’s first love, the now famous actress Veronica, who also makes her appearance, proclaiming her love to John.
During the weekend there are a lot of activities, but then something horrible happens, just as Mr Poirot is coming for lunch (as he’s a new neighbour), one of the party is shot, and almost all of the visitors seem to have a motive. You never really get to figure out during the book who did it, Christie keeps you in suspense till the end Poirot on the other hand seems to know who done it, but even when you think you know, something happens and changes your thoughts.
It’s a rather short book, so not much more detail to tell you if I don’t want to give away the whole book, but it’s a really intriguing book but condensed so there is a lot of information to read and absorb in one page. The character of Poirot does not feature majorly in this book, but he is there and it was interesting for me to read about him.
This book went a little slow for me which was a downside, but once you get going it’s interesting reading and you find that you can’t stop reading.