Elinor has been accused of murder. Young Mary Gerrard was poisoned with morphine, and Elinor was the only one who had access to the sandwiches that Mary ate. Only Hercule Poirot can sift through the evidence and find the truth. There are various suspects: Elinor’s ex-fiancée who was fascinated with the dead girl, the doctor who attended Mary’s last moments, and two nurses who love to gossip. Who had the motive to kill an innocent young woman just turned twenty-one?
I loved this mystery! The clues really had me guessing, and I had no idea who the murderer could be until close to the end. I guessed that something was amiss with the nurses, but I also suspected the ex-fiancée, and I couldn’t figure out what the doctor was up to. They are all so slippery and everybody lies to Poirot.
The setting in the old country manor house was wonderful, and a little different from her usual setting because the house wasn’t full of guests. There were just a few servants, an old invalid, two nurses, and of course Mary Gerrard. An old house with no hustle or bustle. The perfect setting for a quiet poisoning to go unnoticed.
I just adore Poirot! He is so meticulous and intelligent. He sees right through people’s foolishness and into their heart. At one point, he says to the doctor, “I do not approve of murder.” just as prim and proper as an old lady saying “I do not approve of drunkenness.” Haha! He is wonderful!
All the characters were really interesting, but I especially loved Elinor. She is high-strung and nervous. She is passionate and sensitive, so she gets all upset over something, but tries to hide her feelings, but then people misinterpret her manner as if she is acting guilty about something. She has a complex personality, and I loved the way her character is gradually revealed through the story.
The writing is fantastic! I stayed up way past my bedtime until I finished the book, because I could NOT put it down! I was completely fascinated with every chapter. I really liked the way that the story unfolded, first with Elinor’s memory of the events that led up to the murder, then Poirot’s involvement and the investigation he does, then the courtroom witnesses that are called in, and the final explanation of how the murder took place and the revelation of the murderer. Brilliant writing!