by Agatha Christie
3 out of 5 stars
Professor Hendryk’s wife is an invalid. Mrs. Hendryk’s cousin, Lisa, lives with the family as a companion and nurse for her. When Mrs. Hendryk is found dead, poisoned by an overdose of her heart medicine, Lisa comes under suspicion. Professor Hendryk’s own ideals of morality and mercy will get him into trouble, since he refuses to report something he knows about the murder.
I don’t think this can really be called a mystery, since the audience knows from the beginning who the murderer is because the murder happens onstage in full view, and then the murderer confesses to another character, so most of the characters also know who the murderer is. The only people who don’t know are the police.
This is more of a drama and a weird love story rather than an actual mystery with clues. I suppose that does make more sense on the stage, and maybe doesn’t translate as well when you are just reading it.
I think a lot of the dramatic appeal of this play would hinge on the character of Professor Hendryk. The actor playing his part would have to look the part and have the right kind of charisma and a powerful presence. His personality is larger than life, and all the other characters revolve around him.
I certainly found this story interesting and enjoyable to read!