(also published as “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?”) Bobby witnesses the death of an unknown man, and hears his last words, “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” Bobby thinks nothing of it, until he is poisoned days later. The words must have some meaning. Why else would someone try to kill him? His childhood friend, Lady Francis, is intrigued by the mystery, and agrees to help Bobby track down those involved in the stranger’s death. They are surrounded by suspicious characters and possible enemies. Just when Bobby and ‘Frankie’ think they know who to trust, they are betrayed by the last person they suspected, and their lives are in danger every minute.
Miss Marple goes on a holiday to London and stays at the highly respectable Bertram’s Hotel. She begins to notice little ordinary things that aren’t quite right around the hotel, which become helpful to the police when they investigate the disappearance of an elderly clergyman.
We follow a lot of different characters, but we don’t see Miss Marple very much. She’s only in a few scenes, and she does very little to actually solve the mystery, but she does provide the final clue for the police to resolve their investigation. I wish she were a more prominent part of the plot, and I wish she took more action.
Major Burnaby takes part in a séance, even though he doesn’t believe in such foolishness. But when a supposed “spirit from the beyond” tells the group that the Major’s best friend has been murdered, Major Burnaby decides to trek through the snow to check on his friend. He discovers the body, brutally murdered. When her fiancé is accused of the murder, Emily Trefusis sets out to assist the police in tracking down the true killer.
I guessed the solution of who the real murderer was at about page 65. The mystery was sort of obvious. However, that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book! There were a couple of other little minor mysteries that were fun, and I loved all the character studies. I was a little bored by the red herrings though. They all seemed to lead nowhere, and they were full of coincidences.
(Also published as “Funerals are Fatal”) Strange old Aunt Cora shocks everyone at her brother’s funeral when she lets it slip that she thinks he must have been murdered. The family tries to hush it up, but when Cora herself is murdered the very next day, only Hercule Poirot can unravel the clues that led to her death. Did she know too much? As Poirot investigates, one person is nearly poisoned, and another is “coshed” on the head. Can Poirot catch the murderer before more people are attacked?
Hercule Poirot and his friend, Captain Hastings, have been called to a small village in France, where a millionaire is in fear for his life. But when Poirot arrives, the man has already been murdered. The body was discovered nearby on a golf course, and a myriad of conflicting clues surround the murder.
I loved this mystery! All the clues and red herrings kept me guessing and wondering, and it was amazing to see the methodical way in which Poirot sifts through the evidence to find the truth.
When I read the final reveal of who the murderer was, I literally yelled out, “WHAT?!?!” I was completely surprised and amazed, but once I read the explanation, I realized that it made perfect sense. I love being surprised at the end of a Christie novel!
Carla has just come of age, and is told of the true dark past of her family. Her mother was convicted of poisoning her father and died in prison when Carla was only five years old. But before she died, Carla’s mother wrote a letter to her daughter, to be opened on her 21st birthday, explaining that she was innocent and had not poisoned her husband. Now Carla is interviewing all the people who were present when her father was poisoned, trying to find out the truth. Who really poisoned her father, and why did her mother seem content to take the blame?
This collection of short stories includes stories with Miss Marple, Poirot, and Parker Pyne. I enjoyed these so much! It’s amazing to me how Agatha Christie can create this little puzzle in just a few pages, and lay out all the clues and a few red herrings, then cleverly reveal the solution in an entertaining way.