Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 1937
Mystery; Hercule Poirot
Summary: "You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?" is the dramatic first line of this book. This appears to Belgian detective Hercule Poirot like an impassioned writer discussing his work. But shortly after, the terrifying matriarch of the Boynton family is found dead amid suspicious circumstances.
Thoughts: It took forever for the woman to be killed. Almost half of the book is setting the scene, showing how each member of the family revolves his or her life around Mrs. Boynton and is terrified of her, excepting her daughter-in-law who is planning to leave her husband due to his cowardice in standing up to the mother. I was particularly interested in the psychology Poirot undertakes in order to understand their frames of minds during the period leading up to her death. I also liked that there are references to some of Poirot's other cases, including two that I have read.
I loved Lady Westholme-she was funny and briskly efficient. I would have liked to see more of her. I did not like the romances in this book. Sarah and Raymond were lame, lame, lame, separately and together.
SPOILER (highlight to read)
While I didn't expect to figure out the murderer, I hated that it was Lady Westholme, who was awesome. I wanted it to be Raymond (total loser), Sarah King (also a loser as evidenced by her interested in Raymond), or Carol (sister to Raymond and similar in appearance).
Overall: 4/5. Gripping but disappointing end.
Cover: I keep saying this but I really do love these covers.