Friday, October 22, 2010

Those Mysterious Happenings - Peril At the End House

Vidit Bhargava
Ingredients of an Agatha Christie Poirot classic, are simple.
Queer Happenings, Murder, Inquest (with no certain outcome), Japp, Hastings, Poirot's Special Remarks, Poirot's own style of Investigation, Talk -Talk, Arrest (of the wrong person), Poirot's Little Comedy, Murderer's Denial, Poirot's Explanation.
Occasionally when not Japp, some other Scotland Yard Officer comes up and is often correctly predicted as egoistic. The books in which Agatha Christie had shattered those ingredients and chosen new paths, she had succeeded, succeeded not only in surprising the reader but also turning those books into best sellers. (Take the examples of 'Murder on the Orient Express', 'ABC Murders', 'Death in the Clouds', 'Murder of Roger Ackroyd' they all were nice and of course the mysteries were 'Jaw Dropping').

Although, she might have been 'fed up with Poirot' (As christie's grandson explains), Agatha Christie never left writing Poirot Novels. This book, Peril at the End House was however one of her earlier creations (1932). Peril at End House, sounds haunting (thanks to the cover also, which makes it look like one). But, it isn't.

Bien!, the plot goes like this:
Nick Buckley has had three accidents (three escapes from murder) recently, (An Oil Painting that came crushing down on her bed, a boulder that just missed her and a car whose breaks had failed). She is fortunate to meat the great Belgian, Poirot! (Who is by the way on a holiday, with Hastings). What follows next, is Poirot's Attempts to find the murderer, before he commits the murder.

The murder mystery is narrated rather "Stylishly" by Hastings this time & is engrossing in most of the parts, even though you may know the murderer half-way through. Moreover the Novel always urges you to read more, 2 chapters a day won't help you, you're anyways going to read more to suffice your growing hunger of reading. The swiftness of the book is also a factor which acts a bonding agent between you and the book.

It is all well but what disappoints here is the mystery. As usual, Poirot plays his little comedy first (Like he has done in many others like the Blue Train mystery). There are a lot of twists, turns and truth to be blurted out till the last moment. Its all a mess in the end, till Poirot Explains and others listen. Though, out of so-much that's left to be unraveled by Poirot, you'll find a few things surprising and shocking but at the bottom of it all, the final solution is not very pleasing. Why do I say that? The Book itself reads at the back, quoting a critic's message that the final solution is ingenious. Its not. As a matter of fact, it can all be nice and surprising if you read this as your first Poirot Mystery, but looking at it in a sequence you're bound to know the murderer very easily.

There you have it, Poirot Investigated another murder after his apparent retirement, but failed to surprise me. I had known the murderer even before Poirot realized what had happened (you can say that I boasting to him here, but you see Mon Ami, even he is also not a modest chap!)

Rating: *** 1/2

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