"Women could be beautiful, but Hercule Poirot was not at all sure that he liked beauty in men. He would not have liked to be a beautiful young man himself, not that there had ever been the least chance of that. There was only one thing about his own appearance which really pleased Hercule Poirot, and that was the profusion of his moustaches, and the way they responded to grooming and treatment and trimming. They were magnificent. He knew of nobody else who had any moustache half as good."
As children, neighbors, family, and friends gather to decorate and prepare for an upcoming Halloween party, thirteen-year-old Joyce Reynolds brags that she once witnessed a murder. Though many dismiss her outlandish claim as a cry for attention, at the end of the party her body is found murdered.
It is up to Hercule Poirot to help solve the crime before the multiple murder strikes again.
Christie's detective novel--ideal for reading during the Halloween season--features Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, Hercule’s longtime friend, mystery writer, and beloved recurring character in these stories. Though Oliver’s detective novels are best-sellers and she’s used to pondering and plotting whodunit, the murder of an innocent child is another story and shakes the community to its core.
In no small part due to the Halloween setting and the horror of discovering a murdered teenager, this Hercule Poirot mystery has a darker, ominous mood than even some of her most popular titles. The village of Woodleigh Common is haunted by Joyce’s death, their shared dismissal of her claims, and fear that the killer—adult or child—has motivation to kill again.
The story also boasts an abandoned well, a missing au pair, jealous siblings, and pagan sacrifices. By far, one of the darkest Christie mysteries ever penned.
An enjoyable crime novel for a dark, autumn evening, but perhaps one better suited to more mature audiences.